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General Grant

Grants to British Columbia Nonprofits, Agencies, and IHEs
for Sustainable Land Use and Excellence in Real Estate

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia (REFBC)

Deadline Date:



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Grants to British Columbia nonprofit organizations, IHEs, government agencies, First Nations, and professional associations for projects that promote sustainable land use and enhance the real estate industry. Funding is intended for projects supporting sustainable practices in land use, built environments, fresh water, food lands, and the real estate profession.

REFBC grants can fund:
- Research
- Public education
- Education for professionals
- Law reform and policy analysis

General Grants can fund projects in all five of REFBC’s interest areas:

Sustainable Land Use: Land use is the human use of land – that is, management, conservation and modification of natural environments, built environments and semi-natural areas – for the purpose of supporting human settlement and communities. Sustainable land use enables people to thrive within nature's limits; it integrates social, environmental, economic and cultural objectives into policy and practice for the long-term well-being of communities and ecosystems.

Built Environment Sustainability: The built environment encompasses the buildings and infrastructure that support where and how people live. The way we plan, design, build and operate communities has significant economic, social and environmental impacts. By funding initiatives focused on better land use policies, development regulations and building practices that respond to both human and ecological needs, the Real Estate Foundation contributes to more sustainable communities.

Freshwater Sustainability: A safe and abundant supply of fresh water is vital to sustainable communities – freshwater sustainability means making choices that protect freshwater resources now and in the future. The Foundation’s interest is in initiatives such as new approaches in land use planning, policy and regulation; mapping studies and applied research that contributes to the health of freshwater systems.

Local and Sustainable Food Systems: A sustainable food system integrates production, processing, distribution and consumption of food, and waste management, in ways that enhance community well-being. Communities in BC are facing challenges that affect food security, including climate change, rising oil prices and development pressures on agricultural land. The Foundation supports initiatives that contribute to novel land use policy and planning that supports sustainable food systems.

Professional Excellence in Real Estate: Professional excellence in real estate helps equip the real estate community with better information, professional development opportunities, and knowledge about real estate and land use practices. It helps build public awareness and advance the field towards emerging trends, laws and standards that help foster thriving and resilient neighborhoods.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 173220

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Foundation funds small, grassroots projects (typically between $2,000 and $20,000) as well as larger initiatives (as large as about $400,000).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications are open to any non-profit organization doing work related to land use or real estate in BC.

To qualify for project funding, applications must come from a non-profit organization or community contribution company (C3).

Examples of non-profit organizations include:
- Charities, societies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
- Universities and colleges
- Professional and trade associations
- Local and regional governments
- First Nations

The Real Estate Foundation has determined the following types of applications do not fall within its funding mandate and are not eligible for grants. Please check this list to ensure your project does not fall into one of these categories. If in doubt, please contact one of the staff members for clarification.

The Foundation will not entertain applications for:
- Activities that primarily provide financial benefits for individuals
- Retirement of debt and/or retroactive funding
- Directed political lobbying

There are a few activities which the Foundation does not generally fund, including capital costs. Even if a project meets the eligibility criteria, there are a few activities for which we will not provide funding. These activities and costs include:
-Purchase of equipment and capital goods
-In general, printing costs—the Foundation prefers to support online distribution, where appropriate.

Pre-Application Information:

There are two intake cycles per year:
Spring Intake
- Status: applications open in February 2020
- Deadline: submit in March 2020
- Decisions: grants approved in June 2020 and September 2020

Fall Intake
- Status: applications open in August 2020
- Deadline: submit in September 2020
- Decisions: grants approved in December 2020 and March 2021

REFBC’s grants program follows a formal process with two stages.
- Stage one: All applicants submit a complete application at the intake deadline. REFBC’s grants team reviews these applications, provides feedback, and shortlists projects for stage two.
- Stage two: Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit an updated application for full due diligence review. The Grants Program Managers present grant recommendations to the Board of Governors.

The Board of Governors meets four times a year to make funding decisions on stage two applications.

As a rule, its support will not exceed 50% of the cash portion of the project budget. Additionally, the Foundation typically will not act as the sole funder of a project.

Tips for Applying:
Guidelines for Applied Research and Education:
Interest Areas:
How the Foundation Works:
Submitting Your Application:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application portal:

Noémi Pomerleau, Grants Coordinator
1-866-912-6800 x109

Hedy Rubin, Grants Program Manager

Leanne Sexsmith, Grants Program Manager

Nick Davies, Grants Program Manager

Real Estate Foundation of BC
660-355 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 2G8

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: British Columbia