Community Economic Development (CED) Funds

We support healthy communities in Canada through two complimentary funds:

  • Co-operators Fiftieth Anniversary Community Fund, which focuses exclusively on supporting registered charities;
  • Co-operators Community Economic Development (CED) Fund, which supports non-profit organizations and co-operatives.

The purpose of these funds is to support community economic development initiatives that lead to job creation and/or enhanced employability for marginalized populations.

The funds also offer multiyear grants that provide recipient organizations with longer term planning options and increased financial stability. Organizations can only apply for a multiyear grant following the receipt and successful completion of a one year grant from the funds.

Recent initiatives

Since the funds' inception in 1995, we have disbursed over $4.3 million to 105 organizations. In 2013, a total of $452,497 was granted to 24 organizations that assist marginalized individuals and communities by helping them build the capacity for economic self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods. Click here for a list of 2013 CED Fund recipients.  

Applying for funding

Proposals for funding are reviewed twice per year. Application deadlines are January 15 and September 1st. Note that if the deadline falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, applications must be received by the previous Friday, before 5 p.m. (Eastern time). Decisions are made in mid-April and early December respectively. To be considered for funding, your organization must:

  • Have a specific program aimed at helping marginalized individuals
  • Build capacity (community and organizational): The program should assist not only the individuals, but in doing so, also strengthen the organizations assisting them and the communities in which they live. The funding should also help the organization move toward becoming sustainable, through leveraging of new funding partnerships, diversification of funding sources, and careful financial planning.
  • Provide evidence of strong community partnerships/funders that contribute both financially and in-kind (we are especially interested in any relationships that exist with the co-op sector and/or our advisors).
  • Have access to appropriate technical, strategic and administrative assistance
  • Have a sound business and marketing plan showing how the organization plans to achieve its objectives
  • Have specific outcomes and measures of success: Upon the completion of the funding year, we ask for a status report relating the program activities/strategies to these success measures. Further funding, whether for a successive annual grant or a multiyear grant, is dependent on receipt of this report and satisfactory application of any key learnings.

Note: We do not fund more than 50% of the program or project budget and the maximum grant is $20,000. 

Projects not eligible for assistance:

  • Capital expenditures
  • Insurance
  • Conferences, workshops, seminars
  • Travel 
  • Fund-raising initiatives 
  • Deficit reduction 
  • Retroactive expenses
  • Literacy programs 
  • Summer camps

To request a copy of the CED Funds application form please contact

Annual Report

Download our most recent CED Annual Report here.