Funding process

When do funds go out?

For the 2024 granting cycle, groups can apply for funding now. The application deadline is February 18, 2024. Funding will be disbursed in early summer 2024.

Who gets funded?

The group deciding on grant applications is a combination of Groundswell trustees and members of groups who have received funding in the past. Each application selection process participant generates a shortlist of applications that fit our criteria. Participants then meet to share their shortlists and discuss the strongest applications. We then use a two-step process: 1. Decide how many applications we can fund, depending on the amount of money we have raised. 2. Once the successful applications are selected, decide how much each applicant will receive.

Please note: Applications for legal defence costs are not typically eligible for funding. If you’d like to request an exception for legal defence costs as part of an impactful project, please write to us in advance at to determine if your legal defence costs may be considered.

Organizations funded by a settler government agency (e.g., federal, provincial, and municipal governments, including government-funded agencies), extractive industries (e.g., mining companies), energy corporations, or banks will not be funded. We may consider funding projects housed by such organizations. Applications on behalf of individuals will not be considered.

We prioritize work taking place within Turtle Island, now called Canada (Given our commitment to decolonization, we do not define our work according to colonial borders but instead engage applicants with some flexibility around their geographies).

Click here to find out more about our funding priorities.

How do we decide who gets funded?

Each application selection process participant looks at all their applications and generates a shortlist of those applications that fit our criteria and that they support. Participants then meet to share their shortlist and discuss the strongest applications.

Once the discussion is complete, we use a two-step process. At the first stage, we decide which applications we are going to fund. Depending on the amount of money we have raised, we choose between five and ten applications to fund. Once we have selected these applications, we then decide how much each applicant will receive.

How do we ensure fairness?

Application selection process participants keep applications confidential and do not discuss groups amongst themselves or with others before the board meeting. To address possible conflict of interest concerns, participants must state any involvement they have with groups applying for funding. Members disclose any benefits they may receive from funding a group with which they are involved. If a participant stands to benefit financially or is an active part of a group applying for funds, they will be asked to abstain from discussion of the group’s application and from voting concerning the group. We take the allocation process very seriously and address any problems that may arise immediately, as well as at our yearly Strategy Meeting.