Frequently Asked Questions

Round 2 opened on October 5 and runs until October 30, 2020

How much money is available through this fund? Is it possible to find out how much is available for our region?

The Emergency Community Support Fund (ESCF) is a $350 million investment made by the Government of Canada. It provides additional assistance to organizations serving vulnerable populations. The Government of Canada is flowing funds through national networks, including Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) and United Way Centraide Canada  Hamilton Community Foundation has approximately $450,000 to grant to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens are safe and healthy.

What are the size of the grants being administered by Hamilton Community Foundation?

Community Foundations of Canada indicated up to a maximum of $75,000 per request. However, Hamilton Community Foundation will be issuing grants up to a maximum of $50,000 locally per request to ensure we can meet the diversity of needs across our community. There is no minimum for requests.

Who is eligible to apply for the ESCF?

Organizations providing frontline services to vulnerable populations affected by COVID-19 are eligible to apply. Agencies must be a registered charity with an active charitable number. Any other community group or non-profit looking to apply must do so in partnership with a registered charity. That charity will be responsible for all compliance and reporting requirements.

If you are a non-profit and are not able to partner with a charitable organization you are encouraged to apply through The Canadian Red Cross who has a granting program for non-profits. To find out more about their program please visit

I am a national organization. Where do I apply?

If you are a national organization seeking funds to support your Hamilton-based services, please direct your application to Community Foundations of Canada or United Way Centraides. This will support both national and local organizations in serving the needs of their respective communities.

If we have received other federal and/or provincial or territorial COVID-19 related funding, can we still apply?

Yes, ECSF resources can enhance and expand your current COVID-19-funded community service so long you do not claim for the same expense twice. Please make sure you indicate additional sources of funding on your application.

May we apply to United Way Centraides, Community Foundations and Canadian Red Cross?

Yes, as long as you do not apply to more than one funder for the same program activities and related costs. United Way Centraides and Community Foundations Canada will be co-ordinating locally to ensure that funds have the best possible local reach in serving vulnerable populations.

If I applied for and/or received pandemic-related funding in the past from either HCF’s Pandemic Response Fund or the Emergency Community Response Fund, can I apply for ECSF II?

Yes. Qualified donees may apply more than once (and to different funders if they wish) for different projects. They cannot receive funding for the same project or same aspect of a project from two intermediaries or two granting rounds while their previous grant is still active. If you have expended your PRF grant, you may apply again for funding to extend/expand.

Will you pay for activities that meet the criteria that are already underway?

If activities or services are underway, you can apply for additional resources to expand and/or extend the delivery of service for a longer time (up to March 31, 2021). HCF is not funding retroactively.

If my agency is receiving the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, are we still eligible to apply for funding?

Yes. ECSF funds cannot fund any expenses (including wages) already covered by another source, but can complement existing sources, including the wage subsidy.

How many funding requests can be made by one organization?

Applicant organizations may only submit ONE request per unique emergency program (duplicate or additional requests for the same program to multiple funders will not be accepted). Applicant organizations are not limited to a single request: additional applications for unique programs or emergency needs will be accepted provided each is for a different project.

How does an organization apply to the ESCF?

Applicants can apply either through Community Foundations of Canada’s national portal, or by downloading an application on the United Way’s website. It is up to qualified donees to decide where they wish to – and feel it’s most logical – to apply.
Though community foundations and local United Way Centraides have separate funding streams as a result of our respective agreements with the Government of Canada, we are working together. Grant applications to HCF and UWHH will be assessed by our respective teams, then co-ordinating efforts and sharing information about ECSF applications weekly.

How will decisions about the funding be made? How quickly can we anticipate a decision?

Applications will be reviewed after the October 30th, 2020 deadline by Hamilton Community Foundation in partnership with the UWHH. We will strive to notify applicants of the status of their request as soon as possible.

Where can we find more information?  Will assistance be provided in the application process?

Please refer to the following websites for further details:

Community Foundations of Canada

United Way

Canadian Red Cross