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Investment Readiness Program (IRP)

IRP Round 2 now closed. Keep watching for updates this fall.
Watch a recording of the IRP information webinar from September 10 here.

Round 1 results announced: Over $500K in funding awarded to 15 organizations in Hamilton-London-Niagara.

The Investment Readiness Program (IRP) is a funding opportunity for organizations that have a social purpose to help launch, design, measure and scale their organization or project to get ready to access social financing. Community foundations in Hamilton, London and Niagara, along with McMaster Innovation Park, are partnering as the conduit for the funding allocated in this geographic area.

Do you have an idea that could qualify for IRP funding? From September 8 to October 9, 2020, social purpose organizations can submit applications for projects that advance their investment readiness and that can be completed by June 1, 2021.

Who qualifies?

You may qualify if your organization is mission-driven, aiming to sell goods or services to earn a revenue while also helping achieve positive social, cultural or environmental objectives.

Charities, non-profit organizations, co-ops and for-profit businesses with a social impact may all qualify.


  • A farmshare co-op
  • A charity that runs a catering service and provides culinary training for marginalized youth
  • A business that sells recycled footwear in order to reduce waste and funds environmental programming
  • A store that offers local artisans credit to purchase food in exchange for their crafts.


  • Eligible organizations can receive $10,000 to $100,000 in non-repayable funds to develop, design, measure and scale their social purpose organization or project in order to get ready to accept investments.
  • The IRP can assist organizations at any stage, from refining an idea to scaling up and preparing for investments.

The IRP is open to social purpose organizations including charities, non-profits, co-operatives, and for-profits with a social impact.  Find out how to apply here.

What makes a successful IRP application?

Check out some of the factors common to successful applications in Round 1 of the Hamilton-London-Niagara IRP process here.

Round 1 results

Across Canada, 257 organizations received IRP funding in CFC’s first round of applications which was launched in January 2020. Community foundations in Hamilton, London and Niagara, along with McMaster Innovation Park, have awarded over $500K in funding to 15 organizations. Visit for more details about CFC’s funded projects, as well as projects funded through the various partner organizations.

Locally, six organizations received $247,569 through Hamilton Community Foundation:

De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre (DAHC)Business plan and market analysis for launch of a product line from DAHC and the McQuesten Urban Farm to generate revenue and provide skills training to neighbours24,400
Amity Goodwill IndustriesMarketing location plan to establish the viability of an Attended Donation Centre that would help increase product supply to its retail thrift stores30,000
St. Matthew's HouseCreate “nightcare” program for children of neighbourhood parents and caregivers working evenings/nightshift 65,000
Welcome InnDevelop a new business plan and conduct a viability study on expanding the New Horizons Thrift Store32,669
Wesley Urban MinistriesViability, business and marketing planning, training and software support for new urban modular farm supporting newcomers and people living in poverty.60,000
YWCA HamiltonExpansion of YWCA Hamilton At the Table Café and Catering (the Café) to build capacity for future sales of packaged food products and exploration of environmentally friendly food service/retail options. 35,500

Keep watching this space and follow us on social media for updates over the next weeks.