You should know:

  • The online application portal is now open until July 27, 2020 as long as funding is still available
  • Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis with decisions made weekly
  • Funded activities must occur before March 31, 2021
  • The Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) is separate from the Ottawa Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund

Program Overview

Launched on May 19, 2020, the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) aims to provide additional and much-needed assistance to charities and non-profit organizations serving those disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada is flowing funds through national networks, including Community Foundations of Canada (CFC)United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross.

The Role of the Ottawa Community Foundation

We are proud to be working with CFC and the Government of Canada to deliver funding in Ottawa. Through the ECSF, we will provide funding for local charities supporting vulnerable populations.

As a federally funded initiative, the ECSF is separate from our COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. At this time, eligible applicants for either fund should apply to the ECSF.


You can apply to the ECSF to access the funding allocated to the Ottawa Community Foundation if you are a qualified donee. Eligible projects are those that:

  1. Address a well-being need caused by COVID-19
  2. Serve one or more vulnerable groups
  3. Will be completed before March 31, 2021
    (Applications will not be approved if completion dates are beyond March 31, 2021)

Examples of eligible projects:

  • Increased staffing and supplies at a shelter for women and children fleeing violence
  • Equipment for a food bank to accommodate rise in food orders
  • Development and delivery of a virtual mental health program for clients and their caregivers
  • Technology enabling seniors in-residence to connect with their families virtually
  • Preparing and delivering food for persons with disabilities

→ Review the Application Guide for eligible expenses.

Community Foundations are working with United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross to distribute the ECSF. You can only receive ECSF funding from one of us for the same project. Please review the chart below to determine your next step. (PDF)

Apply for Funding

If you have a project that matches the eligibility criteria, the application is designed to be straightforward and efficient. The online application portal is administered by CFC. Please select the Ottawa Community Foundation as your local community foundation for projects in the Ottawa area.

Completing the application should take about 20 minutes and includes brief questions about your project and the vulnerable groups your organization is supporting. Please include a budget with your submission, either using the template below or your own.

Applications will be received and assessed on a weekly rolling basis, so that you can get an answer as soon as possible. The final closing date to submit an application will be July 27, 2020.

Prior to submitting an application, please carefully review the information on this page, including the additional resources below. If you have further questions, please contact Anita James (Director, Strategic Initiatives) at


Reporting Back

Reporting requirements for projects approved for funding will be as light as possible – we know community-based organizations have important work to deliver right now. This process includes a short description of the outcomes and, once you have finished the project, a brief report due by April 1, 2021. 

Additional Resources

The Emergency Community Support Fund

Funded by
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