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Information for current grant holders

We hope your health promotion program or project has thus far been a success! If you need help with, or have any questions about, your funding or funded activities, we invite you to connect with us. Please consider us at Community Investments as a resource. 

Capacity Building, Networking, and Mutual Learning Opportunities for Grant Recipients

VCH Community Investments provides various organizational capacity building supports to funded agencies and the not-for-profit health promotion sector in an effort to further support the development of healthy communities. Partner organizations will be notified of organizational capacity building opportunities hosted by VCH Community Investments and will be invited to participate. We further contribute to a robust not-for-profit network by occasionally hosting networking events, making strategic introductions, and sharing work produced through a grant (where appropriate and with permission). 

In the interest of public accountability, mutual learning, and feedback to improve our own work and performance as a partner in health promotion, we work with our community partners to document outcomes, assess, and continually learn from practice. We do our best to be flexible to facilitate our partners and adapt and respond to learnings and to change.

SMART & CFAI Grant Recipients

Due to the long term nature of our partnerships with funded programs, please note that no region-wide call for applications is anticipated for SMART Grants or for CFAI Grants.

SMART Grants (Sharon Martin Grants) for Health Promotion Programs

SMART Grants support health promotion programs (and longer-term projects) that build the collective capacity of population groups within the VCH region to proactively improve their health and prevent illness. Grants are for one, two or three year terms with the possibility of renewal based on program performance and on continued alignment/compliance with SMART guidelines and priorities.

View the SMART Grant guidelines to learn more about VCH SMART Grant criteria and fundable/non-fundable expenses.  

History of SMART Health Promotion Program Grants

Sharon Martin, the founding Director of Community and Public Involvement for the Vancouver/Richmond Health Board, one of the predecessors of Vancouver Coastal Health, believed that communities understand their local issues and have the ability to create collective solutions. Combining her vision with her passionate belief in health promotion, Sharon gave voice and substance to actions to support individuals and communities in taking control of and improving their health through active participation in the design and delivery of health care services.

Sharon Martin (SMART) Health Promotion Program Grants are a tangible reflection of Sharon's vision of nurturing healthy communities through community development and public involvement. It stands as an enduring tribute to the legacy of new ideas she gave us.

CFAI Grants (Community Food Action Initiative Grants) for Health Promotion Programs

CFAI Grants support community-led projects that build the collective capacity of communities within the VCH region to proactively improve their food security. Grants are for one, two or three year terms with the possibility of renewal based on program performance and on continued alignment/compliance. The funding criteria and list of fundable/non fundable expenses outlined on page 2 and 3 of the SMART Grant guidelines also apply to CFAI grants. It is anticipated that more specific CFAI Grant principles will be soon be developed resulting from a recent review of the program and in consultation with CFAI grant holders.

History of CFAI Grants (Community Food Action Initiative Grants)

CFAI Grants originated through a 2005 Ministry of Health health promotion initiative to increase food security across the province. Each health authority engaged in the initiative in different ways, according to the needs and opportunities of their respective regions. Through CFAI Grants, VCH continues to build on community strengths, supporting local networks and organizations, "ground-up" approaches and community-led solutions, to improve access to healthy food and develop food skills with a focus on populations experiencing less food security.

  • February 15th – Requests for significant changes to the Outcome Measurement Framework (OMF) due

  • April 15th – 2021/2022 annual narrative report and Outcome Measurement Framework (OMF) due

  • May 15th – 2021/2022 annual financial report due

  • May 15th – Requests for approval of surplus carry-over due

  • June 15th – 2022/2023 annual budget due

Contracts are renewed on a 1, 2, or 3 year basis.

In a renewal year, a Grant Coordinator will be in touch to arrange for an in person meeting on-site to discuss the program. A site visit to a program in non-renewal years may also be requested. We also encourage organizations to initiate a site visit at any time to share activities and learnings and discuss their funded program.

In a contract renewal year, we will also request that a more comprehensive narrative report is completed by the organization. During review years, organizations will complete a simplified version of the narrative report. 

The Outcomes Measurement Framework (OMF)

An OMF is a map that suggests the path between what a project is doing and what it is changing. It is not just a way to strengthen accountability for the use of resources. Used effectively, it can help to make wise planning and management decisions.

The OMF should be a living document that guides the work of a program, and is adaptable as experience builds and the context continues to change. Note that organizations are welcome to make changes to the OMF in response to opportunities to build on emerging community strengths or needs, however it is important to discuss these changes with your Grant Coordinator prior to submitting your completed report.  

If you are planning to make substantial changes to your OMF, please let your Grant Coordinator know by February 15th. This helps us work together to ensure that program activities remain within the guidelines to maintain funding.

Program Participant Surveying

Some questions on the report require information collected from participant surveys. Actively involving participants in the evaluation and planning process of your program can increase interest and engagement, so we do encourage you to survey participants or find another forum for feedback.  Surveying should happen when it makes the most sense for your program and not necessarily at the end of the fiscal year when your report is due.

For grantees using the Common Outcomes Measurement Framework (for social connectedness), a pre-established survey is available to use. Your Grant Coordinator can send this to you if you do not have a copy on hand. 

For grantees not using the Common Outcomes Measurement Framework please feel free to develop your own survey. Your grant coordinator can assist you with this if needed. 

If surveying participants is not possible, please complete the report using your observations and comments from program participants. 

Requesting a Surplus to be Carried Over to spend in the next fiscal year

Should your program have a surplus for the reporting year, you are invited to request a carry over to be used in the upcoming fiscal year. Your annual report must show this surplus, and the surplus carry over must be requested by May 15th, prior to submitting the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. 

Note that surplus carry-overs will only be considered for one-time-only investments to your program. A surplus cannot be incorporated into the programs annual operating budget and used for annual expenses. 

To request a surplus carry-over, please contact your Grant Coordinator and provide the following information, by May 15th:

  • Why you have a surplus (for example, a staff role you budgeted for was vacant for 2 months)

  • How much of the surplus you would like to carry over (you can request the full amount, or a partial amount)

  • What you would like to use the surplus for (for example, you run a peer led cooking program and you would like to buy a new fridge, which is a one-time-only expense)

Financial Reporting and Budgeting

Please report only on the SMART funding related to the program your SMART grant supports. 

Finance reports must be balanced as they report only on how the funds provided through SMART Grants are spent. A report in deficit will not be accepted. If additional costs for your program are being covered by other revenue sources, please note the amount and sources in the "Notes" section. Annual Financial Reports are due May 15th of each year. Budgets for the upcoming year are due June 15th of each year.

Please ensure that you are reporting expenses on the appropriate corresponding line. 

Pay close attention to your administrative expenses and ensure they do not exceed 10% of your total SMART funding. 

Please use the notes section to inform us of any significant changes or new expenses reported or anticipated. If your program receives significant gift-in-kind to operate, we would like to know that too! Please share details briefly in the notes section.

We have created these FAQs to answer some of the recurring questions we receive about budgets and annual financial reports and to help you better understand how to use our templates more effectively. We recognize reporting can be confusing and time-consuming, and we appreciate the time you dedicate to filling our reports. All your submissions, and our conversations with you, together help paint a better, more comprehensive picture of your program. They all help us tell your story to others about your work and the health promotion impacts you are having in your community. 

If you have any further questions or suggestions please feel free to reach out to your grant coordinator or email us at‎


Other Grant Recipients

Please complete and submit the One-Time-Only Health Promotion Grant Narrative and Expense Report by May 31st (unless stated otherwise in your Grant Letter). 

For support with your One-Time-Only Health Promotion Project, contact us at

For more information about ACTION Mini-GRANTS, please visit VGH Trauma Services website

For support with your ACTION Mini-GRANT project, contact us at

  • Reports should clearly indicate the outcomes of the activities proposed in your application for funding.

  • Please share photos and testimonials as much as possible – be sure you have written consent from subjects identifiable in photos. Photos help us to develop a better understanding of your program, but we also want to ensure that we are respectful of personal privacy. Once submitted, photos become the property of VCH and may be used on our website, in program promotional material, in annual reports, etc.

  • If you have developed materials through your project that you feel could benefit other organizations in the VCH region please feel free to share with us. We have a collection of resources we share, when relevant, with partner organizations.

  • Tell us about your successes and challenges! Every project experiences challenges; we want to know what challenges you faced while implementing your project. Not only does this help us to further develop our grant programs, it also helps ensure we're aware of emergent community challenges and can best support your organization, and other grant recipients. 

  • Don't hesitate to share feedback about the funding process and your experience with the Community Investments Team. All feedback is considered when developing grant programs and the associated internal structures and procedures to support grant programs. 

SOURCE: Information for current grant holders ( )
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