Future Focus Granting Program

Updated: June 30, 2023

The Future Focus Granting Program is a pilot program developed in collaboration with and funded by three partners: Calgary Arts Development, the Rozsa Foundation and the Calgary Foundation.

Program Overview

The past three years have seen significant upheaval in the arts, and many arts organizations are now grappling with the question “what is this moment asking of us?” by exploring new directions, priorities and identities in response to their changing context. 

In support of this work, the Future Focus Program is a joint initiative of Calgary Arts Development, the Rozsa Foundation and the Calgary Foundation aimed at supporting arts organizations to investigate, plan and implement significant strategic adaptations in their operations. 

The funding partners recognize the resources and expenses required to responsibly consider such adaptations and, through this program, organizations can access funds to develop strategies and engage expertise to build their capacity and assist them in their journeys to navigate the questions, challenges and opportunities they face. The work of future planning and transformation cannot be undertaken without considering how Reconciliation, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) is embedded into all areas of organization’s operations, and organizations will be asked how they are considering Reconciliation and EDIA as they plan their projects.  

This work may incorporate issues relating to:  

  • organizational strategy development and planning to explore new directions 
  • business model evaluation and shifts and structural changes 
  • sustained inter-organizational collaborations and resource sharing 
  • succession planning to transition from founding & longstanding leaders 
  • organizational life cycle questions including the explorations of mergers and closures 

Please note, this program is not intended to support the development and delivery of specific programs. The goal is to assist organizations in making strategic changes or decisions about their model, operations or focus that may inform how existing and future programs are developed and delivered.  

This program builds upon Calgary Arts Development’s Organization Structural Change Program, as well as the capacity-building grants offered by the Rozsa Foundation and Calgary Foundation. This joint initiative will be evaluated on an ongoing basis with the participation and support of applicants and grantees.  

Applications will be reviewed shortly after each intake deadline. Apply by July 28, 2023, September 29, 2023, and November 24, 2023. 

There is $300,000 available and applications will be accepted until the funds are expended.  

Who Can Apply
  • Calgary-based arts organizations who are registered charities or not-for-profits, or arts-based organizations who have comparable organizational structures. 
  • Indigenous-led and Indigenous-centred arts organizations operating in the Treaty 7 region. 
  • Organizations cannot be receiving project support from any of the three partner funders individually for the same work. 
  • Priority will be given to organizations led by and serving equity-deserving artists and communities. 
What Can You Apply For

Grant amounts available are based on the nature of the work to be undertaken.

  • Exploration Phase (identification of needs, initial development, project planning): Funding request generally up to $15,000
  • Implementation Phase (building upon exploration phase or previous related work): Funding request generally up to $25,000
How to Apply

Organizations interested in this program must meet with a team member of one of the granting organizations to discuss their eligibility for the program and intended activities. If the proposal is eligible, the funder representative will work with the applicant to determine the necessary application requirements and provide access to the online form. Organizations only need to meet with one of the below representatives. The funder representatives will consult with each other as needed to determine alignment with program goals. 

Applications will be reviewed shortly after each intake deadline. Apply by July 28, 2023, September 29, 2023, and November 24, 2023. 

Funder representatives:

Allan Rosales, Manager, Community Investment, Calgary Arts Development: allan.rosales@calgaryartsdevelopment.com

Ayla Stephen, Funding Manager, Rozsa Foundation: ayla@rozsafoundation.com

Brigitte von Rothemburg, Grants & Volunteer Program Associate, Calgary Foundation: BvonRothemburg@calgaryfoundation.org

Evaluation & Reporting

Funding decisions will be made by program staff as applications are received. The funders will seek additional advice or recommendations from individuals with expertise in non-profit organizational strategy, life cycle management, and planning as needed. If outside feedback is required, applications will be anonymized and identifying information about the applicant redacted. Any individuals with access to grant applications are held to strict conflict of interest and confidentiality agreements. 

We are looking for the following in the application:

  • The applicant has defined and understands the current state of their organization’s operations and programming. 
  • The applicant has defined and understands the priority they are responding to within their own organizational context. 
  • The applicant has demonstrated why this work will help them achieve their organizational goals or learning needs. 
  • The applicant has demonstrated a clear and reasonable project design, including timeline and budget, in order to accomplish the stated goal. 
  • The applicant has demonstrated a clear plan to learn from and evaluate their work. 
  • The applicant is undertaking meaningful work on advancing Reconciliation, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility within the context of their organization and the project.      

Unique final reporting requirements will be determined with the grantee, with the possible inclusion of developing opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing. In addition, grantees may be asked to participate in surveys, interviews and/or focus groups to contribute to the ongoing evaluation of this program.  

Application Checklist

Tell us who you are:

  • Organization contact information
  • Organization mandate
  • Organization structure (e.g. non-profit, charity etc.)

Tell us what the focus of this grant request is:

  • Select all that apply: 
    • Organizational life cycle (amalgamations, mergers, closures etc.) 
    • Organizational structural change (business or operating models, mandate, direction etc.) 
    • Strategic adaptations (capacity building, evaluation, long-term development, succession planning etc.) 
    • Other (please describe) 
  • What is the fundamental question you are seeking to answer for your organization by undertaking this project? 
  • What stage are you at? 
    • Exploration Phase (e.g. identification of needs, initial development, planning) 
      • Funding request generally up to $15,000 
    • Implementation (e.g. putting learning from exploration into practice) 
      • Funding request generally up to $25,000 

Tell us what led you here and what you hope to learn:

  • Describe any previous activities, factors, decisions or conditions that led to this work.
    • Have you received funding support from Calgary Arts Development, Rozsa Foundation or Calgary Foundation for previous phases of this project?
  • Describe what success might look like for this work, including what you hope to learn and what outcomes you hope to achieve.
  • Describe how these desired outcomes support your mandate and organizational goals. 
  • Describe how this approach is divergent or different from previous practices or work.
  • Describe how you measure, evaluate or track your learning.

Tell us how you will complete this work:

  • Describe the project plan, timeline and budget for this work.
  • Please upload a full project budget.
  • Are you working with or intend to work with any other organization or individual, e.g. collaborations, partnerships, contractors, consultants?
    • If you are engaging external expertise, please include a high level work plan and the quote from the consultant / contractor.
    • If you are collaborating or partnering with another organization, please include a letter of intent or support.
  • Describe how you are ensuring that this work considers and embeds Reconciliation, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in its planning, implementation and community context.

Example support material:
(The necessary support material will be requested as appropriate after initial conversation with funder contact)

  • Financial statements (most recent completed fiscal year, including statement of operations & balance sheet) 
  • Board list / Organization structure chart 
  • Cash flow forecast 
  • Draft financial statements 
  • Project budget support (e.g. quotes, invoices, calculations, projections) 
  • Confirmation of board support  
  • Strategic plan  
  • Information about contributors (e.g. biographies, consultant CVs, collaborator mandates) 
  • Other (e.g. feasibility studies, proof of concept, prior project reports)
Information Session

On June 27, 2023 Calgary Arts Development held an information session on this year’s Future Focus Granting Program. The video and transcript of the session are below.

If you have questions about this program, please contact Allan Rosales (allan.rosales@calgaryartsdevelopment.com), Ayla Stephen (ayla@rozsafoundation.org) or Brigitte von Rothemburg (BvonRothemburg@calgaryfoundation.org).

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