Grant Programs

The need to acknowledge and protect nature has never been greater. How can we best increase capacity in the Nature sector to achieve these goals?  
The Gosling Foundation is particularly interested in supporting projects that have built in ways that make organizations more robust and ultimately independent of foundation and government support.  Accordingly, funding is preferentially allocated to projects that explore creative ideas or build in elements that make organizations stronger.

The following funding streams provide ways to address these goals:

1.    Generate Advertising Dollars with a Nature Festival/Passport to Nature Program

The Nature Festival/Passport to Nature Seed Fund supports the initiation or expansion of festivals or programs about nature that build in long-term financial sustainability by securing advertising dollars. The scope of the fund is Canada-wide.
Examples include:

Passport to Nature, Couchiching Conservancy
Two Rivers Festival, Wellington Water Watchers
Nature Matters, Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory

These programs prominently feature a series of local events that bring attention to nature and the ecological features of the local community (a species, landforms or ecosystem).

Advertisers purchase space in the printed program booklet.  These funds are used to pay for promotion, cover some event costs and contribute to support the organization’s operations.

The seed fund offers one-time grants of up to $2500 through a simple application process with quick turnaround times. 


The fund is intended to support programs that:

  • predominately feature local aspects of nature
  • involve people new to nature awareness, appreciation and protection
  • are intended to be offered in subsequent years
  • may involve a collaborative partnership of organizations
  • have a strong volunteer component.

Additional Support

Couchiching Conservancy in partnership with the Gosling Foundation has created a support document that any group can access to help them organize a self -funding series of events.

The Conservancy will occasionally convene live online learning events that bring together festival organizers to share insights and experiences.


Contact the Foundation's project co-ordinator by email to indicate interest.   An application can then be forwarded for completion.

2.    Better Organizations for Nature

Learning Opportunities, Project Fund, Community of Practice

Engagement Organizing provides promise as a means of building on people’s sense of wonder with nature, to act on it and take leadership to bring about change.  We can learn to engage our supporters and enhance our capacity and in so doing become robust organizations less dependent on foundations or government to meet our missions.

The Gosling Foundation is pleased to partner with the Sustainability Network and leading practitioners in engagement organizing from across Canada in the development and implementation of these tools.  This initiative is consistent with the work of the Foundation’s founder Philip Gosling C.M., who engaged and led communities along the Niagara Escarpment to put the Bruce Trail on the ground in the early 1960s.

See Project Information and Application Procedures

3. Support for Secondary School Integrated Programs

This exceptional model for organizing secondary school learning allows students to take 2 to 4 credits integrated through a theme, commonly the environment.  Students stay together with their teacher for the semester and explore local issues in depth.  Four credit programs need no school bells and have no need to stay tied to the classroom.  Learning goes into the community and the impact on the learner and community is significant.

The Gosling Foundation supports integrated programs with an environmental theme in the following ways:

New Program Startup –Funding up to $5000 for programs in their first three years or undergoing expansion.  Apply by February 1 for the following school year.

Commissioned Learning Projects –Students investigate an environmental issue to find out what is of importance and then communicate what they learn back to their community.  Past examples include researching and explaining the biodiversity crisis, Massasauga rattlesnake ecology, and exploring and then communicating the value of the Bruce Trail.  Both student learning and the community benefit from this applied learning approach.  Funding of up to $1500 per project is available.

These grants are made to the programs through school boards or their foundations and not to individuals.  A charitable tax number is required.

For further information or to apply please contact the Foundation’s Project Consultant.

4. Unsolicited Proposals

The Gosling Foundation will consider and occasionally approve unsolicited proposals that are innovative, strategic in nature and have the potential to significantly impact areas of interest such as protection of lands of ecological value and the protection and enhancement of nature.  One-page proposals can be directed to the Foundation’s Project Consultant.  Please include:

  • how the proposal fits within the mandate of the Foundation (protection of land of ecological significance, protection and/or enhancement of nature)
  • innovative and/or strategic elements
  • resources being sought
  • Registered Charitable Tax number or that of your partnering organization
  • In keeping with a Better Organization for Nature approach -how the project will strengthen your organization when complete.

Electronic copies of your last annual report are also beneficial.

Proposals can be submitted at any time and are considered at least quarterly: January 1, April 1, July1 and October 1.