Neighbourhood Small Grants

Do you have a small project idea that could make a positive impact in our neighbourhood? Online applications are now open for Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants and Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants.

The Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) program is a grassroots initiative that helps residents of any age, experience, or background take part in building community. We provide grants up to $500 to neighbours who have small but powerful ideas that will make our community better.

Grants are awarded to projects that: connect and engage residents, share residents’ skills and knowledge within the community, build a sense of ownership and pride, and respect and celebrate diversity.

These grants are available to everyone. We believe neighbours are the experts on their community, and we all have ideas on how we can make our community better and more resilient.

Gordon Neighbourhood House coordinates this program for all residents living on the Downtown Peninsula (West End, Yaletown, Coal Harbour, Downtown). We have supported hundreds of neighbours who have taken steps to improve our neighbourhoods—people just like you.

Please contact us if you have a specific question, need support completing the application form, require translation, or would like to learn more. This is a great opportunity to get involved in your community.

Contact Details: For more information, email Jim Balakshin jim@gordonhouse.org, Downtown Peninsula NSG Coordinator, or call the GNH front desk (604) 683-2554.

Examples of Previous Projects Have Included:

  • Thai cooking lessons
  • Block parties
  • Reiki classes
  • Seniors lunches
  • Harry Potter wand-making workshops for kids
  • Piñata workshops
  • Outdoor concerts
  • Russian-Ukrainian social clubs
  • Games nights, film nights, and book clubs
  • Drag queens storytime for kids
  • Apartment building social events
  • Rooftop, boulevard, and community gardens
  • Soap-making workshops
  • Bike maintenance sessions and communal apartment building tool kits
  • Art shows
  • Virtual Aquafit classes
  • Sewing, embroidery, and screen printing tutorial
  • Care package deliveries to Seniors
  • These ideas are just a starting place.

COVID-19 has disrupted most aspects of community life, especially how we interact with one another. Many projects that we previously funded (condo/apartment building social parties, craft workshops, block parties, etc.) are temporarily not possible due to Provincial Health Orders.

For that reason, we are offering two grant options in 2021.

1. Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants

A new grant stream called Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants (R-NSG) has been developed to forge connections and mitigate social isolation during the pandemic. This funding is intended for: safe, virtual, outdoor, and physically-distanced projects. Online Responsive Grant applications  are now open and close when funding runs out.

2. Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants (learn more)

We also offer Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants (GCNSG) for projects that  that contribute in some way to the city’s Greenest City Action Plan goals. These goals include reducing our carbon footprint, creating zero waste, improving access to nature, clean air and water, growing local food, to name a few. However, your project cannot involve greening a business. Online Greenest City Grant Applications are now open and close when funding runs out. 

Eligibility & Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we give out small grants?

Because connected communities are stronger communities—even if we must be temporarily physically distanced. Interactions with our neighbours not only make the city a little friendlier, they make our community safer, more vibrant, and resilient too.Description for this block. Use this space for describing your block. Any text will do. Description for this block. You can use this space for describing your block.

Who can apply?

The NSG program is funded by Vancouver Foundation and operates in communities throughout British Columbia. Gordon Neighbourhood House is responsible for administering this grassroots program for everyone who lives on the downtown peninsula, including the West End, Yaletown, Coal Harbour, Downtown South, and the Central Business District.

We’ve funded projects led by residents as young as ten, in addition to neighbours well into their nineties. Some project Leaders have lived in our community for 30+ years, whereas others have moved here less than a year ago.

How do I apply?

Neighbours can apply online, or request a paper copy of the application form. If you require assistance with the application we are more than happy to help every step of the way! 

What information do I need for the Application form?

  • Names of Project Leader (individuals or group coordinating the project)
  • Contact details for Project Leader
  • A brief description of your project describing what you plan on doing and what you hope to achieve (a few sentences is fine)
  • A simple budget detailing what do you plan on using the money for (eg. Paint, $25.00)
  • That’s it!

How are applications reviewed?

All applications are reviewed by a committee of local neighbours who provide helpful suggestions, and ensure the projects meet our program goals. Our committee will work with you to find ways to get your project approved and make it successful.

My project was approved, now what do I? 

We have lots of helpful resources and tools to share to support your project planning and coordination. We can even connect you with a previous Project Leader with similar experience that may be able to provide advice and support.

What happens if my project doesn’t go as planned?

We encourage neighbours to try something new, and believe that failure is not the opposite of achievement, but rather the path to success. While we hope that all projects succeed, we understand that sometimes not every project turns out as expected. We also understand that life circumstances can change. If a Project Leader is unable to complete their project before the end of the year, we simply ask that you return the funds before the end of the year?

Why should I apply and lead a project?

Many Project Leaders tell us that by hosting a project they have met new neighbours and made new friends, experience pride and accomplishment, feel a stronger sense of belonging, and make a positive difference in their community.