Emergency Community Support Fund

Joint statement – United Way Centraide Canada, Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada,
Updated: May 16, 2020

Emergency Community Support Fund

The Government of Canada’s $350M Emergency Community Support Fund is a vital step forward in our country’s rapid response to COVID-19. As Minister Hussen has noted, “The COVID-19 crisis is having a real and significant impact on all Canadians. Today’s announcement will help ensure that if Canadians need the support of a community organization, it will be there for them.” United Way Centraide Canada the Canadian Red Cross, and Community Foundations of Canada applaud the federal government’s move to support our country’s most vulnerable populations.

We look forward to collaborating with partners, charities, and non-profit organizations via our respective networks to swiftly implement the Fund in communities from coast to coast to coast. Together, we will work to ensure that rapid relief reaches those that need it most, and that no one is left behind. The new Fund will provide a much-needed boost to organizations on the frontlines, while we also continue our efforts to secure the funding and support required for the stabilization and recovery phases ahead.

In the meantime, our heartfelt thanks go out to all the Canadians who have given so generously during this time. We encourage those who are able to do so to continue their generous support of the charitable and not-for-profit sector as it actively steps up in the fight against COVID-19.

Call for Applications

United Way of Saskatoon and Area accepted applications for the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) to help charities and non-profit organizations serve and support vulnerable Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding has been made available by the Government of Canada and funding streams are being administered by United Way Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, and the Canadian Red Cross in communities from coast to coast to coast.

United Way of Saskatoon and Area is proud to support this important investment by the Federal Government.

The period for accepting applications for funding is now closed. Thank you to all those that applied. 

Who Can Apply?

United Way of Saskatoon and Area will fund organizations that provide direct services to vulnerable populations who are impacted by COVID-19. Your organization is eligible to receive funding if your organization has a charitable number, or are a Qualified Donee, and is providing supports and services to meet immediate community needs related to the COVID-19.

This funding is intended to support frontline community service organizations providing services to support vulnerable Canadians, including low-income seniors, women, children and youth, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, refugees, Indigenous peoples, members of racialized communities, and more.

Funds may be used for immediate needs and priorities related to the impact of COVID-19.

This includes, but is not limited to, services such as:

  • Preparing and delivering meals and/or food hampers
  • Supporting individuals in accessing income supports and financial coaching
  • Providing home care or personal support for seniors, elders, and persons with disabilities
  • Mental health & wellness supports, including crisis counselling, and peer support
  • Personal safety supports, including for those living in or escaping situations of violence
  • Access to safe transport for essential appointment and errands, and others

What types of activities could be funded?

  • Community outreach and engagement
  • Developing and/or delivering new programs, services or delivery models as a result of COVID-19
  • Sharing information and knowledge
  • Engaging and recruiting volunteers


Who should I apply to?

United Way Centraide Canada, through its local United Way Centraide members, will support:

  • Granting programs for registered charities and qualified donees. Some local United Way Centraides may work with non-profit organizations to deliver local services.

The Canadian Red Cross Emergency Support for Community Organizations will be delivered through two main programs:

  • Granting program for non-profits as well as a Preventing Disease Transmission Training and Equipment Program for non-profits, registered charities, and qualified donees. More information on the programs is available through the Canadian Red Cross website.

Community Foundations of Canada, and community foundations across Canada, will support :

  • Granting programs for registered charities and qualified donees. More information on how to apply is available on the Community Foundations of Canada website.


See this infographic for more information.

How to Apply?

Applications are now closed.  We have received a high volume of requests and are working to ensure that all requests are reviewed as quickly as possible.

Si vous avez des questions ou souhaitez présenter une demande de financement au Fonds d’urgence pour l’appui communautaire en français, veuillez communiquer avec nous à FUAC-demande@centraide.ca.

United Way of Saskatoon and Area will be distributing ECSF funds to eligible agencies and organizations across the province with the following parameters:

  • Those in the City of Saskatoon
  • Those in communities located in central and northern Saskatchewan not served by another United Way (north of Highway 15 – Kenaston)
  • United Way of Regina will be accepting applications for those eligible agencies and organizations located south of Highway 15.
  • If an application is inadvertently submitted to the incorrect link, we will ensure the application is forwarded to the correct funder

Frequently Asked Questions

United Way of Saskatoon and Area will be issuing grants to a maximum of $25,000.

The ECSF is a $350 million investment made by the Government of Canada, and a significant portion is being delivered through United Ways Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and Canadian Red Cross across the country.

Yes, ECSF resources can enhance and expand your current COVID-19 funded community service so long as expenses are not counted twice.

We are committed to ensuring that funds are broadly available to community service organizations and agencies working to provide services and support vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19. You do not need to be a current funded agency to apply.

Organizations providing front-line services to vulnerable population’s impact by COVID-19 are eligible to apply, including registered charities, and other qualified donees.

Please check the Canada Revenue Agency list of qualified donees by clicking here.

Non-profits in Canada are playing an important role in helping to respond to local needs. Non-profit community organizations delivering front-line services may be supported through a qualified donee that is acting as a trustee. The Canadian Red Cross has launched a granting program for non-profits. To find out more about their program please visit redcross.ca/communityorganizations.

If activities or services are underway, you can apply for additional resources to expand and/or extend the delivery of service for a longer time (up to March 31, 2021).

Yes. ECSF funds cannot fund any expenses (including wages) already covered by another source, but can complement existing sources, including the wage subsidy.

Community Services Organizations may apply for more than one service. Please submit separate applications for each proposed service.

Applications will be reviewed the week of June 22nd, 2020. All funding allocations will be made public on or before July 31, 2020.

The purpose of the ECSF is to resource front-line services supporting vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible expenses include staffing, equipment, supplies, and related operating costs that allow organizations to provide and deliver services that respond to the current crisis.

Yes. Applicants may not, however, apply to more than one funder for the same program activities and related costs. The three intermediaries will be coordinating locally to ensure that funds are being distributed to have the best possible local reach to serve vulnerable populations.

The reporting requirements for this funding will focus primarily on number of services and clients served, and organizations will be expected to periodically provide updates to these numbers throughout the period of the grant. Additional details will be shared with successful applicants.

United Way of Saskatoon and Area is committed to ensuring an open and fair application and review process. We will be working to promote this funding opportunity throughout our community and to support organizations seeking to apply.

United Way of Saskatoon and Area will be considering several equity dimensions as they make decisions on how these resources will be allocated locally. These can include populations served, geographic balance, rural and remote access, or other systemic challenges.

Resources are being distributed across the country through local offices. Local chapters of national organizations should apply directly to their local United Way.


For questions not addressed in these resources, please contact Andrea Howe at ahowe@unitedwaysaskatoon.ca for assistance.

The Emergency Community Support Fund is funded by the Government of Canada through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

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