Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How well did the Emergency Community Support Fund work for community organizations in the first round?

The Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada and United Way Centraide Canada funded more than 7,000 projects over about three months during the Fund’s first round. Those projects spanned the country and met the needs of many different communities, including Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQ2 communities. 

  1. Why is the Emergency Community Support Fund opening a second round when many organizations applied and were rejected for lack of funds in the first round?

The Government of Canada kept back a portion of the Emergency Community Support Fund to give it the flexibility to adjust to evolving needs and cover any gaps from the first round.

In the first round of grant funding, the three intermediaries were able to reach all vulnerable groups through funding distributed to all provinces and territories. Building on the success of the first round, the three intermediaries will distribute the remaining funds of $73.9 million through a second round of open and transparent processes, while also using a targeted approach in their outreach efforts to ensure equitable distribution across vulnerable populations.

  1. Why should I donate to United Way Centraide when you are receiving large grants from the Government of Canada?

The Emergency Community Support Fund is only providing short term grants to community serving agencies and must be spent by March 31, 2020. The funds raised by United Way Durham Region  are intended to provide longer term sustainable funding to our network of community agencies.

  1. What size are the grants being administered by United Way Centraide for ECSF Round 2?

United Way Durham Region has not established a minimum or maximum grant amount. We will be issuing grants based on the proposed services, associated amounts requested and overall demand.

  1. How much money is available through this second round of funding? Is it possible to find out how much is available for our region?

The ECSF is a $350 million investment made by the Government of Canada, and a significant portion is being delivered through United Way Centraide Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and Canadian Red Cross across the country. United Way Durham Region will be allocating $678,750.00 in our region.

  1. If we have received other federal and/or provincial or territorial Covid-19 related funding, can we still apply?

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

  1. What if we are not currently a United Way or Centraide funded agency?

You do not need to be a current funded agency to apply. 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. In Round 1, 50% of funding was disbursed to new UWC partners.

  1. Which kinds of community service organizations are eligible?

Organizations providing front-line services to vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply, including registered charities, and other qualified donees. Check the Canada Revenue Agency list of qualified donees by clicking here.

  1. We are a non-profit, how can we access and partner with United Way Centraides to provide support to vulnerable communities?

Non-profits in Canada are playing an important role in helping to respond to local needs. Unfortunately, we are unable to partner with non-profits at this time.

The Canadian Red Cross has launched a granting program for Non-profits. To find out more about their program please visit

  1. Will you pay for activities that meet the criteria that are already underway?

United Way Durham Region is accepting applications to expand and/or extend the delivery of activities or services that are already underway (up to March 31, 2021). For specific inquiries, please contact Barbara Fannin at

  1. If my agency is receiving the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, are we still eligible to apply for funding?

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

  1. How many funding requests can be made by one organization? 

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

  1. How will decisions about the funding be made? How quickly can we anticipate a decision?

Applications will be reviewed between October 5-30, 2020. All funding allocations will be made public on or before November 27, 2020.

  1. The front-line services we are delivering are at risk of closing without new funding. Are we able to apply for funding under this program?

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.

  1. May we apply to United Way Centraides, Community Foundations and Canadian Red Cross?

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.

  1. What are the reporting requirements?

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.

  1. How will United Way Centraides ensure that this funding is reaching the most vulnerable communities? Is there a commitment to access and equity for these resources?

United Way Durham Region 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.

We will be considering several equity dimensions as we 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.

  1. We’re part of national organization network, but we are governed locally. Should we look to apply to our local United Way Centraide for ECSF funds or should our national office coordinate our applications?

No. For national networks or federations, each local member or chapter must submit its own application directly to their local United Way or Centraide in the area where the activities take place.

  1. Can a national or provincial organization apply to support its own services to vulnerable people?

Yes. For ECSF Round 2, national or provincial charities that deliver services to vulnerable people can apply to Community Foundations of Canada. National or provincial non-profits that deliver services to vulnerable people can apply to the Canadian Red Cross.

  1. Where can we find more information? Will assistance be provided in the application process?

Organizations can find further information by referring to the [Guidelines for Community Service Organizations Seeking ECSF Funds / Applicant Guide].

We would encourage any new applicants to contact Barbara Fannin at in advance of submitting an application.