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Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund Guidelines


The Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund supports organizations in creating innovative services and supports tailored to improving the health and well-being of Veterans and their families.

We will be investing in ideas with impact providing grants and contributions to organizations to conduct research and implement initiatives and projects.

The goal is to foster innovation across the public, private and academic fields and make a difference in the lives of Veterans and families.

Who can apply?

The following types of organizations are eligible to apply for funding:

  • Non-profit organizations;
  • For-profit organizations (provided that the nature and intent of the activity is non-commercial, not intended to generate profit, and supports program priorities and objectives);
  • Research organizations/institutes;
  • Educational institutions;
  • Public health and social services institutions;
  • Indigenous organizations.

Governments and individuals are not eligible for funding.

Fund Objectives and priorities

The Fund’s objectives are to:

  • Drive progress on new knowledge and understanding of Veteran and family well-being using the determinants of health model;
  • Build capacity within the non-profit and volunteer sectors on issues specific to Veterans and their families such as homelessness, careers and employment, transition to civilian life, and others;
  • Encourage coordination between multiple players: agencies, institutions and associations and
  • Support new ideas for adapting existing programs or forming new programs and services to address ill-and-injured Veterans’ treatment and care needs.

The Fund contributes to the following direct outcomes:

  • Partnerships and networks are fostered to build knowledge and understanding of the social issues and challenges facing the Veteran population. Activities may include identifying current gaps in knowledge and approaches; contributing to the base of evidence; providing input during the design, piloting and implementing project tools; disseminating information and resources; and program development.
  • Better approaches in the way we identify and respond to existing and emerging social issues that impact Veterans and their families. The Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund helps organizations explore, recognize and develop innovative approaches that address Veterans’ and their families’ social needs. Approaches could include programs, services and resources that are designed to identify and meet the needs.
  • Knowledge of existing and emerging social issues is developed and shared. Understanding the needs of Veterans and their families will be enhanced through the development of research, best practices and innovative solutions. This funding will help develop, disseminate, promote and share this knowledge to better serve Veterans and their families.

What kind of proposals/projects can receive funding?

The Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund supports the creation of innovative services and support tailored to improving the well-being of Veterans and their families. Proposals should be consistent with the Fund’s objectives and priorities. Proposals with a research component should adhere to guidelines for Sex and Gender Equity in Research.

Projects are ineligible if they:

  • are of a commercial nature and allow the organization to generate profits or increase its economic value;
  • represent or establish a requirement for ongoing funding or create a dependency;
  • are complete before a proposal is submitted; or
  • have revenues that cover or exceed expenditures.

Types of funding: grant or contribution

Funding will be awarded as either a grant or a contribution and can be awarded for one-year or multi-year projects.

Grants will likely be awarded to organizations for applications that are considered low risk (see details below) and less complex. Grants are unconditional transfer payments, made as a lump sum.

Contributions will likely be awarded to organizations for applications that are considered high risk and more complex. Contributions are similar to grants and recipients must meet certain financial and performance conditions, such as reporting on expenditures, to receive funding and be reimbursed for specific costs. Contribution payments are made when milestones are achieved; to reimburse incurred expenditures; when a project is completed; as advance payments in exceptional cases; or periodically (quarterly). Certain payments will be linked to financial and performance reviews, as appropriate.

The government can audit recipients' use of funding.

How will VAC decide whether to award a grant or a contribution?

Veterans Affairs Canada determines the form of payment using a risk-based approach. This approach balances our accountability and control requirements against the level of risk specific to the proposal, the value of the funding as well as the recipient’s risk profile.

In making our decision, VAC considers: the funding level; project complexity, including scope (regional/community-level initiatives versus national projects are likely to represent a different risk rating); and the applicant’s management capacity and historical performance.

Maximum Funding

Grants may be provided to a maximum of $500,000 per fiscal year, for a maximum of five years. Contributions may be provided to a maximum of $1,000,000 per fiscal year, for a maximum of five years.

Although funding may be awarded to a maximum of $500,000 or $1,000,000 per fiscal year, we encourage organizations to apply for the amount of funding that their research, project or initiative requires.

Eligible expenses

The type of eligible expenses vary depending on the type of funding awarded.

Grants: The type and nature of expenditures are considered in determining the amount of grant funding provided to recipients. Financial assistance may be provided to cover expenses directly associated with the research, project or initiative, such as:

  • wages and benefits;
  • professional fees;
  • travel and accommodations;
  • materials and supplies;
  • printing and communication; and
  • administration costs not to exceed 20%.

Contributions: Expenditures may be reimbursed on the basis of eligible costs incurred. In order to be eligible, expenditures must be project related and must be incurred during the agreement period. Financial assistance may be provided to cover expenses directly associated with the research, project or initiative, such as:

  • wages and mandatory employment-related costs for project staff;
  • professional service fees;
  • evaluation costs (e.g., surveys);
  • performance monitoring and reporting costs (e.g. program/project data collection and analysis);
  • data collection;
  • honoraria;
  • hospitality according to the Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures;
  • participant costs (e.g. security checks for volunteers);
  • printing, advertising, distribution and other communication costs;
  • travel costs within Canada in accordance with the travel directive of the National Joint Council;
  • rental, repair, renovation and/or maintenance of facilities;
  • purchase and/or rental of equipment, materials and supplies;
  • shipping costs for equipment, materials or supplies; and
  • other administrative costs associated with the project based on approval methodology.

In an effort to fund inclusive, barrier-free projects and programming, the costs related to accommodating the needs of project participants will be approved case-by-case.

How will VAC decide which proposals are selected for funding?

All applications will undergo an initial review process which includes three components: eligibility of the application, an evaluation of the application against fund criteria; and a risk assessment. Once deemed eligible, applications will be evaluated.

Evaluation criteria are based on:

  • Impact – the project/service will have meaningful impact on Veterans' and their families' well-being, including a sustained impact after participation ends.
  • Innovation – the project/service addresses an unmet need, offers a new approach to delivering a needed benefit, or finds a new way to reach Veterans and their families.
  • Equity seeking – the project/service supports the needs of equity-seeking groups, including women and LGBTQ2+ Veterans.
  • Risk – the project/service is cost-effective and the organization is adequately prepared for the complexity and duration of the project/service and has sufficient resources to administer and deliver it.

The risk assessment will confirm whether the funding will be awarded as a grant or a contribution. In order to be eligible for a grant, the application must receive a low risk rating. If the application does not receive a low risk rating it may be eligible for a contribution.

The following factors will be considered when determining the level of risk.

Funding level:

  • The total funding request is $500,000 or less.
  • The administrative costs are 20% or less of the total budget.
  • Multiple funding partners or unsecured funding sources.

Project complexity:

  • The organization has established clear project deliverables, including relevant timelines and milestones.
  • The organization has developed a detailed budget suitable for the nature of the project’s various components.
  • There is a low level of dependency on external factors or stakeholders in order the project to be successful and/or sustainable.

Management capacity

  • The project will take place in Canada and be managed by a Canadian organization.
  • The organization has completed previous activities/projects that support objectives of the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund.
  • The project must meet regulatory standards and the organization providing the service must have sufficient expertise and work within accepted scopes of practice.

Organizations must show that projects are self-sufficient if they plan to continue operating after funding is complete.

Stacking Provisions

A project can receive assistance from all levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal); however, total assistance from all levels of government cannot exceed 100% of eligible expenditures. This stacking limit must be respected when funding is provided. In all cases, revenues cannot exceed expenses.

For contribution payments, the recipient will be required to provide a statement of all other sources of funding, prior to the agreement, at the start of each fiscal year and at the end of the project.


Organizations who receive funding will be required to submit quarterly activity and financial reports, as well as a final report upon the project's completion.

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