Vital Conversations Powered by Leith Wheeler

Vital Conversations Powered by Leith Wheeler

Inspired by the value that Vital Conversations are bringing to communities across the country, Leith Wheeler is excited to announce we will be providing $10,000 in both 2020 and 2021 to support Vital Conversations as part of our multi-year commitment to the Vital Signs program. Community foundations across Canada can apply to receive a grant of up to $1,000 to complete a Vital Conversation in their community this year.

What are Vital Conversations?

As part of the Vital Signs program, a Vital Conversation is a community conversation hosted and facilitated by a community foundation. Vital Conversations may be used to collect insight from the community about priority issues, gather information about specific demographics within the community, or as a tool to spark connections and collaboration.

Who can apply for a grant?

Community foundations of all sizes and levels of capacity that are a part of the CFC network may apply to receive a grant of up to $1,000. To be eligible to receive a grant for a Vital Conversation, community foundation applicants must describe in their application how they envision the event will:

  • Bring community members together to discuss community priorities
  • Enable learning about community needs and/or foster connections for collaborative action among community members
  • Be leveraged by the community foundation in a broader sense - examples could be in relation to strategic planning, informing granting priorities, informing further research and engagement, etc.
  • Represent values of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the event planning and in respect to the individuals who are invited to the event

Community Foundations of Canada will evaluate the applications and preference will be given to community foundations who meet the above criteria and also:

  • Have assets under $20 million
  • Have never participated in Vital Signs (including through a Vital Conversation) before
  • Will use the Vital Conversation to inform the strategic direction of the foundation
  • Are using the Vital Conversation to engage with a specific demographic in their community they have not yet engaged with, or which is under-served and/or marginalized
  • CFC will also consider geographic distribution across Canada when determining the
  • grant allocations


  • March 3 - CFC begins to accept applications from community foundations
  • March 24 - the deadline to submit an application
  • April 3 - CFC informs applicants of the outcome of its evaluation and process cheque payments for selected community foundations
  • April - December - Vital Conversations take place
  • January 2021 - the program will be offered for the 2021 calendar year as well. Stay tuned for updates!

How to apply

To apply for a grant through the program, community foundations must complete and submit an Application form by Tuesday March 24th at 5 pm PT. The questions on the application are listed below for information as you prepare to apply.