Community Grants (formerly PCAF) provide funding to organizations and individuals who need financial help to implement a conservation project. Since 1974, the Province of BC and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation provide approximately $150,000 each year to help implement on-the-ground conservation work, with a particular focus on hands-on, community-based, and public awareness initiatives.

Preferred Community Grant projects are those that:

  • have long-range benefits,
  • involve as many volunteers as possible, and
  • raise community awareness and involvement in conservation

  • How much funding can we apply for?

    Eligible expenses up to $10,000 in any one year. You must match the requested funds by contributing a combination of volunteer labour (credited at $20 per hour), materials, or other allowable donations. At least half of your matching funds must be made up of volunteer labour. See the Application Rules & Guidelines document on the “Apply” tab for more information. To assist as many groups as possible Community Grants are modest, averaging about $2,500 each. The maximum total amount available over the life of a Community Grant project is $20,000.

  • Eligibility

    Projects must be of a conservation nature, with priority given to projects that focus on activities that maintain, conserve or restore native (indigenous) freshwater fish and wildlife species and their habitats.

    Some examples of Community Grant projects and activities that we have funded include:

    • building and installing bird next boxes
    • building waterfowl nesting floats and boxes
    • fencing to protect sensitive or restored areas
    • improving habitat for freshwater fishes
    • planting shrubs
    • replanting forage species for ungulates to improve winter range
    • restoring grasslands
    • restoring riparian areas

    Some types of projects or activities are ineligible for Community Grant funding, including but not limited to:

    • Activities required for ongoing maintenance
    • Administrative costs (ex. rent, utilities, etc.)
    • Design costs for newsletters and websites (printing costs for newsletters are eligible)
    • Hatchery activities
    • In-class school programs and development of classroom materials
    • Lecture series or conventions
    • Payment of wages (except for contracted equipment or special expertise required in the field, e.g., a biologist, restoration specialist, etc.). See table below for more information on special expertise.
    • Photographic or film documentaries
    • Promotion of business opportunities
    • Research studies that do not include volunteer engagement
    • Routine courses such as First Aid, Small Vessel Operation, etc.
    • Salmon-only or marine projects that do not demonstrate clear benefits to freshwater species or their habitats
    • School food garden projects
    • Vehicle mileage (Note that fuel costs can be covered)

  • Other Considerations & Responsibilities

    • Grant applications must be approved before commencing your project. Project activities will not be funded retroactively.
    • Grant funds may only be used on the approved project.
    • If you are requesting funds to pay for special expertise, please include justification for any expert costs and time (i.e. explain what they will be doing and why they are essential to deliver the project). Preference will be given to projects where no more than 25% of the total request is going to a single expert (multiple experts may be acceptable with sufficient rationale). Note that regular wages for project coordinators are not eligible for Community Grant funding.
    • It is your responsibility to ensure that all authorization documents, licenses, and permits are obtained before commencing work. For example, if your project involves working near or on the water then work must meet the requirements of the Water Sustainability Regulation, and comply with any conditions set out by a habitat officer in response to a notification. You must submit your notification of proposed work to FrontCounter BC a minimum of 45 days before beginning work (submitting more than 45 days ahead of time is recommended).
    • Any employees, volunteers or agents working on the project must be competent, properly trained and instructed, and exercise a standard of care as required to undertake and successfully complete the Project.
    • You must ensure that all health and safety standards are met.

  • Community Grant Application Cycle

    1. Annual Application Deadline (May)
    2. Proposal Review & Funding Decisions (Early June)
      Submitted Community Grant proposals are reviewed by the Advisory Committee, composed of provincial Fish and Wildlife staff, a representative from the Federation of British Columbia Naturalists and the B.C. Wildlife Federation, and staff of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. Recommendations for approval are presented to the HCTF Board of Directors, or their delegate, for final funding decisions.
    3. Notifications & Approval letters (Late June/Early July)
      Notification emails will be sent in June to inform applicants about whether or not their Community Grant application was approved for funding. An applicant may be funded for less than the amount requested, or there may be additional conditions to satisfy before the funds are released.
    4. Approval Letters
      Successful applicants will be sent a cheque and a letter of approval to the address listed on the Community Grant application. It is suggested that the cheque be deposited in a separate bank account under the name of your Club or Organization (if applicable) in order to facilitate accurate and uncomplicated bookkeeping. Note that an independent audit may be undertaken at the discretion of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

You can view the list of Community Grant projects funded in 2023 here.

Thank you for your interest in Community Grants; intake is is now closed.
The next opportunity to apply will be spring 2025.

Important Update! Based on feedback from proponents and discussion with the Board Subcommittee, HCTF has updated our Policy regarding Ministry Letters of Support. Starting Spring 2023, the Ministry Letter of Support is no longer required for Community Grant applications.

If you intend to apply for further funding to continue the same Community Grant project, you must submit a new application each year and include a report, outlining expenditure details and information on the progress of your currently funded Community Grant project (see Reporting tab for more details).

As the Community Grant will not fund activities retroactively, funded project activities cannot begin until those notifications have been received. We understand that this may impact this summer’s activities, however, we hope that proponents can manage this within the five-year window allowed for the expenditure of the Community Grant. Thank you for your understanding.

Community Grant Guidelines and Resource Documents

  • Application Guidelines - Community Grant
  • Application Worksheet - Community Grant
  • Online System FAQs - Community Grant

Note: There is no longer a budget spreadsheet to download as it is now incorporated into Survey Apply.

How to Apply

  1. Read our FAQs for instructions on using the online application system to submit your proposal.

Online System FAQs

2. Complete and submit your application online using the Survey Apply system.

Apply Online


Any questions about the application process can be sent to


Once your Community Grant (formerly PCAF) project has been completed, a report is required which details the activities that were conducted. If you intend to apply for additional funds, a progress report must be submitted with your new application submitted on Survey Apply by the spring due date.

You have a maximum of five (5) years for the implementation of the project and expenditure of the grant. A final report and any unused funds must be returned within sixty (60) days of completion, termination or expiration of the allowable term.

For projects submitted through Survey Apply in 2021 and onwards, the final report should be submitted through the Survey Apply system.

For projects that were approved before 2021: Download the Community Grant Report Form below and send to

Please include any available photos documenting your project, news clippings, etc. as these are useful for displays, presentations and other public relations activities.

Community Projects Profiles