CIRA Grants Available to Increase online access and digital literacy

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OTTAWA – “As part of CIRA’s commitment to building a better online Canada, we’re proud to support Canadian organizations, often on the frontlines of internet and digital innovation, as they enhance internet infrastructure, help more Canadians get online and grow digital literacy across the country,” says David Fowler, CIRA’s vice president of marketing and communications. “This year, in addition to grants up to $100,000, we plan to award one recipient with up to $250,000 to further strengthen Canada’s internet. I encourage all eligible Canadian organizations with an innovative internet project in need of funding to apply during the application period.”

CIRA is calling on Canadian not-for-profits, charities and academic institutions with innovative internet projects in need of funding to apply for a CIRA grant. The annual Community Investment Program application period is now open, with $1.25 million available. Applicants have until 2 p.m. EST Feb. 28, 2019, to submit their application online.

CIRA hopes to see applications from a wide variety of organizations committed to building a better online Canada. According to a report CIRA released last June, areas in most need include:

  • Investments to extend Canadian internet infrastructure, particularly in connecting rural, remote and Indigenous communities.
  • Getting more Canadians online – especially marginalized or vulnerable individuals often left out of Canada’s digital economy.
  • Building digital literacy among all Canadians to use the internet safely and securely, including youth, seniors, new Canadians, Indigenous peoples and people living in poverty.

Key Facts

Grants are available up to $100,000 and one grant will be available up to $250,000. Funding areas include:

  • Infrastructure: Developing connectivity services for regional, rural, remote and/or underserved communities.
  • Access: Providing individuals and communities with the ability to connect to the internet.
  • Digital Literacy: Enhancing Canadians’ knowledge and skills to use the internet effectively and safely.
  • Engagement: Research and knowledge-sharing activities that broaden public understanding and participation in internet policy development, governance and cybersecurity.
  • Services: Building online apps and platforms that address social, economic and/or environmental needs.

Now in its sixth year, CIRA’s Community Investment Program has funded 130 projects and distributed $5.45 million in grants to date. Interested organizations can visit for more information about the program, how to apply and examples of projects awarded funding in the past.

Who can apply?

  • Organizations recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency as registered charities
  • Not-for-profit organizations; and,
  • Academics and researchers affiliated with a Canadian university or college.

Please consult our Application Guidelines for more details on funding and how to apply. Applications for this round of funding will be accepted until 2 p.m. EST, February 28, 2019.

About CIRA’s Community Investment Program

CIRA is building a better online Canada through the Community Investment Program by funding innovative projects led by charities, not-for-profits and academic institutions that are making the internet better for all Canadians. CIRA is best known for our role managing the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians. While this remains our primary mandate, as a member-based not-for-profit ourselves, we have a much broader goal to strengthen Canada’s internet. The Community Investment Program is one of our most valuable contributions toward this goal and funds projects in infrastructure and access, digital literacy, online services, and engagement. Every .CA domain name registered or renewed contributes to this program. To date, CIRA has supported 130 projects with over $5.45 million in contributions.

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