Funder’s website

The funder’s website can be found HERE.

Funding Value and Duration

Innovation Grants are available for up to $100,000 for a single-year grant or $200,000 for grants that span two years (with the second year of funding subject to organizations making sufficient progress on their identified milestones). However, not all big ideas require big budgets. We are looking for the best ideas, regardless of budget size.


Through our Innovation Grants, funding is available to registered charities that offer programming that promotes the well-being of youth and provides them with opportunities to succeed, both today and in the future. In particular, we are interested in supporting initiatives that advance some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); specifically, good health and well-being, quality education and climate action. Programs must focus on reaching youth experiencing obstacles to reaching their full potential and incorporate the innovative use of technology.

As one of our goals is to support as many registered charities as possible, charities may only apply once per calendar year and must choose between the Innovation Grants channel or the Community Board Grants channel. Applications may not be submitted to both grant channels in the same calendar year.

For many of the most pressing social and environmental problems we now face, the solutions require a new way of thinking. Our intention is to offer funding for those “moonshot” ideas that will enable charitable organizations to create breakthrough change in their communities.

In 2023, our Innovation Grants will focus on two areas of interest:

1. Youth mental health

The percentage of children and youth experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety has doubled during the pandemic. Eating disorders and substance use have been on the rise. Young people across the country have been impacted by school closures and the lack of in-person connection with friends, mentors and loved ones. Charities offering innovative solutions to promote youth mental health and build community will help to meet the needs facing young people today and build their capacity to thrive in the future.

2. Environmental education or climate action programs for youth

Today’s youth have come of age during a time of rapid climate change, and they have the most at stake in how society responds to it. Climate change brings economic and environmental challenges as well as opportunities, and youth who understand the issues will be better prepared to act and respond with innovative solutions. Charities offering creative approaches to climate education and action will help youth to build skills and knowledge and to be inspired to address the urgency of the climate crisis.

NOTE: Your project must address one of these focus areas and meet the criteria listed under the deadlines section below. Please note that Carleton can only submit one application, please submit your expression of interest as per the instructions below.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for funding, your organization must meet the following criteria:  

  • Your organization is a Canada Revenue Agency registered charity with a stated focus on serving youth

  • Your organization has not applied to any TELUS Friendly Future Foundation funding channel in the past calendar year and your organization has not received a grant from any TELUS Friendly Future Foundation funding channel within the past 24 months

Requests considered ineligible for Innovation Grant funding include: 

  • Fiduciary intermediary relationships, where a non-profit organization leverages the charitable status of another registered charity that isn’t involved in the delivery of the project

  • Community-based programs of religious organizations that are unable to show a history of non-denominational participation by the broader community

  • Programs with an active application for a TELUS Community Board grant

  • Requests for TELUS products and services or laptops, tablets and mobile phones

  • Requests for sponsorships, advertising, retroactive funding and international programs

  • Requests for capital campaigns, endowments or debt reduction campaigns

Internal Contacts

Potential applicants are encouraged to discuss this funding opportunity with their Faculty Research Facilitator.

VPRI Resource Contact: Mistalyn Seguin and Rachel Hirsch

Mandatory Multiphase Process

This opportunity is limited to one application from Carleton; therefore, there is an internal review and selection process at the LOI phase.

Phase 1: Internal Expression of Interest (EOI) – April 24, 2023

EOIs are to be submitted to Mistalyn Seguin and Rachel Hirsch with a 100-300 word abstract of your research proposal written in clear, plain language. Include:

  • A core challenge in one of the required areas of interest i.e., youth mental health and/or environmental education or climate action programs for youth
  • Clear objectives that will create break through change in the community to address the challenge
  • A description of how your project is new and innovative
  • How your proposal would address the following criteria:
    • Projects must serve children or youth who face obstacles to reaching their full potential. This may include youth from marginalized or under-served communities and members of equity-deserving groups.
    • Requests for support of a new approach, or a significant change to an existing model to improve outcomes. Funds can be used to explore, test or launch innovative ideas or initiatives or to scale a program to serve a new region or audience.
    • We will give priority to projects that use technology in innovative ways to meet the needs of project participants and your community.
    • We’re looking for impact. Your project must have clearly defined and measurable outcomes, but we understand that when testing or exploring new ways of solving a problem, you may not get it right the first time. That’s what innovation is all about.
    • What you learn and discover through your project is important, as it sets the stage for future opportunities to hone your idea. You will be expected to share your lessons learned, successes, failures and things that changed through your project.

Phase 2: Letter of Intent (LOI) submission to TELUS Friendly Future Foundation – June 23, 2023

Based on alignment with the focus areas and program criteria, one LOI will be submitted to TELUS. CORIS and Advancement will support LOI development and submit on behalf of the applicant.

Phase 3: Full application submission to TELUS Friendly Future Foundation – August 15, 2023 (by invitation)

For projects that most closely align with the funding criteria, charities will be invited to submit a detailed funding application. If invited, CORIS and Advancement will support application development and submit on behalf of the applicant.

Submitting Your Application

  • Step 1) Submit an internal Carleton Approval Form
    Submit an internal Approval Form through our central awards management database CUResearch:
    For a user’s guide on submitting an Approval Form, click HERE.
  • Step 2) Submit an external application to the granting agency
    OVPRI/CORIS team will submit application on behalf of applicant.