Attaining Funding

A language revitalization plan is a powerful tool for fundraising. The plan allows communities to show potential funders exactly what their community is doing, how it fits into the bigger picture and what the outcomes will be. A language revitalization plan can be used to support funding applications or partnerships. A completed language plan can also encourage community leadership to allocate budget towards language revitalization. For example, leadership might create dedicated positions within the band for language work.

A language revitalization plan will typically have multiple sources of funding. For example, different programs within the plan may be funded by different grant streams or funders. The plan may also receive funding from government partnerships, revenue generation or other sources. The following are some potential funding sources for language revitalization:

Core funding: A Nation may have core funding available to support language programs.

Revenue opportunities: A community may be able to generate funds for language programming. For example, the community might host a language conference that raises money by charging registration fees, or it might charge fees for some language programming. Some communities have social enterprises that can raise funds for language revitalization.

Grant funding: Much language revitalization funding comes from grants from government, non-profits or community foundations.

Sometimes grants are a result of partnerships. For example, a community may have a relationship with a local government or foundation — or a non-Indigenous, for-profit enterprise — and can approach them to negotiate funding.

To identify grant opportunities, reach out to your networks. If the community is in B.C., visit the FPCC website to explore its funding programs.

When applying for funding, consider the following tips:

  • Allow lots of time to complete funding applications.
  • Review past successful funding proposals from the community. Look for information you can use from these proposals.
  • Understand the funder’s priorities: Is there alignment with the community’s goals? If so, highlight that in your proposal. If not, ask yourself whether the funding is still a good fit.
  • Before starting the application, call the funder and describe your plan to see if it’s a good fit. Ask if they have tips on the application process.
  • If sections of the application are unclear to you, ask the funder to explain them.
  • If a grant application is unsuccessful, call the funder to find out why. You might learn how to improve your application for next time.
  • If you are new to writing grant applications, seek mentorship from an experienced grant writer. Ask them to provide input and review your proposal.