Gardening for Life!

Funding & Fundraising

2013Silver Spr Edible Sept (5)

Prepare a factsheet of:

-        what you want funding for

-        why the garden needs funding

-        how you are going to the financial support


Follow these tips on preparing successful grant applications:


  • Investigate why the neighbourhood business you are approaching gives donations / gifts / in-kind services and what kind of relationship they are seeking with the garden.


  • Ask all garden members if their employer has a program to donate money for hours volunteered by their employees.


  • A Fruit Tree Legacy program: Offer residents the option to purchase a fruit tree or shrub in memory of someone.  All fruit trees require Urban Forestry approval; call 3-1-1 for more information.  Remember to budget for a way to display the donors and the name of the person being remembered.
Finding funds to revitalize older gardens:
  • Look for local partners.
  • Publicize in your neighbourhood that the garden needs specific material donations and services.

  • Reinvent and re-imagine new goals for the garden including education.


  • Talk about the work that needs to be done around the concept of garden renewal.


  • Phase the development and expansion of the garden so that each phase or stage brings new features. 


  • Province of Alberta Community Initiatives Program (CIP) Grant:  work with your community association on this.  Grant recipients are determined 4 times a year. 

  • For renewing mulch pathways City of Calgary Parks is giving away mulch (due to volume after Snowtember Storm Damage) and you can contact local arborists and ask them to deliver a load of bark mulch when they have a full load.  Yes, there is a risk of disease  in chippings from diseased trees being transported in the mulch.  It's fine to put mulch on a tarp.  Watch for heat being generated in a pile of green mulch that has not been spread.


  •  Re-invent the garden for accessibility features in order to qualify for funding and remember to add some shade features.


  • Veseys' Bulbs Fundraising program:  be aware that the selection appears to be generic and people purchasing bulbs may be disappointed when bulbs don't grow because they may have chosen bulbs that don't grow in Zones 2 and 3.  Selling hanging flower baskets in spring sourced from wholesale greenhouses may be a more successful fundraiser.


  • Mid-Sun Community Gardeners started tomato plants and sold them in the springtime at their plant share as a fundraiser.


  • West Hillhurst Community Garden Leader Chris Koper sold patio stones with personal names on them.  It was very popular.  The costs included $5 for each brick and $30 for brick engraving with a $75 charged to the consumer.


  • Peace Poles: The Saskatoon Farm has some samples. Community gardeners could make them out of wood and paint them.


  • Other garden art that can be developed by gardeners and sold to raise funds for the garden could include sound (as in wind chimes), texture and stained glass.


Next Topic:  Beyond the Garden Bed - Garden Relations