Gardening for Life!

Funding Sources

Funding Your Garden

There are many ways to raise fund for your gardens. Whatever route you go with, do your homework before you make an ask and never underestimate the power of saying thank you!

Before approaching donors we suggest you develop a fact sheet that contains: 

  • Name of neighborhood
  • Garden team contacts for follow-up questions
  • Proposed location of garden
  • Sample garden layout
  • Specific list of what you're asking them to discount or donate
  • Why it is essential to the garden
  • Recognition you'll provide (thank yous on Facebook, Twitter, blog postings, community newsletters etc.)

Follow up all donations with a thank you note and a photo of their donation in use at the garden. 

Potential Funding Sources for Your Garden

Grants: Grants likely offer the biggest bang for your buck; however, each grant maker has different requirements so it's important to do your research.  We've compiled a great list of funders to get you started.

Employer matching for staff volunteering: Some employers will donate to causes their employees volunteer with, or match donations made by employees.  Ask your garden's participants to investigate whether they qualify.

Garden bed rental fees: Most gardens charge a modest fee for renting plots in their gardens. You can get a sense of what other gardens are charging using our community garden database.

City of Calgary Parks:  In addition to the land approval, new gardens may receive up to $5,000 in materials and irrigation from The City.  Funding will vary in the amount based on site location and the availability of resources and will not be available for established community gardens.

Source:  FAQ

Earth from the City of Calgary Leaf & Pumpkin Compost Program

New & established community gardens have access to a limited amount of municipal compost on a first-come first-serve basis.  Click here to contact City of Calgary Parks for more information.


Friend-raising:  Grant proposals generate greater chunks of funding but do not have a happy by-product of community building.  A combination of a grant and local garden friend-raising works best. We suggest you:

  • Put the "fun" in fundraising by having neighbourhood activities too. Keep them simple, social, fun and easy to carry out.
  • Join up with existing community events so the garden friend-raising and fundraising can ride on the publicity for the other event.  Examples are  a community Stampede Breakfast and sports registration.
  • Garage sales, Junk in Your Trunk, silent auctions, bake sales, and potlucks are popular social events and fundraisers.