Types of Grants

Max Bell Foundation provides two types of grants:

Project Grants support clearly defined activities designed to achieve a specific objective that aligns with the Foundation’s mission and  criteria. Max Bell Foundation does not support ongoing programs, capital projects, nor provide unrestricted grants to organizations. Project grants are described in more detail here.
Development Grants support organizations who wish to undertake short term (typically 4 month) work that will better position them to succeed with larger projects (e.g., environmental scanning; background research; project planning; proposal development etc.). Development grants are described in more detail here.


For both grant types, Max Bell Foundation assesses proposals for alignment with our mission, programs, and criteria. These are explained on the Types and Programs and Criteria pages. You can read a list of questions grantseekers often ask at our FAQ page. If you would like to learn about projects that we have supported in the past, please visit our Grants Database.

Max Bell Foundation also has a Senior Fellows Program, which is described in more detail here.

Application Process

There are no deadlines for initial requests. We receive and respond to initial requests throughout the year.

Please do not mail us your proposal. Instead, please use our online application process.

Application Timelines

Project Grants are applied for with a letter of intent using our online template. These letters will receive, typically within 4 weeks, either a no response or an invitation to submit a full proposal. Our Board of Directors, which makes decisions on project grants, meets three times each year, usually in May, September, and December. We require a minimum of two months of lead time to work with full proposals before our board meetings. Proposals that go before our board have typically begun with Letters of Intent received a minimum of four months ahead of a board meeting.
Development Grants are applied for through our online application form. These requests will receive a yes or no response, typically within 4 weeks.


Things to Know About Max Bell Foundation Grants


  • An unfavourable decision from the Foundation should not be seen as a reflection of the quality or value of the endeavour. Rather, it is the result of the difficult choices that must be made from amongst the many worthy applications we receive from across Canada.
  • Max Bell Foundation seldom provides 100% of the support required for any given project. To encourage applicant organizations to develop a broader base of support for proposed projects or initiatives, we will make challenge or matching grants when appropriate.
  • We make use of a wide range of referees who are experts in our program areas, and we are very grateful for their perspectives as a key component of the assessment process. Some of the individuals who have prepared reviews for the Foundation are listed here
  • The Foundation receives hundreds of applications annually. We cannot, therefore, provide reasons for unfavourable decisions.

If you believe your proposed project aligns with the mission and granting guidelines of Max Bell Foundation, we encourage you to apply.