Grant Program

REFBC grants support initiatives that non-profit organizations have identified as important based on research, knowledge and expertise. We’re interested in ideas that lead to actions.

view of Okanagan Lake, with hills, clouds and trees
REFBC Grants benefit not only the organizations and communities involved, but also groups in other regions that are facing similar challenges.

REFBC Grants

Our grants fund research and knowledge mobilization, public and professional education, initiatives that support law and policy analysis/reform, and other land use and real estate related projects that benefit BC communities.

Our grants budget fluctuates based on the amount of revenue we receive. Over the past five years, we’ve granted an average of $3.3 million per year. See the Funded Grants page for a list of projects we’ve funded since 2009.

Application Streams

We accept application through two grant streams: General Grants and Real Estate Industry Grants.

  • General Grants are focused on the first four of REFBC’s interest areas (sustainable land use, built environment sustainability, freshwater sustainability, and local and sustainable food systems.) The Foundation has two intakes per year. Applications are open to any non-profit organization doing work related to land use and/or real estate in BC.
    >> See: Eligibility.
  • Real Estate Industry Grants focus on applications related to “professional excellence in real estate,” although they can also be relevant to the other four interest areas, The Foundation has one intake per year. Applications for Real Estate Industry Grants are open only to non-profit organizations that are part of the real estate sector in BC.
    >> See: Eligibility and Real Estate Industry Grant Criteria.

Our Process

Both application streams have a formal process with two stages.

  • Stage one: A full application is submitted at the intake deadline. REFBC’s grants team reviews these applications, provides feedback and shortlists projects for stage two.
  • Stage two: Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit an updated application for full due diligence review prior to the final funding decision.

Interest Areas

As a funder, REFBC is interested in projects that support the sustainable use of land and that build knowledge and professionalism in the real estate industry. All the Foundation’s work – including grantmaking – supports our five interest areas:

Sustainable Land Use
Land use is the human use of land – that is, management, conservation and modification of natural environments, built environments and semi-natural areas – for the purpose of supporting human settlement and communities. Sustainable land use enables people to thrive within nature's limits; it integrates social, environmental, economic and cultural objectives into policy and practice for the long-term well-being of communities and ecosystems.

Built Environment Sustainability
The built environment encompasses the buildings and infrastructure that support where and how people live. The way we plan, design, build and operate our communities has significant economic, social and environmental impacts. By funding initiatives focused on better land use policies, development regulations and building practices that respond to both human and ecological needs, the Real Estate Foundation contributes to more sustainable communities.

Freshwater Sustainability
A safe and abundant supply of fresh water is vital to sustainable communities – freshwater sustainability means making choices that protect freshwater resources now and in the future. Our interest is in initiatives such as new approaches in land use planning, policy and regulation; mapping studies and applied research that contributes to the health of freshwater systems.

Local and Sustainable Food Systems
A sustainable food system integrates production, processing, distribution and consumption of food, and waste management, in ways that enhance community well-being. Communities in BC are facing challenges that affect food security, including climate change, rising oil prices and development pressures on agricultural land. We fund initiatives that contribute to novel land use policy and planning that supports sustainable food systems.

Professional Excellence in Real Estate
Professional excellence in real estate helps equip the real estate community with better information, professional development opportunities, and knowledge about real estate and land use practices. It helps build public awareness and advance the field towards emerging trends, laws and standards that help foster thriving and resilient neighourhoods.