Community

Programs & Resources

Alterna is guided by our commitment to support the well-being of our members, employees and communities.


We promote community economic development through programs that serve both individuals, such as our Microfinance program, and our work that supports the financial resilience of the non-profit sector.

Here are some programs your organization may be eligible for:

Microfinance Program

Our Microfinance program works to address socio-economic inequity by creating opportunities for financial independence and reducing barriers to banking for those often excluded from financing.

Program Details

Up to $25,000 for entrepreneurs

A built-in micro-savings component to bolster
   resilience

Focus segments include:

      Low-income earners

      Professional development

      Skilled professionals and trades

      Social entrepreneurs and enterprise

      Women entrepreneurs

     • Black entrepreneurs

Additional Support

One-on-one consultations

Financial education

Credit Building

Workshops and tools

Wrap around support

bdc logo

Joint Loan Program with BDC

Black entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, and women entrepreneurs who have received up to $25,000 in funding through Alterna's Community Microfinance program will have the opportunity to do double this amount through this new program with BDC, for a potential total of $50,000. 

Resources to help
get you started

Contact us to request a copy of our Cash Flow Statements and Business Planning Steps.

man and woman employee working in a small shop

Black Entrepreneur Loan Fund (BELF)


The Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, a component of the Black Entrepreneurship Program, is a partnership between the Government of Canada, Black-led business organizations, and several financial institutions.

Community Financial Resiliency Program

Our Community Financial Resiliency Program helps improve the capacity and resilience of the not-for-profit and charitable sector to build equity, and strengthen their financial sustainability.

We do this by offering

Additional advocacy and support around:

  • Connecting community organizations
  • Research and knowledge sharing
  • Sector building
  • Policy development
  • Pilot projects
  • Collaboration and shared platforms

Financial Literacy Program

As part of our ability to support the Financial Health of Communities, we focus on delivering essential programming that supports members, community organizations and students of all ages, through free financial literacy development and education. Last year we delivered over 150 workshops on Financial Literacy to the Community and our partners.

Our programs span from understanding the basics of Financial Literacy, to more in-depth and specific workshops for Social Innovators and Entrepreneurs, or Nonprofit and Charitable organizations.

Here are some useful tools to help Parents and Educators teach children and youth about financial literacy.


If you have a particular area of interest or need, regarding financial literacy education please reach out to our team.

Community Grants Program

The program provides grants of up to $1,000 to initiatives where a small amount of money can have a significant impact in the communities we serve.

Eligibility 

  • Registered charities
  • Incorporated non-profit organizations
  • Co-operatives without share capital
  • Unincorporated associations are eligible with the sponsorship of an eligible incorporated organization. Alterna will only issue cheques to incorporated groups
  • While membership in Alterna is not a requirement for grant funding, preference will be given to member organizations. Click Here to find out more about how your organization can benefit from membership at Alterna.

Application Process

Completed applications can be submitted to communitygrants@alterna.ca A complete application will include:

  • Completed application form
  • Proof of charitable status, copy of Articles of Incorporation or Letters Patent
  • Letters of recommendation (optional)
  • For unincorporated associations, a letter of support from an incorporated non-profit organization is required. Cheques will not be issued to unincorporated groups.

Grant Application Form

Application Deadline: April 29th 2022

  • Initiatives that take place outside of Alterna Savings service areas (Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Kingston, Pembroke, North Bay, Dryden, Fort Frances, Ignace, Rainy River, Sioux Lookout, Thunder Bay, Dutton, Wardsville, Thamesville, Peterborough)

  • Groups that discriminate or restrict access based on things like race, colour, religion or creed, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability among others

  • Political or fraternal organizations, service clubs, or third-party organizations that raise funds for charity

  • Private (fee-based) elementary or secondary schools

  • Religious organizations, unless they are engaged in a significant project benefiting the entire community

  • Endowment or memorial campaigns

  • Conferences, events or golf tournaments

  • Advertising or promotional campaigns

  • Travel-related events, including student trips or tours

  • The creation or repair of statues, monuments, art work or beautification projects

  • The publication of books or movie productions

  • Private foundations

  • Sports teams (unless they are sponsored by a qualified donor)

Financial Inclusion Grants

The Financial Inclusion Grant Program will typically award grants of up to $40,000 to 1 or 2 organizations annually. Through this program, we are looking to identify innovative programs that will work to address issues of Financial Literacy and Financial Inclusion among underserved communities. Particular emphasis will be placed on initiatives that offer opportunities for scale and/or replication to other communities. Emphasis will also be placed on initiatives that offer broader opportunities for partnership with the Credit Union.

Eligibility

Alterna’s Financial Inclusion Grant Program supports:

  • Registered Charities
  • Incorporated non-profit organizations
  • Co-operatives without share capital
  • Unincorporated associations are eligible with the sponsorship of an eligible incorporated organization. Alterna will only issue cheques to incorporated groups.
  • While membership in Alterna is not a requirement for grant funding, preference will be given to member organizations.


Click Here to find out more about how your organization can benefit from membership at Alterna.

Step 1. Letter of Inquiry

If you have an idea that you think would be a good fit for the Financial Inclusion Grant Program please submit a maximum 2-page Letter of Inquiry detailing your initiative.

Step 2. Request for Proposal

Alterna will review all letters of inquiry and invite a limited number of organizations to submit full proposals for funding.

Step 3. Proposal Submission

Alterna will only consider proposals from organizations that have been invited to submit a full proposal based on their letter of inquiry.

Step 4. Application Review

Received proposals will be reviewed by an internal committee of Alterna staff. Proposals will be evaluated on a number of criteria including potential for replication or scale of the initiative, impact, measurable results.

Step 5. Grant Approval

Alterna will inform all applications as to the status of their application. Successful applications will be announced on Alterna website and social media.

Key Dates

Letter of Inquiry Deadline: May 31, 2022
Proposal Deadline: September 10, 2022

Additional Resources

Global Payments:

  • Payment Solutions to Grow Your Small Business
  • Business Solutions That Keep You on Track
  • Industry Software To Ease Operations

Government of Canada:

  • Support for businesses
  • Operating safely
  • Start or grow your business

Your financial well-being comes first

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