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Fundraise for your Bird Day event

Nature Canada / Initiatives / Bird Day / Fundraise for your Bird Day event

Local, provincial and even national funding sources are available to help you stage your Bird Day event. Some funding deadlines to support a spring IMBD event may have passed. Many sources for funding require a charitable registration number.

Environment Canada keeps an online database on “Green Funding” sources that can be queried by geographical location and type of funding. For each source of funding, the database provides contact information, deadline dates, range of funding, types of projects, who can apply and a description of the fund.


Check out these organizations that fund community events.

The Gosling Foundation

The Nature Festival Seed Fund supports the initiation of festivals and similar events that feature nature awareness and appreciation by bringing attention to the ecological features of a community (a particular species, landform or ecosystem). The seed fund offers one-time grants of up to $2500 through a simple application process with quick turnaround times. The scope of the fund is Canada-wide. The Gosling Foundation is the key supporter behind Nature Canada’s efforts to promote Bird Day in Canada. The Nature Festival Seed Fund is ideal for starting up a festival in your own community.
Find out more about this funder here:

the Gosling Foundation

TD Friends of the Environment Fund (FEF)

The average TD FEF grant is approximately $2,500. However, funding requests are needs-based, and there is no set minimum/maximum amount for which you can apply. TD FEF grants primarily fund projects that involve environmental education, urban greening and enhancing biodiversity and energy conservation. All organizations (except municipalities and Aboriginal groups) who apply must have a Charitable Registration Number. The projects proposed must take place in Canada, and all applications must be received prior to the project start-date. Visit the website for full details.
Find out more about this funder here:

TD Friends of the Environment

Shell Canada

Submit an online application form to apply for funding through Shell Canada. Shell provides funding for local projects that are located near their facilities and exploration interests throughout Canada. Visit the website for full details.
Find out more about this funder here:

Shell Canada

Community Foundation

Community Foundation grants support everything from shelter and sustenance, to recreation, the arts, and the environment. Visit the website for full details and to locate a community foundation in your area.
Find out more about this funder here:

Community Foundation

Awesome fund

The Awesome fund awards $1,000 grants every month to help make brilliant ideas happen. The application is very simple, and individuals as well as groups can apply for funding. Visit the website for full details.
Find out more about this funder here:

Awesome fund


Business sponsors often want to support an event that brings them profile in their community, and associates them with something positive. Some sponsors may be happy simply having their name or logo on event materials, but other may want to have a hands-on presence during event day. Keep this in mind when approaching a potential sponsor.

When deciding who to approach, consider how a sponsor’s business profile matches the event and theme of birds and bird conservation. Companies related to optics, nature, outdoors, and technologies are all good places to start. When meeting with a sponsor, be sure to learn about their company, its mandate and history, before the meeting.

When explaining your event, be open to their ideas. Business sponsors will be interested in knowing their “return on investment.” Be prepared to have a forecast of the number of people that their logo, materials, and personnel could be exposed to. Let them know why your event is important, and why they should be excited, and exactly how their money will be used. When you ask for sponsorship be sure to include what they will receive in return (e.g. charitable donation tax reciept, logo placement on event material, opportunity to introduce speakers or activities, etc.). Don’t forget to thank them and provide your contact information.

Raise Your Own Funds

Here are some suggestions on how to raise money for your group.

Host a Walk-a-thon: Volunteers join your walk-a-thon and get sponsorship to complete the course, or for every kilometre they walk.

Resources to help you succeed: Environment for the Americas hosts a walk-a-thon every year to support conservation projects. Contact eve@birdday.org and Environment for the Americas will provide you with all the planning tools and materials you need to get started! Variations: host a bird-a-thon and get sponsors to donate a flat rate, or an amount for every bird species you spot.

Bird Studies Canada’s Baillie Birdathon is the oldest bird focused fundraiser in North America. The Birdathon challenge is to identify as many bird species as possible within a 24-hour period, during the month of May. The money raised benefits Bird Studies Canada, the James L Baillie Memorial Fund, and participating migration monitoring stations and conservation organizations (designated by participants to receive a portion of funds raised). Birdathon is an excellent fit with Bird Day, and a good way to raise funds for a local conservation organization.

In Quebec: « Grand défi Quebec Oiseaux » is an event organized by Regroupement QuébecOiseaux each year to correspond with International Migratory Bird Day. The idea is similar to birdathon – try and identify the highest number of species of birds from a fixed point within a 24 hour period. The objective of the activity is to raise funds for Regroupement QuébecOiseaux, the birding clubs of Quebec, and conservation groups that would use the funds for targeted conservation actions. For more information visit: Grand Défi QuébecOiseaux.

Have an idea to raise money that is not listed here? Tell us about it so we can share your great idea with other organizations.

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