Grantmaking Policies

The trustees have established a set of informal guidelines:

  • We prefer to fund projects that are Vermont-grown and Vermont-focused. Projects that duplicate or extend work done in other states, or that carry Vermont-based work outside the state are of less interest than projects that spring from the unique physical, human, and political landscape of Vermont.
  • When a project has activities partly inside and partly outside of Vermont (for example, the project’s boundaries are watershed-driven, as opposed to political), we will consider funding the Vermont portion of the project, but other funding must be found for the non- Vermont portion.
  • We prefer to fund special projects or new initiatives. We provide operating funding for existing organizations by invitation only. Proposals for funding for capital purchases (e.g., equipment) are considered.
  • We are open to experimental projects even when a successful outcome is not assured, provided the impact of the projects is significant. We believe that a failed project that discovers why it failed may in the long run be more valuable than a successful project that learns nothing from its success.
  • Specificity, clarity, and brevity are encouraged.
  • A proposal for a school curriculum project should identify teachers, administrators, parents, and others who have requested and will be prepared to support the project.
  • Familiarity with programs previously funded by the Canaday Family Charitable Trust is assumed and proposals for similar work should explain how that work expands or improves previously-funded work. For example, proposals for restorative justice programs should incorporate the policy work by Voices for Vermont’s Children in this area.


We are particularly interested in educational aspects of any given proposal, as well as evaluation of the project. How will you measure the success or failure of your project, and how will you share that success or failure with others? When appropriate, proposals may request funds specifically for the evaluation, but the scale of the evaluation should match the scale of the project.


The Foundation supports organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not classified as private foundations under Section 509(a) of the Code. The Foundation does not award grants to individuals, building campaigns, or endowments.