Submitting an Application

Conditions of Participation

Is your organization eligible?

Any charitable or non-profit organization registered in Canada that can show that its project is not personal or lucrative in nature but serves the interests of the communities involved is eligible for a grant from the Foundation. These conditions apply to projects presented by municipalities, regional county municipalities (MRC) and band councils (see the Grant Agreement section).

Types of eligible projects

Any project that is in line with the Foundation's mission and principles and contributes to the achievement of its objectives is eligible for grants from the Foundation.

A project (or component of a project) must be carried out in Québec to qualify for financial assistance from the Foundation.

From the time the Foundation began operation in 2001 until 2005, it accepted applications for programs that promoted projects dealing primarily with animal and plant species that are at risk, and with habitat acquisition.

Since 2006, the Foundation has put more emphasis on projects that reflect local communities' willingness to undertake the stewardship of the natural environments where they are likely to have an impact.

Projects whose main objective is not strictly environmental may be submitted to the Foundation if they have a significant and relevant environmental component and do not involve any risk for sensitive environmental elements in the area concerned. Only the environmental component will be eligible for grants from the Foundation

The Foundation does not accept the following types of projects:

  • Projects that enhance general environmental awareness (climate change, pollution, resource overharvesting, greenhouse gases, water quality, energy efficiency, etc.)
  • Fund-raising campaigns or any other type of financing or sponsorship projects
  • Projects to create or contribute to an endowment fund
  • Projects that are solely for embellishment or comfort (e.g., noise or odor barriers)
  • Project to reduce air pollution (e.g., car pooling)
  • Greening of schoolyards, alleys or community gardens, green roofs or simplification of environmentally friendly horticultural or agricultural practices
  • Waste collection, recycling or recovery
  • Projects aimed solely at recreation, tourism or the economy, with no environmental component
  • Knowledge acquisition, inventories, or feasibility or other exploratory studies
  • Experimental, scientific, university or fundamental research or R&D projects or technology demonstrations
  • Recurring activities (e.g., clean-up crew, repeated dissemination of a training or awareness program)
  • Projects consisting of activities that are already in progress or have been completed
  • Creating or updating data banks
  • Projects resulting from legal obligations (e.g., environmental impact assessment, decontamination of industrial or commercial sites, dam rehabilitation)
  • Projects that interfere with the primary function of Hydro-Québec's facilities

The Foundation generally does not accept the following types of projects:
(Updated: August 2016)

  • Direct action to increase wildlife or plant populations for harvesting (e.g., fish stocking) or reintroduce extirpated species. However, if the projects have habitat enhancement, awareness-raising or education components, these components are eligible.
  • Museum and interpretation centre projects that are not related to the natural environment or are aimed solely at acquiring, building or developing infrastructure. The Foundation is specifically interested in themes that encourage behavioral change regarding a local environmental issue
  • Organization of or attendance at workshops, seminars, conferences, etc.
  • Voluntary conservation projects (private stewardship)
  • Conservation through land acquisition, except projects that will directly or indirectly protect a habitat that is rich in biodiversity and that are part of a broader conservation and development plan which clearly establishes the various functions and uses for the land acquired(1)
  • The uniqueness and sustainability of the site’s conservational role must be clearly demonstrated. The application must include at least one appraisal of the current value of the property, performed by an accredited appraiser (the Foundation reserves the right to request a second appraisal), a precise map of the cadastral lots in question, and, ideally an accepted offer to purchase.

    The Foundation grants a maximum of $100,000 towards all eligible land acquisition costs. The project must also include an "education" or "development" component representing at least 10% of the Foundation’s grant for land acquisition costs. Priority will be given to projects with an educational or public awareness component that explains the conservation issues associated with the acquisition. In principle, the site must also provide for public contact with the environment, according to conditions that ensure its ecological integrity is respected.

The Foundation does not fund the following expenses:

  • Annual meetings, rent, maintenance or any other general administration or operating expenses that are not directly related to the project (Internet access, telephone, accounting costs, etc.)
  • Activities preliminary to the realization of the various steps in the project itself (feasibility study, methodology, fund-raising, public consultation tour, legal fees, property appraisal, etc.)
  • Activities that take place on federal property, except for education or awareness activities and those in aboriginal communities.
  • Communication, promotion or marketing activities not specifically related to the project (lobbying, building organization Web sites, etc.)
  • Costs associated with legal obligations (property taxes, property transfer duties, etc.)
  • Participation in workshops, seminars or conferences

(1) Acquisition projects on public domain (on government, regional county municipality or municipal property) are not eligible.

Project duration

The project schedule must be realistic and suitable for the project objectives and scale. In general, since the Foundation operates on a one-year cycle, the projects it funds usually last twelve months.

The project may, however, be part of a broader plan, since many organizations take a long-term perspective. In this instance, and if the organization so requests, a grant may be awarded for a maximum of two consecutive years, on the condition that it applies to successive phases of the same project.

To provide the Foundation with an overview, the proponent must clearly specify the phases of the project to which the Foundation would contribute and briefly describe previous phases completed and future phases planned. An interim report must be submitted to the Foundation at the end of the first year and the grant for the second year would be conditional on achieving the objectives of the phases completed in Year 1.

The Foundation will not commit to granting funds for all phases of such a project; however, the sustainability of phases funded by the Foundation must be clearly demonstrated, even if the Foundation does not award a grant for subsequent phases at a later date.

Grant conditions
The appropriateness of the amount requested will be evaluated according to the project’s objectives and planned activities. There is no set minimum or maximum, subject to the following conditions:
  • A detailed budget for the project must be submitted. The budget should include, for each of the activities planned, a breakdown of costs between the following three categories: human resources (internal), purchase of goods and material, and professional services (external).
  • Sources of funding must be specified with the amounts provided by every partner. If any partners provide contributions in kind (loans of personnel, equipment, premises, etc.), they should be listed along with a monetary value. The elements of the project that each partner (including your organization and the Foundation) will be contributing to must also be listed.
  • For cash contributions, the financing for the project must comply with the following conditions:
Grant requested from FHQE Other financial contributions required Professional accountant services required
< $50,000 None(1) None
≥ $50,000
< $100,000
At least 25% of the total funding (cash)(2)(3) Financial statements of the project accompanied by a Notice To Reader(4)
≥ $100,000 At least 50% of the total funding (cash)(2)(3) Financial statements of the project accompanied by a Review Engagement Report(4)

(1) Any type of external funding will be favorably viewed in the project evaluation.

(2) No funds will be paid unless letters of confirmation from the other funding sources are supplied, specifying the cash amounts or fair market value of the contributions. For example:

  • If you apply for $60,000 from the Foundation, you must obtain other funding of at least $20,000 and provide confirmation.
  • If you apply for $120,000 from the Foundation, you must obtain other funding of at least $120,000 and provide confirmation.

(3) If you are a municipality, a regional county municipality, a band council or an inter-municipal organization, financing must include at least one other sponsor (excluding your organization) for grant requests of $50,000 or more.

(4) The financial statements of the project must be compiled (for grants < $100,000) or reviewed (for grants ≥ $100,000) by an independent chartered accountant and incorporated into the final project report. The related cost must be included in the projected expenses budget submitted with the grant application.

These ceilings apply to the entire project if it is solely environmental. For any other kind of project, the ceilings only apply to the environmental component.

Is one of your volunteers or board member a Hydro-Québec employee?

If one of your volunteers or board members is a Hydro-Québec employee, invite him or her to learn more about the "Fier de Nature" program, which is designed to recognize and promote the socio-environmental involvement of Hydro-Québec employees. Based on the program's eligibility criteria, your organization could receive up to $5000 in support of an initiative presented by the employee.