Here you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions. Before sending us a question of your own, please check whether your question is related to any of the topics below.
Does the Foundation offer internships?
No, the Foundation does not offer internships with the administrative team or in the field. However, Hydro-Québec offers various internships, some of which are related to the environment. For more information, please click on “Stagiaires” on Hydro-Québec's career page (in French only).
Does the Foundation fund energy efficiency projects?
No, the Foundation does not provide any funding for energy efficiency projects, although Hydro-Québec does so by various means and programs. For more information, please click on the ENERGY WISE link on the Hydro-Québec Web site home page go directly to www.hydroquebec.com/energywise.
What is meant by “natural environment”?
A natural environment is any ecosystem in which diversity and productivity have not been reduced to the point where regeneration through rehabilitation or restoration is impossible and which is large enough in area to support natural cycles. The environments of interest are land environments, forests, wetlands, rivers and lakes.
However, when the project submitted to the Foundation involves an urban site, see Protection, restoration and development of urban ecosystems in the Specific Topics section.
Eligibility (applicants and projects)
Our project is located outside Québec. Is it eligible?
No, the Foundation funds only projects or project components carried out within Québec.
I am an individual (student, researcher, game officer, etc.) and I have an exciting and worthwhile project. Can I obtain funding from the Foundation?
No, the Foundation provides subsidies only to charitable organizations or non-profit organizations registered in Canada. If you do not belong to such an organization, you may wish to set up a partnership with one that is interested in supporting your project. For more information, see Is your organization eligible?
I would like to speak with someone to find out whether my project has a chance of being considered. Whom should I call? Can I e-mail you a project summary to get an initial reaction?
Yes, you may contact the Foundation before investing time and energy in preparing an application. We can offer you some practical tips and guidelines for improving the quality of your project presentation. Don’t hesitate to send us an email or call us.
We recommend you do a quick auto-evaluation of your project by filling out section 2 and table 6.2 in section 6 of the Grant Application Form. This will give you a good idea of whether your project is a good match with the Fondation’s goals and criteria. To get a better understanding of the objectives and criteria, carefully read the Deciding factors section of the Web site; make sure you know all the conditions associated to our grants, especially the description of the types of projects and activities that are not eligible for funding, and the types of grant agreements you’ll have to sign if your project is accepted.
We submitted an application for a project we feel is a perfect match for the Foundation’s conditions for funding eligibility. Can we be certain that our application will be accepted?
No. The Foundation’s resources are limited, and so it has to set priorities, meaning that many applications are rejected. Such decisions do not necessarily mean that the project was not worthwhile, only that the Foundation has to make certain choices.
Can we submit a new application for funding while the Foundation is supporting another project that is still in progress?
Yes, the Foundation may grant funding to a partner who already has an active project, as long as the new application is for a project that is not directly related to the current project.
Can we obtain funding for a project that has already been supported by the Foundation?
Yes, the Foundation may award a grant to a project promoter for a project that has already received funding if the application is for a new phase or a separate part of the project.
How to apply
Can we submit an application at any time?
No, your application to the Foundation must be postmarked no later than February 1 or September 15 of a given year (the postmark will serve as proof).
How long does it take to prepare an application?
If you are just starting to develop your project, you should plan on a few months to determine the nature and scale of your project, secure your partners and begin your search for funding. Once you have completed those steps, plan on about two weeks to fill out the Grant Application Form [XLS 7.5 Mb – in French only] and put your project presentation portfolio together.
What happens to our application once it has been submitted? When can we expect a response?
As soon as we receive your grant application, we will send you an acknowledgment of receipt and begin the first step in our analysis process, which is to examine the eligibility of your application.
It can take up to three months for your application to go through the preliminary review and evaluation process and for a decision to be made. For more information, please refer to the following section: Project evaluation steps.
Are there minimum and maximum limits to the grant amounts awarded?
No, the appropriateness of the amount requested is evaluated according to project objectives and the activities planned. However, if the application submitted to the Foundation is for $50,000 or more, certain conditions for financial matching apply.
For more information, please refer to the Grant conditions section of our Web site.
Can we submit an application in English?
Yes, the Foundation receives applications in either French or English. For English information, click here. However, all correspondence is conducted in French.
If funding is granted, does our commitment to the Foundation end with the project's completion?
No. In accordance with the terms of the Grant Agreement signed with the Foundation, the project promoter remains bound to the Foundation even after the project has been completed. The Grant Agreement seeks to ensure the project's long-term impact in terms of preserving natural habitats and maintaining any infrastructures in place.
Animal or plant species
Does a request for direct assistance to boost the population of a commercially exploited animal or plant species (by seeding, for example) or to reintroduce a disappeared species meet the Foundation's criteria?
No. Generally speaking, the Foundation does not accept projects involving direct assistance for the sole purpose of increasing the population of commercially exploited animal or plant species or reintroducing species that are at risk or have died out in a given area.
However, if such projects have components focusing on improvements to the overall habitat or education or awareness activities, those components are eligible for a grant.
The Foundation may agree to pay the costs of a limited number of wildlife management initiatives if they help restore the biodiversity of a disturbed natural habitat and enhance its value in the eyes of the local population. However, systematic and artificial expansion of an animal or plant species for recreational or tourism purposes does not qualify for Foundation funding.
Does the Foundation fund projects to protect and restore threatened or vulnerable species?
Yes, provided the projects are consistent with the local community's desire to manage the natural habitats upon which they are likely to have an impact responsibly and sustainably and the project components for which a grant was requested focus on enhancing the habitat of the species in question.
Nevertheless, in any project presentation it is always worthwhile to mention the documented presence of threatened or vulnerable species on a project site.
Educational and awareness activities
What types of educational projects are eligible for a grant from the Foundation?
The creation of new education and awareness material (design, publication and initial training of facilitators, educators or teachers) is eligible for a Foundation grant as long as the project meets the criteria and includes the following components:
- The subject matter or local issue related to a specific natural environment must be described clearly.
- Concrete action must be taken on one or more clearly defined sites.
- The target clientele must be clearly identified and relevant.
- The project must have a competent design team (biologist, writer, illustrator, graphic artist, editor, etc.).
- The number of tools to be produced must be specified and justified.
- There must be an effective network for distributing awareness-raising tools.
- The budget, including the cost of scientific review and editing, must be itemized and justified.
- The projects added value must be clearly demonstrated.
Note: the Foundation does not accept projects that enhance general environmental awareness (climate change, pollution, resource overharvesting, greenhouse gases, water quality, energy efficiency, etc.).
Does the Foundation fund shoreline projects?
Yes, but the Foundation does not fund work required under legal obligations enacted by a municipal regulation (e.g., requirement for shoreline restoration). Further, the Foundation generally does not fund work to be carried out mostly on land inaccessible to the public. All shoreline projects and projects addressing issues associated with river banks must meet the following conditions:
- Permanent awareness-raising facilities of a reasonable size to provide for effective and adequate education of citizens and users.
- Public access to waterways must be preserved.
- The project’s long-term impact on the entire natural habitat in question must be ensured.
- Project partners and owners must participate in the project financially.
- The community (e.g., the municipality, RCM, shore owners’ association, etc.) must make a contribution to the project.
Does the Foundation support acquisition projects?
Yes, but 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.
Moreover, the acquisition must be for a natural environment and the project must:
- Demonstrate the need to acquire the natural environment in order to protect it
- Provide for public contact with the environment, according to conditions that ensure its ecological integrity is respected
However, land acquisition projects on public domain (on government, regional county municipality or municipal property) are not eligible.
Protection, restoration and development of urban ecosystems
Does the Foundation fund projects to protect, restore and develop ecosystems in urban areas?
Yes, but the Foundation generally does not fund work carried out mostly on land that is inaccessible to the public. The environment concerned by the project does not necessarily have to be a natural environment with a minimum area, as defined by the Foundation. It may be a strategically located site where the proposed activities will help to improve a local environmental problem related to urban biodiversity. In addition, any project focusing on urban ecosystem issues must include the following components:
- Effective, adequate education of citizens and users to expose them to urban biodiversity conservation issues
- Assurance that the development is sustainable
- Contribution by the community (i.e., city, urban community, etc.)
The organization must obtain, ideally before submitting the application, all permits, authorizations and agreements required for each project phase (completion, operation and maintenance).
The Foundation wishes to focus more on projects that:
- Protect, restore and develop strategic areas in order to reestablish environmental connectivity between sites or habitats (i.e., corridor, right-of-way, ecosystem network, etc.)
- Protect biodiversity and urban wildlife habitats (i.e., snake hibernation sites and shelters, initiatives to support indigenous pollinators, projects for birds and amphibians, etc.)
- Promote public access to a natural environment
- Endeavor to interest urban children and initiate them to accessible nature