Step 1: Obtain information
Contact the Foundation before investing time and energy in preparing an application. We can offer you some practical tips and guidelines to help you improve the quality of your project presentation. Do not hesitate to e-mail or call us.
We recommend that you do a quick auto-evaluation of your project by filling out subsection 2 and table 6.2 in section 6 of the Grant application Form [XLS 7.5 Mb – in French only]. This will give you a good idea of your project’s compatibility with the Foundation’s objectives and criteria.
You must carefully read all the terms and conditions for our grants, especially the description of the types of projects and activities that are not eligible for funding, and the grant agreement that you will be required to sign if your project is accepted.
Step 2: Submission
The Foundation must receive, no later than February 1 or September 15 of each year:
- an electronic copy of the Grant Application Form sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, AND
- the following documents sent by regular mail (the postmark will serve as proof):
- two signed paper copies of the Grant Application Form
- two paper copies of the project presentation portfolio, which consists of all additional documents required (see section 8 of the Grant Application Form)
- an electronic copy of the form and the additional documents on a CD or DVD.
Please refer to the Applicant's Guide [PDF 75 Kb – in French only] and to section 8 of the form to make sure your grant application is complete and that you have included all the additional documents required (project presentation portfolio). Do not forget to sign the paper copies.
Incomplete requests or requests received either only by e-mail or only by regular mail will not be considered.
Step 3: Acceptability
Your application will be briefly analyzed to determine its eligibility according to the following criteria:
- Compatibility with the Foundation’s mission, objectives and principles
- Completeness of the information required
- Completeness of the list of legal or administrative approvals and agreements needed to implement your project
Organizations whose applications are not deemed eligible will be notified in writing with the reasons for the application’s rejection.
Step 4: Project evaluation
If your application is deemed eligible, the Foundation will analyze it on the basis of the following four evaluation criteria: relevance of the project submitted, design quality, implementation guarantees and expected benefits.
A dozen Québec experts who work in relevant areas of expertise for each project analysis (plant and animal species, land use, urban planning, awareness, education, restoration of natural environments, etc.) assist the Foundation with this task. These experts advise the Foundation on the relevance, feasibility and sustainability of projects.
The Foundation also consults Hydro-Québec’s regional branches regarding the level of community support for the organization and the project, as well as the project’s compatibility with local land use and socioeconomic development plans (including compatibility with Hydro-Québec facilities and property, if applicable).
Step 5: Selection
Projects that have been analyzed are presented to the Foundation’s Board of Directors for approval. The Board members examine them individually on their merits, taking the principle of equity into consideration in making their selection. If several projects that meet all the evaluation criteria are similar or come from the same region, the Board may decide to reject certain projects for the year in question.
This condition aside, the projects accepted are generally those that are most compatible with the mission, objectives and principles of the Foundation, until the funds allocated each year by Hydro-Québec are exhausted.
After the Board meetings, which take place within eight weeks of the closing dates, you will be notified in writing of the Foundation’s decision regarding your project. A project rejected by the Board may be resubmitted before the next closing date. Feel free to contact-us if you would like further explanation of the reasons your project was rejected, particularly if you plan to submit a new application.
Step 6: Agreement and implementation
After the Board of Directors has accepted the project, the project’s proponents and the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement sign a grant agreement that establishes the conditions of their participation and, more specifically, provides for their respective responsibilities, subcontracting, insurance, payment of the grant, communications, and the conditions of implementation. There are four different grant agreement depending on the type of project and the status of the proponent (NPO or municipality, owner or not of target sites). Terms differ depending on the agreement. This is why It is very important to identify the type of agreement that applies to your project.
This agreement becomes the contract binding the two parties and defines the terms and conditions under which the organization will carry out the project. Any organization that submits an application to the Foundation must first study the standard contract that it will have to sign if the project is accepted. The acceptance in principal of a presented project by the Foundation’s Board of Directors does not oblige the Foundation to sign a grant agreement with the organization should the latter not accept the terms and conditions within a reasonable period of time after being notified of the project’s approval.
The project must be carried out in accordance with the agreement signed by the parties. The organization may entrust all or part of the project to a third party. As a signatory to the agreement, however, the organization retains sole responsibility for the project and remains the exclusive contact for the Foundation.
Funds will be disbursed by the Foundation gradually, as the organization completes the agreed upon deliverables. A payment request form will be given to the organization when the grant agreement is signed. The organization is free to determine the frequency with which it submits requests for payment, within the limits of the schedules determined in the agreement. Each request for payment must be accompanied by proof that the deliverable for which the payment is being requested has been completed, as well as accounting vouchers for these deliverables.
Advance funds not exceeding 45% of the total grant awarded by the Foundation can be made available to the organization should it request it. However, supporting documents describing the use of the advance must be submitted to the Foundation within 12 months of such a request.
Step 7: Verification
The final payment, equal to 10% of the grant, will be made after submission of the project report (described in the grant agreement). The report must contain a section on the project objectives achieved as measured by the environmental and social indicators stated in your grant application. It must also provide an update on key information given in your application: actual project start and end dates, total project cost, funding actually obtained, expenses incurred, and work completed. The report should also provide the inauguration date and location of the project, along with a preliminary guest list for the event.
A resolution by your organization must be attached to the report, discharging the Foundation for the grant amount awarded, subject to receipt of the final payment of 10%.
In addition, for projects that receive funding of $50,000 or more but less than $100,000, the report must include the project financial statements compiled by an independent chartered accountant, with a Notice To Reader attached. For projects that receive funding of $100,000 or more, the report must include the project financial statements with a Review Engagement Report issued by an independent chartered accountant.
Furthermore, the Foundation will visit the site to ensure project compliance.
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.