Climate Action Seed Funding

Climate Action Seed Funding (2024 Pilot)

Climate Action Seed Funding is available to registered participants of the Acting for Climate Together Program, with the aim to increase awareness and engagement on climate action at the local level by funding resident-led projects. Seed funding up to $1,000 per application is available for projects that advance one or more of the following objectives:


  • Are located within an Electoral Area in the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) or clearly demonstrate a direct impact, benefit, or connection with an Electoral Area

The purpose of the Climate Action Seed Funding is to support small and creative climate action projects not already covered by existing Drinking Water and Watershed Protection Stewardship Seed funding. A total of $5,000 in funding is available for 2024.

The 2024 seed funding intake opens March 1, 2024. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until September 30, 2024, or until funds are exhausted. Successful applicants will be notified of their pre-approval on an ongoing basis. Please read below for an explanation of how funding is awarded.

How Climate Action Seed Funding Works

Climate Action Seed Funding is different from regular grants because it follows a pre-approval and reimbursement process. To get started, interested individuals need to submit a Pre-approval Application. After that, if the application is successful, applicants must pay for project expenses upfront. Applicants can then request reimbursement by submitting valid receipts to the seed funding initiative using a Claim Form.

Here's how the process works:

1. Submit a Pre-approval Application

Start the process by submitting a pre-approval application if you're interested in the funding.

2. Review by the Regional District of Nanaimo

The RDN will evaluate the pre-approval application to determine if it qualifies for funding.

3. Complete Qualifying Work

Once your application is approved, you'll need to carry out and finish the qualifying work related to your project.

4. Submit a Claim Form

After successfully completing the qualifying work, you'll be required to submit a formal Claim Form along with valid receipts for the expenses incurred, initiating the reimbursement process.

Who Can Apply

Funding is available for individual residents, non-profit organizations and community groups in the RDN that are part of the Acting for Climate Together Program. Groups led by equity-deserving community members, and projects that benefit large proportions of our community will be prioritized during the review process. We do not provide funding to businesses. Projects eligible for funding under DWWP Stewardship Seed Funding are not eligible for Climate Action Seed Funding.

Important Note: All projects funded through Climate Action Seed Funding must either be located within an Electoral Area in the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) or clearly demonstrate a direct impact, benefit, or connection to an Electoral Area.

Eligible Applicants

  • Registered not-for-profit societies
  • Unincorporated local community associations
  • Formal or informal groups and service clubs
  • Schools
  • Individuals

Ineligible Applicants

  • For-profit businesses or ventures
  • Religious organizations that cannot show a clear separation between religious and community service functions
  • Political parties
  • Grant-making organizations
  • Industry or trade associations
  • Organizations with mandates from other levels of government (universities, schools, hospitals, etc.)
  • Landlord/tenant and condominium corporation


Eligible Projects

Eligible projects that qualify include those that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or enhance awareness and action on climate change.

Project Theme

Project Example(s)

Emission Reduction

  • Increasing the uptake of energy efficiency retrofits in homes
  • Reducing the amount of waste directed to landfill
  • Decreasing neighbourhood reliance on personal vehicles
  • Increasing neighbourhood use of active transportation (walking/cycling) or public transportation
  • Exploring neighbourhood renewable energy sources
  • Repair-a-thon or swap events
  • Bike repair or cycling clinics
  • Nature-based solutions such as carbon sequestration
  • Feasibility study for neighbourhood renewable energy sources
  • Programs that support walking, rolling, and cycling
  • Vehicle anti-idling school campaigns
  • Establishing sharing libraries

Climate Adaptation and Resilience

  • Extreme weather preparedness
  • Emergency response planning
  • Climate resilient agriculture
  • Ecosystem restoration
  • Initiatives to support vulnerable community members during extreme heat
  • Develop or maintain community or sharing gardens
  • Plant native plants or pollinator gardens that are resilient to future climate impacts
  • Community Emergency Preparedness Programs for Heat Waves
  • Home weatherization programs

Educational Initiatives

  • Hosting local climate focused workshops, information sessions or events
  • Creating interpretive art, activities or signage that engage the public about climate change
  • Leading citizen science projects and community research on climate action
  • Developing a neighbourhood communications and engagement campaign to promote climate action
  • Energy conservation education and outreach programs
  • Interactive workshops, project / concept demonstrations, or neighbourhood education events
  • Lobby displays
  • Zero-waste neighbourhood events
  • Interpretive art that engages and informs the public about climate action
  • Toolkits, guides, interpretive signage, walking tours
  • Citizen science projects and community research
  • Home energy efficiency workshops or training
Eligible Costs

Up to $1,000 per project is available to cover the costs of:

  • Workshop expenses, facilitation / speaker fees
  • Communications and promotion (e.g. flyers, posters, printing)
  • Honoraria for Elders and Knowledge Keepers
  • Honoraria, food expenses, transit and personal protective gear for volunteers
  • Consultant and staffing fees
  • Volunteer recognition, volunteer food expenses at event/activity
  • Training and training expenses;
  • Local travel expenses, taxi receipts, bus transportation
  • Equipment rentals
  • Small equipment purchases (any equipment purchased must remain within the community after the life of the project)
  • Permit fees, space rental, virtual meeting software, liability insurance for your event/activity
  • Interpretation and translation
  • Other expenses on a case-by-case basis

Ineligible Costs

  • Ongoing program costs: costs to run your current programs/services
  • Costs associated with the regular operation of your organization such as current staff salaries (unrelated to project) office rental, utilities, computer equipment, phones, fax, internet, accounting services, insurance, etc.
  • Income-generating activities for staff, group members (unrelated to project)
  • Costs to maintain activities beyond the funding term
  • Award ceremonies, banquets, receptions, annual general meetings, sport tournaments
  • Religious activities/services
  • Political activities
  • Alcohol
  • Land acquisition, lease or rental
  • Purchase of gasoline or diesel vehicles (cars/trucks/farming equipment)
  • Lobbying or advocacy on behalf of for-profit entities
  • Disbursement of funds to provide additional grants to other parties
  • Conference registration and travel fees
  • Personal vehicles and parking
  • Travel outside of the Regional District of Nanaimo
  • Reserve funds, debt repayment, deficit funding
  • Capital costs (i.e. building repairs, renovations, water service, etc.)
  • Core operating staff salaries and core operating costs of an organization
  • Projects funded from other sources for the same purpose or duplicate work done by other program funding sources
  • Retroactive requests (any expenses incurred before March 1, 2024) 
After You Apply

When you successfully submit your Pre-approval Application, you will receive an email confirming we have received it. Staff will review your application and contact you if they require any additional information. We’ll notify you about the result within 4 weeks following the submission.

Successful applicants will need to submit a fully completed Claim Form, and make sure the RDN receives it by December 31, 2024 to receive their reimbursement. This form will include an itemized breakdown of the project expenditures and a summary of the work completed. Only fully completed forms will be provide reimbursement.

Review Process

Seed Funding is awarded by the RDN's Energy and Sustainability department, based on the merit of the application and how it matches current program priorities. Funding issued can be up to $1,000. Apply early as limited funds are available each year. It will be indicated at the top of this webpage when funding is exhausted for the year.

Key Dates

March to September: Apply

April to September: RDN Staff reviews applications and approves funding based on the merit of the application and how it matches current program priorities

May to November: Implement your project

December: Submit Claim Form for your project using the provided form.

Application Forms

Pre-approval Application: 2024 Climate Action Seed Funding

Claim Form: 2024 Climate Action Seed Funding

How to Apply

Download and fill out the following forms:

Completed Application Form can be sent to: sustainability [at] (sustainability[at]rdn[dot]bc[dot]ca)

Who to Contact for Help

If you have questions about the seed funding or application process, or you need help with your application, contact the RDN’s Climate Action Outreach Coordinator as early as possible at 250-390-5422 or sustainability [at] (sustainability[at]rdn[dot]bc[dot]ca).

Frequently Asked Questions

My organization/project is located outside the Regional District of Nanaimo boundaries. Are we eligible?
Organizations and individuals applying for funding must be proposing a project that primarily serves RDN residents and is located within its boundaries.

To be considered for funding, projects must be located within an Electoral Area in the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) or clearly demonstrate a direct impact, benefit, or connection with an Electoral Area


Do I need to own the property my proposed project will be on?
Permission from the landowner is necessary if the proposed project is on land not owned by the applicant. This requirement extends to property owned by the RDN and its member municipalities.


Do I need to obtain permissions and permits before I apply for seed funding?

No, seed funding can be allocated to a project under the condition that the required permits, permissions, and/or notifications will be submitted to the RDN before work begins.


Does the project need to be completed by the end of the year?

No, but all pre-approved seed funding must be expended prior to December 31, 2024 to be eligible for reimbursement. Applicants must submit a Claim Form by December 31, 2024 to receive reimbursement for their pre-approved project expenses, but the overall project may extend beyond this timeframe.


My project is in a municipality within the Regional District of Nanaimo, is it eligible for this RDN program?

Yes, projects that take place within the Regional District of Nanaimo, including all four member municipalities (Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum Beach), can apply for seed funding, but the project must also directly clearly demonstrate a direct impact, benefit, or connection to an Electoral Area.


Our project cannot be completed in one year, can we apply at one time for multiple years and/or phases of our project?

Seed funding is based on an annual RDN Board-approved budget and cannot be allocated beyond the current calendar year. If you have multi-year or ongoing projects, you may apply for new funding in the following year for the same project.

Do I have to submit a final report or evaluation form?

Yes. You need to complete the Claim Form to receive funds. This Claim Form requires a project summary, including how RDN funding was spent, and what the results of the project were (e.g. number of program participants, estimated amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduced, amount of greenspace enhanced, or residents engaged). The Claim Form must be received by the RDN by December 31, 2024 for pre-approved project expenses to be reimbursed.