Can a Business Obtain Government Funding or Any Funding Assistance?

By Mirande Alexandre

There are two basic types of organizations: For-Profit, where the primary goal is to make money, and Not-For-Profit focuses on the social good and raises money through donations and sponsorships.

The Not-For-Profit sector is also known as a civil society, the third sector, social-profit, non-profit, not-for-profit, voluntary, charity, and social sector. People use these various terms to include different combinations of activities which can be confusing!

The Not-For-Profit sector delivers profit – value – to society through an extraordinary array of institutions, programs, and services. It might surprise you to know that the Not-For-Profit industry is enormous in Alberta. There are over 11,000 not-for-profit organizations in Edmonton alone!  Imagine the rest of the province and throughout Canada!

As per the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the not-for-profit sector is larger than the oil and gas sector. There are over 170,000 charitable and non-profit organizations in Canada. Eighty-five thousand of these are registered charities. The charitable and non-profit sector contributes an average of 8.1% of total Canadian GDP, more than the retail trade industry, and close to the mining, oil, and gas extraction industry value. Two million Canadians work in the Charitable and Non-Profit Sector, and over 13 million people volunteer for non-profits” (Imagine Canada,

Knowing the above facts,

TRUE or FALSE – the Private Sector (For-Profit Businesses) cannot obtain government funding or any funding for that matter and become non-profit organizations to receive government assistance?


It depends on what type of business you have, the ideas you are creating, and your need for funding.

Businesses can obtain government funding for their employees’ training purposes.  They can also receive funding that provides employment training to help individuals secure a job or hire them. They can also receive funding to assist Indigenous People, Multicultural, Refugees, etc.  If you have a business, you could partner with a not-for-profit and share the profits!

There are many ways for a business to obtain funding. It could be through financing from banks, social enterprise funds, private donors, federal and provincial governments, crowdfunding, equity funding, and personal assets. Each method has its process and rules, but ultimately, the secret to getting funded or receiving financial assistance is… Relationships… and…Writing!

That is what we do and do well!

The Not-For-Profit’s real value is worth it as it creates for society daily: feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and searching for better treatments. Suppose profit is a measure of value created. In that case, the reality is that most not-for-profits are immensely “profitable” from both net revenue and impact perspective…Hence, you want to be associated with them!