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GATEWAY PROGRAM

Investing in emerging connections

We are looking for teams and individuals who are:

  • Engaged in community-grounded projects that tackle inequity, injustice and unsustainability;
  • Committed to learning and working towards social change;
  • Interested in building partnerships with Concordia and other relevant stakeholders.

Program overview

The Gateway Program is the most accessible pathway to receive funding and support from SHIFT. This program is intended for teams, organizations or individuals who are working on community-driven projects that are aligned with SHIFT’s mission and values.

The objective of the Gateway Program is to help participants develop the socially transformative potential of their work. Applicants commit to joining the SHIFT Learning Community (LC) and to participating in a six-part learning series on social transformation. Collectively and with the support of expertise from the SHIFT community, participants will acquire a better understanding of how community-scale projects can impact complex systems to advance equity, justice and sustainability.

  • While a Concordia connection and a multi-stakeholder team are not required to join the Gateway Program, participants must have an interest in expanding these elements of their projects with SHIFT’s support.
  • Successful applicants will receive a grant of $5,000 to support their socially transformative work.
  • All eligible projects will be assessed through our participatory selection process and funding will be awarded to the projects that are most aligned with the selection criteria.

Value exchange


In-kind support (What does SHIFT offer?)

Each funded project has the opportunity to work with their SHIFT point person to co-create a tailored in-kind support plan that suits their needs.

Being part of the SHIFT Learning Community brings many benefits, including:

  • Connections with other socially transformative projects
  • Promotional support via SHIFT communications channels
  • Access to one paid Concordia student intern per term (pending student interest)
  • Project development coaching, troubleshooting and feedback
  • Links to Concordia student and alumni volunteers for punctual engagements
  • Relevant introductions across the SHIFT ecosystem
  • Other customized support to be discussed as needs/opportunities arise

Project commitments (What does SHIFT expect?)

In the spirit of collaboration and reciprocity, and in lieu of traditional reporting requirements, we ask the teams we support to contribute to the vibrancy of the SHIFT community. Our goal is for this value exchange to be light, useful and relevant to the trajectory of each project.

SHIFT will ask projects funded through the Gateway Program to commit to the following:

Deliverables

  • Complete the project as described (at a high level)
  • Attend at least two meetings with SHIFT staff during your project to discuss progress, additional needs, etc.
  • Provide a high-quality photo of your project in action with permission to use it in SHIFT materials
  • Submit three bullet points describing your key learnings from this project
  • Share one output from your project with members of the SHIFT community (e.g., research finding, copy of project plan, information pamphlet, etc.)

Community engagement

  • Participate actively in the six-part social transformation learning series
  • Attend at least one networking event with other SHIFT funded projects
  • Participate in SHIFT’s own evaluation and assessment (if requested)

Application process

Applications for the Gateway Program are received on an ongoing basis from September 27, 2021 to May 15, 2022. We will review submissions in two rounds after the following cut-off dates:

  • Sunday, November 21, 2021
  • Sunday, May 15, 2022

Interested applicants are highly recommended to complete their self-assessment at least two weeks before each cut⁠-⁠off date to facilitate the process.


Support for applicants

Throughout the year, SHIFT holds a series of information sessions and workshops to help you with the application process. Also, at any time you can consult the resources below or book an appointment to meet with a staff member.

Available resources

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