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Giving Guidelines

Foundation Focus Areas

For maximum impact, RBC Foundation – USA prioritizes its giving to the following areas: 

  • Education (Priority Focus)
  • Health (Priority Focus)
  • Human Services
  • Arts and Culture
  • Civic Programs


Education grants are focused on programs that prepare K-12 students for future success. We concentrate our giving on programs that fall within one of the following three areas, with a priority focus on after school programs. (Private or independent fee-based schools are not allowed to apply for funding.)

  • RBC After School Grants programs (Priority focus);
  • Structured, supervised academic mentoring or college-preparatory activities/programs; or
  • Youth financial literacy programs
We evaluate After School Program requests based on the following:
  • Improve academic achievement of students;
  • Increase students’ self-esteem through skill development activities rather than free play time;
  • Reinforce basic social skills such as cooperation, team-building and conflict resolution to help youth begin to develop workplace competencies;
  • Focus on activities such as mentoring, tutoring, literacy education, music and art lessons, computer instruction and homework help;
  • Encourage and develop partnerships between home, schools and the community;
  • Are financially accessible with no or very low participation fees;
  • Provide a safe environment;
  • Assist at-risk or underserved communities.
Preference will be given to community-based organizations with multiple program partners and volunteers and that have broad participant appeal within a community.
  • After school programs must operate five days per week, Monday through Friday inclusive.
  • Programming must be provided in the after school hours from the close of the regular classroom schedule until at least 5:00 pm.
  • RBC After-School Grants may not be used to fund morning, lunch, evening or weekend programs.
  • Organizations may deliver programs in multiple locations, but funding will be directed to only one program location.
  • After school programs must begin no later than October.
  • Organizations must demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion and must actively respect cultural and other differences in program participants.


Health grants are exclusively directed to the RBC Children’s Mental Health Project, a program that focuses on early intervention, reducing stigma and increasing public awareness. We evaluate Children's Mental Health program proposals based on the following:

Early intervention
We consider proposals for early intervention programs that are:
  • Focused on the most prevalent childhood and adolescent mental illnesses including anxiety, conduct disorders and mood disorders;
  • Evidence-based programs validated by documented scientific evidence and supported by scientifically sound studies that have demonstrated consistently positive outcomes;
  • Facilitated though a community-based organization that is collaborating with all levels of service providers (including government) to provide an integrated model of service delivery; and
  • Focused on children and youth between the ages of 0 to 18.
Public education
We consider proposals for programs and projects that:
  • Educate parents on how to access appropriate services;
  • Educate teachers and health care professionals on how to identify the signs of mental health problems and learn how to take early action;
  • Educate the public, including adults, youth and children, on the nature and prevalence of children's mental health issues and how to access help;or
  • Increase awareness and reduce stigma.

Human Services

To foster economic independence and promote self-sufficiency, the Foundation focuses on:

  • Organizations providing emergency food, shelter and basic needs;
  • Adult literacy and employment training programs;
  • Programs that serve at-risk youth through advocacy or job skill and readiness training

Arts and Culture

RBC believes that the arts reflect our culture and enrich the quality of life in the communities where our employees and clients live. The Foundation’s emphasis is on the following two areas:

  • RBC Emerging Artists Project (Priority Program); or
  • Programs providing arts access for diverse populations

The Emerging Artists program supports initiatives that help artists in their early years of development and that bridge the gap between their academic experiences to professional careers in the arts. Grants are intended to support programs and initiatives that:

  • Support artists who are at an early stage in their careers, have completed their basic training and have created a modest independent body of work;
  • Are on-going and sustainable (i.e. not one-time events);
  • Educate and raise awareness about the importance of the arts;
  • Provide emerging artists with the opportunity to demonstrate their talent publicly (performance or exhibition), and/or to provide a connection to professional contacts (agents, publishers, etc);
  • Provide a structured curriculum of mentorship and training, typically for a period of three to six months, although shorter more intensive programming may be considered;
  • Provide an opportunity for interaction between the professional staff, visiting artists and the Emerging Artists; Serve as a bridge between senior academic programs and the professional world; and/or
  • Engage the broader community in the art form, through free performances or programming to underserviced or rural communities.

Civic Programs

RBC is committed to promoting economic growth and community diversity. The Foundation focuses on: 

  • Citizenship and support for newcomers
  • Community economic development


Foundation Grants Administrator, 612-371-2936


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