Giving guidelines

Investing in our communities

Foundation focus areas

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


Youth grants are focused on programs that prepare students for future success. We concentrate our giving on programs that fall within one of the following areas and target young people in their transitional years, specifically ages 15-29. (Private, charter or independent fee-based schools are not eligible for funding.)

  • Programs that provide work-integrated learning experiences, for example internships, apprenticeships, vocational training;
  • Programs that provide solutions to address the skills gap, including education opportunities and mentorships;
  • Programs that provide access and learning opportunities for 21st century skills including:
    • Critical thinking
    • Complex problem solving
    • Social perceptiveness
    • Financial literacy
    • Information communication/technology/digital literacy
    • Teamwork and collaboration
    • Communication
    • Creativity and innovation
    • Adaptability
    • Persistence/grit


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; and
  • Adult literacy and employment training programs.

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; 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.


Foundation grants administrator


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