The Alva Foundation

Please see updated information for Application Deadlines below
The Alva Foundation, established in 1965, is a private foundation based in Toronto, Canada.
What Do We Support? The Alva Foundation funds registered charitable organizations (with a CRA charitable registration number) conducting research and/or developing services that address significant risk factors in early childhood development, prenatal through four years of age. It is our philosophy that healthy childhood development sets in place many mental, physical, and social attributes that determine the ability to develop into a healthy adult. We are interested in helping organizations that work in the areas of prevention.
Preferred Funding Research, pilot, or demonstration projects.
  1. Research into risk factors that limit healthy early childhood development, prenatal to four years old with preference given to ECD in societal, educational, and/or family contexts. Increasingly, new research is proving that healthy early childhood development sets in place, often for life, many neurological, social, and learning factors and abilities. Scope: across Canada
  2. Funding of demonstration or pilot projects testing the delivery and introduction of new services to this constituency that aim to ensure healthy early childhood development. Scope: across Canada, but preference given to Toronto, Montreal, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec.
It is the foundation's practice to support a small portfolio of projects, or institutions, with single and multi-year grants (no more than three years) to a maximum of $50,000/annum per application.
Granting Regions Donations are made only within Canada. Applications for research will be considered from institutions across Canada. Preference will be given to applications for pilot or demonstration project funding from within the greater Toronto and Montreal regions and Eastern Townships of Quebec.
Recent Grants Some examples of recent donations can be seen HERE.
Restrictions Grants will not be made to individuals, or for emergency or deficit funding.
How to Apply for Funding Full proposals will only be accepted after review of an initial letter of inquiry (LOI), not to exceed three pages. The letter of inquiry should include the following;
  • A brief description of who the applicant organization is and what they do
  • A brief description of the project
  • How does this request relate to the foundation's interests and mandate?
  • Who are the key personnel involved?
  • What is the overall budget and timeline of project?
  • How much money are you requesting and over what period of time?
  • Do you have any other current or committed funders? Are you approaching any other organizations for funding?
We accept a maximum of three LOIs per year from any single institution or applicant.

For more guidelines of what to include in your LOI, please consult our Alva Foundation LOI Guidance document.
Application Deadlines The deadline for letters of inquiry will be Tuesday March 5, 2019. Although this is our deadline, we would greatly appreciate LOIs before then to allow time for clarifiction and/or feedback.

Electronic submission of LOIs is preferred. Please send to
Mailing Address The Foundation has no permanent office address, but can be contacted at:
The Alva Foundation
138 Mainprize Cres.
Mount Albert, Ontario
L0G 1M0
The Donations Committee can be reached via e-mail at Please put the name of your organization in the subject line (to help us identify valid e-mail amongst the spam we receive!)

Please Note: The Foundation does not accept telephone calls.

Who Are We? The Foundation is run by volunteers, with no full time staff. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors and Corporate Officers:
  • Christopher Kerrigan, President
  • Graham F. Hallward, Director
  • Breanne Mathers, Director, and Chair of the Donations Committee
  • Amanda Mathers, Director, and Secretary
  • Paul Duder, Director
  • Judy McMartin, Director
  • Philip Fisher, Director
  • Tim McMartin, Director
  • Alison Vilaca, Director
  • Andrew McMartin, Director
  • Matthew Holden, Treasurer
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