The Conserver Society of Hamilton and District Inc. (the “Conserver Society”) was established in 1983 by individuals wanting to improve the quality of life of our community. The Conserver Society’s activities include education and outreach on:

  • conserving energy and other resources;
  • sustainability and biological diversity;
  • reduction of toxic chemicals in air, land, and water;
  • participation in neighbourhood decision making; and
  • aid for others in achieving goals sympathetic with those of the Conserver Society.


Ed Smee, the founding Chair of the Conserver Society, led by example through his personal life work on environmental issues. He is credited by his friends at the Conserver Society with helping to create the first action plan for Hamilton Harbour/Burlington Bay.

The Conserver Society’s first Environmental Trust Fund was initiated in 1986, chaired by Ed Smee, to support environmental projects. In 1999, it was re-named the Ed Smee Conserver Society Environmental Fund in Mr. Smee’s honour when it was transferred to the management of the Hamilton Community Foundation in 1999.

The Conserver Society is proud to be able to help others continue the work of citizens like Ed Smee in our community.


Donations can be made to this fund to honour Mr. Smee’s outstanding contribution to our community and to support the continuing work of the Conserver Society.

The Hamilton Community Foundation issues receipts for income tax purposes for all charitable donations received. Please contact the Hamilton Community Foundation if you would like to support the Ed Smee fund.


The Ed Smee Fund is a “donor advised fund”, that is managed by the Hamilton Community Foundation (the “Foundation”).

The Conserver Society is the advisor and recommends recipients of funding to the Foundation based on submissions.

The Conserver Society accepts applications from community groups for small projects focused on education, research, or advocacy aimed at protecting the natural environment in Hamilton and Burlington.

We encourage initiatives that meet the following criteria:

  • supports education, research & advocacy aimed at the protection of the natural environment;
  • is located in Hamilton and/or Burlington;
  • has a defined timeframe;
  • has the potential to effect change;
  • is innovative;
  • is a concern of a definable community; and
  • is receiving, or applying for, funding from other sources (if appropriate).


Please note that funding cycles are once every two years (2021, 2023 etc). The next funding cycle begins in 2023. Receiving letters of interest in Fall 2023. Funding for successful letters of interest will be received in early 2024.

Email notice-of-interest October 1st to November 5th
Committee review of emails November 6th to 30th
Invite to submit application by November 30th
Submit applications Deadline: January 20th
Application review January 20th to 31st
Application selection February 1st
Notification from the Ed Smee Committee to the Hamilton Community Foundation of successful applicant(s) February 1st
Notification to successful applicant(s) February 1st
Award funding March 1st


Send an email briefly describing your project to ascertain its eligibility for a grant (maximum 350 words).

Send email notices-of-interest to Please include your name, email, and phone number in the email body.

Requests are considered every two years. Next funding will be available in 2025.


If your email notice-of-interest is approved, the Ed Smee Conserver Society Fund Committee (the “Committee”) will send you an application form to complete and submit. Send completed applications to

The Committee will acknowledge receipt of, and review all submitted applications. The Committee may request additional information, send a representative to make a site visit, or invite the applicant to address the Committee.

The Committee makes selections based on the criteria listed above and awards funding to successful applicants on February 1st of the following year that the application was received.

Notification in writing as to the decision of the Committee will be provided to the Hamilton Community Foundation Board of Directors at the conclusion of the review period.

Applicants will be notified as to the status of their application and will be required to enter into an agreement with the Foundation, which sets out the terms of the award. Follow-up reporting is expected at times designated in the agreement.


Grants are awarded in varying amounts, as recommended by the Conserver Society of Hamilton and District Inc., and ratified by the Hamilton Community Foundation’s Board of Directors. The amount granted per funding cycle is based on available funds and the potential value of the proposed initiative to the community.

Applications must be submitted by a Registered Canadian Charity. Organizations that are themselves not a registered charity must be in partnership with one that is. Initiatives supported must be carried out within the cities of Hamilton and/or Burlington.

Grants are not made to reduce operating or capital deficits; to support ongoing operating costs; to individuals; to religious organizations unless the community-at-large will benefit significantly; to annual, general or capital fundraising campaigns; to promote political, religious, moral or ethical philosophies or for purposes that may be deemed discriminatory.

We look forward to receiving your information—best of luck!


Questions can be sent to

Read more about Ed Smee on the Conserver Society website.

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