Assessment Criteria

In addition to assessing an application's fit with our sector priorities and desired outcomes, we assess all organizations and their applications according to the following criteria to ensure fairness and accountability.

Organizational Criteria
Organizations are assessed for their ability to carry out the work and to achieve the changes resulting from the initiative. We consider:

  • A relevant mandate, proven track record and good operating systems
  • An ability to manage and sustain growth that may result from the Foundation's investment
  • An elected, volunteer board of directors that is representative of the diversity in the community and accountable to it through public general meetings, newsletters, etc.
  • An appropriate organizational structure and set of skills, including responsiveness to changing community needs and opportunities
  • History in the community and of partnering with others (where appropriate)
  • Their ability to manage the requested OTF grant and the resources needed to carry out the initiative
  • A realistic relationship between the requested grant amount and the organization's current annual budget.
  • Appropriate financial management policies and practices
  • No significant accumulated deficit*
  • No significant unrestricted or internally restricted reserve funds or accumulated surplus*
Note about Financial Statements:
If your organization's gross annual revenues are $250,000 or more: You must submit financial statements that have been audited by a licensed public accountant for each of the two most recent fiscal years.

If your organization's gross annual revenues are less than $250,000: We prefer that you submit financial statements that have been audited or reviewed by a licensed public accountant. If these are not available, we will accept internally prepared financial statements that include both a statement of revenues and expenses and a balance sheet. In either case, we require statements for each of the two most recent fiscal years.

*See Frequently Asked Questions for further details.

Application criteria
Applications are assessed using the following criteria:
  • Fit with OTF Mission: OTF funds applications that further our mission by building the capacity of organizations in the Public Benefit sector; enhancing civic engagement; strategically renewing capital infrastructure and increasing physical access to public spaces; and leveraging additional resources for the sector.
  • Fit with OTF sector priorities and desired outcomes.
  • Clear, measurable benefits to the community.
  • Potential for lasting impact, including sustainability and community or sector impact.
  • Community support in the form of volunteer time, contributions from other organizations, cash or in-kind support from corporate sponsors and individual donors.
  • Potential for collaboration and innovation: e.g. working with partners in new ways to achieve greater impact; approaches that realize opportunities and address challenges; development of new ideas or adapting best practices
  • Approaches that build more inclusive communities and address barriers of all types; approaches that value, foster and celebrate diversity.
  • Support from people who are knowledgeable about the sector, the community and/or the proposal
  • Significant need for Ontario Trillium Foundation funding and evidence that the Foundation is the appropriate funder