Capital Grant

Improve community buildings and spaces. Capital grants provide funding over one year to help organizations respond to the capital needs of Ontario’s communities.

A Man in a wheelchair enjoying time outdoors.

Next deadline

No upcoming deadlines

Term length

Maximum 12 months

Amount awarded (per year)

Minimum $5,000

Maximum $150,000

Create inspiring, useful spaces

Apply for a Capital grant to improve the infrastructure communities need to thrive. Capital grants support projects that provide people with suitable, accessible, and well-equipped buildings and spaces.

We support Capital grant projects that:

  • Improve access to community spaces, programs, activities and services, and facilitate community members’ full participation in the life of the community
  • Improve and build community spaces
  • Make programs better and more efficient
  • Make better use of technology

Plan your application

A Capital grant can help your organization make an impact in your community. OTF receives a lot of applications, so it is vital to ensure your organization’s project is a good fit with what we fund.

We support Capital grant projects that will improve community spaces and buildings, and that align with one of OTF’s Action Areas and one of its associated Priority Outcomes and Grant Results.

Here's a step-by-step guide to giving your Capital grant application the best chance of succeeding. This is not a guide to filling out your application. It's all about ensuring your project aligns with the purpose of Capital grants.

Step 1: Get inspired

One of the best ways to start your application is to first spend some time looking at past and current OTF grants. You can use our Grant Search Tool to find Capital grant projects similar to yours, for example aimed at a similar target audience or in a similar location.

The one thing all of these projects have in common is they successfully aligned their project with OTF's Investment Strategy by choosing the right Action Area and, most importantly, the right Grant Result.

Step 2: Consider your project's focus

Before starting your application, take some time to read about the Investment Strategy. This is an important step as it will help you understand how we invest.

The Action Areas are broad areas that OTF invests in and they are the building blocks to healthier, more vibrant communities. By funding projects with goals in each area, we can drive positive change across Ontario. When your organization applies for a Capital grant, you will be asked to select one of the six Action Areas that best fits your project.

Depending on which Action Area you have selected, you will also need to pick an aligned Priority Outcome. This is the long-term change your project will contribute to achieving for Ontarians.

Selecting an Action Area and then a related Priority Outcome helps bring a relevant Grant Result into focus. A Grant Result is the end goal your project will specifically accomplish to support the Priority Outcome. Learn more about choosing a Grant Result in Step 3.

Step 3: Consider what you want to achieve

In order to receive funding, your Capital grant application should strongly align with a Grant Result based on the end goal of your project. All of your application information should link back to that end goal, so it's crucial to choose the right one.

Tips for choosing a Grant Result:

  • Think about this project in particular, rather than your organization's work in general
  • Ask yourself why you want to do this project and what will it achieve
  • Focus on the end goal (the "why" and "what") rather than the activities needed to achieve it (the "how")
  • If your project fits with more than one Grant Result, consider which one is the best fit by focusing on the change you are trying to achieve

Reminder, a crucial part of a good application is selecting the Grant Result that best fits your project.

Other grant application tips:

  • Quantify the impact of the project (e.g. square feet, kilometres of trails) unless the funding request is primarily for equipment
  • Explain the purpose of the project and the community need that it will address
  • Demonstrate or outline how the project team members have the skills, knowledge, or competencies needed to execute the project successfully
  • Provide pictures/diagrams to support the request
  • Describe the activities required to complete the project
  • Complete a Financial Workbook outlining the costs you are requesting

Eligibility

Discover if your organization and project are eligible for funding.

Organization requirements

Please ensure your organization meets all of the following criteria:

Project eligibility

Please ensure your project meets all of the following criteria:

  • The project information is complete and includes all of the attachments
  • The project strongly aligns with your chosen Grant Result (all grants) and metric (Grow and Capital grants only)
  • The project complies with OTF policies
  • The project aligns with the Grow, Seed, or Capital Investment Stream

Board of directors requirements

Please ensure your organization meets all of the following criteria:

  • Your organization has a minimum of three board members with active terms. Their terms need to be active as of the application deadline date.
  • At least 50% of the board must maintain an arm’s length relationship to each other. This means that board members and executives are not married or related to each other and do not work as business partners or are in another relationship where interests may be compromised.

Financial requirements

Please ensure your organization meets all of the following criteria:

  • Provide appropriate financial statements based on your organization’s total revenues and fiscal year end date.
  • Your organization has at least one year of financial history from your incorporation or charitable registration date 
  • If your organization has a surplus/deficit, provide an additional explanation or plan
Review financial statements requirements

Policy requirements

Our policy requirements define eligibility for OTF funding and outline exclusions. Funds are granted to eligible applicants delivering eligible project activities that directly align with OTF Priority Outcomes and Grant Results.

View our policies

Application process

OTF's application process involves various steps for organizations.

Review and assessment

OTF staff will first review your submission to make sure you are eligible for this grant, and that your application is complete and a fit with the Investment Strategy. Then our experienced staff and local volunteers score your application against the grant assessment criteria.

Recommendation and selection

Local Grant Review Team volunteers make funding recommendations. OTF’s Board of Directors approve these recommendations.

Notification

The final list of approved grants is sent to Ontario Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to give them the opportunity to congratulate successful recipients directly, when possible. OTF then notifies all applicants of the final decision.

Orientation

Successful applicants take part in a mandatory orientation session with their OTF Program Manager.

Confirmation

Successful applicants are sent an email with their OTF Contract.

Activation
  • Grants are activated once OTF contracts are signed and returned electronically. 
  • Next, in order for OTF to release the first grant payment through electronic funds transfer (EFT), the organization’s banking information needs to be confirmed in OTF’s online portal. 
What happens at the end of your grant?
  • Reporting & monitoring: In addition to grantee engagements throughout the life of a grant, at the end of each year grantees complete a Progress Report. Grantees also submit a final report when the project is completed. This covers the achievement of the project, metric, and learnings.
  • Completion: After OTF staff approve a final report, the grant hold-back funds are released and the grant is closed.
  • Grantee compliance: A random sample of grants are subject to a Grantee Compliance Audit. Grant files can be audited for compliance at any point within the grants life, or after the grant has been closed.

Choose a project type

Capital grants support projects that provide people with suitable, accessible, and well-equipped buildings and spaces for their community's needs. Choose the project type that most closely aligns with your project.

  • Equipment
  • New Construction
  • Renovations or repairs to community spaces
  • Purchase of land or building

Choose a Grant Result

OTF has outlined specific Grant Results it will fund. Therefore, the results you hope to achieve with your project need to fit one of these Capital Grant Results. The Grant Result you choose identifies the impact your project will have. As you fill out your application, you should link back and align your answers to the Grant Result your project will achieve.

What is the connection between Grant Results and the Investment Strategy?

The Action Areas are broad areas that OTF invests in. For each Action Area, the Priority Outcome is the long-term change your project will contribute to achieving for Ontarians. The Grant Result is what your project will specifically accomplish to support the Priority Outcome.

Successful Capital grant applications should have a clear alignment with the chosen Grant Result.

Active People: Fostering more active lifestyles

Priority Outcome 1: Higher quality programming & infrastructure to support physical activities

  • Grant Result: 

    • Infrastructure for unstructured and structured physical activities

Priority Outcome 2: More people become active

  • Grant Result: 

    • Infrastructure is accessible and available for physical activity

 

Connected People: Building inclusive and engaged communities together

Priority Outcome 1: Diverse groups work better together to shape community

  • Grant Result:

    • Diverse groups work together and improve community life

Priority Outcome 2: Reduced social isolation

  • Grant Result: 

    • People who are isolated have connections in their community

 

Green People: Encouraging people to support a healthy

Priority Outcome: More ecosystems are protected and restored

  • Grant Result:

    • Conservation and restoration efforts are better planned and more sustainable

 

Inspired People: Enriching people’s lives through arts, culture and heritage

Priority Outcome: Better quality programming and infrastructure to experience culture, heritage and the arts

  • Grant Result:

    • Arts, culture and heritage have appropriate spaces

 

Promising Young People: Supporting the positive development of children and youth

Priority Outcome 1: More children and youth have emotional and social strengths

  • Grant Result:

    • Children and youth who are facing barriers develop strong emotional and social skills

Priority Outcome 2: More youth are meaningfully engaged in the community

  • Grant Result:

    • Youth are involved in creating solutions for challenges facing their community

 

Prosperous People: Enhancing people’s economic wellbeing

Priority Outcome: Increased economic stability

  • Grant Result:

    • People who are economically vulnerable are able to meet their basic needs

Eligible expenses

Capital grant expenses cover eligible activities you need to undertake to achieve your Grant Result through your outlined project.

OTF provides capital funding for:

  • Construction or renovation
  • Equipment
  • Land/property purchase
  • Development costs

Costs not funded:

  • Contributions to annual funding drives and capital campaigns
  • Activities completed or costs incurred prior to the approval of the grant application
  • Salaries, benefits, and wages
  • Taxes, such as GST and HST, for which the recipient is eligible for a tax rebate, and all other costs eligible for rebates
  • Contingency costs are not eligible expenses

All costs funded by OTF must be eligible and directly attributable to the project.

Please note that 10% of the awarded funding will be held back, to be paid upon satisfactory review of the final report.

How are Capital grant applications assessed?

Potential Capital grant projects are scored by experienced staff and local volunteers based on five areas: Strategy, Process, People, Infrastructure, and Value for Money.

Strategy

Ensure that the need for your project, how you plan to meet that need, and your end goals align with one Priority Outcome and one Grant result.

Scoring weight: Assessment weighting: 20%

Clearly describe your project

Clearly outline the need and target audience for your project

Align your project need and description with your selected Grant Result

Process

Create a Project Plan that includes the processes and steps needed to make it a success and achieve your Grant Result.

Scoring weight: Assessment weighting: 20%

Include activities appropriate for the project and suitable for achieving the selected Grant Result

Create a realistic timeline to execute your Project Plan

Include the resources and budget necessary for achieving the selected Grant Result

If applicable, describe how the contributions from collaborative and/or partnering organization(s) support the project

People

Ensure you have people with the right experience and skills to help your project succeed.

Scoring weight: Assessment weighting: 20%

Identify core team members with the skills, knowledge, experience, and competencies needed to lead/manage your project

Infrastructure

Demonstrate the infrastructure design and/or equipment needed is appropriate for your project.

Scoring weight: Assessment weighting: 20%

Ensure the photos and descriptions of the infrastructure needs and/or equipment requirements are suitable for your project

Value for money

Demonstrate how your project can deliver value for money.

Scoring weight: Assessment weighting: 20%

Detail the cost-per-output for your project

Ensure your Financial Workbook clearly details the financial resources needed to bring your project to life

Discover the impact of past Capital projects

Township of Nipigon

The town transformed three vacant downtown buildings to create a vibrant new space for arts and culture programs and events.

Grant type: Capital Grant

Ontario Federation of Agriculture

The community of Peterborough County paid tribute to its agricultural roots by opening a new heritage building in time for Canada’s 150th birthday.

Grant type: Capital Grant