The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is committed to building the capacity of the non-profit sector in Ontario and invests in local projects that help build healthy and vibrant communities.
Once grant applications are approved by OTF’s Board of Directors, the Program Manager assigned to a grant will contact the listed Signatory Contact to offer congratulations and set up a time for a one-on-one orientation meeting. These meetings will cover key expectations and requirements of the grant and need to be completed before grants can be activated.
Before the orientation meeting
- Read the content on this page
Organizations that receive funding from OTF are asked to review the information on this page that cover key components of the OTF Grant Contract, as well as the legal obligations and expectations as a grantee.
- Confirm start date
Please confirm with your staff that the start date listed in your application is feasible. If you would like to change your start date, please have the new date selected prior to your meeting with your OTF Program Manager.
- Verify Signatory Contact
The Signatory Contact is the person who has the legal authority to sign the OTF Grant Contract on behalf of the organization. If the signatory for your organization has changed since the submission of your grant application, you must update this information as soon as possible. Please have a senior representative from your organization email OTF’s Support Centre at email@example.com with the updated Signatory Contact information.
Activating a grant
The Grant Contract is a legal agreement between an organization and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. It is important that the Signatory Contact and those involved in the funded initiative read it carefully to ensure everyone fully understands the terms and conditions of the grant.
The Grant Contract will be emailed to the signatory from firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to check the spam folder. The emailed contract will provide instructions for the Signatory to sign it electronically. Once the contract has been received by the Signatory, it must be reviewed, signed, and submitted within 60 days of receipt to remain valid.
A grant is not activated until the Grant Contract is signed and returned to OTF.
The Grant Contract includes:
- Terms & Conditions associated with a grant, for example:
- Grant payments may be withheld, or the grant may be terminated if a grantee’s progress is not considered satisfactory or if the organization has failed to comply with OTF policies and conditions.
- The grantee acknowledges that it is their exclusive responsibility to take reasonable care in screening and supervising volunteers and employees who are in any way engaged in the initiative described in Schedule A, to ensure a safe and secure environment. OTF expects the grantee to have or establish a policy for the purpose of satisfying its exclusive screening and supervising responsibility, and to ensure that there is compliance with the policy.
- The grantee will purchase and maintain insurance, including but not limited to property insurance, casualty insurance, and general liability insurance, which is adequate for the purposes of the grantee's operations. Adequate insurance coverage must be maintained for the duration of the grant.
- The grantee has read, is in compliance with, and agrees to comply in the future with OTF’s Eligibility Policy, including that policy as it may be amended from time to time.
Declaration of Understanding and Authorizing Signatures page
Schedule A, which contains the grant details
- The outcomes that grantees are expected to achieve and report on. This information is taken directly from the grant application.
- The grant budget breakdown for the entire grant. Grantees are expected to spend the grant funds as per the expenses identified in the approved budget lines.
- The Payment and Reporting schedule, which outlines when all the payments will be released, and all grant reporting is due.
By signing the Grant Contract, the grantee declares that all people involved with the funded initiative such as the Grantee’s project staff, senior staff, or board members have read and understood both the Grant Contract and all OTF policies.
Please note: Changes to the Grant Contract and the Schedule A can only be made in writing and require the signatures of the authorized officers of both the grantee and the Foundation.
Ontario Builds signage requirements
(Only for Community Building Fund – Capital stream grants)
Municipalities that receive grants of $100,000 or more are required to purchase, produce, and install an Ontario Builds sign.
- Ontario Builds sign will need to be installed immediately once the Grant Contract is signed.
- Grantees can use the Ontario Government’s Ontario Builds Kit to assist with creating the sign. The online kit includes fonts, logos, visual identity guide, and sign templates.
- If there are multiple locations, only one Ontario Builds sign needs to be installed at one location.
Once the Grant Contract has been signed, grantees will be required to submit banking information through OTF’s online portal. Grant payments will be directly deposited into the organization’s bank account. All new and returning grantees must complete this process before the first payment can be released. Please note this is a two-step process. Additional instructions for this process can be found by using the “Help” button at the top right of the online portal. If additional support is needed, please contact our team.
Banking instructions for new grantees:
Step 1: In the online portal, enter the organization’s bank name and account number for the grant and upload a void cheque or direct deposit letter from the bank.
- Make sure that the numbers you enter for the bank account are the same as those on the void cheque or direct deposit letter. Incorrect account numbers will cause delays.
- Only cheques with pre-printed organization name and address will be accepted. If you do not have a cheque, please ask your organization’s bank for a direct deposit letter to upload.
Step 2: Link the banking information for your organization to your approved grant.
Banking instructions for returning grantees:
- Option 1: Use the bank account already registered for the organization’s last approved OTF grant. The existing account will be listed in the online portal and it must be linked to the new grant.
- Option 2: Upload a new bank account using instructions for new grantees (above).
Delivering a grant
A grantee engagement is a phone call with the Program Manager assigned to the grant. The purpose of the call is to ensure that the grant is on track to meet objectives. Upon satisfactory completion of the grantee engagement, the Program Manager will release the next payment. Some grantees may have a grantee engagement scheduled in their Payment and Reporting Schedule, which is determined by the grant amount or grant type.
Please note that grantee engagements are only applicable for Grow grants and certain Resilient Communities Fund grants. Review the Grant Contract’s Payment and Reporting Schedule for more information.
Progress Reports are submitted annually for every year of the grant to report on the progress of the initiative and use of grant funds.
Budget (financial workbook)
Reports should not include expenditures that are funded by other sources or any costs for which the organization has received or is eligible to receive a rebate, credit or refund, such as HST.
- Grantees may reallocate funds within budget categories without prior approval and should report these changes in their progress and/or final report.
- Reallocations between budget categories require the prior written consent of OTF. Grantees should discuss these types of reallocations with their Program Manager. Please read OTF’s Reallocation of Grant Funds Policy.
All grantees are required to recognize OTF and our funder, the Government of Ontario. OTF will notify you when you can begin your grant recognition activities.
Begin by reviewing the Grant Recognition Requirements to understand what is expected for your OTF grant recognition. OTF assigns a Communications Advisor to all grants to support grant recognition activities and to answer communications questions. Before starting your recognition activities, review the requirements and then contact your OTF Communications Advisor at least three weeks prior to any activity.
Once a grant is closed, recognition requirements are considered complete, and we ask that certain public acknowledgments of the Foundation are removed or taken down. This includes the following from your organization:
- Website: remove OTF acknowledgement within three months of the grant closing
- Promotional material (online and print) related to the OTF funded project: remove OTF acknowledgment when materials are re-created or re-used
- Newsletter/social media activities: remove OTF acknowledgement from your external communication activities
Time-stamped corporate documents, capital items and equipment that include OTF acknowledgment do not need to be updated or changed. This includes:
- Annual reports and business plans
- Vehicles and other fixed or non-fixed equipment
- Permanent plaques, engravings or signs
Closing a grant
All grantees are required to submit a final report as part of their Grant Contract. The report deadline date is listed in the online portal and in the Schedule A of the Grant Contract. An email reminder will be sent to the Organization’s Contact person 30 days prior to the report deadline. The report must be completed and submitted in the OTF online portal. The review and approval of the final report is necessary before the final payment can be released. For technical issues submitting reports, contact OTF’s Support Centre at 1 800-263-2887 or email@example.com.
Budget (financial workbook)
The reported “spent to date” must not exceed the awarded grant amount. Any additional costs incurred by the initiative can be reported under the “Additional Support” tab.
Full-time equivalent reporting
Under the Economic Impact tab of the report, OTF asks for the total number of FTE (full-time equivalent) staff funded by the OTF grant dollars. This includes any staff and non-staff hours paid with the grant including contractors, engineers, labourers, and consultants.
OTF holds back a portion of the grant until the grantee has submitted the final report and OTF has reviewed the report to verify the satisfactory completion of the grant:
- For single year grants, 10% of the total grant will be held back.
- For multi-year grants, 10% of the budget for the final year of the grant will be held back.
As this is a retroactive payment, grantees must plan cash flow to ensure they are able to cover the final 10% of expenses until the initiative is complete and the final report is reviewed.
Please read OTF’s Payment Release for Grantees Policy.
OTF is accountable for the results it achieves and the use of the funds it invests in Ontario non-profit organizations. In turn, all our grantees are accountable for how they use OTF funds and the results they achieve with those funds. Each year, OTF conducts Compliance Audits of a random sample of grants. Keeping good records of spending and tracking project activities will help grantees to be ready should their grant be audited. Grantees are required to retain all records relevant to the grant for a period of six years and will need to produce those records if selected for an audit.
OTF wants all grants to succeed and will work to resolve any issues as they arise. However, in some cases a grant, or portion of a grant, can be rescinded. Often, these instances are initiated in agreement between OTF and the grantee and are usually due to unspent grant funds. For more information about rescinds, read OTF’s Grant Rescind and Recovery policy.
The Program Manager assigned to each grant will contact successful grantees to answer any questions and review the grantee requirements on this page.