Eligibility Policy

Type: Granting

Target audience: Applicants, Grantees

1.0 Rationale

As a public funder, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) maintains the highest standards of transparency and accountability.  Aligned with the framework of OTF’s governing documents the Eligibility Policy clearly outlines the eligibility criteria for applicants and grant activities thus providing an opportunity for applicants to understand and self-assess their eligibility.

2.0 Purpose

This policy identifies key aspects of who and what is eligible and ineligible for OTF funding.

3.0 Policy

3.1 The Purpose of OTF Grants

OTF grants support the direct delivery of programs and services which build healthy and vibrant communities within Ontario, as stated in the mission of OTF. 

OTF grants are intended to supplement rather than duplicate or replace any existing sources of funds. Organizations that receive OTF funding must demonstrate a need for public funds, have a healthy financial position and demonstrate a capacity to manage funds and deliver on the requested grant. OTF grants are not intended to create a dependency on funding from OTF or the Province of Ontario. OTF grants are intended to support specified costs to deliver time-limited, results oriented projects that provide direct programs or services in Ontario communities. 
 

3.2 Eligible Applicants

An applicant for an OTF grant must: 

  • have a presence, purpose and reputation for delivering activities with direct community benefit in Ontario;
  • demonstrate the financial capacity to manage OTF funds, deliver and complete the proposed project as per OTF’s Financial Health and Need policy;
  • demonstrate that they provide services in Ontario;
  • demonstrate their ability to generate additional resources from the community and other sources;
  • demonstrate that it is an appropriate organization to carry out the proposed project; 

Any one of the following organizations may be eligible for funding:

  • a charitable organization or foundation registered with the Canada Revenue Agency
  • an organization incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation;

Any one of the following Indigenous communities may be eligible for funding:

  • A First Nation;
  • A Chartered Community Council, operating under the Métis Nation of Ontario 
  • Inuit

For First Nation communities seeking funding for their library, they must apply on behalf of the library and cannot submit separate applications for both the community and the library for the same grant stream deadline.

A municipality with a population of 20,000 or less is eligible to:

  • apply for funding in OTF’s Active People Action Area fostering more active lifestyles, or in OTF’s Inspired People Action Area supporting arts, culture and heritage projects;  and
  • apply for its cultural or recreation agencies, including municipal libraries and museums.

County Library Boards and Local Services Boards serving populations of 20,000 or less are also eligible to apply for funding in the Inspired People or Active People Action Areas.

Organizations with limited affiliations that are registered charities or not-for-profit corporations may be eligible. Organizations with limited affiliations: Those that meet the needs of specific populations, including youth or seniors’ groups, cultural associations, and legions.

Organizations which are religious entities or faith-based groups and are registered charities or not-for-profit corporations may be eligible if they provide direct program and services to the community at large which are not religious activities and do not include a requirement to participate in any dimensions of faith. Religious entities: Organizations established for the observation of religious beliefs, include, but are not limited to, churches, temples, mosques and synagogues.

A collaboration of two or more organizations may be eligible where the lead organization in the collaboration meets OTF eligibility criteria and accepts responsibility for the application and administration of the grant, including financial and reporting accountability.

All organizations participating in the collaboration must not be:

  • engaged in political activity, 
  • supporting or opposing any political party, elected representative, or candidate for public office 
  • organizations whose major activities or major resources are used to bring about change in law or government policy.   

All applicants for OTF grants, including collaborative applicants, must comply with and agree to continue to comply with: 

  • the Ontario Human Rights Code
  • OTF’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, and 
  • all legislation applicable to their activities.

For further information please refer to OTF’s Collaborative Applicants Policy.

3.3 Ineligible Applicants

The following are not eligible for OTF grants:

  • individuals;
  • for-profit organizations;
  • organizations engaged in political activity supporting or opposing any political party, elected representative, or candidate for public office
  • organizations whose major activities or major resources are used to bring about change in law or government policy;
  • organizations or agencies established primarily to support or fund ineligible organizations;  
  • organizations with a primary purpose to support and benefit other organizations;
  • municipalities with populations over 20,000 and their agencies;
  • universities, colleges, schools and hospitals, and their agencies;
  • organizations that have a primary healthcare mandate – hospital or physician-led patient healthcare (ie: family health teams, medical clinics, LHIN);
  • organizations that have a primary education mandate – school or homebased formal education (privately or publicly delivered);
  • private or corporate foundations and their agencies;
  • agencies of provincial or federal government.

In the case of OTF collaborative grants, the following are eligible to participate in a collaborative among organizations.  The lead organization of the collaborative must be an eligible organization.  All participants of the collaborative must follow the provisions of section 3.2 as it pertains to collaborations.

  • private or corporate foundations and their agencies;
  • agencies of provincial or federal governments;
  • municipalities with populations over 20,000 and their agencies;
  • universities, colleges, schools and hospitals, and their agencies;
  • for-profit organizations.

3.4 Ineligible Activities

The following activities are not eligible for OTF grants:

  • the duplication of existing funding;
  • costs for which an alternative source of funding is available;
  • the financing of deficits;  For further information please refer to OTF’s Financial Health and Need policy.
  • gambling and gambling related activities (ie: supplies, licenses);
  • the purchase or sale of alcohol or cannabis, financing related licenses or permits, or capital renovations or repairs to facilities or spaces used for the purpose of selling alcohol or cannabis;
  • political activities supporting or opposing any political party, elected representative, or candidate for public office;
  • activities for the purpose of bringing about change in law or government policy, including public policy dialogue and development;
  • activities which are religious or include a requirement to participate in any dimensions of faith;
  • capital renovations or repairs of space or premises used primarily for the purpose of religious observance or practice;
  • general contributions fundraising drives or capital campaigns;
  • the replacement of government funding;
  • core operational funding; For eligible project related operating costs, please refer to OTF’s Overhead and Administration policy.
  • activities, programs or services which do not provide a benefit to communities within Ontario; 
  • activities, programs or services  delivered or provided outside of Ontario;
  • activities completed, or costs incurred, before the start date specified in an OTF grant contract;
  • flow-through funding that will be reallocated to a third-party;
  • government mandated positions or activities;  and
  • loans.

4.0 Definitions

Collaborative application: Two or more organizations with a well-defined relationship applying for funding of a project in which the organizations will work together to achieve a common goal.

Political activity: Activities carried out to support or oppose any political party, elected representative, or candidate for public office.

Flow-through funding: Funding that will be reallocated to a third-party organization. 

Organizations with limited affiliations: Organizations that meet the needs of specific populations, including youth or seniors’ groups, cultural associations and legions.

Religious entities: Organizations established for the observation of religious beliefs, include, but are not limited to, churches, temples, mosques and synagogues.