Target audience: Applicants, Grantees
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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, this policy clearly outlines the eligibility criteria for applicants and grant activities which provides an opportunity for applicants to understand and self-assess their eligibility.
OTF grants support the direct delivery of community-based programs and services which contribute to building healthy and vibrant communities within Ontario.
- OTF grants are:
- intended to supplement rather than duplicate or replace any existing sources of provincial government funds.
- not intended to create a dependency on funding from OTF or the Province of Ontario.
- intended to support specified costs to deliver time-limited, results-oriented projects that provide direct programs or services in Ontario communities.
- Organizations that receive OTF funding must demonstrate a need for public funds, have a healthy financial position, and demonstrate a capacity to manage grant funds and deliver on the requested grant.
The Eligibility Policy outlines who and what is eligible for OTF funding and is one of a number of organizational requirements that form the overall applicant’s eligibility. All eligibility requirements can be found on each grant information page.
3.0 Eligible Applicants
OTF accepts only one application per organization per granting stream deadline from eligible applicants, including organizations serving as the lead in collaboratives, municipalities, and First Nations.
An applicant for an OTF grant must:
- deliver programs and services in one of four sectors, sports and recreation, arts and culture, environment, human and social services.
- have a primary purpose, presence, and reputation for delivering community-based programs and services with direct community benefit in one of OTFs 16 geographic catchment areas in Ontario.
- demonstrate the financial and organizational capacity to manage OTF funds, deliver and complete the proposed project as per OTF’s Financial Need and Health of Applicants Policy.
- demonstrate the ability to generate additional resources from the community and other sources; to support project and/or organizational needs.
- demonstrate that it is the appropriate organization to carry out the proposed project.
Any one of the following types of organizations with at least one full year of registration and/or incorporation and operating 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 without share capital in a Canadian jurisdiction.
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
- A municipality with a population of 20,000 or less is eligible to:
- apply for funding in the following Funding Priorities: Foster Physically Active Lifestyles or Enriching Lives Through Arts, Culture and Heritage.
- apply for its cultural or recreation agencies, including municipal libraries and museums.
- A municipality with a population of 20,000 or less or First Nations seeking funding for their libraries, must apply on behalf of the library.
- County Library Boards and Local Services Boards serving populations of 20,000 or less are also eligible to apply for funding in the following Funding Priorities: Foster Physically Active Lifestyles or Enriching Lives Through Arts, Culture and Heritage.
- 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.
Please refer to the Collaborative Agreement template.
Please note that only one application per granting stream deadline is permitted. This applies to collaboratives, municipalities and/or First Nations applying on behalf of their library.
- 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.
4.0 Ineligible Applicants
The following are not eligible for OTF grants:
- organizations that do not have a primary purpose, presence, and reputation for delivering community-based programs and services with direct community benefit in Ontario.
- a person applying as an individual.
- municipalities with populations over 20,000 and their affiliated agencies.
- universities, colleges, schools and hospitals, and their affiliated agencies.
- organizations that have a primary healthcare mandate – hospital or physician-led patient healthcare (e.g., family health teams, dental clinics, medical clinics, LHIN).
- organizations that have a primary education mandate – school or home-based curriculum-based education (privately or publicly delivered).
- organizations with a primary purpose to own or operate residences that provide long-term housing and / or care for individuals (long-term care homes, cooperative housing, group care residence).
- for-profit organizations.
- private or corporate foundations and their affiliated agencies.
- agencies of the provincial or federal government.
- organizations engaged in political activity supporting or opposing any political party, elected representative, or candidate for public office.
- organizations with a primary purpose of bringing about change in law or government policy.
- organizations with a primary purpose to support and benefit other organizations or ineligible organizations (e.g., intermediary organizations, Trade Associations, Business Associations, Hospital Foundations) financially or operationally.
- organizations with less than one year (twelve months) of incorporation, operating and financial history.
5.0 Ineligible Activities
The following activities are not eligible for OTF grants:
- the duplication or replacement of existing government funding, government mandated services, positions, or activities.
- core operational funding.
- operational costs that arise from the ongoing operation of an organization.
- overhead and administration costs directly related to the project that are more than 15% of the total project budget.
- incremental (new) overhead and administration costs that are not generated by the project.
- political activities supporting or opposing any political party, elected representative, or candidate for public office.
- political activities (including research and development) for the purpose of bringing about a change in law or government policy.
- primary health care programs or services (e.g., medical or dental services or care).
- the financing of deficits.
- general contributions to fundraising drives or capital campaigns.
- contingency costs / unspecified miscellaneous expenses.
- taxes, such as GST and HST, for which the recipient is eligible for a tax rebate, and all other costs eligible for rebates.
- flow-through funding that will be reallocated to a third-party; (e.g., donating grant funds to a third party, individual gifts, business or personal loans).
- activities completed, or costs incurred, before the start date specified in an OTF grant contract.
- activities that are religious or include a requirement to participate in any dimensions of faith.
- capital renovations or repairs of space used primarily for the purpose of religious observance or practice.
- purchase of land and / or construction of a new building.
- developmental costs directly related to project delivery that are more than 20% of the total project budget (for capital project only).
- gambling and gambling-related activities (e.g., 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.
- personal gifts or personal benefits which are not directly related to a community program or service (e.g., renovations of community space that extend to attached primary residences, residential spaces, financial incentives to participate, personal uniforms, personal health benefits).