Resilient Communities Fund

Apply for funding to help your non-profit organization recover and rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19 and effectively meet the needs of your community.

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Next deadline

December 8, 2021 at 5 PM ET

Term length

Maximum 12 months

Amount awarded (per year)

Minimum $5,000

Maximum $150,000

OTF is investing in projects of non-profit organizations that have been impacted by COVID-19 to support their medium to longer-term recovery efforts and help rebuild their capacity and resiliency.

Funding is available for projects that align with at least one of the Resilient Communities Fund outcomes to help organizations address their diverse needs and support them to rebuild and recover.

What is the Resilient Communities Fund?

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the non-profit sector and its ability to support and serve communities across Ontario. The non-profit sector continues to face many challenges, including the need to adapt program and service delivery, generate revenue, and address health and safety requirements.

We recognize that COVID-19 recovery support is essential to ready non-profit organizations to deal with changing needs for both them and their communities. 

Organizations require support to help rebuild their capacity and deliver programs and services in innovative ways.

The investments made to the non-profit sector through this fund will help organizations address their medium to longer-term COVID-19 impacts.

This fund aligns with OTF’s mandate to support the capacity of non-profit organizations and build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario.

Plan your application

Provide a clear plan that outlines the work you will undertake to recover and rebuild. Your application needs to clearly demonstrate how your organization will address its recovery needs. Ensure there is alignment between your organization’s needs, your proposed project and the project activities.

  • Are the activities aligned with your organization’s recovery plan?
  • Is it feasible to carry out the activities in the stated timelines?
  • Is the budget appropriate to carry out the activities in the recovery plan?

Review the Resilient Communities Fund application questions.


An applying organization needs to be a community-based or provincial non-profit delivering services and programs in Ontario that is looking ahead to recovery planning with the aim of rebuilding their capacity.

Organization requirements

Eligible organizations need to be community-based or provincial non-profits delivering services and programs in Ontario that are looking ahead to recovery planning with the aim of rebuilding their capacity. The following applicants are eligible for funding: 

  • A charitable organization or public foundation registered as a charity by the Canada Revenue Agency
  • An organization incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation without share capital in a Canadian jurisdiction
  • A First Nation / Metis / Inuit or other Indigenous community
  • A municipality with a population of 20,000 or less, or their cultural and recreational agencies, including public libraries and museums

Review the Eligibility Policy for more eligibility criteria for applicants.

Additionally, organizations need to: 

  • Have a presence and reputation in Ontario with a primary purpose of delivering community programs and services to benefit people in Ontario
  • Adhere to OTF’s Anti-Discrimination PolicyEligibility Policy, and Financial Need and Health Applicants Policy
  • Provide appropriate financial statements based on the organization’s total revenues and fiscal year end date, according to the financial statement requirements
  • Submit a surplus/deficit explanation, if applicable
  • Meet OTF's Board of Directors requirements
  • Be reviewed for all past applications, either approved or declined, and OTF has no concerns with the organization's OTF granting history.

Policy requirements

Our policies define eligibility for OTF funding and outline exclusions. Funds are granted to eligible applicants delivering eligible project activities that directly align with OTF's Resilient Communities Fund outcomes.

View our policies

Financial statement requirements

While all organizations must meet OTF’s Financial Statement requirements, Municipalities, First Nation, Métis, Inuit or other Indigenous communities are not required to submit financial statements with their grant application.

  • Organizations must upload their most recent completed financial statements based on their fiscal year-end date and total revenues. 
  • Financial statements must be completed within 12 months of the organization’s most recent fiscal year-end.
  • For the December 8, 2021 deadline:
    • 2019 financial statements are required (including 2018 comparative details) if your organization’s fiscal year end date falls between December 1 and December 31.
    • 2020 financial statements are required (including 2019 comparative details) if your organization’s fiscal year end date falls between January 1 and November 30.
  • Additional information pertaining to a surplus or deficit will need to be uploaded along with the financial statements, if applicable.
  • Organizations must have at least one year of financial history from their incorporation or charitable registration date based on their organization's fiscal year-end date.
  • Financial statements must be Board approved (draft statements are not accepted).
Review additional financial statements requirements

Project eligibility

Please ensure your project meets all of the following criteria:

The project aligns with the Resilient Communities Fund:

  • It is clearly demonstrated how the impacts on the organization are related to COVID-19
  • It is clearly demonstrated how the project aligns with the Resilient Communities Fund outcome(s) selected

Board of directors requirements

All organizations must meet OTF’s Board of Directors requirements. However, Municipalities, First Nations, Métis, Inuit or other Indigenous communities are not required to submit Board of Director information with their grant application.

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.

Collaboratives eligibility

We recognize and support collaborative arrangements that will achieve positive community impact.

Read more about collaborative agreements

Application process

OTF's application process involves various steps for organizations.

Application submission

Visit the grant application deadline page. Once the online application portal opens, you can begin the application. 

Review and assessment

OTF staff will first review your application as well as information available on your organization’s website and social media accounts, to make sure you are eligible to apply, that your application is complete, and is a fit with the grant requirements. 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.


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.


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


Successful applicants are sent an email with their OTF Contract.

  • 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 during and at the end of your grant?
  • Reporting & monitoring: In addition to touch points as needed, grantees submit a final report when the project is completed. This covers the achievement of the project 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. Grants can be audited for compliance at any point within the grants life, or after the grant has been closed.

Choose a project outcome

OTF is funding community-based projects and activities that will support rebuilding the capacity of eligible non-profit organizations that have been impacted by COVID-19. Projects and programs/services funded need to take place in Ontario and benefit people in Ontario communities.

For example, organizational training and coaching, strategic planning and implementation, research & development; mental and physical health and wellbeing supports.

For example, develop fundraising plans, identify fundraising and financial technology resources, seek opportunities for public-private partnerships and social finance.

For example, identify new health and safety processes and required personal protective equipment; technology supports; staffing and volunteer recruitment and training.

For example, equipment and/or renovations to meet changing technology, health and safety, and service delivery requirements

For example, peer learning, professional development, networking, resource, knowledge and data sharing

Eligible expenses

You can request funding for direct personnel, direct non-personnel, and overhead and administration costs. The amount requested must be reasonable to carry out your project.

All costs, capital and non-capital, included in your application’s Financial Workbook, must be necessary and reasonable to carry out your project. The types of costs you request need to fit within the following eligible categories:

  • Direct Personnel Costs:
    • Project Salaries, mandatory employment-related costs and employee benefits for staff positions funded specifically to carry out the project.
  • Direct Non-Personnel Costs: All non-personnel costs directly related to project delivery.
  • Overhead and Administration costs
    • OTF will support overhead and administrative costs directly associated with the funded project, to a maximum of 15% of the total OTF Grant Budget. These do not include the direct costs to run or deliver the project, including the staff or equipment associated with the project but include a portion of regular operational expenses that can be attributed specifically to this project. Please refer to the Overhead and Administrative Costs Policy for further details.

Read the Financial Workbook Instructions for more requirements, examples, and information pertaining to quotes.

  • Core Funding: OTF cannot provide core funding or operating grants for current operations. However, you can ask for funds to support overhead and administrative costs that are directly associated with your project (to a maximum of 15% of the total OTF Grant Budget).
  • Costs or activities already incurred:
    • If your project activities have been delivered or
    • If your project activities are currently being delivered

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

Project assessment

Projects are scored by experienced staff and local volunteers based on the information submitted in the Project information section of the application. Each area is given a score between -2 to +2.

Impact on organization

Ensure that you have clearly articulated how COVID-19 has impacted your work.

Scoring weight: 10%

Key areas of your application to focus on:

• Elaborate on how your organization’s ability to deliver programs and services has been impacted

Organization supports diverse, underrepresented, and/or vulnerable populations

Organization has clearly demonstrated that its purpose and/or programming positively impact populations experiencing socio-economic, geographic, cultural and/or racial barriers.

Scoring weight: 10%

Key areas of your application to focus on:

• Your organization has clearly elaborated how it supports diverse communities and underrepresented populations.


The strategy is well thought out and explains how the organization plans to rebuild and recover from the noted impacts.

Scoring weight: 45%

Key areas of your application to focus on:

• The project presented is clearly articulated and reasonable for addressing the noted impacts

• Alignment with OTF’s Resilient Communities Fund outcome(s) is clear

• If applicable, the capital components are appropriate to address the noted impacts


The process is well thought out and identifies the steps needed for recovery.

Scoring weight: 35%

Key areas of your application to focus on:

• Key project activities are strongly aligned with organization’s recovery strategy

• It is feasible to carry out the key project activities in the stated timeline

• The budget is reasonable and aligned to key project activities

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