Resilient Communities Fund
Apply for funding to help your non-profit organization rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19 and effectively meet the changing needs of your community.
December 7, 2022, at 5 PM ET.
Minimum 6 months
Maximum 24 months
Amount awarded (per year)
COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on the non-profit sector and its ability to build resiliency, and support and serve communities across Ontario. The non-profit sector faces many challenges, including the need to adapt program and service delivery, generate revenue, meet changing community needs and address health and safety requirements.
COVID-19 recovery support is essential for non-profit organizations, Indigenous communities, and Municipalities to deal with ongoing needs for both them and their communities.
What is the Resilient Communities Fund?
This fund supports the recovery efforts of organizations impacted by COVID-19 and helps them respond with immediate, medium, and longer-term recovery projects.
- Applicants can apply for a minimum of $10,000, and up to $200,000, with a maximum of $100,000 per year.
- Application period is from March 9 until April 6, 2022 at 5 PM ET.
Resilient Communities Fund grants support projects that help rebuild an organization’s capacity, enhance their resiliency, and meet the changing needs of their communities. Projects should be focused on:
- developing new approaches;
- starting new activities;
- adjusting strategies, or
- planning for future challenges
Discover more about this fund below and if your organization is eligible for funding.
Plan your application
Before you begin the application process, ensure your organization and proposed project meet all of our eligibility requirements.
In your grant 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 resiliency strategy?
- Is it feasible to carry out the activities in the stated timelines?
- Is the budget appropriate to carry out the activities in the resiliency strategy?
Review the grant application questions.
An applicant needs to be a community-based organization delivering services and programs in Ontario that is 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 / Métis / 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
Organizations that are both an incorporated not‐for‐profit and a registered charity should register as a charity.
Métis Nation of Ontario charter, Inuit or other Indigenous groups/organizations should register as either a charitable organization or an incorporated not for profit organization, as applicable.
Municipal libraries, County Library Boards and Local Services Boards should register as a municipality with a population of 20,000 or less. 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.
Applicants must also meet the following requirements:
- Adhere to OTF’s Anti-Discrimination Policy, Eligibility Policy, and Financial Need and Health Applicants Policy.
- OTF has no concerns with the organization's OTF granting history for all past applications, either approved or declined.
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.
- 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).
- Financial statements must be completed within 12 months of the organization’s most recent fiscal year-end. For the April 6, 2022 deadline:
- 2020 financial statements are required (including 2019 comparative details) if your organization’s fiscal year-end date falls between April 1 and December 31
- 2021 financial statements are required (including 2020 comparative details) if your organization’s fiscal year-end date falls between January 1 and March 31
We recognize and support collaborative arrangements that will achieve positive community impact.Read more about collaborative agreements
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.
Please ensure your project meets all of the following criteria:
- The project information is complete and includes all of the attachments
- The project complies with OTF policies, specifically:
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
OTF's application process involves various steps for organizations.
Visit the grant application deadline page. Once the online application portal opens, you can begin the application.
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.
Local Grant Review Team volunteers make funding recommendations. OTF’s Board of Directors approve these recommendations. Learn more about how we make application decisions.
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.
- Reporting & monitoring: In addition to touchpoints 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 is subject to a Grantee Compliance Audit. Grants can be audited for compliance at any point within the grant's life, or after the grant has been closed.
Resilient Communities Fund grants help organizations recover and build their resiliency due to the impacts of COVID-19 through recovery projects. Eligible projects will need to benefit local communities and align with Resilient Communities Fund outcomes. Organizations can select up to three outcomes they want to achieve with their OTF grant.
Discover more about each outcome.
- organizational training and coaching
- strategic planning and implementation
- operational/reopening planning
- develop fundraising plans
- strategic planning for mergers
- seek opportunities for public-private partnerships and social finance
- mental and physical health and wellbeing supports
- peer learning
- professional development
- research and development
- identify new health and safety processes and required personal protective equipment
- technology supports
- staffing and volunteer recruitment and training
- community consultation to understand emerging needs related to COVID recovery
- resource, knowledge and data sharing
- feasibility studies
- continue program/service previously adapted to meet needs arising from COVID-19
- scale access to program/service previously adapted to meet needs arising from COVID-19
- continue programs meeting a community need arising from COVID-19
- improve quality of programs already being delivered
- identify fundraising and financial technology resource, as well as equipment to meet changing technology
- convert to cloud-based data systems to enable business continuity in future work disruptions
- procure technology to effectively transition between office and home working conditions
- planning and/or procurement needed to meet relevant public health standard
Eligible costsYou can request funding for direct personnel, direct non-personnel, and overhead and administration costs.
All costs 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: Salaries, mandatory employment-related costs and employee benefits for staff positions funded specifically to carry out the project.
Direct non-personnel costs: Purchased services, workshops, meetings, convening, supplies and materials, evaluation (max. 10%), travel, and equipment (max. of $150,000).
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.
Note that 10% of the funding will be held back, to be paid upon satisfactory review of the final report.
- Core Funding: As a project funder, 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
- 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
- Fundraising Costs: OTF does not fund general fundraising drives or capital campaigns, core funding or ongoing expenses related to fundraising. For example, ongoing fundraising or marketing costs incurred by organizations year over year, are not eligible.
If you include ineligible costs, your grant application will be declined. For a description of additional ineligible costs, review OTF’s Eligibility Policy.
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.
Assessment criteria #1: Impact on organization
Organization has clearly articulated how COVID-19 has impacted their 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 by COVID-19.
Assessment criteria #2: Organization supports diverse, underrepresented, and/or vulnerable populations
Organization has clearly demonstrated that its purpose and/or programming positively impact populations experiencing barriers such as socio-economic, geographic, cultural, gender, abilities and/or racial.
Scoring weight: 10%
Key areas of your application to focus on:
- The Resilient Communities Fund seeks to support diverse communities and underrepresented populations. Tell us how your organization’s purpose and/or programming positively impact populations experiencing barriers such as socio-economic, geographic, cultural, gender, abilities and/or racial.
Assessment criteria #3: Strategy
The strategy is well thought out and explains how the organization plans to recover and build their resiliency based on the impacts and outcomes selected.
Scoring weight: 45%
Key areas of your application to focus on:
- The project is clearly articulated and reasonable for addressing the noted impacts.
- Alignment with OTF’s Resilient Communities Fund outcomes is clear.
- If applicable, the equipment costs are appropriate to address the noted impacts.
Assessment criteria #4: Process
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 and/or resilience 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.
- Quotes are provided for expenses over $10,000.
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