Resilient Communities Fund

Apply for funding to help your non-profit organization recover and build capacity, resilience and sustainability.

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Next deadline

October 25, 2023 at 5 PM ET (Closed)

Term length

Minimum 6 months

Maximum 24 months

Amount awarded (per year)

Minimum $10,000

Maximum $100,000

The Resilient Communities Fund supports community-based organizations that deliver programs and services in Ontario and need funding to recover and build capacity, resilience and sustainability.

Eligible applicants can apply for a grant to develop and implement medium to long-term plans that address current organizational challenges they are facing to recover and build resilience.

Grants support organizations as they: 

  • develop new approaches to generate revenue 
  • start new activities to meet community need
  • adjust strategies and plans 
  • plan for future challenges 

Applicants are to select up to three project outcomes they want to achieve with their grant and can apply for funding to cover eligible costs needed to carry out the project.

Plan your application

Before you begin the grant application, ensure your organization and proposed project meet our eligibility requirements.

Provide a clear plan that outlines the work you will undertake to address the challenges your organization is facing to recover and build resilience.

  • Be clear about how the project and planned activities will help your organization address the noted challenges.
  • Ensure that each cost included in the application supports project activities and aligns with the selected outcomes(s).

Review the grant application questions and the Financial Workbook instructions.

Required documentation

As part of the Resilient Communities Fund grant application, the following documentation needs to be submitted:

  1. For each good and/or service valued above $10,000, OTF requires that a minimum of one quote or estimate be uploaded with the grant application. However, OTF prefers to receive two or more quotes or estimates to help your organization establish accurate budget amounts and demonstrate the best value for money.

    • Multiple sub-contracts with a supplier on the same project will be considered as a cumulative total. This means if the total of these goods and/or services exceeds $10,000, a minimum of one itemized quote or estimate (preferably two or more from different suppliers) needs to be uploaded. An itemized quote or estimate breaks down the cost of each good and service into line items.

    • All documentation needs to be prepared by a third-party professional and must be obtained within 6 months prior to the application deadline.

  2. Most recent completed financial statements which include comparative information for the prior fiscal year. Municipalities, First Nations, Métis or Inuit communities are not required to submit financial statements.

Application support

We offer a broad range of resources and opportunities to help non-profit organizations access comprehensive information about our grants. OTF supports are: 

  • Designed and led by knowledgeable granting staff, including Program Managers and Program Administrators
  • Complimentary and enable organizations to initiate, write and submit grant applications directly to OTF  
  • Up-to-date and address the most current changes to our grants and application requirements
  • Offered in English and French 

Learn more about OTF Support.


Eligible applicants are community-based organizations that deliver programs and services in Ontario and meet OTF’s eligibility requirements.

Organizations that are approved for a Resilient Communities Fund grant from the February 1, 2023 deadline will not be eligible to receive a grant from the October 25, 2023 deadline.

Organization requirements

An applicant for an OTF grant must: 

  • have a primary purpose, presence and reputation for delivering programs and 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 without share capital in a Canadian jurisdiction

Organizations that are both an incorporated notforprofit and a registered charity are to apply as a charity.

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 deadline.

A Chartered Community Council, operating under the Métis Nation of Ontario is to apply through the Métis Nation of Ontario.

Inuit-led organizations are to apply as either a charitable organization or an incorporated not for profit organization, as applicable.

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.


Review the Eligibility Policy for all eligibility criteria

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

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 October 25, 2023 Resilient Communities Fund grant application deadline:
    • 2021 financial statements are required (including 2020 comparative details) if your organization’s fiscal year-end date falls between October 1 and December 31. 
    • 2022 financial statements are required (including 2021 comparative details) if your organization’s fiscal year-end date falls between January 1 and September 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).

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

Review all financial statements requirements

Collaborative agreements

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

Read more about collaborative agreements

Board of directors requirements

All organizations, with the exception of Municipalities, First Nations, Métis, or Inuit communities, need to have a minimum of three board members with active terms at the time of the grant application deadline.

  • Your organization is required to have 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.

Project eligibility

Projects will be assessed for eligibility with the following criteria:

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. We verify that your organization is eligible to apply, that your application is complete, and we review your project using the project assessment criteria. Our experienced staff and local volunteers score your application against the project assessment criteria.

Recommendation and selection

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. 
What happens during and at the end of your grant?
  • 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.

Project outcomes

The Resilient Communities Fund has defined a set of flexible outcomes to choose from to help your organization recover and build capacity, resilience and sustainability.

Applicants are to select and achieve up to three project outcomes with their grant. Discover more about each outcome below.

Such as: revenue generation, strategic planning, research & development, & resource, knowledge & data sharing.

For example: 

  • organizational training and coaching
  • strategic planning and implementation
  • operational planning
  • developing fundraising plans
  • strategic planning for mergers
  • seeking opportunities for public-private partnerships and social finance
  • planning to attract and retain staff and/or volunteers
  • cybersecurity

For example:

  • mental and physical health and wellbeing supports
  • peer learning
  • professional development
  • networking

For example:

  • research and development
  • identify new health and safety processes and required personal protective equipment
  • technology supports
  • community consultation to understand emerging needs 
  • resource, knowledge and data sharing
  • feasibility studies
  • program implementation

For example:

  • continue program/service previously adapted to meet needs
  • scale access to program/service previously adapted improve quality of programs already being delivered 

For example:

  • 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 costs

You can request funding for direct personnel, direct non-personnel, and overhead and administration costs to help you deliver your project.

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
  • Travel
  • Evaluation (max. 10% of OTF Grant Budget)
  • Non-fixed equipment and/or technological infrastructure (max. $150,000 of OTF Grant Budget)

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.

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

Review important Financial Workbook instructions and examples
  • 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
  • Renovations and fixed equipment
  • 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.

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.

Assessment criteria #1: Current organizational challenges

The organization has clearly articulated the challenges they are facing to build resilience.

Scoring weight: 10%

Key areas of your application to focus on:

  • Elaborate on how your organization’s ability to deliver programs and services or otherwise sustain operations has been impacted. 

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 resilience based on the challenges 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 challenges.  
  • Alignment with OTF’s Resilient Communities Fund outcomes is clear. 
  • If applicable, the equipment costs are appropriate to address the noted challenges.

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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We are committed to excellent customer service and offer a broad range of complimentary resources and opportunities to help non-profit organizations. Learn how to directly apply for an OTF grant and receive the most up-to-date information about our grants.

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