Submitting a Good Seed Grant Application

Tips to help you achieve Seed grant funding

Seed grants support projects at the idea stage. A Seed grant can support your organization to make an impact in your community by learning something new to help drive change. OTF receives a lot of applications, so it's is vital to ensure your organization’s project is a good fit with what we fund.

We support Seed grant projects that:

  • Convene around an emerging issue
  • Conduct a feasibility study
  • Research a new concept
  • Develop or pilot a new idea

Here's a step-by-step guide to giving your Seed grant application the best chance of succeeding. This is not a guide to filling out your application. It's all about ensuring your project aligns with the purpose of Seed grants.

If you need help, contact us or consider using our application coaching service.

    Get inspired

    One of the best ways to start your application is to first spend some time looking at OTF grants. You can use our Grant Search Tool to find Seed grant projects similar to yours, for example aimed at a similar target audience or in a similar location.

    The one thing all of these projects have in common is they successfully aligned their project with OTF's Investment Strategy by choosing the right Action Area and, most importantly, the right Grant Result.

    Consider your project's focus

    Before starting your application, take some time to read about the Investment Strategy. This is an important step as it will help you understand how we invest.

    The Action Areas are broad areas that OTF invests in and they are the building blocks to healthier, more vibrant communities. By funding projects with goals in each area, we can drive positive change across Ontario. When your organization applies for a Seed grant, you will be asked to select one of the six Action Areas that best fits your project.

    Depending on which Action Area you have selected, you will also need to pick an aligned Priority Outcome. This is the long-term change your project will contribute to achieving for Ontarians.

    Selecting an Action Area and then a related Priority Outcome helps bring a relevant Grant Result into focus. A Grant Result is the end goal your project will specifically accomplish to support the Priority Outcome. Learn more about choosing a Grant Result in Step 3.

    Consider what you want to achieve

    In order to receive funding, your Seed grant application should strongly align with a Grant Result based on the end goal of your project. All of your application information should link back to that end goal, so it's crucial to choose the right one.

    Throughout your grant application, you need to clearly demonstrate the link between the Grant Result, your project’s end goal, and the expected learnings.

    Tips for choosing a Grant Result:

    • Think about this project in particular, rather than your organization's work in general
    • Ask yourself why you want to do this project and what will it achieve
    • Focus on the end goal (the "why" and "what") rather than the activities needed to achieve it (the "how")
    • If your project fits with more than one Grant Result, consider which one is the best fit by focusing on the change you are trying to achieve

    Detail your approach to learning

    You will be asked to provide a clear learning plan as part of your Seed grant application. You should aim to answer these questions:

    • What do you expect to learn from this project?
    • What key questions will you need to answer to achieve your expected learning?
    • How will you capture the learning and how will you use it?

    While your Grant Result is all about the "why" and "what," your learning plan provides more information about the "how."

    Tips for creating a learning plan:

    • State what information and/or data you want and need to collect
    • If you are piloting a project, include how you will gather the information and/or data, how often, and from whom and where
    • Outline how you will compile and analyze the information and/or data
    • Explain how you will share the learnings and outcomes