Investment Strategy

Improving the Well-being of Ontarians

The Ontario Trillium Foundation invests in hundreds of projects every year that make Ontario's communities healthier and more vibrant.

Support is provided to projects that work towards improving the well-being of people across the province. These projects drive positive change - from building more inclusive and accessible programs, enhancing our community spaces to developing new innovative approaches. Every project helps build stronger, more resilient communities.

What Informed the Investment Strategy

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) provides a snapshot of Canadians' wellbeing. The results inform the development of programs and activities that can improve the wellbeing of people across the country.

In 2014, OTF asked the CIW to research the wellbeing of Ontarians. The final report, How Are Ontarians Really Doing?, informed the Investment Strategy and the six Action Areas where we focus our investments.

Strategy Overview

OTF is an impact-based funder supporting eligible non-profit organizations’ projects that fit the OTF Investment Strategy.

The Investment Strategy’s framework starts with the Action Areas that OTF invests in. They are the building blocks to healthier, more vibrant communities.

The Priority Outcome is the long-term change a project will contribute to achieving for Ontarians. There are Priority Outcomes that fit within each of the six Action Areas.

The Grant Result is the end goal a project will specifically accomplish to support the Priority Outcome. By funding projects with goals in each area, we can drive positive change across Ontario.

Explore more about the Investment Strategy below and the goals that we can achieve together.

Active People: Fostering more active lifestyles

Our aim: Keep people moving

Research shows that people who are active live longer, and are happier and healthier. Being active also helps people make friends, learn new skills, and connect with their communities. From toddlers to seniors, everyone can benefit from more accessible activities and opportunities to play and be active.

Priority Outcome 1: Higher quality programming & infrastructure to support physical activities

  • Grant Results
    • Trained and certified coaches, officials and volunteers
    • Programs are safe, inclusive, fair, and age- or ability-appropriate
    • Infrastructure for unstructured and structured physical activities

Priority Outcome 2: More people become active

  • Grant Results
    • Infrastructure is accessible and available for physical activity
    • Ontarians participate in an active lifestyle

Download the Active People story

Connected People: Building inclusive and engaged communities together

Our aim: Bring people together
Communities work best and accomplish more when the people who live in them can meet and engage with one another. When people feel they belong and have a say, they are more likely to volunteer and actively engage in their community. Also, by closing the social, economic and physical distances between people and their communities, we can reduce social isolation and improve people's overall sense of well-being.

Priority Outcome 1: Diverse groups work better together to shape community

  • Grant Results
    • People have a say in shaping the services and programs that matter to them
    • People who are marginalized take on leadership roles in their community
    • Diverse groups work together and improve community life

Priority Outcome 2: Reduced social isolation

  • Grant Results
    • People who are isolated have connections in their community

Download the Connected People story

Green People: Encouraging people to support a healthy and sustainable environment

Our aim: Live more sustainably
Ontario has a rich and diverse natural environment. Keeping it that way is essential to our economic prosperity. A healthy environment depends on more people living more sustainably and responsibly to reduce their environmental footprint, as well as more programs that protect and restore our ecosystems.

Priority Outcome 1: More ecosystems are protected and restored

  • Grant Results
    • People participate in ecosystem conservation and restoration efforts
    • Conservation and restoration efforts are better planned and more sustainable

Priority Outcome 2: People reduce their impact on the environment

  • Grant Results
    • People connect with the environment and understand their impact on it
    • People and resource users take deliberate action to benefit the environment
    • Mechanisms are developed to promote responsible resource stewardship

Download the Green People story

Inspired People: Enriching people’s lives through arts, culture and heritage

Our aim: Enjoy shared experiences
Arts, culture, and heritage help people connect with places and people. It's part of what defines our society. When people have the means and freedom to experience or express themselves artistically and creatively, they better understand each other, their history, and their common hopes for the future.

Priority Outcome 1: Better quality programming and infrastructure to experience culture, heritage and the arts

  • Grant Results
    • Arts, culture and heritage have appropriate spaces
    • Skills and knowledge are transferred to the next generation of artistic leaders

Priority Outcome 2: More people connect with culture, heritage and the arts

  • Grant Results
    • Access to arts-based learning opportunities and compelling artistic, cultural and heritage experiences
    • People are engaged in community-based arts creation
    • Preservation and animation of cultural heritage

Download the Inspired People story

Promising Young People: Supporting the positive development of children and youth

Our aim: Create brighter futures
The right set of skills, experiences, and relationships enable children and youth to develop into successful, community-engaged adults. This takes appropriate supports and systems to help them throughout their early lives to adulthood, including family, educational opportunities, peers, and mentors. Our communities as a whole benefit from youth being engaged.

Priority Outcome 1: More children and youth have emotional and social strengths

  • Grant Results
    • Parents, caregivers and adult allies have the skills to support children and youth who are facing barriers
    • Children and youth who are facing barriers develop strong emotional and social skills

Priority Outcome 2: More youth are meaningfully engaged in the community

  • Grant Results
    • Youth facing barriers volunteer and are in leadership roles
    • Youth are involved in creating solutions for challenges facing their community

Download the Promising Young People story

Prosperous People: Enhancing people’s economic wellbeing

Our aim: Provide financial stability
People’s economic security improves when the risks of poverty are reduced and their economic opportunities are enhanced, especially for those most vulnerable. When people’s needs are met, they are in a better position to succeed. The right supports can help people feel more financially secure, leading to more employment choices and being less at risk of falling into poverty.

Priority Outcome 1: Increased economic stability

  • Grant Results
    • People who are economically vulnerable are able to meet their basic needs
    • People who are economically vulnerable have access to community services that enhance financial stability

Priority Outcome 2: Increased economic opportunity

  • Grant Results
    • People have the skills and knowledge to achieve greater financial independence
    • People become and stay employed
    • People become entrepreneurs

Download the Prosperous People story