Impact in Ontario

Investing in change to improve the well-being of Ontario communities.

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At OTF, we believe that making a difference begins with measuring the impact of the investments made into communities. 

As an outcomes-based funder, OTF’s Grant Investment Framework outlines the programs we offer and projects we fund to drive positive change across Ontario.  

The non-profit sector is integral to the social, economic, and cultural vibrancy of Ontario. The sector works to meet the diverse needs of communities and foster community well-being. Non-profits serve as catalysts for change, providing vital programs and services that knit together the fabric of our communities. 

OTF grants help a range of organizations that create opportunities that have a positive, local impact. By measuring and understanding the results of funded projects, OTF can maximize its effectiveness to continue to meet the diverse and changing needs of Ontario’s communities.

On this page:

How we deliver grants

OTF invests in hundreds of projects and initiatives each year that enable Ontario’s non-profit sector to deliver programs and services that build healthy and vibrant communities.

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Supporting the non-profit sector

Creating enhanced opportunities for Ontarians.

Ontario’s non-profit sector contributes $50 billion to Ontario’s GDP. The sector plays a vital role in improving the quality of life for Ontarians and creates opportunities across community spaces. The sector employs over 1 million full-time and part-time employees and engages 5 million volunteers, contributing the equivalent of 400,000 full-time jobs. 

Through OTF’s granting programs, we deepen and amplify the impact of the non-profit sector by investing in enhanced programming, training, digital and physical infrastructure, research, and more.  

Learn about OTF’s Grant Investment Framework

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Local decision making

Working with and for communities.

Local community volunteers are integral to OTF’s unique grant-making process. Over 300 volunteers across the province are government appointed to serve on one of OTF’s Grant Review Teams. Volunteers assess applications and make grant recommendations for projects in their communities for approval by the Board of Directors.  

They bring essential local knowledge to OTF’s assessment and decision-making process. Each catchment’s Grant Review Team relies on volunteers to ensure strong, impactful projects are recommended for funding.  

Learn how OTF volunteers are essential to the grant process

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Value for money

Effective and efficient use of public funds.

OTF ensures operational efficiency and effectiveness to maximize the amount of funding we invest in communities and demonstrate value for money to taxpayers.  

Funds that are invested locally make significant social and economic impact to improve the lives of Ontarians.  

Explore the grants awarded

Our impact in communities

OTF grants support organizations as they deliver essential programs and services across our province’s critical sectors - social services, sports and recreation, arts, culture and heritage and the environment.

Local projects

Our investments in local projects play a key role in improving people’s lives and well-being and help measure what matters to communities. 

Diverse activities

Funded activities have helped organizations build resilience and capacity, pilot new ideas or programs, grow successful projects, improve new technology, and understand unique and emerging needs.

Community well-being

Our investments look beyond today to long-term change in the sense of belonging, prosperity, health, safety, and equality for all Ontarians.   

Investments made in 2023-2024

110 million dollars was invested into 1 thousand 44 community projects.

 

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$57M

Resilient Communities Fund

Over $57,000,000 was invested into 546 grants.

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$14M

Youth Opportunities Fund

Over $14,000,000 was invested into 39 grants.

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$39M

Capital grants

$39,000,000 was invested into 448 grants.

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10

Partnerships

OTF engaged in 10 partnerships.

Creating long-term change

For more than 40 years, thousands of local projects have impacted Ontario’s communities, creating meaningful change for people of all ages, abilities, culture and heritage.  

Thanks to the Ontario government, OTF’s funding has helped to meet the changing needs of the non-profit sector and the communities it supports.
 

More than 2.6 billion has been invested in 28 thousand grants.


The data collected through our grants shows how communities are directly impacted by the work of grantees and the significant contribution individuals and organizations give to their communities.

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48M people

have been impacted by the grants delivered across 400+ communities.

Who has been impacted by OTF grants?

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People of all ages benefit

Percentage of people impacted based on age group:  

52.8%
General population

10.8% 
Children (0-12) 

16.8% 
Youth (13-24) 

13.9% 
Adults (25-64) 

5.9% 
Seniors (65+) 

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Communities and populations

OTF grants benefit a wide range of Ontarians, with 42% of our grants serving people with diverse identities and lived experiences.

Identity
16% of grants have benefitted Black, Indigenous, other racialized groups, 2SLGBTQIA+, and diverse cultural communities.

Lived Experience
30% of grants have benefitted people who are low income, newcomers/refugees, living with mental health and addiction issues, underhoused/homeless, have disabilities, and are in care/leaving care.

Gender
6% of grants have benefitted women, girls, men, boys, trans-men, trans-women, and non-binary individuals. 

Language
6% of grants have benefitted people who are Francophone, bilingual in English and French, and speak other languages besides English and French.

General populations
58% of grants have benefitted the general population.

These percentages total more than 100% as some grants serve multiple communities and populations.

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Communities of all sizes

Percentage of grants benefitting different community sizes: 

20%
Rural or small communities  

20%
Mid-size communities  

60%
Urban centres 

How were Ontarians impacted?

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9,400

Jobs

Number of Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) generated.

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20.4M sq ft

New or improved space.

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1.2M

Program hours

Additional hours of programing (measured in Capital grants only).

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5.9M

Volunteer hours

Volunteer hours generated.

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328K

Volunteers

Number of volunteers engaged.

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$250M

Additional financial support

accessed by grantees as a result of their OTF grants.

Building the resilience of the non-profit sector

The non-profit sector across Ontario experienced significant disruption and change that impacted how they could deliver services and support to Ontarians as a result of COVID-19.

Organizations struggled to cope with unprecedented demand for their programs and services while experiencing many operational challenges throughout the pandemic.

How was the sector impacted?

Revenue generation and operating costs

83% of nonprofits reported higher operating costs in 2022.

Demand for services

Nearly 3/4 of nonprofits experienced increased demand for services.

Staffing and volunteers

  • 65% of nonprofits reported challenges with staff retention and recruitment, with 1/3 experiencing job vacancy rates greater than 10%.  
  • 50% of organizations reported staffing and volunteer challenges, which caused reduced or changed programs and services. 
  • Volunteer shortages were widespread, with 2/3 of organizations losing volunteers in the last year and new volunteer recruitment persisting as a challenge. 

Supporting communities through change

In response to the impacts felt by many in the sector, OTF offered new granting programs and established new partnerships to address the urgent and evolving needs of the sector.  

Through the Resilient Communities Fund and the Ontario government’s Community Building Fund, OTF invested close to $330 into communities to support their recovery, and rebuilding of their capacity, resilience, and sustainability. 

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$294M

Resilient Communities Fund

$294,400,000M was invested into 3,299 local projects.

Grants were awarded to help community-based organizations recover and build capacity, resilience, and sustainability.  

Grantees developed and implemented medium to long-term plans that address organizational challenges they were facing to recover and build resilience. 

Learn about the Resilient Communities Fund

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$96.8M

Community Building Fund

$96,800,000M invested in 844 local projects.

Grants helped organizations in the culture, heritage, tourism, and sport and recreation sectors remain viable so they could provide services, jobs, educational opportunities, and programming. This initiative was part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. 

Learn about the Community Building Fund.

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$2.4M

COVID-19 Emergency Fund

$2,370,000 invested into 112 projects.

The fund dedicated $2 million to support current Indigenous and Black grantees who needed emergency relief and funding to maintain organizational capacity and service delivery.  

As part of the Ontario government’s enhanced Black Youth Action Plan, the Youth Opportunities Fund delivered the COVID-19 Emergency Fund in 2020-2021.  

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$979K

Economic Recovery and Resilience Fund

$979,000 invested into 5 local projects.

Local projects were funded to support Black children, youth, and young adults at different stages in their lives and careers.  

Funded projects helped create the conditions where youth beneficiaries thrive in high-opportunity careers and supported individual pathways to success.  

Read about the Economic Recovery and Resilience Fund

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Impact Stories

Non-profit organizations and community groups are dedicated to delivering unique, innovative and essential programs and services that meet the diverse needs of their communities. They help drive positive change and build strong, connected communities.

Read their stories