Executive Authority Policy

Type: Granting

Target audience: Applicants, Employees, Grantees

1.0 Rationale

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) adheres to an investment strategy and a suite of corporate, governance and investment policies. OTF policies support the effective use of grant funds while ensuring accountability and the appropriate use of public funds. To ensure transparency, OTF recognizes that there may be rare occasions when extenuating circumstances require that OTF consider exceptions to existing investment policies in order to maximize impact, or, in emergency situations, exceptions to the investment strategy and policies.

2.0 Purpose

The policy outlines conditions for executive authority in the following two circumstances: when time-sensitive situations require a funding decision by the Board, and when an OTF investment policy is identified as a barrier to supporting a potentially high-impact grant.

3.0 Policy

3.1 Funding Responses in Time-Sensitive Situations

In exceptional circumstances that require OTF to respond more quickly than the normal grant-making process would allow, OTF may consider grant-making decisions outside of its normal deadlines and review period.

These situations are:

  1. a community in Ontario is in a state of emergency;
  2. an OTF grantee is facing a crisis – and the Foundation’s assessment is that should the organization collapse there would be serious repercussions within the community; or
  3. a strategic leadership opportunity arises that falls outside OTF’s normal granting programs. 

3.1.1 Approval Process

In order to respond to a time-sensitive situation, approval is granted on a case-by-case basis by the Board, based on the CEO’s recommendation. Prior to making a recommendation, the CEO must consult with appropriate decision-makers, including Grant Review Teams. The “Framework for Responding to Time-Sensitive Situations and Strategic Opportunities” details the appropriate decision-makers for consultation in each of the three situations.

3.2 Exceptions to Investment Policies

The Board delegates to the CEO and Chair the joint authority to review and discretion to approve exceptions to OTF investment policies on a case-by-case basis, where strong rationale for considering an exception to an OTF policy has been provided.

Exceptions may only be made if both of the following conditions are met:

  1. the proposed exception is compliant with OTF’s mission, Investment Strategy and the Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Ontario; and,
  2. the Board Chair and CEO jointly recommend allowing the exception.

3.2.1 Approval Process

A policy exception does not guarantee funding. The appropriate Grant Review Team (GRT) remains responsible for making recommendations on funding to the Board.

3.3 Precedent

Executive authority is exercised on a case-by-case basis. Exercising executive authority in one instance does not affect future applications of the granting framework or policies.

4.0 Definitions

Investment Strategy: The investment strategy clearly identifies the changes that OTF wants to see in Ontario communities. It includes four streams and six specific Action Areas.

Time-Sensitive Situations: Time-sensitive situations are exceptional circumstances that require OTF to respond more quickly than the normal grant-making process would allow.