Volunteering

Volunteers smiling.

Making a difference in Ontario starts here

The beating heart of the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is our more than 300 volunteers. We rely on their local knowledge and expertise, as well as their passion and dedication, to deliver fair and transparent assessments of grant applications received from across Ontario.

As a volunteer, you are part of a local Grant Review Team (GRT) that assesses grant applications and recommend suitable projects for funding. Your diverse perspectives and experiences will help us build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities that are more equitable, inclusive and enriching.

OTF has divided Ontario into 16 catchment areas, enabling OTF to make granting decisions at a local level. Each catchment is supported by OTF staff and local Grant Review Teams.

Because OTF is an agency of the Government of Ontario, GRT members are publicly appointed by the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

Why volunteer with OTF

Working with volunteers, OTF can invest in projects to make a positive impact on our communities. As a GRT member, your contributions will help communities in Ontario be more:

  • Healthy and sustainable
  • Enriched through arts, culture, and heritage
  • Supportive of the development of children and youth
  • Enhanced through economic wellbeing

The impact of OTF grants can be seen all around you. Read some success stories to see what you can become part of.

Interested in being a Grant Review Team member?

If you are interested, here are the relevant skills:

  • Deep knowledge of your community and the issues it faces
  • A commitment to OTF’s mission and values
  • A digital-first mindset, including advanced computer skills to enable you to assess applications in our online granting portal and take part in meetings via conference calls or software applications
  • An appreciation and/or experience working for under-represented groups?
  • A willingness to learn

What do Grant Review Team members do

Volunteers are appointed to one of OTF's 16 GRTs across Ontario, based on where they live. GRT members work closely with OTF staff to:

  • Individually assess grant applications using OTF’s online granting portal and make funding recommendations based on our grant assessment criteria
  • Collectively make recommendations in support of projects in your geographic area
  • Fully support OTF’s mission and values
  • Adhere to OTF Code of Conduct and Ethics and Conflict of Interest policies

We provide all volunteers with continuous training and support around our Investment Strategy, policies, and assessment criteria.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Independently assess applications for each granting cycle. There are three cycles per year.
    • Review and assess applications through an online granting portal
    • Make grant recommendations that align with OTF's Investment Strategy that will make the greatest positive impact in communities throughout Ontario
  • Participate in face-to-face or virtual GRT meetings of up to two hours in length. If face-to-face meetings include some travel, we will reimburse eligible travel costs
  • Get trained using different learning platforms as required
  • Attend and speak at grant recognition events throughout your catchment to represent OTF (with support from OTF staff)
  • Represent OTF positively in your community

GRT member responsibilities do not include:

  • Providing counselling or program support to individuals, organizations, networks, or gatherings of community members
  • Taking part in direct communication or interaction with potential applicants, applicants, declined applicants, or grantees
  • Being a media spokesperson
  • Making administrative arrangements for GRT meetings

Time commitment

GRT members should be able to commit annually to:

  • Up to 200 hours per year for application assessments
  • Three GRT meetings per year, up to two hours per meeting. This does not include travel time.
  • Travelling within your area and speaking at local events as required to represent OTF
  • Up to 15 hours per year for training as required by OTF

Note

As per OTF’s Conflict of Interest policy, GRT members who declare a conflict of interest with an organization cannot advise on their grant application or be their main contact. GRT members who declare a conflict of interest also cannot assess or take part in the decision-making process for the grant application and cannot attend the recognition event. This applies to any GRT member’s term and 12 months after.

Contact us

If you want to apply for a volunteer position or to learn more about the current Grant Review Teams, email volunteersupport@otf.ca.