There are two streams within the Community Grants Program (CGP):

One-Year Grants: Applications are accepted at two deadlines each year – February 1 and October 1. These grants range in size, but are typically at or below $10,000.

Multi-Year Grants: Applications involve a two-step process – a letter of intent due on December 1, and a proposal due February 1. The upper limit on multi-year grants is $25,000 per year. To date, funding has ranged from $3,000/year to $24,000/year.

Complete applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the deadline date.

Note: Typically, the amount available for the fall round is less than in the spring, so if your timing and needs permit, consider applying for the February 1 deadline.

Granting Guidelines and Eligibility

The CGP funds initiatives in the following broad areas: social services, arts and culture, education, environment, health, and animal welfare.

Typically, registration with Canada Revenue Agency as a charitable organization is required to be eligible to apply for a Community Grant. Incorporation as a not-for-profit is not sufficient to qualify. However, an organization that does not have charitable status can apply for a Community Grant as long as it works with a charitable partner that has agreed to sponsor the application. There are also a limited number of other categories of organizations that are eligible to apply directly. If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact us.

In addition:
• Applicants must demonstrate fiscal responsibility and have a committed volunteer board.
• The initiative for which the grant is being requested must benefit residents of Ottawa.
• Previous Community Grant recipients must file an Evaluation Report before applying for a new grant.

The Community Grants program does not provide funding for the following. If you are unsure whether your application falls into one of these categories, please contact us.
• Core operations (see note below)
• Fundraising events or campaigns;
• Partisan political or religious activities;
• Individuals;
• Sponsorships;
• Deficit reduction;
• Equipment purchases for administrative purposes.

Note: Staff salaries and/or maintenance and administrative costs are not eligible if associated with basic operations and established, ongoing programs. These costs can qualify, however, if associated with the development and/or implementation of new programs, the expansion or evolution of existing programs, or such other initiatives as capacity development, strategic planning, evaluation, etc.

Additional Considerations

Projects must do one or more of the following:
• Benefit the Ottawa community, improve the quality of life for its residents, and help to foster a strong, positive and caring community;
• Use a community development approach to build on the assets and strengths of the community in order to respond to evolving issues and emerging priorities;
• Address the root causes of identified local issues and work on long-term solutions in an effort to achieve systemic change;
• Cultivate collective action within the community (i.e. through a shared vision for change, coordinated activities, joint data collection and results measurement, the coordination of participating organizations, etc.);
• Take a creative or unique approach to tackling community issues (e.g. through the method of service delivery, engagement of community partners, role of community members, etc.);
• Help to build the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities.

In accordance with the principles and commitments of the Foundation, the Grants Committee pays close attention to whether and how proposed projects incorporate diversity and inclusion. The Committee also takes into account applicants’ resources, capacity and options for fundraising and marketing, to ensure that our funding reaches capable organizations that may have more limited scope in these areas.