Tips for Applying for the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) Resilient Communities Fund Grant

For organizations looking to bolster their capacity, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) Resilient Communities Fund provides an opportunity to help you recover, grow, and thrive. Over the past several years, Laridae has had the opportunity to support several OTF grant recipients through planning for their future.  In preparation for the approaching application window (deadline: October 25th, 2023), we’ve put together some tips to help guide your journey toward securing support for your organization.

Tell a strong story about your community based organization

Your organization’s ability to develop medium- to long-term plans is key to eligibility for this round of funding. Think of your plan as a compass, pointing the way to effectively navigate organizational challenges. It’s critical to craft a narrative in your application that speaks to both the challenges your organization is facing and a comprehensive roadmap for tackling the identified hurdles.

Showcase capacity-building

While your application will be specific to your organization’s current state, it’s important to remember that this round of funding is all about capacity-building and isn’t intended to support the implementation of projects. Your application needs to paint a crystal-clear picture of how your chosen approach will enhance your organizational capacity. How will capacity-building drive your organization forward, improve effectiveness, and lead to long-term impact? How will capacity-building initiatives help you surmount the challenges your organization is facing?

Be thoughtful about timing

The Resilient Communities Fund provides support for up to 24 months for projects taking place between February 20th and June 20th, 2024.  March is often considered to be the “sweet spot” for funded initiatives. Keep this timeframe top-of-mind when building out your plans.  Ensure that your organization can commit to the grant’s requirements for the specified duration.

Tailor the funding amount to your community based organization’s needs

Grants range from $10,000 CAD to $100,000 CAD per year, with a maximum of $200,000 CAD over the 24 months of support. To improve your chances, carefully assess your organization’s financial needs and align your funding request with your planned initiatives. Keep the ask and your activities realistic, measurable, and attainable. OTF’s recommendation for smaller organizations is: don’t apply for funding above and beyond your annual gross revenue.

Identify your organization’s challenges and unique strengths

Be aware that the success rate for grant applications is approximately 15%. The competition is fierce, and your application needs to stand out. Articulate your organization’s unique strengths and paint the picture of how your proposed initiatives will bring about positive change.

Demonstrate local community impact

OTF is all about building Ontario’s capacity and this round of funding has a particular focus on demonstrating impact. The panel reviewing your grant will likely be local to the community you serve, and they’ll be looking to see a clear strategy for increasing impact in your catchment area. Province-wide initiatives are not eligible in this round. Focus your energies on illustrating how capacity-building will amplify your organization’s impact within your chosen community.

Tap into local expertise

The OTF encourages organizations to engage Ontario-based consultants. These experts can offer a wealth of local knowledge and experience, supporting your team in realizing a greater impact.

Next steps

Learn more about how your skillfully apply to OTF grants

Applying for the OTF Resilient Communities Fund Grant is a journey that requires careful preparation and determination. Visit the OTF Resilient Communities Fund page for details on preparing your application.

With these tips in hand, it’s our hope that you can access the support needed to ensure a resilient and sustainable future for your community-based organization. Together, we can build stronger, more resilient communities across the province.

Laridae is here to help your organization get funding

If you’re looking for help with your next planning process to build your organization’s capacity, with or without OTF funding, get in touch to learn more about how we can support.