Applications are now open: Does your resident group have a great event idea to benefit your neighbourhood? Apply for $1,000 – $3,000 in funding! Deadline for online applications is December 4, 2018.

Program Goal

The Neighbourhood Grants program will make available grants of $1,000-$3,000 to resident-led groups to help them inspire their neighbourhoods with events or activities held between May 1st – September 15th, 2019.

A maximum of $5,000 will be available for each of the 39 identified neighbourhoods (31 Neighbourhood Improvement Areas or 8 Emerging Neighbourhoods). See if your neighbourhood is eligible (listed below).

Funded Neighbourhood Grants events/activities help to promote the Toronto Strong Neighbourhood Strategy 2020 (TSNS 2020) in the following areas:

  • Economic Opportunities: For example – jobs skills workshops, certification workshops, employment forums and more
  • Healthy Lives: For example – nutrition workshops, wellness days, gardening events and more
  • Participation in Decision Making: For example – community speak out events, leadership trainings, civic action forums and more
  • Social Development: For example – educational workshop/forums, back to school events, neighbourhood festivals and more
  • Physical Surroundings: For example – community beautification events, neighbourhood walking tours, community art events and more.

 

If you would like to know more, watch a short video on the TSNS 2020 or a short film (four minutes) on the Neighbourhood Grants program!

The Social Planning Toronto is the City’s partner in providing capacity building training to grant recipients and be their coordinating partner for the grant. Please visit Social Planning Toronto’s Neighbourhood Grants’ website for additional guides and information for funded groups.

Follow the three steps below before you apply online.

Apply Online by Dec. 4

Step 1: Get Support

There are two ways to get support and get your group ready to apply. In October and November, 2018 you and or your group members can go to:

  1. Neighbourhood Grants Planning Session
  2. Neighbourhood Grant Writing Workshop (dates and locations to be announced next week)
Planning Sessions
  • Residents, community agencies and local business representatives will be in attendance to hear about your idea and suggest partners, location for your event, or even mentors
  • They will be the group that will recommend which events should get funding.
  • Dates and Locations: If you need to know when your next Neighbourhood Grants Planning Session meeting is, please contact your local Community Development Officer (CDO) to connect you with the local Neighbourhood Table and its members.
Neighbourhood Grant Writing Workshop
  • If you want extra help with the basics of preparing a grant application for the Neighbourhood Grants, register for a Social Planning Toronto workshop.
  • Activities and handouts will be provided, as well as tips for creating a clear application and sound budget. More information will be posted next week.

Step 2: Plan Your Activity

  • Your idea: Bring your group together and find a mentor to plan and organize your event/activity. See the Application Questions to help you plan.
  • Your budget: Put together a budget for $1,000 to $3,000. We have a list of eligible and ineligible expenses for your guidance.
  • Your timeline and location: Remember to include City permits and insurance in your request funding. Your group will need to apply for permits and they can take 4-8 weeks to confirm.

Step 3: Fill out the Online Application (deadline: December 4)

Please note that this grant is for resident-led groups only. Registered non-profit organizations should not apply.

Your Resident-led Group:

  • Is made up of members who live in one of the 39 Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIA) or Emerging Neighbourhoods (EN). Find your neighbourhood!
  • Has at least three or more residents who make up the group
  • Is not a business, registered not-for-profit, or a social enterprise
  • Does not have part-time or full-time City of Toronto employees as group members

Your Activity or Event:

  • Is discussed with the local Neighbourhood Planning Table where your event will be held and before applying (list of dates for  Planning Sessions)
  • Is open and free for residents of the neighbourhood
  • Takes place in one of the 39 neighbourhoods
  • Is held in a public space
  • Is a one-time event or completed within 1 month period

 

Apply Online by Dec. 4

 

Please contact your Community Development Officer to learn of upcoming opportunities in your community.

Neighbourhood Grant Planning Sessions
  • Resident-led groups in the 39 neighbourhoods are strongly encouraged to attend a Neighbourhood Grant Planning Session to be held in October and November. Find out how you can get ready to apply by checking out the list of meetings for your local Neighbourhood Grant Planning Session section.

 

Workshops: How to develop your Neighbourhood Grant Application
  • If you want extra help with the basics of preparing a Neighbourhood Grant application, register for a Social Planning Toronto workshop. Activities and handouts will be provided, as well as tips for creating a clear application and sound budget. These workshops are for residents living in one one the 39 neighbourhoods and who are thinking of applying for a Neighbourhood grant. Registration information and dates/locations will be available next week.

Attend a Neighbourhood Grants Planning Session, where your group members will:

  • Meet members of the Neighbourhood Planning Table and a community mentor who can advise and provide guidance for your project.
Discuss Your Idea with Your Neighbourhood Planning Table
  • Attend a Neighbourhood Grant Planning Session in October or November to discuss your event or activity idea.
  • Dates and locations of the Neighbourhood Grants Planning will be posted here next week.
What you need to do at the Planning Session At the Neighbourhood Planning Table, you  or members of your group will have 5-10 minutes to:

  • introduce your group, share your event/activity idea that you are planning (you don’t have to have it all planned out)
  • Share why you want to do the event/activity, and
  • Share your budget idea (how much in total you need, and how you will use the money).
Benefits of Going to the Neighbourhood Planning Table
  • Learn about the TSNS Actions that your event/activity can support.
  • Meet members who are local residents and community agency staff.
  • Find partners who can support your event, who can link you to others.
  • Find your a community mentor who can advise and provide guidance for your project.

Date What Happens
September 27, 2018 Neighbourhood Grants’ launch – applications open!
October – November, 2018 Planning Sessions to help resident-led groups apply; held at Neighbourhood Planning Tables across Toronto
December 4, 2018 Deadline to apply to the Neighbourhood Grant program
January, 2019 Application reviews and recommendations for funding
February, 2019 Funding Decisions and notifications to applicants
March, 2019 Orientation Sessions for successful applicants
April – October, 2019 Capacity building training workshops for successful applicants
May 1 to September 15, 2019 Neighbourhood Grant activities/events held in neighbourhoods across Toronto
October, 2019 Celebration Event
November – December, 2019 Grant report back from resident groups at Neighbourhood Planning Tables

Changes Made in Response to Feedback from Residents

Feedback and guidance from residents influenced two changes over the Summer of 2018. These changes are:

  • The minimum number of group members you need in order to apply is now 3 residents from an NIA (compared to 5). A group can choose to have 3, 4 or 5 residents as part of their group to apply to Neighbourhood Grants.
  • Group members are now eligible to receive an honoraria for their work on the Neighbourhood event. A group can use up to a maximum of $350 in their budget for group member honoraria. Group members will decide how that honoraria should be distributed among themselves. Please see the full list of eligible and ineligible expenses for more details.
  • Previous changes: Changes made to Neighbourhood Grant program with input from Resident-led groups from Phase 1 – feedback was received from Phase 1 (Spring 2017) grant recipients.

List of Grant Recipients

Approvals of Neighbourhood Grant Recipients

Neighbourhood Grants are recommended for funding by residents and community agencies from the local neighbourhood at your local Neighbourhood Planning Table meeting or by a Neighbourhood Grants Resident Selection Panel.

The Decision Making Process

  1. Your application is reviewed by City of Toronto staff to ensure that your group is eligible. For example, we check to see that all group members live in one of the 39 eligible neighbourhoods.
  2. Your application is shared with your local Neighbourhood Planning Table or the Resident Advisory Committee to make funding recommendations.
  3. We encourage your group to attend your local Neighbourhood Planning Table to present your idea and answer questions when they make their selections.
  4. The Executive Director of Social Development, Finance and Administration reviews the recommendations for funding from the Neighbourhood Planning Tables and approves the neighbourhood grants.
  5. Funded groups are required to do the following:
    1. Agree to the City’s Anti-Discrimination policies
    2. Become a free member and report your activity to the Neighbourhood Planning Table
    3. Submit receipts to Social Planning Toronto and report to the Neighbourhood Planning Table.
  6. Funded groups will be contacted by City of Toronto and Social Planning Toronto, the Neighbourhood Grants’ Coordinating Partner.

The Review Criteria

Reviewers of the Neighbourhood Grant applications will be looking for the following things:

  • Will the target group be interested in the activity/event?
  • Does the activity/event bring together a diverse group of people from the neighbourhood?
  • Does the activity/event support one of the five Toronto Strong Neighbourhood Strategy 2020 Theme Areas:
    • Economic Opportunities
    • Healthy Lives
    • Participation in Decision Making
    • Social Development
    • Physical Surroundings?
  • Do they have a good plan for the activity/event? Will the group be able to carry out the activity/event?
  • Is the budget clear? Does it make sense for the activity/event?

For Applicants

  • Contact information for your local Community Development Officer – find the name, telephone number and email address for the Community Development Officer in your neighbourhood.
  • List of Eligible and Ineligible Expenses – see which items can and cannot be funded
  • Mentor Guidelines– see what the role and responsibilities are of a Neighbourhood Grants’ mentor to help guide your conversation with your mentor.
  • Neighbourhood Look Up – to check which neighbourhood your group members live in or where your activity/event will be held, please check out this link and search the address or place. All five members of your group must live in, and your event must be held in, one of the 39 neighbourhoods.

For Funded Groups

Event Organizing Guides

Social Planning Toronto, the coordinating partner and capacity builder for the City’s Neighbourhood Grants program, has put together the following helpful guides for groups organizing events:

A how-to guide on organizing public events in parks by Park People

Complete list of parks and recreation centres

Permit fees – Outdoor Special Events – Not for profit