Toronto's Vital Signs Grants

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2023 TORONTO’S VITAL SIGNS GRANTS:
APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED

More information about this year’s grant program and when applicants can expect to be contacted can be found below.  

Toronto’s Vital Signs Grants aim to surface and support high-impact organizations and their visionary work in tackling our city’s inequities. These organizations are equipped to identify and advance solutions for their communities as they address current challenges and advocate for equity. 

THE GRANT AND ELIBIGILITY: 

New this year, in an effort to make funding more accessible to organizations that experience great barriers to opportunities, we have expanded the scope of eligibility for the 2023 Toronto’s Vital Signs Grants (TVS Grants) to include both charities and nonprofits.  Historically, nonprofits (previously referred to as non-qualified donees) have received a significantly smaller proportion of all charitable donations. But after extensive lobbying by the sector, recent changes in legislation have enabled funders like Toronto Foundation to support nonprofits directly. Incorporated nonprofits do not need to apply with a charitable trustee. 

The 2023 Toronto’s Vital Signs Grants will focus on small nonprofits and charities with operating budgets up to $500,000, working to build their internal capacity their internal capacity. The program includes a one-time, project-based grant, with additional opportunities for promotion through Toronto Foundation’s extensive network of donors. 

A total of $300,000 is available to fund up to 20 organizations.  

Eligible organizations may apply for a $15,000 grant. 

Eligibility Includes: 

  • An incorporated nonprofit (incorporated federally or with the province of Ontario), that has a business registration number registered prior to September 2022. Incorporated nonprofits do not need to apply with a charitable trustee. 

or; 

  • A registered charity or nonprofit applying with a charitable trustee partner in place 

Priority will be given to organizations that are equity-led and equity-serving as well as Indigenous-led organizations.

The focus is on organizations undertaking projects with the goal of building their internal capacity.

Applicants must also: 

  • Be in good standing with the provincial or federal registry   
  • Be in good standing with CRA   
  • Have a basic governance structure (at least three people on the board, management committee, or other type of governing body) with internal accountability measures in place (such as practices and procedures for internal controls and accountability)   
  • Have a bank account in the name of the organization and systems and processes to track the organization’s income and expense transactions effectively 
  • Have an annual operating budget up to $500,000

KEY DATES:

  • Monday September 25, 2023: Toronto Foundation will begin accepting applications.
  • Thursday September 28, 2023 at 1:00-2:00PM EST: Toronto Foundation hosted a virtual information session. You can watch the recording here. Questions and answers from the live session can be found here.
  • October 3-5, 2023: Toronto Foundation will host two virtual office hour sessions to directly answer any applicant questions. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide reviews or feedback of draft applications but can provide guidance on the eligibility of a proposed project idea. You can register using the links below: 
  • Friday October 20, 2023 at 5:00PM EST: Application portal closes.
  • December 2023: Shortlisted applicants that make it to the next stage of review will go through a financial due diligence by Toronto Foundation
  • March 2024: Funding is disbursed and projects can begin
  • March 2025: Project end date

HOW TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION
Applicants will have the option of submitting either in written format, video, orally or by ASL interpretation. Only one application submission per organization will be accepted.

Before submitting your application, please review the Applicant Guide in full. Here you’ll find:

  • Additional grant program details;
  • Full eligibility requirements;
  • Instructions for applications; and,
  • Frequently asked questions.

A PDF version of a written version of the 2023 Toronto’s Vital Signs Grant application can be found here.

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY EQUITY? 

Equity-serving organizations seek to eliminate systemic barriers to participation for historically disadvantaged groups and facilitate access to opportunities, networks, resources, and supports to allow those groups to reach their full potential. 

Equity-led organizations have individuals within their leadership who have living/lived experience of the issues the organization works on. 

Equity acknowledges unequal starting places and addresses the unequal needs, conditions, and positions of people and communities that are created by institutional and structural barriers. Equity is more than an outcome; it is an ongoing process that seeks to correct systemic barriers and create a more just and fair society for all. 

Compared to many cities around the world, Toronto’s overall quality of life is high. However, when we look beyond citywide averages, we see that the experience of life in the city varies significantly depending on who you are, where you live and how long you’ve been here. By highlighting these gaps in our research and earmarking funding to support organizations working directly with overlooked populations, we aim to create a Toronto where everyone can thrive. 

For more information, contact:

Vanessa Wallace

Community Relations Officer

grants@torontofoundation.ca

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