Dear OTF friends,
OTF is making an announcement today concerning the new granting application deadlines for 2017.
This announcement also furthers our ongoing commitment to reforms that ensure OTF operations are more streamlined, simplified and responsive to the needs of community organizations. Indeed, OTF is committed to a process of continuous learning and improvement. Today’s announcement builds on the successful outcomes-based investment strategy launched last year and reflects feedback from key stakeholders including community organizations from every region and community in the province.
New 2017 Deadlines
The most important change concerns the number of times our individual investment streams will accept grant applications each year. Effective in 2017, OTF will shift to one deadline per year for three of its four investment streams: Seed, Grow and Capital. Applications for Collective Impact grants will continue to be accepted year-round. Consequently, the new 2017 calendar will be as follows:
Not only is a single deadline best practice for organizations similar to ours like the Ontario Media Development Corporation and the Ontario Arts Council – indeed, most comparable organizations moved to a single-annual intake process years ago – it creates a number of benefits for the public and organizations with whom we work, including a more simplified and straightforward application process with access to larger grants. This will be especially welcome news to potential applicants in rural and Northern Ontario who should benefit from better access to a larger funding allocation.
Other OTF Programs
In addition, the two other programs administered by OTF – the Youth Opportunities Fund and the Local Poverty Reduction Fund – will continue to be available to eligible community organizations. These programs are unaffected by these changes and their 2017 deadlines will be announced at a future date.
Enhanced Support For Grant Applicants
In addition to the new deadlines, we are also announcing that OTF will now deliver enhanced support to community organizations across Ontario, helping them create and submit stronger and more competitive grant applications. In the weeks ahead we will add further details about this initiative but rest assured, it will include individual support to community organizations. As stakeholders like you know better than anyone, this request for individual advice and support is the single greatest ask community groups make of OTF. The public will happily receive the news about enhanced support, and it will lead to both higher quality grant applications and a stronger connection with the groups we serve on a community-by-community basis.
What These Changes Mean For You
We recognize that you may be affected directly by these changes. It is for this reason that we have taken time and careful consideration to ensure that our plan flows from what we heard. The driving principle behind these changes is to improve results and serve community organizations better. This is the reason, for example, we are placing such emphasis on boosting support, capacity and advice to groups to help them through the granting application process.
Please do not hesitate to contact us directly if we can help in any way at 416.963.4927 or