One-Year Community Grants

Please note that the next deadline is October 1, 2020.

Note about the Fall 2020 Community Grants round – adapting to CoVID-era realities

During the first four months of the pandemic, OCF supported hundreds of front-line agencies delivering critical services to those disproportionately affected. Although we have now wrapped up our Rapid Response Fund, we recognize there are some ongoing urgent needs. We also know that many in the charitable sector are thoughtfully wrestling with recovery in relation to their own futures and to the issues they seek to address. In response to this complex context, we are aiming to balance the following in the Fall 2020 round of the Community Grants Program (CGP).

First, it is tempting in this extraordinary time to reconfigure the CGP. But for many years the CGP has been a reliable and consistent funding program in an environment characterized by frequent shifts in granting sources, priorities, eligibility requirements, and application processes. And it is precisely because so much else is up in the air that we have opted not to modify the requirements and processes of the CGP; and funding will continue to be available for a broad range of programs and services – whether or not related to COVID.

Second, as a small-grants program, the CGP does not provide core funding beyond salaries and office/equipment expenses related to the initiative itself. However, in this round we will consider exceptional circumstances where the case is clear that a Community Grant would provide an essential bridge to a well-defined, sustainable future for an organization.

Finally, the necessity and the opportunity to re-imagine ways to work towards a healthy, inclusive, vibrant, and sustainable City are now more evident than ever. While our interest in CGP applications for strategic initiatives is not new, we are especially receptive at this time to supporting the exploration and evolution of new organizational arrangements, strengthened partnerships and coalitions, and alternative financing.

If you have questions before submitting an application, and particularly if you would like input on a strategic initiative, you can reach us at

Prior to submitting an application, please carefully review our Granting Guidelines and Eligibility. If you have any remaining questions about completing the application form, about the eligibility of your project, or about the process, please email us, or call Tais McNeill (Community Engagement Associate) at 613-236-1616 ext. 223 or Rebecca Aird (Director) at ext. 222.

Grant applications must be submitted through our online system, which is opened approximately six weeks in advance of each deadline. To log on to the system, please use the following instructions:

  • For new users to the online application system, click here. Carefully follow the instructions provided on the login page. You will receive a confirmation e-mail indicating that you have created a new account.
  • If you have an account already, you can begin a new application by clicking here.
  • To login and modify existing applications, click here.

Tips on completing your online application:

  • Please read the online application instructions carefully.
  • The online application system will require that you enter your CRA Charitable Registration Number both to login and on the application form.
  • You can take a look at the application form in its entirety in this PDF. We recommend that you maintain a document of your responses as back-up to the online content. You can also prepare responses in an off-line document and cut and paste into the application.
  • Please complete all questions on the application form. If you cannot complete the entire form in a single session, you can click Save & Submit Later and a version of your application will be saved.

You will receive confirmation that your application has been saved by email and you will be able to return to the saved version in order to complete and submit it later.

  • Please ensure that all of the required attachments have been attached to the application (see below for a complete list)
  • The Budget form (available for download within the online application) is best completed using Acrobat Reader, which is free to download. To get the Reader, click here:
  • Once you have completed the online application form, click on the Review & Submit button. You will be required to review your application one final time, including the attachments, before submitting. If you have missed any of the required fields, a red error message at the top of the page will indicate which ones have been missed.
  • Upon submission you will receive a confirmation message and email indicating that your application has been received.
  • To log out, click the Exit – Sortie link, which will take you to the Ottawa Community Foundation’s homepage.

You will be required to attach the following information for your organization before submitting your online application:

  • Project Budget Form listing all expenses and revenues;
  • List of current Board of Directors;
  • Current operating budget;
  • Most recent audited financial statement;
  • The Partnership Agreement Form is to be completed only by applicants who are not-for-profit organizations without charitable status, and who are applying in partnership with a qualified donee (registered charity).

Important information

  • We will accept only one application at a time from an organization. However, a charitable organization can submit an application on its own behalf, and sponsor an application from a partner organization, in the same grant round.
  • Organizations should complete projects previously funded through the Ottawa Community Foundation and submit an evaluation report before re-applying. To obtain the grant evaluation report template click here.
  • The Grants Committee reviews only the information in the application and budget. (Other attachments are used to confirm eligibility.) If you wish the Committee to know about letters of support, client comments, evaluated outcomes of past initiatives, etc.., please reference and/or quote from those in the application itself. If you believe it is important that we have such documents on file, please submit them separately from your grant submission to
  • We only accept applications submitted through our online granting system.

What to expect after you submit
Once submitted, grant applications go through a three-step process. First, they are evaluated for eligibility by OCF staff. Second, they are reviewed by the Grants Committee. Finally, applications approved by the Grants Committee are matched with funding.

The period from the application deadline to the notice of decision to applicants is about 2-3 months. This means that applicants submitting for the February 1 deadline usually receive notice by late April, and applicants for the October 1st deadline usually receive notice by early December. Unsuccessful applicants may receive notice earlier.

Successful applicants are requested to contact the OCF when they are ready to proceed with their project or initiative, at which point we forward the approved amount. Grantees have up to 6 months from the date of the decision notice to claim the grant.