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Grants to Ontario Grassroots Organizations to
Support Youth and Young Adults

Youth Opportunities Fund (YOF) - Youth Innovations Test Grant

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF)

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

10/25/22 5:00 PM EST


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Grants to Ontario grassroots organizations to support youth and young adults. Applicants must submit a letter of interest prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended for activities to positively benefit the community by helping applicants research new ideas and concepts, strategize on actions the group can take, build evidence that something works, or develop or pilot an idea or approach. Priority will be given to projects led by and for Indigenous youth and Black youth. Projects must benefit young people ages 12-25, and/or 12-29 for youth living with special needs and/or disabilities.

The YOF supports projects led by youth who share identities, experiences, and face the same systemic barriers as the people who will benefit from the project. This “by and for” principle is a requirement in all YOF funding streams.

Three types of projects qualify for a Test grant. 

  • Research a new concept or issue: Choose this project type if the group wants to learn and understand more about a specific topic or issue. Consider how research will be conducted, how much time this work will take, and how the group will share what it learns, for example through a research paper, report, website, or presentation. The research topic must align with one of the Youth Innovations Priority Outcomes.
  • Strategize around issue(s) affecting young people the group wants to support: Choose this project type if the group wants to bring youth together to discuss an issue, as a first step in coming up with community-inspired solutions. Depending on the aims and the stage of the discussion, what is learned could include:
    • Understanding an issue and its impact on the community
    • Discovering who is already working on an issue, who is joining the conversation, and who might be left out
    • Developing some common goals or strategies to respond to the issue
    • Coming up with next steps as a collective
    • The focus of the strategizing work must align with one of the Youth Innovations Priority Outcomes
  • Test a new project idea: This type of project focuses on trying out a new idea that has the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of young people. The idea the group wants to test must align with one of the Youth Innovations Priority Outcomes.

Priority Outcomes:

  • Creating safe spaces for Indigenous and/or Black youth to build strong community and cultural connections
  • Addressing racism and its impacts on youth in urban, rural, and/or Northern communities
  • Supporting Indigenous, Black, and/or newcomer youth to enter the labor market and transition to sustainable career pathways
  • Supporting youth who are not connected to education programs, employment programs, and training programs (i.e. NEET) to exit poverty and social assistance
  • Empowering girls and young women to lead, including women’s economic empowerment initiatives
  • Providing mentorship opportunities for youth in and leaving care and/or youth involved in the justice system

Primary Beneficiaries and Eligible Expenses can be found on the URL for Full Text, below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 160099

Estimated Size of Grant:

Minimum: N/A
Maximum: $85,000

Term of Contract:

Term Length:
- Minimum 1 year
- Maximum 3 years

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible groups:
Your group may be eligible if it meets the definitions of a youth-led group or youth-adult partnership, and:
- Is led by youth, ages 29 years or under, who share identities and experiences with those they will engage in project activities
- Exists independent of a larger organization. This means the group has autonomy to choose their Organizational Mentor, design the project, identify group members, and plan for the future.
- Is based in Ontario
- Has three or more core members
- Is an
-- Unincorporated group or
-- Incorporated not-for-profit with independently managed revenues no higher than $50,000 in either of the last two years. Board members and day-to-day management must also meet youth-led group and youth adult-partnership definitions
- Agrees to work with an Organizational Mentor (OM)

Ineligible groups:
The following are not eligible to apply:
- Registered charities
- Groups specifically designed to serve young people through committees or clubs of institutions, including municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals
- For-profit businesses
- Individuals

Ineligible expenses:
- Capital infrastructure expenses (renovations to space)
- Expenses related to political or religious activities
- General or ongoing operating expenses (unrelated to the project)
- Bursaries, scholarships, sponsorships or individual requests (including regranting funds to other projects or people)
- Fundraising campaigns

Pre-proposal Conference:

Youth Innovations Information Sessions:
- Tue, June 14, 2022, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT
- Tue, July 5, 2022 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT
- Wed, July 20, 2022 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
- Wed, August 3, 2022 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM EDT

The sessions will cover:
- An overview of YOF’s Youth Innovations Stream
- The application process
- YOF eligibility requirements

Register and more information:

Pre-Application Information:

Important Dates and Deadlines:
- Expression of Interest available: July 4, 2022
- Expression of Interest deadline: August 24, 2022, 5p.m. ET
- Notification of status of EOI: Approximately 7 weeks after EOI deadline
- Grant Application deadline: October 25, 2022, 5p.m. ET
- Notification of Grant Application: Approximately 5-6 weeks after Grant Application deadline
- Organization Mentor Application: Open year round
- Organizational Mentor Registration deadline: December 21, 2022, 5p.m. ET
- OM-Grassroots Group Collaborative Agreement deadline: December 21, 2022, 5p.m. ET
- Start date for all Grants: No earlier than March 1, 2023

OTF will tell you the status of your EOI around 5-6 weeks after the EOI deadline. If your group is shortlisted, you will be invited to submit a Grant Application.

All groups applying to the Youth Opportunities Fund (YOF) Youth Innovations and Family Innovations Streams must partner with an OM and enter into a collaborative agreement.

Organizational Mentor information:

Applicants may book a coaching call:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit your application online starting July 20, 2022.

Register and apply online:

Direct questions to:
1 800 263-2887 or email for immediate support.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Array ( )

Canada: Ontario;

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