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Inclusive Local Economies Program - Opportunities Fund

Grants to Toronto, Ontario Registered Charities for
Economic Opportunities for Low-Income Residents

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Metcalf Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

07/29/19 2:00 PM Receipt


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Grants to Toronto, Ontario registered charities to develop creative strategies to enhance the economic opportunities and livelihoods of low-income individuals. Applicants must submit a letter of interest prior to applying.

The funding source intends to support strategies that:
- Make precarious jobs better (raise the floor) and support the upward mobility of workers (build ladders);
- Reduce barriers for low-income entrepreneurs and alternative business models; and
- Leverage the capacity of neighborhoods to improve the economic livelihoods of low-income residents.

These strategic areas comprise the focus of the Foundation's funding and align with the Foundation's long-standing commitment to advance pragmatic approaches in support of bold visions. Applicants must address one or more of the three strategic focuses listed above, in their proposals.

Metcalf is interested in approaches that: encompass an understanding of the broader landscape of public policy, research, and community action; include an analysis of equity and inclusion; and enhance the participation and leadership of low-income people in addressing the conditions they face.

An equitable local economy is a complex challenge that requires multiple, well-aligned efforts by many partners, including business, labor, residents, non-profits, entrepreneurs, academics, advocates and governments. The Foundation encourages applications from collaborative groups and organizations whose ideas are grounded and informed by practice. The aim is to help develop approaches, strategies, and policies that can create sustainable economic opportunities and improve the economic livelihoods of low-income people. The Foundation is committed to fostering connections and learning alongside its grantees.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172354

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations may apply individually or in collaboration with others.

Lead applicants must be:
- Committed to improving outcomes for low-income people and communities,
- Based and active within the City of Toronto; and
- Registered as a charity through the Canada Revenue Agency.

Generally, the Foundation does not fund:
- Direct services that focus purely on developing job skills;
- Direct financial support to for-profit enterprises — social or otherwise;
- Ongoing operating expenses that are unrelated to the proposed project;
- Capital projects;
- Endowments; or
- Deficits.

The Foundation will assess applications on the basis of:
- The project alignment with the goals of the Inclusive Local Economies program and the Opportunities Fund;
- The clarity of the proposal, the credibility of the strategy, the rationale for the work, and likelihood for success;
- The potential for impact, contribution to systems change, and analysis of equity; and
- The potential for learning about new approaches and practices for both the project partners and the Foundation.

Pre-Application Information:

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Inclusive Local Economies Program Director, Adriana Beemans, to discuss their proposals in advance of applying.

Application deadlines for 2018/2019 are:

Round 1
Receipt of letter of interest - December 3, 2018, 2:00pm (electronic copy only)
Receipt of full application - February 4, 2019, 2:00pm (both electronic and hard copies)

Round 2
Receipt of letter of interest - June 6, 2019, 2:00pm (electronic copy only)
Receipt of full application - July 29, 2019, 2:00pm (both electronic and hard copies)

The Foundation is unable to consider late or incomplete applications for funding. Both paper and electronic copies must be received at the Foundation by the time and date listed above.

Application Requirements – Letter of Interest
After submitting a letter of interest electronically, applicants should receive an email confirmation of its receipt. If confirmation is not received within three business hours of making a submission, please contact Foundation staff.

Applicants will be informed within three weeks of submitting a letter of interest whether they are invited to submit full applications.

Application Requirements – Full Application
Based on letters of interest, the Foundation will invite organizations by letter (sent both electronically and by mail) to submit full applications to the program. Note that an invitation is not a guarantee of funding. Metcalf will not consider full applications from organizations that did not receive an invitation following their letter of interest submission.

Funding Decision
Applications will be reviewed by the Foundation’s Board and staff, assisted by an advisory panel with knowledge of the sector. Notifications of the Board’s funding decisions will be sent out in early April 2019 for Round 1 and early October 2019 for Round 2.

View a November 2015 webinar on applying to the Opportunities Fund here:
Presentation slides can also be accessed separately.

Note: The Full Application Requirements section and the complete the project budget template are available in a Word document at

Contact Information:

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

Letters of interest are to be submitted in electronic form only. Submit one pdf file of all parts listed to

Metcalf Foundation
Attention: Adriana Beemans
Inclusive Local Economies Program Director
38 Madison Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2S1
416-926-0366 x 224

Grant Coverage Areas:

City of Toronto

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario