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Leading and Learning Program - Network Learning Fund

Grants to Toronto, Ontario Nonprofits for Joint Initiatives in
Environment, Performing Arts, and Economic Development

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Metcalf Foundation

Deadline Date:

11/13/17 2:00 PM


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Grants of up to $16,000 to Toronto, Ontario nonprofit organizations for collaborative initiatives to work on a shared area of interest or challenge. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss ideas with a program officer before applying. Focus areas must be directly related to either environment, performing arts, or economic development for low-income populations.

To encourage a range of proposals representing a broad spectrum of individual, organizational, and sectoral needs, this program is intentionally flexible. Applications must detail the nature of the curated tour including the mix of events, meetings, and learning opportunities identified and to be organized by the applicant. Examples include: a study tour, peer shadowing at a specific organization engaging in innovative practices and initiatives, or attending a conference, festival, or symposium, coupled with pre and post-event meetings.

The Fund has five goals: Deeper understanding about a subject matter; professional leadership growth; shared learning; strengthened sector relationships; and an informal community of peers who are motivated to pursue collaborative work.

Partners are expected to organize at least one pre- and post-event activity. This could include convening participants pre-event to prepare for a group process, and a debrief, training, or public event upon the group’s return to provoke reflections on lessons learned and to share knowledge within the community.

Funding can be used to cover travel and accommodation expenses, conference fees, festival passes, and/or honorariums for local organizations that are engaged as part of the learning opportunity (eg: to lead a site tour).

Focus Area Details:

- Environment: Organizations must be working to build a low-carbon, resource efficient, and resilient Canada.
- Performing Arts: Professional theatre, dance, music, or opera companies working to leverage opportunities for new approaches and shared learning in the performing arts.
- Inclusive Local Economies: Organizations must be working to improve the economic livelihoods of low-income people in Toronto.

Evaluation Criteria:

- The proposed learning agenda, rationale for the curated events and, if relevant, the level of engagement with host organizations;
- The cumulative leadership and experience of the collaboration, and rationale for their involvement;
- The alignment between the group’s learning goals, the proposed agenda, and Metcalf program areas;
- Commitment to and creativity of pre- and post-events to explore implications and share learning; and
- The potential of the learning to contribute to the charitable sector, both within organizations and the sector as a whole.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182343

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants may apply for grants up to $16,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Applicants to the program must work in one of Metcalf’s three program areas.
- All organizations must be based in the City of Toronto.
- Organizations must have a current, valid charitable registration from the Canada Revenue Agency.
- Applications can be submitted from a group consisting of representatives from a minimum of three non-profits, one of which must be identified as the lead charitable organization. Each non-profit may have more than one leader participate in the program.

The Foundation encourages organizations with a significant track record of accomplishments and a history of collaboration in the charitable sector to partner with newer and/or smaller-scale non-profits working on similar issues or areas of focus.

Pre-Application Information:

Individuals and organizations are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate Program Director (Performing Arts, Inclusive Local Economies, or Environment) to discuss their ideas in advance of submitting an application.

Foundation staff are happy to discuss potential proposals, but they do not read full drafts of proposals prior to their submission.

For 2017 awards, applications for the Network Learning Fund will be accepted on or before:

- 2:00pm, May 29, 2017
- 2:00pm, November 13, 2017

Funding decisions will be made in December. Applicants may be asked to provide more detail on their proposal, outlining the learning agenda, project timelines, evaluation measures, and budget.

Contact Information:

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

Please submit one pdf file with all three parts to

Heather Dunford, Grants Manager
416-926-0366 x 233

Adriana Beemans, Inclusive Local Economies Program Director
416-926-0366 x 224

Michael Trent, Performing Arts Program Director
416-926-0366 x 225

Andre Vallillee, Environment Program Director
416-926-0366 x 230

38 Madison Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M5R 2S1

Grant Coverage Areas:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario