Ontario Ministry of Seniors Affairs
03/31/18 - Please note that applicants may continue to submit applications until March 31, 2018.
Grants to Ontario nonprofits and municipalities to expand senior centers and their programming. Funding is intended to support programs that benefit seniors and promote active, healthy, and engaged living. Programs can include fitness and wellness classes and learning opportunities. Programs must be new initiatives, not expansions of existing programs.
The Ministry of Seniors Affairs is committed to promoting the development of age-friendly communities and programs that acknowledge the contribution of seniors and keeps seniors active, healthy and engaged.
Decisions will be guided by multiple factors including the readiness of organizations and commitment of the municipalities, geographic spread across the province, diversity of seniors impacted, and evidence of sustainability.
Maintenance and Operating Program Funding
- At this time, the maximum amount available for program costs for a 12-month fiscal year is up to 50% of net annual operating costs of maintaining and operating the program, to a maximum of $42,700.
- Annual funding is contingent on compliance and demonstrated performance.
- All costs must be reasonable and market-competitive.
Program funding may include, but is not limited to, the following expenditures that are directly related to the delivery of programs that benefit seniors:
- Staff salaries and wages (full or part-time);
- Overhead and administrative costs such as rent, utilities, office supplies, telephone, and communications services such as internet;
- Supplies and equipment to directly support program activities, such as: furniture and small and large kitchen appliances (fridge, microwave, kettle, dishes); rental or purchase of equipment for regularly occurring program activities (speakers, projector, televisions, games); rental or purchase of equipment for fitness programs (mats, balls, walking sticks/poles);
- Transportation to events for staff and seniors that are related specifically to seniors programs and services, but not for regular ongoing transportation;
- Membership fees for related affiliations (age-friendly, seniors);
- Legal fees related to provision of services to seniors;
- Accounting services and audit fees;
- Marketing and advertising costs to promote programs and services for seniors and can include development and distribution of pamphlets, flyers, local announcements, and websites;
- Costs directly associated with community consultations, workshops or meetings directly related to research or age-friendly community planning for seniors;
- Ontario-only travel and meal expenses that are directly related to programs for seniors. Expenses must align with the provincial government’s Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive. The directive can be found at:
- And routine maintenance.
Each year, approved centers can request funding for special grants, which can support unique, one-time programs, services or purchases on an annual basis. Up to a maximum of $15,000 can be requested to support the delivery of programs to seniors.
Eligible items for Special Grants include:
- Wages for new, temporary staff, such as yoga instructors, computer teachers, or first-aid instructors for new classes that have not been offered before;
- Supplies and equipment to directly support seniors programs, such as rental or purchase of furniture, small and large kitchen appliances (fridge, microwave, kettle, dishes); equipment for entertainment programs (speakers, projector, CDs); equipment for fitness programs (mats, balls, walking sticks/poles); maintenance and repair expenses;
- Special projects such as hiring a consultant or staff to do research on issues related to seniors, including age-friendly research or projects that can be shared with other centers, or special marketing initiatives.
Successful applicants may complete a separate special grant request once approved. More information will be provided to successful applicants.
Applicants must demonstrate the following:
1. Programs must benefit primarily seniors:
- Programs must serve primarily seniors (those over 65), however, applicants can be an organization that is part of a community hub or a community center that offers other types of intergenerational programs and services to the
2. Programs must promote active and healthy living, social engagement and learning:
- Programs can include, but are not limited to fitness classes, healthy lifestyle and wellness classes, social engagement, and learning opportunities such as financial management, and elder abuse.
- Applicants must demonstrate how their submission aligns with the program’s priorities, as outlined below.
3. Municipal contribution:
- As legislated by the Seniors Active Living Centres Act, 2017, applicants must secure a commitment from the local municipality for a minimum of 20 percent of the net annual cost of maintaining and operating the program, in cash or in-kind or a combination thereof.
- Centers can partner with more than one neighboring (contiguous) municipality to obtain the municipal contribution.
- Applicants must provide a copy of the municipal council resolution (preferred) or a letter signed by a senior level municipal authority, such as the mayor or treasurer that clearly details the municipal commitment. This proof of municipal financial contribution is due January 19, 2018 for any organization that applies for the initial round by December 21, 2017.
4. New program funding:
- Funding must support a new program at a unique location, and not simply expand existing programs. For example, a center cannot apply to expand current yoga classes from 20 seniors to 40 seniors, however, a center can apply to offer new programs at a new location as part of its overall programming.
- Applicants must provide a program budget and an explanation that demonstrates how funding will be used for new programs that benefit either more seniors or target a specialized group of seniors.
- Applicants must provide information on existing seniors programs, if applicable, and demonstrate how new programs are different from existing programs.
- Programs can be offered at one location, multiple locations, or virtually to reach a broader group of seniors.
- Programs can be offered in any language or may serve diverse groups of seniors across the province, but cannot exclude anyone who wants to participate.
5. Performance measures:
- Centers will be required to report to the Ministry of Seniors Affairs on performance measures; therefore, programs must include at least one measurable performance indicator, including the level of client satisfaction with programs and/or services.
6. Letters of support
- In cases where an applicant is partnering with another organization in addition to the municipality to offer any program or service, the applicant must submit a letter of support from those partners that outlines their roles and responsibilities.
7. Marketing and outreach:
- Applicants must outline a marketing and outreach strategy that they will employ to build awareness, specifically as it relates to any targeted population.
GrantWatch ID#: 182571
- Maintenance and Operating Program Funding: The maximum amount available for program costs for a 12 month fiscal year is up to a maximum of $42,700.
- Special Grants: Up to a maximum of $15,000 can be requested to support the delivery of programs to seniors.
- Maintenance and Operating Program Grants will be allocated until March 2019. It is anticipated that the first phase of new programs will be approved by February 2018. Grants last for the 12 month fiscal year.
- Special grants are for program expenditures after April 1, 2018, and will be approved in 2018-19, along with all other special grant requests. Approval of special grant funding usually occurs in August.
- Organizations that are approved to offer programs and are in good standing may
apply for funding for the following fiscal year (April 1 – March 31), on an annual
Applicants can represent a senior’s center, or a center that offers a variety of programs to a range of people.
Applicants are responsible for the application and for fulfilling all terms of the funding agreement, if selected.
Note that any applicant that is currently in default of any Ontario grant is not eligible for funding.
Applicants must demonstrate the following to be eligible for funding:
- Ontario only: Programs must be located and serve seniors in Ontario.
- Incorporation: Not-for-profit organizations must have been incorporated in Ontario and operating continuously for at least two years, since at least April 1, 2015. Municipalities are eligible, and can be upper tier, lower tier or individual municipalities.
- District Service Boards associated with a municipality are eligible.
- Governance structure and organizational capacity: Must have a viable governance structure in place, such as a board of directors, council or other elected governing body; Must outline the resources that will support program administration (including staffing, volunteers or administrative resources); Should include an organizational strategic plan, if available.
- Financial viability: Applicants must provide proof of financial stability; Applicants must provide prior year financial statements that have been reviewed and certified by an independent auditor. Applicants that are municipalities must identify the tab that summarizes revenues and expenditures on the provincial Financial Information Reporting (FIR) system.
Examples of organizations ineligible to apply:
- Unincorporated bodies
- For-profit businesses
- Agencies, Boards or Commissions of the Federal or Provincial governments
- Private foundations
- Private schools
- Organizations whose purpose is related to political activity (lobbying), as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency
- Organizations that are currently in default of any other provincial government grant
No capital projects, buildings, or capital renovations are eligible for this funding.
Maintenance and Operating Program: Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to:
- Costs covered by other government funding;
- Costs not specifically related to seniors programming;
- Capital acquisition or construction projects, planning or building new facilities, major renovations, or significant upgrades to buildings;
- Development of architectural, engineering or other design drawings for the construction or renovation of facilities providing services to seniors, including housing;
- Purchase or sale of alcohol;
- Investments, interest payments, and debt payment;
- Lobbying, sponsorship campaigns, or politically partisan activities;
- Programming that supports primarily those other than seniors;
- Purchase of vehicles and insurance costs.
Special Projects: Ineligible expenses include but are not limited to:
- Purchase of physical space (e.g. land, building);
- Mortgage payments;
- Anything already funded by other programs, such as the Seniors Community Grant Program, Ontario Trillium or New Horizons.
How to apply: http://www.grants.gov.on.ca/GrantsPortal/en/OntarioGrants/HowtoApply/index.htm
About the grants application system:
Technical FAQs: http://www.grants.gov.on.ca/GrantsPortal/en/OntarioGrants/FAQs/Technical/index.htm
Grants FAQs: http://www.grants.gov.on.ca/GrantsPortal/en/OntarioGrants/FAQs/Grants/index.htm
All applicants must be enrolled with the Grants Ontario system before completing an application. Applicants should enroll as soon as possible, as it may take up to two weeks to complete the enrollment process.
The deadline is December 21, 2017. Note that applications will continue to be accepted after this date, as some organizations and municipalities may need more time to plan for this opportunity. Applicants for the first round of funding will receive a decision regarding their application by early 2018.
Proof of municipal financial commitment is due by January 19, 2018. It is anticipated that the first phase of new programs will be approved by February 2018.
Recognizing that some organizations and municipalities may need more time to plan for this opportunity, applications will be continue to be accepted until March 31, 2018.
Under the Act, the local municipal government must provide a minimum of 20 per cent of the net annual cost of maintaining and operating the program.
Each year, in order to continue to be eligible for ministry funding, the applicant is required to provide proof that the municipality will provide the minimum contribution toward the maintenance and operation of the program.
Note that the municipal contributions must be used for expenses directly related to seniors’ program activities.
The municipal funding contribution can be in cash, or in-kind, or a combination thereof. In-kind contributions must be clearly described. If requested by the ministry, applicants must provide examples of equivalent market costs.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Submit grants online: http://www.grants.gov.on.ca/GrantsPortal/en/OntarioGrants/GrantOpportunities/PRD11576119