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Inclusive Local Economies

Overview +

The goal of the Opportunities Fund is to improve the economic livelihoods of Toronto’s working poor through strategies that:

  • make precarious jobs better (raising the floor) and support the upward mobility of workers (building ladders);
  • reduce barriers for low-income entrepreneurs and alternative business models; and
  • leverage the capacity of neighbourhoods to improve the economic livelihoods of low-income residents.

An equitable local economy is a complex challenge that requires multiple, well- aligned efforts by many partners, including business, labour, residents, non-profits, entrepreneurs, academics, advocates and governments. Metcalf encourages applications from collaborative groups and organizations whose ideas are grounded and informed by practice. Our 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.

Eligibility +

Organizations may apply individually or in collaboration with others. Lead applicants must:

  • be committed to improving outcomes for low-income people and communities,
  • be based and active within the City of Toronto; and
  • be registered as a charity through the Canada Revenue Agency.

Deadlines +

For 2016 awards, letters of interest for Opportunities Fund grants will be accepted on or before:

November 26, 2015
June 2016 (TBD)

FAQs +

My organization is not a registered charity but we are incorporated as a not-for-profit. Can we submit an application to the Foundation?

The Inclusive Local Economies Program can fund only organizations that have a current charitable registration number from the Canada Revenue Agency. If your organization is a not-for-profit — but not a registered charity — you can apply through a joint application with a registered charity with which you have a working relationship and whose mission complements your own.

Does the Foundation make Inclusive Local Economies grants outside of Toronto?

Eligible applicants must be located and operate in the City of Toronto. The Foundation does not make Inclusive Local Economies Program grants outside of Toronto.

Can a single organization submit more than one application to the Inclusive Local Economies Program?

While we recognize that organizations may be involved in many activities and projects, it is not the Foundation’s customary practice to consider more than one application from an organization in a given funding round. Please limit your request to one project unless otherwise arranged with Foundation staff.

What is the maximum/minimum size of a grant under the Inclusive Local Economies Program?

There is no maximum or minimum grant size; we simply ask that applications be submitted with budgets appropriate to the proposed work, organization’s size, and human resources capacity. We encourage you to look at the database of current and past Opportunities Fund grants to see the range of funding.

Can organizations apply for multi-year funding?

The Foundation will entertain proposals for multi-year funding; we ask that applications be submitted with appropriate financial requests consistent with the project’s scope and duration.

Why doesn’t the Inclusive Local Economies Program fund ongoing direct services programs?

Inclusive Local Economies funding is focused on developing long-term strategies that can improve low-income peoples’ economic livelihoods and access to quality jobs. Supporting existing service delivery is not considered a long-term strategy for creating sustainable economic opportunities.

Would Foundation staff be willing to review my proposal in advance of the deadline?

Foundation staff is happy to discuss potential applications and to help organizations craft a more focused argument for funding. We encourage you to contact us. We do not, however, read drafts of applications prior to their submission.

What additional information will help an application?

If deemed relevant to the application, additional printed material, such as annual reports, newsletters, research reports, or workshop proceedings can be attached as background information. However, it is not mandatory.

The George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation
38 Madison Avenue, Toronto, ON  M5R 2S1