Community Grants

Cenotaph

The City of Peterborough's Community Grants provide funding to non-profit, community-based organizations that deliver direct programs, services, or activities that improve the quality of life for our residents. The grants support activities in the areas of social services and health, arts, culture, heritage, recreation, and the environment.

Apply for a Community Grant

Please fill out our online application to apply when the call for applications is open each year. We hold an information session for organizations and associations interested in applying for grants for their project or special event.

Applying for a grant is a competitive process. Funding requests may total more than what's available each year. We review applications and make recommendations to City Council for approval. You may also apply to discuss your request with City Council, but this does not guarantee funding.

The three Community Grant streams are:

  • Community Project Grants – support for specified project for which the requested amount is $250 to $1,000
  • Community Investment Grants – support for projects and special events, specific programs or operating budgets for which the requested amount is $1,000 to $15,000
  • Community Service Grants – support for municipally mandated services for which the requested amount is more than $15,000 (Community Service Grants are not available through the application process as the City initiates agreements for this funding)

Have a question?

Please review our Community Grants guidelines for more information. You can contact the Community Services department at 705-742-7777 ext. 1822 or email communitygrants@peterborough.ca if you have any questions.

Community Grant streams

Community Project Grants

Please fill out the online application.

The intent is that the money is seed money for a project or a special event. The funding is available once a year. City staff review the applications and make recommendations to City Council for approval.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for funding, applicants must:

  • be new or existing, incorporated or unincorporated not-for-profit organizations or neighbourhood associations; and
  • be located and conduct the majority of activities within the geographic boundaries of the City of Peterborough.

First-time applicants must apply for and receive a grant in the Project Grant category for at least two consecutive years before they can apply for an Investment Grant.

Not eligible for a Community Project Grant

The following are not eligible for a Community Project Grant:

  • organizations receiving a Community Investment Grant or Community Service Grant
  • individuals
  • for-profit businesses
  • organizations demonstrating any political affiliations within the previous 5 years
  • organizations serving as funding sources for others, e.g. Service Clubs
  • faith organizations where funding is directly supporting services/activities that include the promotion and/or required adherence to a faith
  • hospitals, clinic-based services or medical treatment programs
  • fundraising events
  • school boards, primary and secondary schools, post secondary institutions
  • programs within legislated mandates of other government or city departments
  • provincial/national organizations, unless a local chapter exists to service the residents of Peterborough
  • organizations receiving 80% or more of funding from senior levels of government
  • organizations that conduct the majority of their activities outside of the City
  • costs for major capital equipment/renovations, minor renovations, and financing of deficits

Applicants should demonstrate:

  • one or more City priorities and participant priorities within target sectors (as outlined on the application forms);
  • community need for proposed activity or service;
  • community support (funding support or sponsorship from other organizations, local businesses, industry, service clubs);
  • community benefit/impact;
  • financial need (operating surpluses or reserve accounts should not exceed 25% of total operating without acceptable explanation, e.g., capital campaign);
  • sound financial management and revenue generation (accurate records, responsible budget, various sources of income; if deficit, then reduction plan);
  • accountability/mechanism for evaluation (identification of key performance measures and outcomes);
  • feasibility (organization's ability to complete the proposed activity or service);
  • evidence of community collaboration, partnerships;
  • impact of previous year's funding support.

Community Investment Grants

Please fill out the online application.

The Community Investment Grants support larger projects or special events, specific programs of larger organizations, or operating budgets.

The funding is available once a year but applicants can apply for three-year funding with no additional annual increases. Organizations must be in operation for at least five years before applying for multi-year funding.

The Community Investment Grant Advisory Committee reviews the applications. City Council appoints community members, representatives from the arts, culture, heritage, social services, health, environment and recreation sectors, and a community member with a financial background to serve on the committee. City staff prepare the final recommendations for Council's consideration.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for funding, applicants must:

  • be incorporated as a not-for-profit organization with a local board of directors;
  • be not-for-profits that are located, and conduct the majority of their activities, within the geographic boundaries of the City;
  • have sustained a history of activity over two years prior, normally achieved as past recipient of at least two Community Grants or two Community Project grants;
  • have been in existence for five years if requesting multi-year funding;
  • have demonstrated sound financial management and good standing with the City;
  • be able to demonstrate that they provide those services and programs in an effective, accessible, open, and inclusive manner.

Not eligible for a Community Investment Grant

The following are not eligible for a Community Investment Grant:

  • new unincorporated not-for-profit organizations or not-for-profits receiving a Community Project Grant or incorporated not-for-profits receiving a Community Service Grant
  • individuals
  • for-profit businesses
  • organizations demonstrating any political affiliations within the previous five years
  • organizations serving as funding sources for others, e.g. service clubs
  • faith organizations where funding is directly supporting services/activities that include the promotion and/or required adherence to a faith
  • hospitals, clinic-based services or medical treatment programs
  • fundraising events
  • school boards, primary and secondary schools, post-secondary institutions
  • programs within legislated mandates of other government or city departments
  • provincial/national organizations unless a local chapter exists to service the residents of Peterborough
  • organizations receiving 80% or more of funding from senior levels of government
  • organizations that conduct the majority of their activities outside of the City
  • costs for major capital equipment/renovations, minor renovations, and financing of deficits

Applicants should demonstrate:

  • one or more City priorities and participant priorities within target sectors (as outlined on the application forms);
  • community need for proposed activity or service;
  • community support (funding support or sponsorship from other organizations, local businesses, industry, service clubs);
  • community benefit/impact;
  • financial need (operating surpluses or reserve accounts should not exceed 25% of total operating without acceptable explanation, e.g., capital campaign);
  • sound financial management and revenue generation (accurate records, responsible budget, various sources of income; if deficit, then reduction plan);
  • accountability/mechanism for evaluation (identification of key performance measures and outcomes);
  • feasibility (organization's ability to complete the proposed activity or service);
  • evidence of community collaboration, partnerships; and
  • impact of previous year's funding support.

Community Service Grant

There is no application process for this grant. Eligible organizations will be identified by City staff and approved by Council. They will be required to enter into a service contract with the City in order to receive the funding.

This grant program is intended for:

  • not-for-profit organizations currently receiving transfers, operating grants from the City or managing Municipal Capital Facilities for the City
  • organizations identified by the City that provide a specific service that the City should be providing but the not-for-profit organization can do so more effectively and efficiently
  • transfer of funds from senior government through the municipality to a community agency to achieve very specific outcomes/deliverables
  • funding the core program of an agency or service that is supportive to the attainment of municipal or community objectives that are not within the parameters of the municipal corporate mandate

Advice for applying

Advice for applicants

If you are thinking about applying for a Community Grant, here is some helpful advice and a list of frequently asked questions.

  • Self assessment first:
    • Do you really need the funding? (surplus/deficit/reserve)
    • Can you generate revenue from any of your programs or services? (sales, admissions, sponsorships)
    • Can you generate surplus revenue through fundraising (donations, special events, volunteerism)
  • The Canada Revenue Agency will consider the ratio of fundraising cost to fundraising totals as follows:
    • Under 35% no questions or concerns
    • 35% or greater the Canada Revenue Agency will review trends, the higher the ratio the more likely there will be questions
    • 70% or greater the fundraising costs are unlikely to be accepted without reasonable explanation
  • Look at eligibility and fit
  • Highlight key words and phrases that the City needs to hear
  • Don't try to make the application fit; you must fit it
  • Talk to City staff to ask for advice and direction
  • When entering data, save often
  • The way you complete the application reflects on the organization
  • Don't cut and paste from last year's application
  • Be realistic with your request
  • Explain and justify increases
  • Balanced budget or explain a deficit or surplus
  • Decision is based on the information you provide
  • When in doubt, call Community Services at 705-742-7777 ext. 1822
  • Give specific information
  • Don't leave it until the last minute
  • Don't miss the deadline as applications cannot be accepted after the deadline
  • If unsuccessful with your application, get feedback and keep trying

Community Grants frequently asked questions

Will you contact me if I have not fully completed the application or sufficiently answered a question?

The electronic version of the application is designed to prevent omissions. The format of the application will now require applicants to be succinct. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the information is accurate and provides sufficient response. City staff will still be reviewing all applications and may contact applicants for clarification.

Do we have to be incorporated to apply for an Investment Grant?

Incorporation is now a requirement to obtain a Community Investment Grant.

Is it OK to hand-write applications?

No, the electronic application process must be used. You will be able to save and return to you partially completed application before the due date. You must complete and submit the entire application online before the deadline.

We have been saving money for a new building. Do we have to include that in our financial information?

Yes, include it as a surplus or as a reserve fund, but explain.

If we do not apply for a couple of years, but were funded at least twice previously, can we re-apply for an investment grant?

Yes, but the length of time since the last grant will be a consideration for the review team.

If our funding is for one program within our organization, do we need to include budget information for the entire organization?

Yes, we need to review the entire budget and sources of the organization's funding to determine eligibility.

Can we be assured that we will be granted funding in the amount we require?

This is a competitive process and all funding decisions are made at the same time by the evaluation committee. No one is guaranteed an amount of funding in advance. If, however, you receive approval for a specific amount over three years, that level of funding is guaranteed.

If the program or event we need funding for is held in January or February of the next year, is that OK?

As long as you are consistent in the timing of the expenditure of funds from year to year, there is no problem. At no time will you be allowed to use City funding twice in a 12-month period.

If we have applied for a project grant two years in a row, but were not approved, can we apply for an Investment Grant the next year?

No, an organization that is new to the Community Investment Grant funding process must be approved for funding for two years in the Project Grant category and then meet all of the Investment Grant eligibility criteria before applying for an Investment Grant.