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Allan Slaight Seniors Fund

Request for Proposals

  1. Information Sessions
  2. Funding Guidelines
  3. Application Process
  4. Grant Review and Selection Process
  5. Peer Learning, Evaluation and Donor Engagement
  6. Timelines
  7. Contact

Information Sessions

United Way staff held five public information sessions on October 10, 12, 16 and 18, 2019 for organizations interested in learning more about this funding opportunity.

If you were unable to attend an information session it is highly recommended that you review the presentation slide deck.

Funding Guidelines


For generations, the Slaight family has generously supported United Way Greater Toronto (United Way) to improve the lives of those most vulnerable. Over the past decade, The Slaight Family Foundation has played a leadership role in driving innovative approaches to help solve local challenges, investing in community-based solutions that have a tangible impact on those in need.

Once again, The Slaight Family Foundation is partnering with United Way and is launching the Allan Slaight Seniors Fund (ASSF). This Fund will support high-quality, leading-edge and evidence-informed programs that support our most vulnerable seniors to live healthy, active and connected lives in their homes and communities.

Why now?

Seniors play an important role in our communities: they are grandparents, caregivers, volunteers, workers, and make significant contributions to the diversity and vibrancy of our region. Seniors represent the fastest growing age group in Canada, and our region is no exception.1 In Ontario, the number of seniors is expected to almost double over the next two decades, from 2.4 million in 2017 to 4.6 million in 2041.2

While many seniors are thriving, almost one in five seniors living in Ontario report feeling isolated.3 Seniors are also living longer and as they age, they may be struggling with challenges such as dementia or other disabilities that make it difficult for them to remain in their communities.

Seniors who live on low incomes are particularly vulnerable, and may not be able to afford the services and programs they need to remain healthy and in their homes. Seniors from equity seeking groups face barriers that make it difficult for them to connect with others or access the services they need.


This Fund is intended to support a limited number of evidence-informed community-based programs or collaboratives that use leading-edge practices or innovative methods that transform the way services are delivered for vulnerable or under-served seniors.

Applicants are encouraged to develop projects that will address one or more of the following objectives:

  • Create opportunities for connection (social and recreation programs, peer programs, volunteers) to reduce social isolation
  • Support vulnerable seniors to live independently in their own homes
  • Offer new models or significantly enhanced programs that integrate care within the communities they serve
  • Help vulnerable seniors navigate the health and community services they need to stay healthy and engaged
  • Help vulnerable seniors improve or maintain their physical and/or mental health
  • Support families and caregivers of vulnerable seniors


Programs will be selected from across Toronto, Peel and York Regions so that people can get the services they need close to home. Priority will be given to programs that are best aligned to the purpose and objectives of this Fund and those that:

  • Meet current gaps in service for vulnerable seniors across the region
  • Demonstrate that they are using good practices to reduce the social isolation faced by vulnerable seniors or are testing new and innovative approaches
  • Establish that they are linked and connected to a coordinated system or present innovative approaches to improving the coordination and integration of services
  • Are designed to reach vulnerable seniors that have barriers to service access – seniors with chronic health challenges (dementia or other disabilities); those from equity seeking groups or people living in under-served neighbourhoods

Funding will be provided to organizations that have a strong track-record in delivering high-quality, evidence-based programs and that meet United Way criteria for strong program impact and design as well as present organizational capacity to steward United Way funds (good financial management, good governance).

Funded organizations must be willing to participate in community of practice learning events and to fulfill stewardship expectations. This funding will not duplicate funding provided for programs that are core to the health care system.


Grants will be provided for a period of 5 years pending positive annual reviews of program results. Grant amounts will range from $100,000 to $200,000 annually. The fund will launch in two phases:

  • Phase 1: Applications will open in mid-October 2019. United Way will fund 7 – 10 programs, with activities to begin in early 2020.
  • Phase 2: Applications will open in Fall 2020. United Way will fund 7 - 10 programs, with activities to begin in 2021.

In total, United Way expects to award 15 – 20 service delivery grants.

Funding will not extend beyond the grant term so successful initiatives must build sustainability within the five-year funding period.

This funding is open to all social service organizations with charitable status, as well as those that are incorporated non-profits trusteed by a charity.

Individual organizations or groups of organizations are welcome to apply for funding. A lead organization must be chosen on behalf of the group of agencies and this organization must complete the application and meet the eligibility requirements.

Organizations that do not meet the eligibility criteria below may partner in the delivery of a community service program or project with other organizations, as long the lead applicant is a community service agency and eligible for funding.


This grant is open to organizations that:

  • currently receive funding from United Way, or
  • are not currently funded but meet the United Way eligibility criteria

Eligible costs can include:

  • Staffing costs
  • Programming costs
  • Up to 20% administration or overhead

Costs related to small capital expenditures including program equipment and vehicles are eligible, but will not be selected if these expenditures are not aligned to the broader vision of the grant stream.

View detailed eligibility criteria and non-eligible costs

Application Process

This is an open call for proposals and all eligible organizations are welcome to apply.

The application will have two components, as outlined below:


Applicants that are not currently funded by United Way must complete the pre-screening component, which is an online self-assessment, to determine if they meet United Way’s eligibility criteria.

Please contact United Way staff to access the pre-screening of eligibility. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be directed to the application in the GO system.

Applicants that are currently funded by United Way do not need to complete the pre-screening component. These agencies will receive an email with a link to the application.


The application will consist of the following components:

  1. Basic Organizational Requirements Assessment (BORA)

    Applicants that are not currently funded by United Way will be assessed at the organizational level to ensure they have the capacity to deliver the program and steward United Way funds. The assessment will focus on indicators related to governance and HR practices, and financial management.

    If you successfully pass the pre-screening for eligibility, United Way staff will send you an email with a link to the BORA.

    Applicants that are currently funded by United Way have already completed an organizational assessment and are therefore not required to do so again.

  2. Program Information

    Each program proposal submitted for funding will be reviewed with considerations for program design, quality and demonstrated impact. Applications are to be submitted through our Grants Online (GO) funding system. If applicants have previously submitted a similar program in GO, they may cut and paste information into the application. Details on how to access and use the online system will be provided. For any GO system questions, please contact gosupport@uwgt.org.

Grant Review and Selection Process

All applications will be reviewed by a committee comprised of United Way staff, volunteers and sector experts.

The review committee will select proposals most strongly aligned to the funding guidelines and may request further information or site visits.

All applicants will receive notification of funding decisions in January 2020.

Peer Learning, Evaluation and Donor Engagement

Peer Learning:

Successful grantees will be required to participate in a peer learning process. United Way will convene grantees for cohort learning delivered by subject matter experts and grantees on topics based on the needs of grantees. Sessions will also focus on developing shared evaluation and reporting metrics. United Way will work with grantees to determine topics for shared learning. These sessions will be held on an annual basis.

Evaluation and Reporting:

Grantees will be required to submit annual reports highlighting program expenditures and results. Grantees may need to provide additional information including but not limited to testimonials, client stories, semi-annual reports of successes and challenges, etc. Grantees will also be required to meet with United Way staff to re-evaluate program activities and outcomes at the end of the two-year funding cycle to determine renewal of funding contract for the remaining 3-year term.

Donor Engagement:

Grantees will also be expected to engage with representatives of The Slaight Family Foundation. Engagement opportunities will be coordinated by United Way and may range from annual site visits to more frequent volunteer opportunities that support the work of the funded initiatives.

Agencies selected for funding will be expected to adhere to United Way’s partnerships expectations. View the partnership expectations.


Applications must be submitted in United Way’s GO funding system. These are the key activities with timelines:

Information sessions October 10, 15, 16 and 18, 2019
Application launch October 17, 2019
Phone support October 17, 2019 to November 13, 2019
(weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
Applications due November 14, 2019 at 5 p.m.
Funding notifications January 2020

Contact Us

For questions related to the grant guidelines, eligibility and application, contact one of the following staff between October 17, 2019 to November 13, 2019:

  • Selam Araia, Community Investment Manager, at (416) 777-1444 ext. 564, or saraia@uwgt.org
  • Andrea Wong, Community Investment Manager, at (416) 777-1444 ext. 836, or awong@uwgt.org
  • Maja Mikarovska, Senior Manager, Community Service Sector, at 416-777-1444 ext. 285 or mmikarovska@uwgt.org


  1. https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/as-sa/98-311-x/98-311-x2011001-eng.cfm
  2. https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/economy/demographics/projections/
  3. http://nationalseniorsstrategy.ca/the-four-pillars/pillar-1/addressing-ageism-elder-abuse-and-social-isolation/