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Community PROGRAM Grants
Frequently Asked Questions

United Way defines poverty as a state when income is too low to provide for an adequate standard of living. But we know that poverty isn’t simply about income – it is exclusion from resources, opportunities, and connections. Some of the issues underlying poverty in our region include an increasingly precarious labour market, a lack of affordable housing and neighbourhood infrastructure, and systemic discrimination in the economy and everyday life, all of which make living in poverty and getting out of it daunting.

United Way is focused on funding services and initiatives that mitigate the effects of poverty, help people move out of poverty, and address the underlying causes of poverty.


Applications will be assessed based on their ability to provide access and opportunities for people living in poverty. The most compelling applications will demonstrate that a majority of people using a program, or benefitting from an initiative, experience poverty or are at immediate risk of falling into poverty.

No. In order to be eligible for United Way funding, organizations must have a head office location or program service location in Peel Region, the City of Toronto or York Region.

United Way does not fund organizations established for the observation of religious beliefs or offering specific faith-based services or forms of worship. However, United Way will fund programs in faith-based organizations if:

  • the funding request is for programs that are not religious in nature and benefit the whole community
  • the majority of the organization’s operational activities are non-religious in nature
  • the organization can confirm it adheres to the Ontario Human Rights Code
  • the majority of the organization’s Board of Directors do not hold a position of religious office or affiliation within the organization

No. Organizations funded under our Community ANCHOR Grants are not eligible for Community PROGRAM Grants. An ANCHOR-funded agency may, however, serve as a trustee of an incorporated non-profit organization applying for funding under the Community PROGRAM Grants.

No. The list of trustees was developed to assist applicants who require one. You are welcome to choose your own trustee provided it is a registered charity that meets all United Way’s organizational eligibility criteria, particularly if you have worked with the organization in the past and you have similar mandates. You must complete the Organizational Health Application (OHA) for both your trustee and your agency and submit all required organizational documents. Some trustees may be exempt from completing an OHA. Contact us for details at cssprogramfunding@uwgt.org.

Our focus is on neighbourhoods and geographies with high densities of poverty for in-person services. Applicants can access a variety of information sources including the Peel Region Neighbourhood Information Tool, or municipal or regional neighbourhood profiles to demonstrate this. The primary considerations will be concentrations of poverty and the availability of services.

Yes, grassroots organizations may apply if they are registered charities or incorporated nonprofits that are supported by a trustee or platform that is a registered charity.

Yes. You can apply for all three programs in the same issue area, or you can apply for each of the three programs in a different issue area.

United Way funds may be used for program staff, operating, rent, or program costs.

Up to 20% of the approved funding may be used for administration costs, including building costs, management or administrative staff salaries, costs associated with operations, such as promotion and publicity, consulting costs, dues, insurance, equipment and office expenses, or trustee fees. The administrative funds can be used to support the administration of the agency as it related to the successful delivery of the program approved for funding.

You are not required to apply any funding towards administration costs. If you choose, the full funding amount can be used for program costs.

Program or service subsidies to allow low-income people to access services can be included as part of a program or budget request. However, the provision of subsidies as independent or stand-alone programs will not likely be funded since the application requires clear objectives, activities, outcomes and evaluation. The program will need to fit under one of United Way's 13 focus areas.

No, this is not required; however, if you are submitting a joint or collaborative application, all participating agencies should approve the application.

United Way staff will not be providing feedback on the specific content of your application. Staff can answer questions that may help you understand the intention of the questions and the assessment criteria. If you have questions related to the Community PROGRAM Grants, please contact United Way staff at cssprogramfunding@uwgt.org or 416-359-2087.