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Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) Request for Proposals

May 19, 2020

  1. Allocations/Allocations Process
  2. Eligibility Criteria
  3. Decision Criteria
  4. Funding Notification and Disbursement
  5. Reporting
  6. Application Process
  7. FAQ 

On April 21, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a Community Support Fund that the Government of Canada is providing to strengthen the capacity of community services to meet the urgent needs of vulnerable individuals and families affected by COVID-19. This Fund is being distributed through an agreement between the Government and United Way Centraide Canada (UWCC), Community Foundations of Canada and the Canadian Red Cross. 

Through this agreement United Way Greater Toronto will be distributing $11M to community services in Peel Region, the City of Toronto and York Region.  

United Way Greater Toronto (UWGT) is inviting proposals from agencies for one-time requests for community service organizations to meet the urgent needs of vulnerable individuals and families in Peel Region, the City of Toronto and York Region arising during COVID-19. In particular, UWGT will prioritize applications that focus on meeting the needs of vulnerable individuals and families experiencing the greatest barriers to accessing services and supports, and on creating partnerships that scale up significantly the capacity of communities to meet these needs.

The UWGT COVID-19 Emergency Community Support Fund will support initiatives that address pressing social inclusion or well-being needs including the following:

  • Expansion and adaptation of existing programs and services to meet the needs created by the COVID-19 emergency;
  • Implementation of new service responses to address the needs of vulnerable individuals and families;
  • Partnerships that facilitate better access and coordination within or among sectors;
  • Innovative proposals (informed by emerging or leading practices) to address the needs of vulnerable individuals and families falling between the cracks.

Agencies with infrastructure to deliver programs and services are encouraged to partner with others to reach the most marginalized populations not currently receiving service.

Allocations/Allocations Process

  • Between $10,000 and $50,000 will be allocated per application, with some exceptions over this amount for extensive reach or more complex partnerships. 
  • There will be two application deadlines and decisions will be made in two rounds using consistent criteria with consideration of the purpose of the funding outlined in this RFP. 
  • UWGT will coordinate with other funders to avoid duplication of funding and may share information about the application with other funders for this purpose.
  • Final approvals will be made by a Committee of the Board of UWGT.
ActivityDate
Information and application support:  
Online information sessions will be held on May 25, May 27 and May 29.
Register here.  

Staff will reply to questions via email within two business days. 
Questions can be sent to: communitysupportfund@uwgt.org
May 25 – May 29
First application deadline. Applications must be received by 5:00 pm.   June 5
Second and final application deadline. Applications must be received by 5:00 pm.   June 19
All funds will be disbursed to successful applicants and initiatives must begin 2 to 3 weeks after receipt of funds. July 31

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible Agencies:

  • Have a proven track record of delivering programs and services to the vulnerable population identified in the application; 
  • Have charitable status;
  • UWGT will fund a limited number of incorporated non-profits that are trusteed by an agency with charitable status but incorporated non-profits are encouraged to apply to Canadian Red Cross at redcross.ca/communityorganizations. The Red Cross has received Government of Canada emergency community support funding to distribute to agencies without charitable status;
  • Provide programs and services in Peel Region, the City of Toronto and/or York Region;
  • Maintain a volunteer Board of Directors that meets regularly;
  • Host a public Annual General Meeting;
  • Have financial statements that have been audited by a licensed public accountant (or financial review for charities or not-for-profits with annual revenues less than $100,000);
  • Can provide a certificate or letter of liability insurance of not less than $2M.

Not Eligible to Apply:

  • Individuals
  • For-profit agencies
  • Government or government agencies, boards and/or commissions
  • Agencies that are not incorporated
  • Agencies located outside of Peel Region, the City of Toronto and/or York Region
  • Agencies whose purpose is solely related to political activity, as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency
  • Agencies that cannot demonstrate a clear separation between religious and community service functions (If religious activities are provided by the agency)
  • Agencies that could be deemed discriminatory, as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code

Eligible Activities

Funding may be used to support: food security, financial wellness, health and hygiene, home care or personal support services, information and navigation, legal supports, mental health and wellness, shelter, safety, social inclusion and learning, and transportation. Program approaches may include:

  • Community outreach and engagement;
  • Delivering and/or developing models, tools, programming, services or resources;
  • Disseminating information and knowledge;
  • Volunteer engagement and recruitment.

Ineligible Activities:

  • Services mandated by the Child and Family Services Act, (R.S.O. 1990, c. 11);
  • Residential facilities that are licensed and regulated under the Child and Family Services Act and funded by Ministry of Children and Youth Services or Ministry of Community and Social Services;
  • Residential facilities that are funded or managed by Corrections Canada;
  • Residential facilities under the Homes for Special Care Act;
  • Licensed childcare programs;
  • Religious activities, except those related to Indigenous spirituality and culture;
  • Activities that are funded by a Community Foundation or Canadian Red Cross.

Eligible Expenses:

  • Wages and employment-related costs, including disability support 
  • Fees for professional services
  • Knowledge development
  • Materials and supplies
  • Printing and communication
  • Equipment purchase/rental/lease/maintenance
  • Travel costs
  • Infrastructure, including utilities, insurance, rent/lease, project audit, administrative costs associated with the project
  • Evaluation, data collection, reporting costs

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Purchase of real property (real-estate, land, buildings)
  • Costs that are not for meeting urgent needs due to COVID-19
  • Support of on-going agency infrastructure or operating deficits
  • Costs (staffing or program) that are already covered through other UWGT grants and funding streams
  • Costs (staffing or program) that duplicate government funding for emergency services
  • Costs (staffing or program) that occur outside of Peel Region, the City of Toronto and/or York Region

Decision Criteria

UWGT will fund a range of proposals to address a geographic distribution across the GTA and a distribution of services to reflect a diversity of populations most affected by COVID-19 and a variety of program types.

Reviewers will consider each application with the following criteria:

  • Alignment with the purpose outlined in this RFP;
  • Indication that the response to be provided will address the needs and barriers identified;
  • Ability to reach a reasonable number of people in light of the budget requested;
  • Demonstration that the initiative can be deployed rapidly and effectively and within a reasonable budget;
  • Assessment of agency capacity to deliver the project based on experience with target population, evidence of ability to steward and manage funds and reporting;
  • Clarity of budget and use of funds including evidence that there is no duplication of funding for programs and services from other funding bodies;

Funding Notification and Disbursement 

There will be an expedited decision-making process with efforts made to notify agencies as soon as possible after each application deadline.

  • UWGT will notify agencies of decisions via e-mail to the applicant's Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer.
  • Fund allocations will be confirmed with a funding contract.
  • UWGT will disburse funds to agencies through electronic fund transfers after the signed contract is received from the successful applicant. 
  • All funds will be disbursed to successful applicants by July 31, 2020.
  • Once the allocations are confirmed, UWGT will publicly announce the names of the agencies supported, the amount paid, the nature of the services provided, and the number of people who will benefit from these services.

Additional Considerations

Funded agencies will:

  • Have an established process for screening and training of volunteers, if applicable;
  • Have a clear plan for safe provision of services of any in-person services during COVID-19 that reflect local public health guidelines.

Reporting

  • Agencies will be required to report on the use of funds every three weeks as per Federal reporting requirements.
  • Fund recipients must expend funds by March 31, 2021
  • Final report (reconciliation of numbers served/financial reporting) due April 14, 2021.

Application Process

All applicants must submit a request to UWGT using the online application system here

We are making every effort to make the application process as accessible as possible. Community Investment staff will be available for questions throughout the process at communitysupportfund@uwgt.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

United Way Greater Toronto (UWGT) will be issuing grants between the ranges of $10,000 - $50,000, with some exceptions over this amount for extensive reach or more complex partnerships.

The ECSF is a $350 million investment made by the Government of Canada, and a significant portion is being delivered through United Ways Centraide Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and Canadian Red Cross across the country. UWGT will be allocating $11 million across Peel Region, the City of Toronto and York Regions.

Yes, ECSF resources can enhance and expand your current COVID-19 funded community service so long as expenses are not counted twice. UWGT will coordinate with other funders to avoid duplication of funding and may share information about the application with other funders for this purpose.

We are committed to ensuring that funds are broadly available to community service organizations and agencies working to provide services and support to vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19. You do not need to be a currently UWGT-funded agency to apply.

Organizations that are registered charities providing front-line services to vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply. UWGT will also fund a limited number of incorporated non-profits that are trusteed by an agency with charitable status, but incorporated non-profits are encouraged to apply to the Canadian Red Cross which has received Government of Canada emergency community support funding to distribute to agencies without charitable status. To find out more about their program please visit redcross.ca/communityorganizations.  

 

UWGT does not fund government agencies, boards or commissions as well as certain services mandated through provincial legislation. These eligibility requirements are listed in the UWGT Emergency Community Support Fund RFP. While UWGT works closely with our municipal, regional and provincial colleagues, our focus is on supporting community-based service delivery to reach the most vulnerable individuals and families in the region we serve.

If activities or services are underway, you can apply for additional resources to expand and/or extend the delivery of service for a longer time (up to March 31, 2021).

Yes. ECSF funds cannot fund any expenses (including wages) already covered by another source, but can complement existing sources, including the wage subsidy.

Eligible organizations can make one funding request to UWGT through the ECSF. However, an organization that has made an application can be part of a collaboration or partnership submitted by another organization so long as the organization will not receive funding to cover activities in this collaboration or partnership that are already covered by other funding.

Applications will be reviewed in two rounds, the first ending June 5, 2020 and the second ending June 19, 2020. All funding allocations will be made public on or before July 31, 2020.

The purpose of the ECSF is to resource front-line services supporting vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible expenses include staffing, equipment, supplies, and related operating costs that allow organizations to provide and deliver services that respond to the current crisis. Eligible organizations must have a proven track record of delivering programs and services to the vulnerable population(s) identified in the application.

Yes. Applicants may not, however, apply to more than one funder for the same program activities and related costs. The three intermediaries will be coordinating locally to ensure that funds are being distributed to have the best possible local reach to serve vulnerable populations.  

The reporting requirements for this funding will focus primarily on number of services and clients served, and organizations will be expected to report every three weeks on these numbers throughout the period of the grant. Additional details will be shared with successful applicants.

UWGT is committed to ensuring an open and fair application and review process. We will be working to promote this funding opportunity throughout the community and to support organizations seeking to apply.

 

UWGT will be considering a number of equity dimensions as they make decisions on how these resources will be allocated locally. UWGT will prioritize applications that focus on meeting the needs of vulnerable individuals and families experiencing the greatest barriers to accessing services and supports. UWGT will also be looking at the regional distribution of funding across the Region of Peel, the City of Toronto and York Region.

UWGT will be funding programs and services that meet the needs of individuals and families that live in Peel Region, the City of Toronto and York Region. The local chapter of national organizations should partner with local eligible organizations in the clear delivery of local services and programs.