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Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy Request for Proposals

Our Strong Neighbourhoods Grants – Weston-Mount Dennis Delivery Partner

  1. Information Sessions
  2. Funding Guidelines

Information Session

United Way staff will be offering an information session to take place on January 17 for those agencies that meet the criteria below and are interested in learning more about this funding opportunity. Click here for more information regarding the session and to register. It is highly recommended that you attend the information session.

It is highly recommended that you attend an information session.

Funding Guidelines


United Way’s (UW) focus on neighbourhood development has its roots in over a decade of work through the Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy (BSNS). A key part of the strategy included the Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC) initiative that enabled 13 neighbourhoods in Toronto to focus on building resident leadership and supporting resident engagement on local priorities.

Building on the learnings from over the last ten years of this neighbourhood development work, conversations with community and other best-practices, the Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy (BSNS 2.0) is deepening its focus on strengthening three key building blocks of neighbourhood change - Skills, Networks and Assets. An important element of this place-based approach to neighbourhood development is the involvement of neighbourhood residents and other stakeholders in collectively working towards responding to local community issues.

The strategy intends to build and enhance neighbourhood

  • Skills – the rich knowledge and experiences that residents and other stakeholders bring to the table as well as the knowledge and experiences that they will develop to design and implement solutions to the problems affecting their neighbourhood;
  • Networks – the connections among residents, community organizations, government, local businesses, institutions and other players that need to come together to effect change in their neighbourhood; and
  • Assets – the physical spaces and services in a neighbourhood where people can find the support they need close to home, and where they can get together to create solutions to improve the lives of everyone in the neighbourhood.

To support the Weston-Mount Dennis area, UW is looking for a delivery partner that can work with United Way and the local community to identify an issue of focus, undertake a community development assessment process, and develop a multi-year initiative that moves the neighbourhood forward and advances progress on the selected issue.


The Our Strong Neighbourhood Grant is for a three-year period for up to $100,000 annually for the Weston-Mount Dennis area. This grant application will be open to agencies delivering services in York South - Weston riding and that meet other eligibility criteria below.


The Our Strong Neighbourhood Grant will be awarded to a community agency operating in the York South-Weston riding which includes the former Weston-Mount Dennis priority neighbourhoods as well as many other Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. The selected agency will support neighbourhood stakeholders to be able to take action on a local issue while using a community development and resident engagement approach to their work in line with BSNS 2.0. Neighbourhoods identify an issue within one of the following three domains:

  • Economic Opportunities is about fostering a desirable place that is conducive to attracting and growing new investments and a skilled workforce. It looks at promoting local economic development by supporting an environment in the neighbourhood that will enable communities to develop and strengthen relevant skills as well as access economic and employment opportunities.
  • Social Well-Being involves enabling people to coexist inclusively and contribute positively to strengthen the social fabric of neighbourhoods. This is often characterized by equitable and accessible services, quality education system, local food security, a sense of community, etc.
  • Neighbourhood Infrastructure looks at supporting public places and built infrastructure to offer safe community meeting spaces, better connectivity with neighbourhood amenities and revitalized areas that drive social cohesion in the neighbourhood. Strong neighbourhood infrastructure includes active tower communities and the surrounding area, a community-friendly & safe neighbourhood design, animated open spaces and parks, etc.

This work will take place in 2 phases:

  • Phase 1: Identify issue of focus above and undertake community development assessment process with community stakeholders and residents (May 2019 to November 2019)
  • Phase 2: Support the community to move forward on the action plan (2.5 years – November 2019 – March 2022)


Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated experience providing service, capacity building or resident engagement in the York South-Weston riding with specific connections to the former Weston–Mount Dennis priority neighbourhood
  • Experience with community development processes that go beyond consultation with clients in service or program delivery
  • Ability to meaningful work alongside residents and other diverse stakeholders in the community
  • Awareness of neighbourhood issues and an understanding of relevant opportunities
  • Demonstrated ability to build community capacity and strengthen local networks
  • Knowledge of measurement and evaluation in relation to community development and resident engagement work
  • Willingness to work with UW as a partner


Agencies can apply for up to $100,000 per year.



Sample eligible activities can include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Network and/or partnership development
  • Capacity building of residents and/or stakeholders
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Barrier reduction to improving access and participation
  • Neighbourhood planning meetings related to selected issue
  • Outreach and community engagement for the purpose of strengthening key features of skills, networks and assets

Activities ineligible for funding:

  • Direct services and programs (e.g. after school program, yoga activity, leisure trips, etc.). This includes staff time dedicated to program/service delivery
  • Community events or activities not aligned to the selected issue of focus
  • Activities currently funded by other UW strategies
  • Political/partisan activities


The following types of costs are eligible for funding:

  • Staffing costs to support workplan priorities (i.e. local engagement, partnership and planning efforts)
  • Outreach to the community
  • Capacity building activities
  • Barrier reduction costs to support the involvement of local community members and groups
  • Supports to local planning activities and partnerships
  • Office management (rent, supplies etc.)
  • Up to a maximum of 10% administration costs


United Way welcomes applications from currently funded agencies as well as those not currently funded by United Way. Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements outlined below and be responsible for the stewardship of the funds and deliverables. If you are not currently receiving funding from United Way then ensure you meet the following requirements.

To be eligible for United Way’s Our Strong Neighbourhood Weston-Mount Dennis delivery partner funding, agencies must:

  • Be a registered charitable organization OR
  • Be an incorporated non-profit organization; trusteed by a registered charity
  • Have audited financial statements for at least two consecutive years (Fiscal 2015 and 2016 years; or 2016 and 2017 years), or be trusteed by a charity that has audited financial statements for at least two consecutive years

In addition, eligible agencies should:

  • Provide social/community services to individuals and groups living in, or at risk of, poverty in the York South-Weston riding with some connection to the former priority neighbourhood Weston-Mount Dennis (neighbourhood areas 8, 113, 115)
  • Have a history of community development & resident engagement also focused on the target geography
  • Work with a diverse range of equity seeking groups
  • Play a leadership role in the community including through a demonstrated history of collaboration with stakeholders

United Way will not support the following:

  • For-profit organizations
  • Organizations that do not have charitable status or are not trusteed by a charitable organization
  • Government or government agencies, boards and/or commissions
  • Hospitals and long-term-care facilities
  • Universities, colleges and school boards
  • Organizations located either outside City of Toronto, York Region or Peel Region
  • Organizations whose purpose is solely related to political activity, as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency
  • Organizations without a clear demarcation between religious and community service as evidenced in the organization’s by-laws
  • Organizations that could be deemed discriminatory, as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code
  • Foundations
  • Unions
  • Professional Associations


Request for Proposals launched in Grants Online (GO) system January 14, 2019
Information session January 17, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
RFP Deadline February 19, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.
Review and recommendations Late February – March 2019
Communication with agencies April 2019


Interested agencies who meet the above criteria and wish to apply as well as agencies that have questions about their eligibility should contact United Way to discuss their interest and to receive the RFP. Contact:

Ronni Gorman
Manager, Neighbourhoods
(416) 777-1444 ext. 525