Now that the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) will only fund new projects and provides no support for “Maintaining existing programs as they are” (reference, Page 7 of the Tips for Great Grow Grants.pdf), our community is seeing a number of new environmental projects appear yet none seem to last more than 2 or 3 years!
Where can Ontario organizations access core and ongoing funding to maintain the Green People projects that OTF is seeding and growing?
While I have seen OTF’s seed & grow strategy work very successfully for non-profits in the economic (jobs/training) sector and social sector, those two sectors have core & ongoing program supports already set up. For example,
$262k is the average amount of critical core funding received by 90 social service non-profit organizations through the City of Ottawa’s Renewable Community Funding program.
There is about $2.6 billion dollars annually shared among 240 social & health organizations through the province’s Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs)
Our region also has large local foundations (eg. United Way Ottawa) which have funding streams to support important ongoing programs in the social sector.
When you add up all the public & private funding available it’s a good amount of funding to sustain any sort of successful social program which OTF has had a hand in nurturing through seed or grow grants.
However, when the project flips from a non-profitable mental health program to a non-profitable environmental health program, OTF funding will still assist in seeding or growing the project yet they seem to crumble with no municipal, provincial or private envelopes willing to keep the projects running year over year.
Looking through some of the environmental projects OTF has funded in the past, it seems the only ones which still have their doors open and continue to offer the same program have aligned themselves with either the social or economic sectors in order to tap into their annual core funding or multi-year ongoing program grants.
What are some of the other things groups across the province are doing to secure $50,000 to $250,000 of guaranteed annual core & ongoing funding to keep their environmental projects afloat?