We offer grants to organizations that provide services in the areas of arts and culture, special events, community support and development and minor sports or recreation.

On this page:

  1. About the grant program
  2. Application
  3. Grant assessment
  4. Application priorities
  5. Approval process
  6. Service criteria

About the grant program

Community grants (tier 2) help organizations that work for the common good of Kitchener residents.

Only organizations in one of these areas are considered for funding:

  • arts and culture
  • special events
  • community support and development
  • sports and recreation (under age 18)

Tier 2 grants offer funding for:

  • operating support to enable the provision of the basic service of the organization
  • project support
  • special event support
  • equipment support

Application

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Grant assessment

Community volunteers and staff that sit on the review committee will review community grant applications.

Applications that align with the purpose of the grants program and meet the 12 criteria set out in the grants policy must address these assessment areas:

Community need

Does the proposed project, initiative or service meet a recognized need in the community or align with community priorities as outlined in our strategic plan, other policy documents or as articulated by staff?

Organizational need and capacity

Has the applicant group demonstrated the capability to initiate, manage and follow through with the proposed project or service?

Is there an executive committee or coordinating board overseeing the project?

Does the organizational need as expressed in the group’s mandate and purpose, strategic plan, or financial reporting align with the grant request?

Partnership support

Groups that work with partners can add value to their activities and expand their capacity by sharing knowledge, skills and pooling resources.

Partners could include volunteers, other groups or sponsors, for example. Has the applicant group demonstrated partnership support?

Financial analysis

Applicant groups do not need to be incorporated as not for profit corporations; however, budgets and subsequent accounting must not show an excess of revenue over expenses. Has the applicant group demonstrated how it will be accountable for grant funds and that it operates according to sound financial management principles?


Application priorities

We will prioritize applications that fit these conditions:

  • demonstrates support from other funders, donors and/or partners
  • the proposed project, initiative or service strongly aligns with the demonstrated needs of the applicant group
  • demonstrates strong financial and organizational sustainability
  • maximizes opportunities for inclusive public participation and access
  • the proposed project, initiative or service closely aligns with sector strategic plans and documents

We will not prioritize applications if they fit these conditions:

  • other funding opportunities exist for the proposed project, initiative or service
  • the request is for the city to fund 100% of the project, initiative or service
  • the request is for a significant amount of funding that cannot be accommodated within the existing tier 2 budget allocation
    • we may consider partial funding if little or no impact on the project, initiative or service is likely.

Approval process

After the committee reviews the applications, they will contact applicants to share their recommendations and the appeal process.

Each year in March, the Community and Infrastructure Services Committee (CISC) considers the committee’s recommendations. Then, city council considers the CISC’s decisions and gives final approval.

After council approval, we contact applicants with their final grant amounts and issue payments.


Service criteria

Tier 2 services must meet the following criteria:

  1. Services provided by the organization/group for which funding is requested must demonstrably meet Council’s strategic objectives as documented in the City of Kitchener Strategic Plan and other policy documents.
  2. Services provided by the organization/group for which funding is requested must be considered a municipal responsibility and not be the responsibility of other levels of government; services such as health care, social services, training and education are not eligible.
  3. Services provided by the organization/group for which funding is requested must not be precluded under the Municipal Act, e.g. religious services.
  4. Services provided by the organization/group for which funding is requested must not already be provided by the City or by other groups funded by the City of Kitchener; requests from organizations/groups that provide similar services as provided by the municipality must be assessed as to whether there is a duplication of services; the municipality will not issue grants for services that conflict with or are in direct competition with programs operated internally.
  5. Services provided by the organization/group for which funding is requested must be provided directly to the citizens of Kitchener, i.e. grants are for direct programs only.  Grant applications from organizations that themselves distribute grants to other organizations will not be considered, i.e. fundraising events are not eligible.  Service clubs are eligible to apply for funding if the purpose of the event they are sponsoring is deemed to be a municipal responsibility and the event is city-wide, targeted toward a broad cross-section of the community.
  6. Grant applications submitted by individuals or ‘part groups’ of an organization/group will not be considered.
  7. Volunteer organizations/groups planning an event to raise funds to support an organization/group that is receiving a City of Kitchener grant will be not considered for Tier 2 funding.
  8. Organizations/groups applying for funding who offer services to residents outside of the City of Kitchener are strongly encouraged to also approach all other relevant municipalities for funding.
  9. Organizations/groups wishing to be considered for community grants Tier 2 do not need to be incorporated as not for profit corporations; however, budgets and subsequent accounting must not show an excess of revenue over expenses; applicants must demonstrate the capability to manage and govern the program or project, usually evidenced by the existence of an executive committee or coordinating board.
  10. Organizations/groups are encouraged to ensure as much inclusive public participation and access as possible, e.g. minimum charge or no admission charge whenever possible.
  11. Any organization/group applying for funds will give regard to the inclusion and accommodation of persons with a disability.
  12. Any organization/group applying for funds that is in arrears and/or in litigation with the City of Kitchener is ineligible.