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For Grantseekers

This is an outstanding city.
But you don't just take.
You've got to build.

Fran Deacon

Wife of the late Fraser Deacon,
Founder of Toronto Foundation

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Vital Ideas & Leadership


Toronto Foundation is excited to offer an evolved and integrated grant stream – Vital Ideas & Leadership.

Vital Ideas & Leadership draws on components of our prior Vital Ideas and Vital People grant streams to support high-impact initiatives in Toronto with a proven track record of success to achieve deeper impact and build capacity within the nonprofit sector.

These one-time strategic grants support organizations addressing quality of life issues in our city, as highlighted in Toronto’s Vital Signs Report and fund new strategic activities that will increase the effectiveness and sustainability of an initiative and position it for deeper impact.

Through Vital Ideas & Leadership, Toronto Foundation will provide grants of up to $50,000 over one year to support:

  • The idea – strategic activities to position an initiative for deeper impact.
  • Professional development – to support key leadership for the idea.
  • Evaluation – to develop an evaluation framework to measure the deepened impact of the initiative.


The 2019 Vital Ideas & Leadership grant is now open and will close on November 29, 2018 at 5:00PM.
Access the 2019 submission guidelines (here), application (here), and FAQs (here).

Orientation sessions will be offered, where you can learn more about the grant stream, the grant priorities, and ask any questions you may have.
Please click here to register for an Orientation Session.


Read about our 2017 Vital Ideas & Leadership grantees here.
Read about our 2018 Vital Ideas & Leadership grantees here. 

Who Can Apply

The Toronto Foundation is a Public Foundation. As a result, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) permits the Foundation to make grants or distributions to only registered charities or qualified donees.

A nonprofit organization that is not a registered charity wishing to apply for funding from the Foundation may consider a trusteeship with a registered charity that would receive the funds for the proposed project. The CRA requires this relationship to be set out in writing, signed by the charity and nonprofit organizations.

Terms of the agreement should include:

  • a full description of the project being funded;
  • providing responsibility to the charity for ensuring the project is completed by the nonprofit as described;
  • that the charity has responsibility for distribution of funds to the nonprofit as work progresses on the project; and
  • that the charity has responsibility/accountability to the Foundation for performance of the nonprofit for the project.

The relationship between the Charity and the nonprofit must be an appropriate link, not simply one of convenience (e.g.: a library would not be an acceptable intermediary for a little league baseball team).

Please note: for the Foundation to consider a request for funding from an organization that is not a registered charity, a signed Agreement between the Charity and the NPO must be included with the application.