City of London Community Grants Administrative Procedures

Last Review Date: August 2023

Service Area Lead: Director, Community Development and Grants, Neighbourhood and Community-Wide Services

1.) Purpose

The purpose of the City of London Community Grants Administrative Procedure is to outline the operational details of the City of London Community Grants Policy and will be used by City of London employees to carryout day to day business operations.

2.) Objectives

To ensure:  

  • An adequate administrative review for grant requests takes place;
  • Community groups or organizations are eligible and approved under the grants criteria;
  • Those applying are evaluated on an equitable basis, using the same evaluation criteria; and,
  • A system of accountability is developed and maintained between applicants and the City of London

3.) Principles of Funding 

The following are overriding principles of funding and must be addressed in each application:

  • Projects respond to a community need and clearly align with at least one strategic area of focus of the City’s Strategic Plan;
  • Support for innovation and collaboration with community organizations, funders and the City;
  • Encouragement of applications that support anti-racism, anti-oppression, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives (inclusive of all equity-denied groups including but not limited to: Black, Indigenous, and Muslim communities).
  • Recognition of community support for the proposed activity;
  • Demonstration of community outreach, neighbourhood accessibility and value to the community;
  • Accountability of outcomes and benefits related to the proposed project;
  • Demonstrated financial viability, no deficits or loans will be considered for assistance;
  • Simple, clear, equitable, accountable and transparent process; and
  • Responsible financial management and stewardship of public funds.

4.) Application Process

4.1. All applicants who meet the eligibility criteria for the grant applied for are given the opportunity of making an application for City of London grants, except those excluded by law.

4.2. The application is to be completed and submitted within the time frame specified. No applications will be accepted after the due date.

4.3. City Staff will annually advertise the open call for applications through a communication plan which will include but is not limited to:

  • City of London website
  • Community Information Sessions
  • City of London social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter)
  • Email distribution to local funders and networks (i.e., Pillar Non-Profit Network, etc.)
  • Email to previous London Community Grants Program applicants
  • Targeted outreach to equity-denied groups

4.4. Applicants may request support from City Staff prior to the application deadline date to ask questions related to the application form itself and/or the granting process.

4.5. Applicants may request translation or interpretation support, as needed.

4.6. Applicants have the opportunity to upload a short video to provide project context as a means for storytelling.  

4.7. An applicant guide and annually updated Frequently Asked Questions will be shared publicly to support the application process.

​​​​​​​4.8. Applicants will be notified of the funding decision in a timely manner, dependent on the grant to which they have applied. For applications that have been declined, City Staff will provide feedback on behalf of the Community Review Panel, following Council approval of allocated funds.

4.9. The Application:

4.9.1 Each applicant is required to complete (where applicable) an appropriate "Grant Application Form" within the specified time frame. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. ​​​​​​​

4.9.2. Grant applicants must provide financial statements, as applicable (i.e., internally prepared financial records, unaudited financial statements prepared by an accounting professional, or audited financial statements prepared by a licensed accountant).

​​​​​​​4.9.3. The City has the right to request additional financial information as deemed necessary.

​​​​​​​4.9.4. All applicants receiving funding from the Municipality in order to provide a service to people shall produce on request, adequate information which may be required. This is to ensure that the service being provided is in the best interest of the people served and that the City funds are being used in an effective and efficient manner.

​​​​​​​4.9.5. In most cases, only one request per organization is considered in a calendar year. All programs, projects and undertakings should be consolidated in the one request.  

​​​​​​​4.9.6. An additional application may be made in the same calendar year as Multi-Year applications to the Annual Grants.

​​​​​​​4.9.7. All grant applications must meet all of the required criteria in order to be considered for a City grant. All grants will be assessed based on the evaluation criteria.

​​​​​​​4.9.8. Priority will be given to Innovation applicants that are willing to create partnerships, such as with grassroots groups, and share learned experiences with the community.

​​​​​​​4.9.9. The organization must indicate other City contributions that are made to the organization (purchase of service, tax exemptions, etc.).

5.) Community Review Panel

5.1. A community review panel of up to 11 individuals will be convened to make decisions regarding the allocation of municipal grants. The community review panel will be comprised of community members and City Staff as outlined in the City of London Community Grants Policy.

5.2. Members of the community review panel will assess applications and make decisions based on the City of London’s Strategic Plan, and the criteria laid out in the evaluation criteria document.

​​​​​​​5.3. City Staff will provide relevant contextual and historical information to support informed decision making and will sit on the community review panel.

5.4. Interviews between City of London staff and the Board of Directors and senior staff of organizations applying may, in some cases, be requested for the purposes of reviewing grant requests and assessing service or program needs.  

​​​​​​​5.5. The City of London retains the right to share funding information received on the "grant application" form with other relevant funding bodies. The City of London also retains the right to obtain information from other funders regarding grant requests. This is for the purpose of providing additional information so that a coordinated approach to the funding of organizations in London might be achieved.

​​​​​​​5.6. Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest

  • Any community member directly or indirectly involved in developing or submitting an application to receive funding from the City of London will not be a member of the community review panel.
  • Community review panel members will be required to declare and sign a confidentiality and conflict of interest agreement prior to viewing applications, participating in a meeting and/or contributing to funding decisions.
  • Members of the community review panel will remain anonymous until all funding decisions have been made at the end of the four-year funding cycle. At this time, the committee membership will be released to the public.  
  • Members of the community review panel will adhere to the confidentiality and conflict of interest policies in order to uphold the values of integrity and fairness throughout the granting process. Adherence includes, but is not limited to the following:
    • Maintaining the confidentiality of information received, including the applicant’s information, project details, financials statements, etc.;
    • Disclosing any potential or perceived conflict of interest at the time of their application to the panel, as well as throughout the duration of the funding deliberations; and,
    • Keeping their involvement with the panel confidential until the four-year funding cycle has ended and decisions have been publicly released.

​​​​​​​5.7. Community review panel members and supporting City Staff will be required to participate in annual Anti-Racism Anti-Oppression training to strengthen knowledge and reflective practice as it pertains to their role in evaluating applications.   

6. Grant Appeals Process

​​​​​​​6.1. City Staff will contact all applicants to inform them of their success or decline of their application. Upon notifying all applicants the appeals process will commence.

​​​​​​​6.2. All applicants will be notified of the appeals process and timelines.

​​​​​​​6.3. An appeal must be submitted in writing no sooner than 48 hours after the funding decision is released, and no later than 10 business days after receipt of notification of the funding decision.

​​​​​​​6.4. The appeal must be signed by the Board Chair or Treasurer of the applicant organization.

​​​​​​​6.5. The Director, Community Development and Grants or designate will review all appeals to determine which appeals meet the criteria to be referred to the Deputy City Manager, Neighbourhood and Community-Wide Services.​​​​​​​

6.6. If sufficient information is not provided and/or appeal does not meet criteria, applicants will be notified that the appeal will not proceed.

​​​​​​​6.7. The review of the appeal may include but may not be limited to: the initial funding decision, funding application submissions, procedural guidelines, letters, emails, payment histories, information from other funders, community need, as well as the capacity of the organization.

​​​​​​​6.8. During the review of appeals, a meeting may be requested by the Director, Community Development and Grants.

​​​​​​​6.9. Organizations will be advised of the result of the appeal in writing within 30 business days from the appeal submission date.​​​​​​​

7.) Grant Agreement

7.1. The length of the grant will be defined in the signed grant agreement.

​​​​​​​7.2. Upon award of funds, organizations will work with City Staff to create the Grant Agreement which includes all terms and conditions, eligible expenditures, outcomes, metrics, reporting requirements and timelines.

7.3. The organization’s Executive Director and Board of Directors Chair or Treasurer are required to sign the grant agreement.

7.4. Funds will be allocated following the receipt of the signed grant agreement and any outstanding City of London Community Grants Program reports.

8.) Reporting Requirements

​​​​​​​8.1. Upon receipt of funds, organizations must adhere to the reporting requirements and timelines outlined in signed grant agreement.

​​​​​​​8.2. Funded organizations will be required to submit reports by the specified time in the agreement or the City will reserve the right to withhold further payments and/or request repayment of previous advances related to the funded project.

​​​​​​​8.3. If the organization requires changes to the funded activity outlined in the grant agreement, written approval must be received by City Staff prior to any changes to the funded activity.

​​​​​​​8.4. Financial reporting is limited to the allocated City of London Community Grants Program project funds and does not include other funding sources.

​​​​​​​8.5. City Staff will review and approve all reports.

9.) Granting Process

9.1. Multi-Year Grant

9.1.1. Application Process (2-3 months)

  • Online application open
  • Promotion and community information sessions
  • Optional application meeting with City Staff
  • Ongoing City Staff support available
  • Submit application

​​​​​​​9.1.2. Decision Making Process (3-4 months)

  • Internal documentation review
  • Community review panel process
  • Allocation decisions made
  • Appeal process
  • Declined application feedback

​​​​​​​9.1.3. Report to Council (1-2 months)

  • Funding allocation information reported to Municipal Council

9.1.4. Grant Allocation (1-2 months)

  • Approved grant details confirmed
  • Grant agreements created
  • Grant agreements signed
  • Funds allocated

9.1.5. Reporting and Accountability (ongoing):

  • Annual outcomes and financial reporting

9.2.  ​​​​​​Innovation, Capital and Grassroots Grants follows the same process on a compressed timeline.

Last modified:Friday, September 01, 2023