How to apply – Catalyst

This call for applications is currently closed. You can read the granting announcement to see the organizations that received funding.

Catalyst program: criteria, eligibility, and how to apply


Alignment with the Foundation’s vision, mission, approach and one or more of its statutory objects:

  • Applicant’s mandate and approach to its work must be substantially aligned with the Foundation’s vision, mission, and approach
  • The applicant’s work must further at least one of the Foundation’s statutory objects
  • The applicant must have appropriate legal expertise

Proposed work will advance access to justice:

  • The proposed work will help close important gaps in access to justice
  • The proposed work must be responsive to the needs and priorities of the community that will be served and applicants should provide evidence of appropriate community support and involvement

Applicants are poised to take advantage of a three-year funding cycle:

  • Applicants must be a nonprofit organization operating in Ontario or provide a benefit to Ontario with an established Board that has the skills and expertise needed to oversee the organization
  • Key personnel must have skills, expertise and relationships to further their organizational mandate and meet the goals set out in the application
  • Applicant demonstrates the capacity to innovate, lead, convene, partner, evolve, and be flexible as required
  • Applicant must demonstrate organization-wide commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and have relevant plans and tools in place
  • Applicant has processes and policies in place to ensure accountability, transparency, and efficient use of resources with appropriate controls, including audit and financial management
  • The funding requested must make a difference and be proportionate to the activities proposed
  • Applicant must put forward a viable plan to achieve meaningful impact and to assess that impact
  • The overall strategy, methodology, and analyses must be well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the planned activities and desired outcomes
  • The applicant must demonstrate the ability to assess and evaluate its own effectiveness and to apply learnings to evolve over time
  • The ability to provide services in both official languages is an asset
  • The ability to provide services in other languages relevant to the population being served is an asset

Open and supportive relationship building:

  • Past history of collaboration and coalition building
  • Fair and transparent in dealings with clients, community partners, and funders


× Individuals

× For-profit enterprises

× Government and municipalities

× Private and/or corporate foundations

Grants will not be approved for specific litigation or for costs directly related to lobbying, advocating, or promoting a particular position on a legal or public policy issue.

Organizations that receive core funding from Legal Aid Ontario or that may receive funding through The Law Foundation of Ontario’s comprehensive grants to law schools should contact the Foundation to discuss their ideas early in the process. While we are open to receive these applications, we will consider them in light of the funding the Foundation already provides to Legal Aid Ontario and to the law schools.

How to apply

Determine if you are a good fit for the program by reviewing the website and the FAQs and by speaking to a Grants Officer. We strongly encourage you to speak with a Grants Officer early in the process to discuss your proposal and your organization’s fit with the program.

Applicants are required to:

Submit an application using this Word document: Catalyst program application form and instructions

Successful grant applicants will receive a Letter of Agreement (click here to see an example in PDF), which will contain Grant Terms & Conditions. We recommend that you review the terms of this Agreement before you submit an application for funding. Special conditions may be attached to the approval of a grant.

Once your application has been received, Foundation staff may contact you for further information as part of the assessment process. Please respond to any requests or inquiries in a timely fashion. The more that the Foundation understands about your organization and your proposed activities, the better assistance we can provide. Please remember, however, that Foundation staff must remain impartial and cannot advocate on your behalf to the Foundation board. All granting decisions are made by The Law Foundation of Ontario Board of Trustees.

The Foundation promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion and welcomes grant applications that meet the diverse needs of Ontarians.

The Foundation is committed to meeting community needs, including the needs of the Francophone community. Applicants can communicate in French during the grants process and will receive direct French language services during this process.

We accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities in our grantmaking process.


Applications to the Catalyst program are due: June 1, 2018

Decisions will be made and communicated: Fall 2018

Catalyst grants will commence: January 1, 2019