Connecting rural regions

This call for applications has been completed and we are no longer accepting applications. 

Connecting rural regions – Call for applications

About Connecting rural regions

The Law Foundation of Ontario invites nonprofit organizations to apply for a Connecting rural regions grant.

The purpose of the Connecting rural regions granting is to support a group of legal and community organizations to work together to coordinate and integrate their existing services to improve the delivery of legal information, referrals, and support to residents of a rural area.

The Foundation has a flexible definition of what constitutes a rural region that is best expressed in the report, Connecting Across Language and Distance. This report was commissioned by the Foundation which led to the launch of the Connecting Region program. The Foundation understands that there are multiple definitions of “rural” and is open to regional efforts that include smaller urban centers as part of this call.

Building on past success

This new call is the direct result of past successes. In 2017, the Foundation commissioned an evaluation of the Connecting Region program. The evaluation report showed that seed grants (with no ongoing funding) to two rural consortiums were important in the development of networks and service coordination that continue today. It is hoped that the new Connecting rural region grants facilitate similar service delivery coordination and integration. Overall, the Connecting rural regions granting program is part of the Foundation’s larger Connecting Project.


The Law Foundation of Ontario makes grants to advance access to justice. Grants are made to nonprofit organizations that work to benefit the people of Ontario. The Foundation does not provide funding to individuals or to for-profit ventures.

Criteria for Connecting rural regions

A Connecting rural regions grant project must:

  • Support access to justice and fit within the Foundation’s mandate and be consistent with the Foundation’s vision and mission
  • Identify a lead organization and project lead as well as confirmation of participation from no fewer than three social and/or community service organizations and at least one legal organization
  • Come to completion or be self-sufficient after the term of the grant, as this is one-time funding

Preference will be given to applications that:

  • Build on existing networks and collaborations
  • Have attracted additional funding from other sources or show the potential to do so
  • Include a knowledge capture and dissemination plan to share lessons with other rural regions about their project
  • Engage different legal service providers (community legal clinics, legal aid, private bar lawyers, paralegals, students, and academics)
  • Explain how different organizations with a mix of skills and expertise will contribute to the planned activities
  • Include the possibility of learning and developing our understanding of legal needs and possible solutions that could uniquely benefit people living in rural areas

We strongly encourage applicants to read the FAQ and speak with a Grants Officer before applying.

Grant amount

This call has two, independent stages. Receiving funding for stage one does not guarantee a stage two grant. Each stage is one-time funding.

Stage 1 – up to $100,000 for a project lasting up to 12 months
Stage 2 – up to $250,000 for initiatives of up to three years

Application processes and deadlines

Stage 1 application
Deadline: November 1, 2018

Applications in stage 1 are for projects that propose to improve service integration and coordination and to develop further ideas to improve access to justice in rural areas. Activities may include needs assessment, research, evaluation, and/or convening participating organizations.

At the end of the grant, a final report is required and will need to include:

  • Detailed activities and financial report
  • Description of the improvements to service integration and coordination achieved within the grant term
  • Identification of three to five time-limited projects that could be pursued to further integrate and coordinate services (total cost of all projects not to exceed $250,000 over three years)

Download the application form in Word format here: Connecting rural regions – Stage 1 application form and submit it via email to

Staff may contact you for further information as part of the grant application assessment process. The more the Foundation understands about your organization and your proposed project, the better assistance we can provide.

Before you apply:

  1. Read the Connecting Region evaluation and the Connecting Across Language and Distance report.
  2. Read the FAQ
  3. Read the sample Letter of Agreement
  4. Discuss your idea with a Grants Officer

Stage 2
Deadline: TBD after the completion of projects funded in stage 1

Funds provided in stage 2 are to be used to implement projects that build capacity and/or develop new tools and resources that will have a lasting impact on service integration and coordination. The Foundation may select and fund one or more of the projects identified by grantees in stage 1.

More information

For more information, please contact Mario Gravelle, Grants Officer, at 416-598-1550 x 236 or via email or David Kinsman, Grants Officer, at 647-288-9101 or via email.

All granting decisions are made by the Foundation’s 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.