FAQ – Measuring impacts and progress grants

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) – Measuring impact and progress grants

Eligibility to apply

  1. Do we have to be a registered charity in order to apply for a Measuring impact and progress grant?

No, you need only be a nonprofit corporation, university or community college. If you are a nonprofit with charitable status, please include your registered charity number on your application. 

  1. Can an individual apply for a Measuring impact and progress grant?

No, applications need to be made by a nonprofit organization, a university, or a community college. 

  1. Can an unincorporated committee apply for a Measuring impact and progress grant?

Yes, if administration of the grant can be done through an appropriate accountability structure, e.g. through a law firm in trust or an incorporated nonprofit. If your grant request is approved, the Foundation will require you and your partner to provide a Memorandum of Agreement that sets out clear roles and responsibilities for each of you. 

  1. Does a proposed project have to benefit more than one geographic community in order to meet the Foundation’s requirement to “provide a benefit to Ontario”?

A project can benefit either a single geographic community or several – what matters is that a benefit is provided somewhere in the province.

  1. Can an organization outside Ontario apply to the Foundation for a Measuring impact and progress grant?

Yes, organizations based outside Ontario can apply to the Foundation for a grant if the proposed project offers a benefit to the people of Ontario.  

  1. What does the Foundation mean by “empirical research”?

Several definitions of empirical research/investigations exist. As a general matter, we are looking for research that is based on observed and measured phenomena and derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief. Tied into the idea of “empirical research” is the scientific method of working or testing a hypothesis through observation and experiment. Empirical investigations use quantitative data, which is when you analyze numerical data, or qualitative data, which is when you use non-numerical data such as observations and interviews. 

  1. We want to apply for a grant jointly with another organization – can we do this?

Yes, we will accept joint applications. However, you must indicate clearly which organization will assume lead responsibility for the grant if it is approved (this is the organization that will be expected to sign the Foundation’s Letter of Agreement).

Application process

  1. Do you have a fixed amount of available funding that is allocated to specific geographic regions?

No. Applications from any area of the province are welcome.

  1. Do you require an applicant to find funding from other sources?

We encourage partnerships with other funders but it is not a requirement. We encourage all applicants to contribute in-kind services. 

  1. If we have identified other potential funders for our project idea, do you require us to provide confirmation of their commitment before you will consider our application to you?

No, you do not need to have a commitment from your other funder(s), but you must indicate in your application to us which other funder(s) you are approaching, the amount you are requesting from them, and the status of your application to them. 

  1. Do you expect an applicant to have other partners involved in the implementation of the project?

In this granting stream we are looking for applications that build knowledge through inter-disciplinary and/or cross sector perspectives, supports innovation, builds on the skills of diverse scholars, institutions, or disciplines, and partnerships in the nonprofit sector.

Eligible costs

  1. Will you fund core operating costs for participating organizations associated with a project? If so, do you fund on the basis of a set percentage of total project costs?

Yes, we will fund core operating costs if they can be shown to be directly related to the project. Rather than cover such costs on the basis of a flat percentage, we prefer to fund on the basis of actual need, so your application should demonstrate the connection between the project and the expense. 

  1. I understand that the Foundation will not fund capital expenditures. Are office furniture or computer equipment considered to be capital expenditures?

We will not fund capital expenditures for immoveable assets (i.e., buildings). Usually, applicant organizations will be expected to include equipment or office furniture expenses as in-kind contributions. 

  1. We would like to bring a test case. Can we apply to the Foundation for funding?

No. The Foundation will not fund litigation. 

  1. We would like to lobby government to make needed changes to the legislative and policy environment surrounding our legal issue. Can we apply to the Foundation for funding?

No. The Foundation will not fund costs directly related to lobbying, advocating or promoting a particular position on a legal or public policy issue.

University/college applications

  1. I am a faculty member at a law school and am aware that the Foundation makes annual grants to law schools. Am I still eligible to apply for a Measuring impact and progress grant?

Because this is primarily a research call, we encourage application from law school faculty as well as others.

  1. I am a faculty member at an Ontario university and would like to apply to you for a Measuring impact and progress grant. Does the Foundation require institutional sign-off on the application?

We request that you include confirmation that your department/faculty head or other appropriate institutional authority is aware of your application. 

  1. What post-secondary institution costs will be covered?

When the applicant is a post-secondary institution or when the applicant partners with a post-secondary institution, the costs with respect to the post-secondary institution should reflect those generally paid for research projects (e.g. see SSHRC grant eligible costs). 

  1. In order to carry out a research project, I will need two course releases. Can I include the cost of a replacement instructor to cover my course releases?

As a general matter, absent special circumstances, full time faculty at a college or university will not be personally compensated for research undertaken on a project that falls within their own research agenda and/or their institutional research obligations. However, we will fund other expenses associated with the proposed research, including the hiring of students as research assistants. 

  1. Do you fund “indirect costs” which are applied to grants by my university/college?

Generally, no. The Law Foundation of Ontario does not usually fund indirect costs applied by universities or colleges to recover administrative overhead for the project.  

  1. Can development officers contact the Foundation to discuss potential or ongoing grant applications on behalf of researchers?

The Law Foundation of Ontario prefers to directly communicate with the individual who is proposing or conducting the research in case there are specific questions about the project. However, a development officer is welcome to join the primary researcher on any calls that may be scheduled.

 

After a grant application is approved

  1. Our Measuring impact and progress grant application has been approved – what happens next?

You will be asked to review and sign a standard Letter of Agreement (click here to see an example in PDF), which may also have special conditions attached that are specific to your grant. In general, the first instalment is paid soon after receipt of the signed Letter of Agreement, and remaining instalments are paid in accordance with the schedule drawn up to suit your particular project. 

  1. What is the payment schedule?

The payment schedule is developed taking into consideration the information provided in the work plan included in the grant application, and often also in consultation with the grantee. In general, the Foundation makes payments in advance, in accordance with each grantee’s needs, and subject to any special conditions of approval being met. The Foundation makes every effort to accommodate special requirements (for instance, where significant expenses have to be incurred at an early stage of the project). For all projects, the final payment is a hold-back instalment (typically 10% of the total grant) that is paid out on receipt of the final report. 

  1. What are your reporting requirements?

All grantees are required to submit written activity reports, as well as budget-to-actual financial reports, over the course of the project. Additionally, grantees must provide a report on relevant quantitative measures. A full final report is required in order to receive payment of the final grant instalment. Instalment payments are always conditional upon receipt of required reports, in accordance with the schedule established between the Foundation and the grantee. The timing and frequency of reporting is tailored to the circumstances of each project. More information about the Foundation’s reporting requirements can be found here.