FAQ – Trusted help

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) – Trusted help grants

Eligibility to apply

1. Do we have to be a registered charity in order to apply for a Trusted help 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.

2. Can an individual apply for a Trusted help grant?
No, applications need to be made by a nonprofit organization, a university, or a community college.

3. Can an unincorporated committee apply for a Trusted help 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.

4. 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.

5. Can an organization outside Ontario apply to the Foundation for a Trusted help 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.

6. 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).

7. I am interested in launching a new program to support frontline community workers in helping their clients with legal problems. Is this type of initiative eligible for a Trusted help grant?
No, funds will be used for projects and not to set up programs with ongoing costs beyond the term of the grant. Funds are to be used to support the work of trusted intermediaries by either building the capacity to collaborate across sectors to advance access to justice, developing or sharing supports for frontline community workers, or examining the ways trusted intermediaries can advance access to justice.

Application process

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. Do you require an applicant to have other partners involved in the implementation of the project?
No. However, we do encourage partnerships and applications that engage across sectors (e.g. community organizations with trusted intermediaries, legal organizations prepared to collaborate, support and, if appropriate, supervise work, academics, and evaluators to design and oversee/implement an evaluation) will be preferred. If, in your application, you indicate the intent to partner with another organization, you should include a letter of commitment from the partner(s).

Eligible costs

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. Can we include the cost of an evaluation in our Trusted help grant application?
Yes, the cost of evaluation is an eligible project expense as the Foundation is committed to surfacing how frontline community workers help their clients with legal problems. Remember that an evaluation does not need to be an expensive, time-consuming undertaking. The evaluation plan should be commensurate with the size and nature of the project being funded.

15. We would like to bring a test case. Can we apply to the Foundation for funding?
No. The Foundation will not fund litigation.

16. 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

17. I am a faculty member at an Ontario university and would like to apply for a Trusted help grant to support a research project related to how frontline community workers help their clients with legal problems. 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.

18. Do you fund “indirect costs” which are applied to grants by my university/college?
The Law Foundation of Ontario does not fund indirect costs applied by universities or colleges to recover administrative overhead for the project.

After a grant application is approved

19. Our 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.

20. 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.

21. 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 on our Reporting guidelines webpage here.