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Capacity fund 2021 application guidelines

Unbudgeted expenses due to COVID-19.

Application submission deadline

Ensure you submit your application through GovGrants on or before Thursday, October 14 by 5 p.m. Access GovGrants.

Statement of intent

The Community Investment Program (CIP) recognizes that the not-for-profit sector plays an essential role in designing and delivering programs and services that meet the needs of the community. CIP also recognizes that capacity building supports not-for-profit agencies to be agile and responsive to changes in the environment.

As such, the Community Investment Program is launching a fund to support unbudgeted expenses due to COVID-19. This fund will invest in salaries, operational expenses, and capital items to address the organizational impacts of COVID-19.

This fund will use the Capacity Fund application in the GovGrants platform. Applicants will have to demonstrate how this funding will strengthen their organizational capacity to support Peel's not-for-profit sector and provide optimal programs and services to the most vulnerable members of our community.

“Capacity Building can help local organizations deliver relevant services on a sustainable basis to local people”

Application information

Prior to completing the application, carefully review the program guidelines (in particular the General eligibility section), to verify that your organization aligns with the fund criteria and COVID-19 priorities.

All applications must be submitted through GovGrants, the Region of Peel’s new online grant management platform.

Remember to complete your registration and service provider profile in GovGrants as soon as possible (if you have not already done so).

Refer to our Community Investment Program page for additional information and access GovGrants.


Application: Sections 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Capacity Fund Application refer to Capacity Fund projects. For these sections, please answer the questions related to your funding request for operational expenses, salaries, and capital items, not project requests.

Budget: When completing the budget on GovGrants, please put all requested operating expenses and salaries under the other budget category and all requested capital items under the consumables budget category.

For each requested item, provide rationale in the budget narrative to justify your funding request.

Capacity fund overview

The capacity fund will provide support to organizations, enabling customized approaches to strengthen internal business practices and operational needs.

Applicants will identify unbudgeted salaries, operational expenses and capital items that will help improve their organization’s ability to address COVID-19 related impacts.

Capacity Fund requests must include an explanation of how your request of unbudgeted salaries, operational expenses and capital items will align to the selected COVID-19 priority area and support your organization's priority population(s).

COVID-19 priority alignment

Funded requests must address one of the following 3 COVID-19 related priorities:

Funding limit: Maximum funding request is $75,000

Other information

The purpose of the Capacity Fund is to improve the ability of organizations to better serve Peel’s priority populations in their time of need. In section 2(b) of the application, indicate which priority population your funding request aligns to and explain the

Priority populations:

  • Adult
  • Parents
  • Men
  • Women
  • Non-Binary
  • Youth
  • Seniors
  • Families
  • Victims of family violence
  • People with disabilities
  • Ethnic or racial groups
  • Unemployed
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • LGBTQ peoples
  • Aboriginal peoples
  • Newcomers, immigrants, refugees, and undocumented immigrants

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be an organization physically located in Peel Region and/or primarily serving Peel residents
  • Be mandated to provide human and community services
  • Be incorporated as a not-for-profit organization (the organization requires registration as a charity under the Canada Income Tax Act)
  • Be governed by a volunteer board of directors that is representative of the community it serves
  • Comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code in hiring practices and provision of all of its services
  • Have established and documented financial management systems in place and be able to provide an annual audited financial statement or equivalent

Note: Applicants must demonstrate that the funding request will adhere to the Region of Peel Public Health Guidelines related to COVID-19.

Eligible items

Requests for operational expenses and salaries may include (but are not limited to):

  • Unbudgeted core operational expenses
  • Unbudgeted core operational salaries
  • Unbudgeted capital items

Each application that meets the general eligibility requirements will be reviewed by a Fund Review Committee comprised of Region of Peel staff and assessed based on the following criteria:

Demonstrated need

Applications are evaluated based on how well they demonstrate the following in their application.

  • A description of how your requested items will support your selected COVID-19 priority area
  • A clear description of the funding request in the application.
  • What method(s) were used to determine funding needs (direct observation, surveys, interviews, work interruption, external changes to the environment, and reviewing existing documents)
  • The objective statement that the funding request would fulfill using SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely)
  • How success would be measured based on the objective
  • A clear description of how the funding request will be embedded into the organization.
  • For each item requested, a rationale is provided in the budget narrative.
  • The priority population that the funding request aligns to is clearly explained.

Financial sustainability

Applicants must demonstrate financial health. A financial assessment is included in the application review process.

Non-profit capacity instrument domain alignment

Applicants must indicate the non-profit capacity instrument domain to which their initiative is most closely aligned:

  1. Financial management
  2. Adaptive capacity
  3. Strategic planning
  4. External communication
  5. Board leadership
  6. Operational capacity
  7. Mission orientation
  8. Staff management

The non-profit capacity instrument domain definitions can be found in Section 7 of the application: Glossary of Terms.

Alignment with COVID-19 priority

Applicants must clearly demonstrate how the request is aligned to 1 of the 3 COVID-19 Priority areas.


CIP recognizes the importance of equity and is committed to applying an equity lens to the funding program to ensure that the diversity of our local service providers and community are reflected in CIP decision-making, grant opportunities, policies and practices.

Anticipated outcomes

Funded applicants aligned to one of the COVID-19 priority areas previously outlined, will result in the following outcomes:

  • Increased organizational ability to adapt and improve service delivery as a result of COVID-19 related impacts.
  • Increased ability to address systemic discrimination and racial inequities related to COVID-19.
  • Increased organizational capacity to better serve the community.

Measuring success

The goal of the funding request must align to one of the COVID-19 priority areas and improve the capacity of your organization, ultimately, leading to a positive impact on the community that your organization serves. Identify the measure of success that is aligned with your objective.

Timing for use of funds

All approved funding recipients will have 1 year to use the funds.

Reporting requirements

All approved funding recipients will be required to submit a mid-term and reconciliation report and will receive the notification pertaining to these reports through GovGrants.

Notification of funding decision

The application deadline is October 14, 2021. All applicants will be notified whether an application is approved or declined for funding. It is anticipated that funding decisions will be communicated 3 to 4 weeks after the fund submission deadline.

Recognition of CIP funding

CIP encourages all funding recipients to acknowledge Community Investment funding in all promotional and program materials. CIP will provide logo and terms of usage in various digital formats upon request.

Mandatory documents

The following mandatory documents must be submitted through GovGrants as a part of your application:

Submitted through the Service Provider Profile

  • Articles of incorporation
  • 2 years of audited financial statements
  • YTD financial statement: An agency with revenue greater than $250K must submit 2 year audited financial statements (signed and dated by an auditor).
    • An agency with $0 - $150K revenue may submit a Notice to Reader
    • An agency with $150 - $250K revenue may submit a Review Engagement Report.
  • Proof of insurance: If you are providing a year-to-date statement, make sure it includes an Income Statement (detailed listing of Revenue and Expenses), Balance Sheet.
  • Completed COVID-19 alignment template: submitted as a component of the Capacity Fund application.

Use this checklist before submitting your application through GovGrants

  • If you have already applied for funding in 2021 for CIP and have an approved profile, you do not need to complete this step
    Ensure that you register your agency in GovGrants and submit your Service Provider Profile (Articles of Incorporation and 2 years of audited financial statements or Review Engagement or Notice to Reader are mandatory documents required by all applicants as a part of the Service Provider Profile). Note: The process for completing the GovGrants registration and Service Provider Profile could take some time, so it is important that this is done as a first step.
  • Remember to upload proof of insurance and keep in mind that the applicant is responsible to ensure proper insurance is in place for any consultants, employees, general contractors, or sub-contractors hired by the applicant to carry out work related to the project.
  • Remember to complete and upload the COVID-19 alignment template in GovGrants.
  • Remember that all applications must adhere to the Region of Peel Public Health Guidelines related to COVID-19.

Glossary of terms

SMART Objectives: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.

Marginalized and equity seeking groups: a) Residents with low income; b) Residents that face precarious employment, underemployment and/or unemployment; c) Residents that face multiple barriers that prevent them from obtaining equitable and inclusive access to essential supports and services.

Capacity building tools: Documented strategies, policies or plans that assist an organization to improve their ability to support their staff, Board, volunteers, and clients.

Organizational capacity: Refers to the ability of an organization to fulfill its mission through a blend of sound management, strong governance, and a persistent rededication to assessing and achieving results.

Freedom of information

All information that is in the custody or control of the Region is subject to the access provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The information submitted in your funding application will be used for the purpose of assessing your application for funding.

Technical support for GovGrants

You can contact:
Anthony Lawrence

On the application deadline date, technical support is only available until 5 p.m.

Submitting multiple Capacity Fund applications in 2021

While your organization may include several requests within a single application, only one Capacity Fund application may be submitted per organization.

Submitting a joint Capacity Fund application with another organization

The Community Investment Program encourages collaborative partnerships. If you do decide to partner with another agency within the sector with shared or complementary objectives and mutual clients served, please ensure that each organizations perspective is clearly articulated in the funding application. The lead organization (also referred to as the Fiscal Sponsor) will be required to complete the application in GovGrants including uploading the mandatory supporting documents.

Including courses for staff in the application

Courses are an ineligible expense under the Capacity Fund.

If you don’t have access to GovGrants you cannot use email instead

GovGrants is the Community Investment Program’s new online fund management platform. The system was designed with a view towards modernizing and streamlining the Region’s funding programs. All 2021 funding applications must be submitted through GovGrants.

Communicating directly with Community Investment Program staff

While CIP staff are available to answer general questions and provide high level advice, staff will not be able to confirm if your application is correctly completed and will not be able to see your application in the system until it is submitted.

The assessment and approval process

Each application that meets the general eligibility requirements will be reviewed by a Fund Review Committee comprised of Region of Peel staff and assessed based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated need
  • Financial sustainability
  • Non-profit capacity instrument domain alignment
  • Alignment with COVID-19 priority

Each eligible application will also undergo a financial assessment to determine the overall financial health of the organization.

Getting notified of the funding decision

The application deadline is Thursday October 14, 2021 5 p.m.

All applicants will be notified whether an application is approved or declined for funding. It is anticipated that funding decisions will be communicated within 8 to 10 weeks following the application after submission deadline.