Champlain Township has a new policy for grants to community organizations, after council approved a by-law enacting the new policy on October 13.
The new policy establishes three types of grants. A Community Grant is funding, or support in-kind, for not-for-profit organizations that deliver programs and services to help keep township residents healthy, engaged, and active in their community.
Special Event Grants are funding, or support in-kind, for new, existing, or one-time cultural, social, tourist, or recreational events that provide significant benefit to the broad community, but are open to all members of the public. Not-for-profit and for-profit organizations are eligible for these grants.
A for-profit organization can receive municipal funding for a special event if 100 per cent of the event’s profits are donated to a non-profit organization. If an organization plans to organize multiple events throughout the year, only one application is required outlining all of the events, as only one grant will be awarded per organization per year.
Facility Usage Grants allow not-for-profit organizations to use municipal facilities free of charge. These grants are not redeemable in cash funding.
According to a staff report, the new policy was created to ensure a more fair, transparent, and equitable process for the allocation of community grants by the township. The policy also establishes clear criteria and encourages organizations to create sustainable funding plans for their initiatives.
At the October 13 council meeting, Councillors André Roy and Peter Barton each commented on how a new policy was necessary. Councillor Violaine Titley remarked there should be flexibility in how the grants are allocated. Roy and Barton also agreed.
In 2022, $50,485 was allocated in the municipal budget for community grants.
Champlain Township Communications Specialist Zoé Fortin-Larocque said all information regarding grant requests will be presented ahead of time to better guide council through the upcoming budget process.
“I think it will be easier for you, the councillors, to make a more clear decision,” she said.
Barton said current economic conditions are bringing financial challenges for community organizations.
“I think it’s important to understand, for a number of reasons, prices are going up,” he said.
Barton asked if the various groups would be able to make presentations to council explaining their grant requests. Fortin-Larocque said it will be possible and noted Arbor Gallery had made such a presentation last year. Fortin-Larocque said she will also try to directly consult with groups before budget time.
The deadline for organizations to apply for 2023 municipal grants in Champlain Township is November 30. Information on how to apply is available at www.champlain.ca/grants. After the deadline, no further grants are awarded during the year until the application period for the following year begins.