Spotlight On: Trillium Foundation’s “Active People” Grant Stream

Spotlight On: Trillium Foundation’s “Active People” Grant Stream

Back in November, the Ontario Trillium Foundation launched a sleek new website alongside an overhauled granting program. Today we’ll be looking closer at one of the grantmaker’s identified “Action Areas” and making some suggestions on how sport and recreation nonprofits and charities can tap into this funding.Let’s begin by looking broadly at the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) funding structure.  If your organization is preparing a grant application, your project must fall into one of six defined Action Areas:

  • Active People
  • Connected People
  • Green People
  • Inspired People
  • Promising Young People
  • Prosperous People

Each of these Action Areas is based on measurement indicators from the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, an annual national study seeking to measure the health and overall wellbeing of Canadians. The goal of the the OTF is thus to affect change as measured by these specific CWI measurement indicators through granting initiatives.  For applicants, this means your project’s projected outcomes must positively impact the CWI measurement indicators associated with the specific Action Area.

Each OTF Action Area consists of its own set of Priority Outcomes, Grant Results, and Metrics:

  • Priority Outcomes are the broad outcomes your project must work towards in order to be considered for funding.
  • Grant Results are the specific outcomes your project must achieve.
  • Metrics refer to how the your organization and the OTF can measure your project’s effectiveness in meeting the defined priority outcomes.

It might seem like a complex structure at first glance, but once you’ve wrapped your head around it, it’s actually quite clear. The greatest benefit of the OTF’s new funding structure for organizations considering applying for a grant is that, essentially, the Ontario Trillium Foundation is telling you exactly what they want.


Now that we’ve set the big-picture, let’s look specifically at one Action Area: Active People.

The CWI measurement indicators associated with this Action Area are as follows:

  • Average monthly frequency of participation in physical activity is greater than 15 minutes
  • Percentage of Ontarians with self-reported diabetes

And more specifically, the Priority Outcomes, and their associated Grant Results are as follows:

  • Higher quality programming and infrastructure to support physical activity
    • Grant Results:
      • Trained and certified coaches, officials, and volunteers (as measured by the number of people trained)
      • Programs are safe, inclusive, fair, age-, and ability-appropriate (as measured by number of people trained, the number of programs initiated, and/or the number of people impacted)
      • Infrastructure for structured/unstructured physical activity (as measured by square footage)
  • More people become active
    • Grant Results:
      • Ontarians participate in an active lifestyle (as measured by the number of people participating in an active lifestyle, a change in the quality and quantity of activity as demonstrated by a pre/post survey, and/or an increase in square footage or hours of access for facilities)

Sport and recreation organizations must address one or more of the listed grant results, and must measure as per the indicators listed above.

So what type of programs would qualify? A few ideas:

  • An infrastructure project to expand the usable square footage of an existing recreational facility.
  • The implementation of a Canadian Sport for Life supported program in your community.
  • An initiative to train volunteer coaches in a recognized train program such as High Five of the National Coaching Certification Program.
  • The addition of a sport and physical activity program to your after school program.


So there you have it: a snapshot of the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Active People stream. atPlay Consulting will be examining each of the OTF’s six action areas over the coming weeks, so keep your browser pointed at our blog for all the information you need to make your next grant proposal a success.

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