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Community Grant Program Policy & Guidelines
About the Morden Area Foundation:
The Morden Area Foundation (the Foundation) was established in 1993 for the purposes of establishing permanent endowment funds and distributing the income for the long-term benefit of the community. The Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the quality of our community life by funding local projects that address social, health, heritage, sport, recreational, art and culture, child welfare, youth development, family well-being, educational and environmental needs and priorities in Morden and the surrounding area.
The Foundation is funded by many donors, from all walks of life, gifts range from a few to thousands of dollars. These gifts are invested in a capital fund with only the income from the investments being used for grants, which assist a wide variety of local initiatives. Donations to the Community Foundation will serve the entire community year after year, for good, forever.
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of volunteer members of the community who serve for four years and is supported by a part-time executive director. The Board evaluates each grant application and distributes grants to those projects they feel will most benefit the area.
Grants are made to projects or programs that are delivered in or significantly positively impact the City of Morden and the surrounding area (R.M. of Stanley). Grants are made to Canada Revenue Agency (CCRA) registered charities or other qualified donees under The Income Tax Act (Canada).
Non-profit organizations that do not have a charitable registration number can be sponsored by a registered charity. It is a requirement that the non-profit organization and the registered charity have a written agreement that formalizes the relationship between the two that meets CRA requirements. The application must be made by the registered charity and include a confirmation of the written agreement.
The Morden Area Foundation grants will generally NOT fund:
- Endowment funds with other organizations
- Core ongoing operating expenses
- Fundraising events
- Retroactive expenses
- Debt retirement or cover deficits
- Direct religious activities
Evaluation Criteria for Grant Applications
The Foundation gives preference to projects and programs where a moderate amount of grant money will have a significant impact. Successful grant proposals are ideally characterized by a well-planned approach, evidence of community support, efficient use of resources, ability to serve a need in the community, collaboration, volunteer participation and citizen involvement. In order to utilize the resources of the Foundation for maximum community benefit, each grant application will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- The project should build on the strengths of the community to respond to identified needs and priorities.
- The applicant organization must demonstrate responsible financial and legal accountability.
- The project must be undertaken by organizations that are well governed and managed.
- The project must be realistic and within the capacity of the applicant to carry out.
- The project should not duplicate existing services, or if so, demonstrate why the overlap is warranted.
- The applicant should provide evidence of collaboration with other agencies.
- The project or applicant should include evidence of support from other funding sources or the broader community. If partnering with another organization in this application, then please include a letter of support from that organization.
- The project or applicant should demonstrate a reasonable probability of ongoing support from other funding sources in the future, or clearly indicate that the project is intended to continue for a limited time span or is a discrete project/purpose for which all costs have been disclosed on the application.
- The project must be located in or of a direct benefit to the residents of Morden and the surrounding area.
- Capital projects will be considered if there is a demonstrated need.
- Pilot or demonstration projects must include provision for an evaluation (measure of success) and a realistic plan for financial viability beyond the pilot stage.
- The applicant should disclose if they have applied to the Foundation previously, and if so, the amount of previous grants awarded and the dates they were received.
- Preference is given to projects which:
- encourage more efficient use of community resources;
- expect to test or demonstrate new approaches and techniques in the solution of community problems;
- address the underlying causes of problems in our community rather than dealing only with the symptoms;
- are developed in consultation with other agencies and planning groups and those which promote coordination, cooperation and sharing among organizations and the elimination of duplicate services;
- promote volunteer participation and citizen involvement in the community;
- demonstrate evidence of community support and organization initiative;
- support segments, issues or needs of the community that have not recently received funding from the Foundation;
- are deemed by the Board to be of high value, impact or importance to the community.
Grant Application Guidelines and Processes:
- Grant application deadlines are once per year: October 1st. Social Impact Investing, or social impact / leveraged flow through fund grants (as described below) will be considered on a case by case basis as they arise and are not subject to these deadlines.
- Grants shall be in the prescribed form, are available on our website and shall include:
- Name and contact information for the organization/project
- Charitable registration number or letter accompanied by a written agreement from the sponsoring registered charity
- Basic information describing the organization and its management i.e.) members of the current board and executive director
- Financial information, including financial statements and/or current budget for the organization and for the project should be available on request. They do not have to be attached to the application.
- Complete description of the project including a statement as to the community need, issue, or segment that will benefit by the project, how the project will be supported by the community or vice versa, the importance of and need for the project, any expected measurable outcomes for the project, and should highlight innovation and collaboration with other community partners.
- Total project cost and amount of funds requested from the Foundation
- Date funds are required by
- How the Applicant will recognize the Foundation’s support
- Authorized signature
- The Foundation will review all qualified applications received based upon their merit in relation to the grant criteria listed in this policy and funds available for distribution. The Directors of the Board may request additional information if deemed necessary, conduct interviews of representatives of the applicant, consider such other information as the Directors may consider reasonable, and may set terms and conditions on any grants awarded.
- The Board of Directors shall have the final decision in awarding grants. Approval of grants will be by way of motion carried by the Board.
- All changes to a project or application after the Foundation has approved a grant must be brought back to the Board for re-approval.
- Proof of expenditures must be provided to the Foundation for grants awarded before payment of the grant.
- Applicants will have one year from the date they receive notification that their application has been approved by the Foundation to submit their fund request (along with proof of expenditures). Should the grant not be used within the one-year time limit, the applicant may make a written request for an extension of time. The extension is subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. Failure to either use the grant or request an extension within the one-year time limit will result in the grant lapsing. Lapsed grants will become available for distribution at the next grant application deadline.
- Successful applicants will be notified by the Foundation.
- All successful applications will be required to submit a Final Impact Report upon completion of the project with a deadline of November 30 of the following year. The Final Report should contain the following elements: a final budget detailing project revenues and expenditures, a press-ready story and photographs demonstrating the project impact, and samples of any public recognition of the Morden Area Foundation grant.
- In order to enhance the benefit of the grant to the recipient organization and other community groups, the final project evaluation will involve analyzing the measurable outcomes set during project planning and should include a determination of what the project organizers would keep the same, what they would change for future projects. Such reflections may uncover useful learnings about how the project evolved over time and the reasons for the change which may be used to improve future projects and organizations through the development of best practices.
The Foundation Board has the authority to withhold or recover grant funds misused or misapplied and has an obligation to investigate allegations of misuse, misallocation or misconduct.
The Morden Area Foundation responds to needs identified by local registered charities through a granting process. Local charities can apply for funding in fall. Deadline is September 30. Interviews are held in October. Decisions are made in November and presentations are generally made at the December Christmas Party. The Foundation’s board of directors reviews the applications and awards the available funds to projects that exhibit need, innovation, and benefit to a wide segment of the Morden and area population.
Through this process the interest earned on your donations helps a wide variety of causes. Since our inception in 1993, more than $1,000,000 has been distributed to support projects in the areas of:
- Community service
- Recreation and sport
- Arts and culture
- Seniors, adults, youth, children