Sponsor a Project
One of the most unusual and exciting aspects of The Funding Network is that all our projects are brought to our attention by members, who are encouraged to sponsor social change projects they know about and for which they wish to attract support. We work in this way to encourage members' involvement in the social change work going on around them, and also because we do not have an administrative structure equipped to process unsolicited applications directly from charities. Members may sponsor up to two projects for any one Funding Event.
The Funding Network-Toronto's Selection Committee chooses three to five exceptional projects for each funding event from all the projects that members put forward. (Those members would serve as project sponsors if their projects are chosen.) The Selection Committee is made up of five members, including at least two directors and any member can request the opportunity to participate.
At the funding event, the charities each present their selected project and explain how the required funding would be used. Some projects are presented by a representative of the charity, while some are presented by the project sponsor.
The presentations are followed by an open pledging session in which attendees can pledge money towards some, all, or none of the projects that have been presented. Therefore, the amount the project receives depends on what participants give. Tides Canada, our service provider, administers the pledges, paying a single cheque out to each charity approximately eight weeks after the funding event.
What does sponsorship involve?
All sponsors must be members of The Funding Network-Toronto. If you are not already a member, you simply have to fill out the membership form and pay $50 by cheque (credit cards are not accepted for membership). You must be a member before a project proposal is submitted for the charity you wish to sponsor.
Consult with the charity to decide whether a representative from the organization or you would best present the project. In any case, whether the presentation of the project is by a representative of the charity or by the sponsor, the sponsor will take a minute to explain why they feel the project is worthy and they are offering their own support.
Contact Janis Rukavina Thomas, Chair of The Funding Network-Toronto, for the two-page application guidelines using our contact form, or by phone: 613-634-2132. The charity is responsible for filling out the application form requesting inclusion in a funding event, however, sponsors should offer advice (how much is up to you) for what should be included in the application.
The Chair can confirm the deadline for submission or help with any other enquiries. The closing date for the application will be announced well before each funding event, but it is generally six weeks before the event. Applications can only be received electronically. Contact us for information on where to send your application. Please ensure that the version you submit by email is the final one to reduce administrative costs. Hard copies of financial statements must be sent by snail mail or courier and must arrive in time to be considered with the emailed application. The address for the financial statements is:
Janis Rukavina Thomas
The Funding Network-Toronto
65 Queen Street West, Suite 2400
Toronto, M5H 2M8.
Since only three to five charities can present at any given funding event, we advise against promising a project/organisation it will get a chance to present. If your project doesn't get a slot the first time, you can resubmit the same project a second time. Note however, that if the project is selected, we can coach the presenter(s) if they so wish. Finally, as the amount raised depends on attendance and enthusiasm at the event, we suggest you encourage the project to think in terms of $10,000, whilst understanding that pledging minus the administrative costs may not reach the full amount.
What kind of projects does the selection committee favour? The Funding Network-Toronto focuses on social change projects, namely projects that address the root causes of an issue, or pioneer new ways of tackling problems, and that actively promote transformation or change. Who We Fund.
The Funding Network-Toronto recognises that many such projects have difficulty finding support. Unlike many funding bodies, we will fund core costs such as salaries and overheads. Although we are not restricting applications to projects of less than a certain size, we suggest you sponsor small and medium-size organizations for whom $10,000 would be a useful contribution. We will endeavour to cover a range of issues at each funding Event. All projects must either be run by or under the umbrella of a registered Canadian charity or foundation. We can only issue charitable tax receipts for Canadian charitable numbers, however, we welcome projects which will benefit both Canada and overseas.
What is the selection process?
A project application must not exceed two pages. O between 12 and 20 project applications are received for consideration by the selection committee. However, before an application can move forward due diligence is carried out to verify financial statements and to ask for clarification if required. New and old organizations receive a fair hearing. In making its selections the committee aims to select a variety of causes for any one event, to reflect the variety of interests of the members.
What constitutes conflicts of interest?
Sponsors may not be in the paid employ (including consultancy) of a project they sponsor, although members can invite another member to sponsor a project they work for. Other kinds of personal connection with projects, such as trustee/mentor/volunteer relationships, are fine. Members are asked to clarify their relationship to the project when the two page application is submitted.
Can any member be part of the selection committee?
Members are invited to express their interest in being part of the selection committee. The selection meetings are informal are informal and held on a weekday in Toronto at our head office. If you wish to be part of a selection committee, please contact us.
Sponsoring a project is very rewarding. We hope you will try it!