9. RURAL COMMUNITY BUILDING GRANTS PROGRAM
PROGRAMME DE SUBVENTIONs POUR LE RENFORCEMENT COMMUNAUTAIRe EN MILIEU RURAL
That Council approve the City of Ottawa Rural Affairs Office “Rural Community-Building Grants Program Policy”, detailed as Document 1.
RECOMMANDATION DU COMITÉ
Que le Conseil approuve la politique sur le Programme de subventions pour le renforcement communautaire en milieu rural, qui fait l’objet du document 1 ci-annexé.
1. Deputy City Manager’s Report, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability, dated 19 August 2011 (ACS2011-ICS-PGM-0182).
Report to/Rapport au :
Comité de l'agriculture et des affaires rurales
and Council / et au Conseil
19 August 2011 / le 19 août 2011
Submitted by/Soumis par : Nancy Schepers, Deputy City Manager/Directrice municipale adjointe, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability/Services d’infrastructure et Viabilité des collectivités
Contact Person/Personne ressource : John L. Moser, General Manager/Directeur général, Planning and Growth Management/Urbanisme et Gestion de la croissance
(613) 580-2424 x 28869, John.Moser@ottawa.ca
Ref N°: ACS2011-ICS-PGM-0182
RURAL COMMUNITY BUILDING GRANTS PROGRAM
PROGRAMME DE SUBVENTIONs POUR LE RENFORCEMENT COMMUNAUTAIRe EN MILIEU RURAL
RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT
Que le Comité de l’agriculture et des affaires rurales recommande au Conseil d’approuver la politique sur le Programme de subventions pour le renforcement communautaire en milieu rural, qui fait l’objet du document 1 ci-annexé.
In August 2010, Council approved a Corporate Grants and Contributions Policy and implementation plan, governing all mechanisms for funding to external organizations. The new policy applies to all Grants and Contributions where there are transfers of money, goods, services or assets to individuals or organizations without the City receiving goods and services in return. This policy took effect January 1, 2011.
Currently, as part of its overall Council approved budget, the Rural Affairs Office administers the Rural Association Partnership Program (RAPP). This approved grant program, the guidelines for which have already been updated to adhere to the new corporate policy, provides matching funding to a maximum of $7,500 in support of special projects for the following not-for-profit entities: farmers’ markets, fairs, and rural business organizations. RAPP has been successful in supporting many different projects for eligible organizations across rural Ottawa.
Since the inception of the office in 2005, the Rural Affairs Office has also provided funding assistance for not-for-profit organizations, such as rural community associations and agricultural groups for projects that helped advance the priorities coming out of the two Rural Summits. These small contributions were made on a ‘one-off’ basis, in consultation with the rural Councillors, to assist with projects deemed a benefit to the rural community.
The proposed “Rural Community-Building Grants” program guidelines outlined in Document 1, provide an administrative framework that will formalize the management and review of these grants made by the Rural Affairs Office. This will ensure that future contributions are aligned with Council objectives and corporate policy. This formalization will also enhance transparency and accountability for the use of public funds.
The program guidelines in Document 1 have been based on the Council-approved guidelines for the Economic Development Projects Grants and Contribution Policy.
Each year, Council approves, through its normal budget process, a spending envelope of grant funding for the Rural Affairs Office. The Office administers the already approved Rural Association Partnership Program for farmers’ markets, fairs and rural business organizations with a budget of $75,000. In the past, the Rural Affairs Office has also provided funding for grants for not-for-profit organizations such as rural community associations and agricultural groups on a ‘one-of’ basis to assist with projects aligned with the Rural Summit priorities and demonstrating a significant community-building opportunity. This funding was shared across all wards in the rural area of Ottawa.
Examples of past contributions of this type include supporting community-building initiatives such as funding to assist a local group with the installation of a new cenotaph in a rural village, and funding to assist an agricultural youth organization with an outreach project.
Since the new Corporate Grants and Contributions Policy took effect in January 2011, there is a requirement for a formally approved program to be in place before funding of these types of projects can be facilitated. The staff recommends the approval of a “Rural Community-Building Grants” program by Committee and Council using existing budget allocation.
The proposed Rural Community-Building Grants Funding Policy will provide a planned and coordinated approach as well as a rationale for decision-making on opportunities to support these rural community projects, and to ensure that a fair, open, effective, equitable, and timely process is in place for evaluating requests made to the City for funding support.
The Rural Community-Building Grants Funding will be designed to support rural-based community project undertakings by community associations and agricultural groups. Funding will be project-based, with a defined beginning and end, and measurable outcomes.
Assessment will be based on the merit of the project, community impact, and organizational effectiveness. The assessment, to be done by Councillors from the rural area, will also ensure funding is available in all geographic areas of rural Ottawa.
This funding is important to assist in community-building through small scale community projects in rural Ottawa.
In developing the Rural Community-Building Grants Funding Policy, the Rural Affairs Office consulted with the affected Ward Councillors.
COMMENTS BY THE WARD COUNCILLOR(S)
The Ward Councillors in rural Ottawa are supportive of the formal establishment of a Rural Community-Building Grants Funding program.
There are no legal impediments to implementing any of the recommendations in this report. The legal authority for the City to provide grants is set out in Section 107 of the Municipal Act, 2001.
RISK MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS
CITY STRATEGIC PLAN
The development of these policies support the City Strategic Plan Governance Priority which commits that the “City will work to improve processes that support a responsible and responsive government. It will take steps to make appropriate delegations of authority, conduct ongoing strategic monitoring and adjustments, and that ensure the City conducts business in an open and transparent manner.”
There are no financial implications associated with this administrative report. Grants awarded under this program are allocated within the existing budget resources approved by Council as part of the annual Operating Budget process.
Document 1 Rural Community-Building Grants Funding Policy
Rural Community-Building Grants Funding Policy DOCUMENT 1
City of Ottawa Planning and Growth Management Department Rural Affairs Office July, 2011
City of Ottawa
Planning and Growth Management Department
Rural Affairs Office
The Rural Community-Building Grants Funding is designed as a funding program to support rural-based community project undertakings by community associations, agricultural groups or other not-for-profit organizations. Funding is project based, with a defined beginning and end, and measurable outcomes.
Assessment will be based on the following general criteria: merit of project, community impact, and organizational effectiveness. The assessment will also take into account ensuring funding is available in all geographic areas of rural Ottawa.
Prospective applicants may find it useful to discuss their concepts with the Rural Affairs Office prior to submitting their proposal to ensure their project fits within the scope of the funding program.
In accordance with the City of Ottawa Grants and Contributions Policy, funding is limited to organizations that:
· Are non-profit organizations active in rural Ottawa and that are recognized as supporting local community and/or agricultural activities and programs.
· Operate in a non-discriminatory manner, as set out by the Ontario Human Rights Code.
· Are governed by a democratically elected Board of Directors
· Demonstrate efficiency, effectiveness and fiscal responsibility
· Remain in good financial standing with the City of Ottawa
Further, the following types of organizations/programs are ineligible for funding:
Projects must be of demonstrable benefit to rural Ottawa residents. Rural Ottawa is defined as the “Rural Policy Area” in the Official Plan. Eligible projects may include local community association activities, facility improvements and agricultural group projects.
Funding will not be provided for:
· Increasing a surplus or offsetting an existing financial deficit
· Fundraising projects and initiatives
· Sports and Recreation Tournaments and Events
Funding requests should have an outline of the project being proposed with all activities and the budget outline. The request should outline the work to be done and details the goals, objectives, tasks and resources. The plan should be linked to the budget and include the timelines for completion. The project budget should summarize the overall project costs, broken down by budget item. The budget must also identify the proposed source of funds, including other grants, if any. If the project involves purchasing goods and services the applicants must demonstrate that the process for selecting a provider involves open competition, ensures value-for money; and is ethical and fair.
Payment of funds for a project is subject to approval of the evaluation committee and successful negotiation of a funding agreement between the applicant and the Rural Affairs Office.
If a proposal is successful, work should commence in a reasonable time, usually within three months or as agreed. Funds may be withdrawn if the project has not commenced within the agreed timeframe.
An application should be based on a well-developed proposal addressing the assessment criteria. Application information will be available on-line at www.ottawa.ca, or from:
Rural Affairs Office
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
Completed requests must be submitted directly to the Rural Affairs Office and must include all applicable items below:
· Organization details including: organization contacts, a copy of the minutes from the most recent Annual General Meeting, the details of the governance structure and a copy of the most recent financial statements;
· An outline of the project, its objectives, benefits to the rural community, and proposed dates;
· Evidence of the need for a project;
· The level of support sought and the proposed timing of grant payments in the event the proposal is successful;
· Evidence of other support as appropriate;
· An itemized budget that is supported by evidence of cost estimates (including supplier quotes where appropriate);
· Information on how the project or its outcomes will be sustained after the funding period;
Proposals will be accepted by e-mail, fax, mail or dropped off in person at a Client Service Centre to the attention of the Rural Affairs Office.
Upon receipt of the proposal by the Rural Affairs Office, it will be assessed against the following funding criteria. If the proposal meets the criteria, it will then be submitted for approval to a review panel created by members of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.
i) Benefit to rural Ottawa
Economic and community impact – proposals should demonstrate their potential impact on and benefit for rural Ottawa residents (community participation, audience development / education, accessibility of programming and /or activities, community-based partnerships, future benefits, etc.).
ii) Project Need
Proposals should demonstrate an established need / demand for the project (e.g. needs assessment, community consultation) and how the needs identified will be addressed by the project.
Projects are assessed on both the requirement for direct support from or involvement of City of Ottawa staff and/or Council in delivering the project or event, as well as the level of financial support from partners, other sources and from the organization itself (i.e. the greater the leveraging of other funds, the better the proposal will be viewed).
iv) Project Viability
§ Clear mandate and effective planning (program and business)
§ Fiscal responsibility and financial stability
§ Balanced revenue (earned, private, government) and appropriate expense breakdown
§ Effective, appropriate governance and solid management
Consideration will be given to the nature of the project and the applicant including:
§ The type of organization
§ Evidence of skills/expertise to manage the project
§ Ability to deliver the outcomes
§ The level and likelihood of risks and how identified risks will be managed.
vi) Local Support
Consideration will be given to the degree that the broader community (such as local business and other organizations) supports the project, including a commitment to keep the project going after the funding period, if appropriate.
Release of Funds
If you are awarded funding, you will receive a letter from the City of Ottawa Rural Affairs Office outlining the total amount funded, terms and conditions, and a funding disbursement schedule.
Use of Funds
Funds shall be used only for the purposes outlined in the original proposal. Any changes to the scale and activities, including changes in budget and programming, must be reported in writing to and receive approval by the Rural Affairs Office. Please read the terms and conditions document for more information on the use of funds.
All successful applicants are required to submit an activity report detailing how they used the funding awarded to them. This report must be submitted either following completion of funded activities, one year after receipt of the funds, or at the time of subsequent proposal to the Rural Affairs Office, whichever is soonest. Failure to provide a report may result in the organization being ineligible for subsequent City of Ottawa funding.
Instructions - How to Submit a Report:
Please submit the report to the City of Ottawa Rural Affairs Office by the deadline date. The report must include the following:
Funding recipients are required to acknowledge the support of the City of Ottawa as follows:
Print materials - By reproducing the City of Ottawa logo* or making a written acknowledgement
using the following formulation: [Name] gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the City
To appear in or on:
Verbal announcements - By mentioning support verbally in:
*An electronic version of the City logo can be obtained by contacting the Rural Affairs Office at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 613-580-2424, ext. 28352.