Applying for a Grant

2022 Vital Community Grants

Each year, the Community Foundation grants thousands of dollars to charities in the community. While many grants are recommended by fund advisors and external donors, Vital Community Grants are made possible through contributions to a number of funds that grant at the discretion of the Community Foundation.

Vital Community Grants continue to be focused on Equitable COVID-19 Recovery

In our third year living with COVID, individuals and organizations continue to struggle with limited resources and unequitable outcomes, which is why the Vital Community Grants program will continue to be made available to organizations whose work focuses on supporting people disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Participatory Grant Making

Participatory grant making is a decision-making process that puts those benefiting from the grant at its heart. It invites those who are most knowledgeable and affected by an issue to identify priorities and direct funding where they see fit. For the Community Foundation, it is an expression of our values of trust, inclusivity, and collaboration. We expect up to ten eligible applicants will be invited to participate in two 2-hour granting circle sessions this fall.

Learn more about what past participants have had to say about the process here: Feedback from 2021 granting circle participants.

Size of Grant

In the past, Vital Community Grants have averaged $5,000 but given the nature of participatory grantmaking, the amounts granted this year may vary according to the consensus of the participants themselves. Grants will not be project-specific. All charities participating in the granting circle conversations will be guaranteed a grant of $1,000.


Applicants must meet all of the eligibility criteria in order to apply:

1. Organizations must be registered charities operating within and providing services to people in the City and/or County of Peterborough, Hiawatha First Nation or Curve Lake First Nation. Status as a “qualified donee” in good standing will be verified through the CRA website as part of the application process.

 2. Organizations that are not qualified donees must work with a sponsoring charity and complete a “Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement.” Please contact the Community Foundation to ask for a form. If your application is successful, the sponsoring organization will receive the grant.

 3. Applicant organizations must specifically work with and on behalf of people who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to systemic inequalities (for instance, racialized people or people with disabilities), and this focus must be reflected in the organization’s mission, purpose and programs. You must be able to identify the marginalized population that is the focus of your organization’s work and describe how your organization’s leadership reflects the identities and experiences of the people your organization serves.

 4. Applicant organizations must be willing to actively participate in a granting circle to determine the priorities and allocation of the available funds. This is a commitment of time and energy as participants will need to read and consider applications from other organizations, listen to other participants, and discuss and decide on options for the allocation of funds.

 5. Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disabilities, age, national origin, or any protected classes are not eligible for Vital Community Grants.

Invitation to Participate

Each Expression of Interest will be carefully screened in relation to the eligibility criteria.

Qualifying applicants will be invited to participate in two online granting circles which will be held on Thursday, September 22

and Thursday, October 13.


Deadlines and assessment criteria will be decided by the participants of the granting circle.

Recommendations made by the granting circle will go to the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation later in October, with grants being made in November.

How to Apply

Applications are only accepted through the Foundation’s online portal. If you do not already have an account, you can set up your login here.

If organizations meet the criteria above, please log-in to the portal and complete an Expression of Interest application. You can also read it here in PDF format:  Expression of Interest – Vital Community Grants 2022 application

Expressions of Interest must be submitted by 5 pm on Thursday, September 8.

Answers provided in the Expression of Interest may be shared with other applicants, the Foundation’s board, donors and the broader community.

Vital Community Grants 2022 FAQ


Jennifer DeBues |

Executive Director

Have Questions? Get in Touch!