Funding process

When do funds go out?

Groups apply for funding each year by mid-February, and funding decisions are made in April. Of the total funds raised, 50% is granted and 50% is saved for future projects.

Who gets funded?

The group deciding on grant applications is a combination of Groundswell trustees and members of groups who have received funding in the past. Each application selection process participant generates a shortlist of applications that fit our criteria. Participants then meet to share their shortlists and discuss the strongest applications. We then use a two-step process: 1. Decide how many applications we can fund, depending on the amount of money we have raised. 2. Once the successful applications are selected, decide how much each applicant will receive. We keep in mind our goal of allocating 80% of funds to pre-existing groups and 20% to newer groups/projects.

Please note: Applications for legal defence costs are not eligible for funding. Organizations funded by a settler government agency, extractive industries, or energy corporations will not be funded. We prioritize work taking place within Ontario, though, given our ongoing commitment to decolonize our work, relying on colonial borders requires us to be more flexible. Click here to find out more about our funding priorities.

How do we decide who gets funded?

Each application selection process participant looks at all their applications and generates a shortlist of those applications that fit our criteria and that they support. Participants then meet to share their shortlist and discuss the strongest applications.

Once the discussion is complete, we use a two-step process.  At the first stage, we decide which applications we are going to fund.  Depending on the amount of money we have raised, we choose between five and ten applications to fund.  Once we have selected these applications, we then decide how much each applicant will receive.  We make our final choices, keeping in mind our goal of allocating 80% of the money to preexisting groups and 20% to newer groups/projects.

How do we ensure fairness?

Application selection process participants keep applications confidential and do not discuss groups amongst themselves or with others before the board meeting. To address possible conflict of interest concerns, participants must state any involvement they have with groups applying for funding. Members disclose any benefits they may receive from funding a group with which they are involved. If a participant stands to benefit financially or is an active part of a group applying for funds, they will be asked to abstain from discussion of the group’s application and from voting concerning the group. We take the allocation process very seriously and address any problems that may arise immediately, as well as at our yearly Annual General Meeting.