Every year, for many decades, the City has made grants to community groups.
The results of the 2014 grant program were recently announced. I have heard gratitude from community groups who received a grant and disappointment from those who did not.
A few years ago, we recognized the need to improve the granting process to ensure access to City resources was fair and transparent. The grant policy and application is now much more robust than in previous years with clear goals, improved accountability, including groups identifying performance measures and their funding sources in their application. We needed to ensure stronger reporting back from the grant recipients to be able to understand and communicate the community impact of this investment.
The Wellbeing Grants replace the former Community Grants that had three streams (health and social services, arts and culture, and special events). The Guelph Wellbeing Grants align with the 8 domains of wellbeing and offer a broader range of activities that can be funded. The goals are based on the input from hundreds of Guelph residents through Guelph Wellbeing’s community engagement.
The funds for these grants have not increased for several years. This year Council added an additional $25,000 bringing the total budget to $279,400.
One of the changes we made was to delegate authority to citizens to make the granting decisions. This is consistent with our desire to increase citizen involvement in decision making and to draw from the expertise of our citizens. The Grants Allocation Panel will report to the Community and Social Services Committee in March.
I look forward to thanking them. They had a tough job.
The Wellbeing Grants are part of larger Community Investment Strategy that is under development. Information about the Community Investment Strategy can be found at:
Information about making an application under the Annual Grant Program can be found at: