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Emergency Fund for COVID-19

Grants to Ontario Nonprofits and Charities in Eligible
Locations for Support During the Coronavirus Crisis

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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United Way Greater Toronto (UWGT)

Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $10,000 to Ontario nonprofit and charitable organizations in eligible locations for support during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis. Funding is intended to help social service organizations address the needs of vulnerable populations that are still struggling with the impacts of the pandemic and service disruptions that create urgent needs. Eligible proposals benefit residents across the Peel, Toronto, and York Region.

UWGT’s approach will take into consideration equity and geographic distribution to ensure service access, with encouragement to organizations that are led by and serving equity-seeking groups. Funds will be used to help agencies respond to low-income community members disproportionately affected by the current COVID-19 crisis

The Emergency Fund is designed to be adaptive to rapidly changing circumstances. UWGT will consider one-time agency requests that support immediate needs and offer a rapid response to issues arising due to COVID-19 with a focus on one or more of the following:

  • Provision of necessities of life:
    • Food access including preparation and/or distribution of food to people in need and grocery cards
    • Distribution of essential products to people in need (e.g., baby formula, sanitary products, medications) and gift cards
  • Population-based impacts and supports including short term initiatives to address critical programming needs through the pandemic such as senior’s isolation, short-term children and youth programming and educational support; mental health and addictions; housing supports for evictions and homelessness; gun violence prevention activities; and initiatives to address gender-based violence
  • Technology resources to address the digital divide to facilitate interaction with isolated people (e.g., laptops, cell phones, software licenses, phone cards)
  • Other equipment, materials, and space needed to re-open or safely provide services and reduce barriers to access during the COVID-19 crisis (e.g., handwashing stations, cleaning supplies, plexiglass barriers, automatic doors, COVID-19 testing, vaccine rollout).

Successful applications will demonstrate practical use for short-term funding that can be quickly deployed for impact. In addition, successful applications will provide a clear budget that directly benefits the target population and allocates a maximum of 20% in administrative costs.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 197117

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Allocations will range between $1,000 and $10,000 per project, with $5,000 as the average approved amount. Higher amounts may be considered on an exceptional basis, especially for collaborative applications.

Term of Contract:

The Fund will support requests that can be implemented immediately and completed by March 31, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Agencies:
- Have charitable status or be a non-profit organization, trusteed by a registered charity or part of a shared platform
- Provide programs and services in one or more of the following geographic areas: Peel Region, the City of Toronto, York Region

The Emergency Fund will not:
- Provide funds to individuals or for-profit corporations
- Fund any costs that are not for meeting urgent needs due to COVID-19
- Provide funds to purchase masks or gloves for the staff or program participants
- Fund rent supplements
- Support costs (e.g., loans, grants, or scholarships that are related to direct financial assistance in the form of payments to individuals or families
- Fund any costs associated with religious activities, except for Indigenous cultural and spiritual activities
- Fund activities that could be deemed discriminatory based on the Ontario Human Right Code support on-going agency infrastructure or sustainability
- Fund services provided by medical professionals or regulated health professionals other than social workers or social service workers
- Fund services covered by OHIP
- Fund costs (staffing or program) that are already covered through UWGT grants
- Duplicate government and other funding for emergency services.

Agencies currently funded by United Way through 3 year or 5-year grants should discuss requests to repurpose other UWGT funds with their staff partner.

Pre-Application Information:

This fund was designed as a rolling grant, but the United Way of Greater Toronto has already received 90 applications totaling $1.2M in requests within the first week. The fund will continue to consider applications on a first come first serve basis. However, you are strongly encouraged to apply by July 22nd due to the volume of submissions and the limited funds available to allocate,

Additionally, United Way of Greater Toronto will not be able to notify agencies of decisions within one week of applications being received due to the high volume of applications. United Way of Greater Toronto endeavours to have an expedited decision-making process and thank you for your patience.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Direct questions to

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario: Peel, Toronto, and York Region;

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