The 2023 Community Grant Program is now closed. Look for the 2024 Grant application later this year.

The Community Grants program supports not-for-profit or charitable organizations to complete a project or provide programming that benefits the residents of Dufferin County, and which serves one or more of the County’s priority areas. The amount of funds available varies each year depending on the budget.

Note on Food For Thought Grants: The Food For Thought grant now falls under the general Community Grants streams, and Food has been added as a benefit category. There is still an allocation of funds to supporting organizations in providing direct food services to Dufferin residents. The previous maximum of $3,000 for Food grant applications no longer applies.

For this year, two forms will be available for each of the following categories:

  1. Community Grant applications up to $3,000.
  2. Community Grant applications greater than $3,000 ($3,001 and above).

Forms are available as fillable PDFs below.

The County of Dufferin partners with Headwaters Communities in Action (HCIA) to administer the Community Grant program. HCIA puts together a grant team who reviews the applications, evaluates them against the established criteria, ensuring that they meet the strategic priorities. The County has identified the following as its strategic priorities for the 2023 grant round:

  • Climate Action
  • Cultural Enhancement
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives
  • Economic Development
  • Youth and Seniors Services
  • Food


  1. Applicants must be:
    1. a school, a registered not-for-profit or charitable organization
    2. a non-registered organization that is partnered with one, in which case you must attach a letter of support/partnership or endorsement from the partner that includes their registration number, if applicable. Download a sample support letter template here. 
      1. If you do not have a partner, you may contact action@headwaterscommunities.org for assistance in finding a suitable partner. Many past applicants have expressed interest in partnering with other organizations or unregistered groups. 
      2. If you are not registered and you have received a Community Grant in the past, the partnering requirement may be waived. Describe your past activities, how long your organization or group has been active, what its goals are and how it has benefited the community in the past.
    3. AND not a municipality. 
  2. The project or organization cannot already be supported by the County of Dufferin.
  3. Funding requests are limited to one application per organization.
  4. Projects must benefit Dufferin County residents. This must be clearly demonstrated in the application.
  5. Only attachments requested in the form will be accepted and reviewed. Please do not attach marketing materials or annual reports as question responses or project descriptions. Requested documents may include:
  • Financial statements (for requests greater than $3000)
  • Budget template (you can use the template provided or create your own)
  • Letter from partner registered not-for-profit/charity, if applicable (for non-registered applicants)
  • Past grant story (if you received a 2022 grant and have not already submitted your impact story, you must submit one prior to or with your new application)

    Applications must be received by 11:59 pm on February 27, 2023. Notifications will be sent from the County Clerk’s office following approval by County Council, no sooner than their meeting of April 13, 2023.



Completed application packages can be submitted to info@dufferincounty.ca. You will receive a reply to confirm your application has been received.

Alternatively, you can drop off or mail your application package to: Dufferin County, Attn: Community Grant Program, 30 Centre Street, Orangeville ON L9W 2X1.



Applications open—---Applications close—---Assessment & Report—--------Committee + Council Approval

Jan 30, 2023—------------February 27—---------Feb 28-Apr 19—-------------Committee April 27 + Council May 11

Notifications will go out following the County Council meeting May 11, 2023 pending approval.


Other Considerations for Organizations:
In response to community needs and feedback from past applicants, there have been some changes to the criteria, allocation ranges and eligible expenditures for the 2023 round. Please read the following considerations carefully before preparing your application:

  • Project proposals must clearly indicate how the initiative will benefit the participants and/or the community.
  • This is a competitive process. Overall funding allocation may vary depending on the budget passed by Council. Funding requests may be granted in full, granted in part or declined, at the discretion of the assessment team.
  • Sub-allocations are used as guidelines for the assessment team - they are not firm limits. The ultimate distribution of available funds will be at the discretion of the assessment team’s recommendations and subject to final approval by Council.
    For informational purposes, assuming a total program allocation of $120,000, consistent with previous years, the proposed sub-allocation guidelines for 2023 are as follows:
    • Community projects & programs: $72,000 
      • Food projects: $30,000
      • Short term, one-time projects, e.g. neighbourhood initiatives
      • New or recurring events: 
        • preference will be given to events that are not fundraisers. For events that also fundraise, the ultimate beneficiary must be identified in the application (e.g. a dinner put on by a group in support of an animal shelter must name the animal shelter). Also, the grant must be used for the event aspects that benefit residents, not to pay fundraising costs.
      • Expansion of existing programs: new features or additional beneficiaries
        • budget must indicate unit cost for additional capacity added through this grant (e.g. 100 additional meals provided at $3 per meal, or 50 additional people served at $30 per person)
      • Sustainability support (e.g. overhead and administrative costs, whether as a portion of a project request or as the full request): $48,000 (no more than 40% of total funding allocation)
        • Organizations may request sustainability funds for 1 year. This is accomplished by allowing applicable overhead, administrative and/or capital expenses, as needed to sustain an organization as eligible expenses. Applications for sustainability funds must clearly demonstrate need and how the organization benefits residents of Dufferin. Multi-year funding is not available for the 2023 grants.
      • If there are funds remaining, they will be held in a repository fund and used for ad hoc requests at different times of year, on a first-come-first-served basis until the fund is depleted. The same criteria and requirements apply.  
  • Preference will be given for proposals that most strongly align with one or more of Dufferin County’s strategic priorities, with alignment clearly articulated in the application.
    • Climate Action
    • Cultural Enhancement
    • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives
    • Economic Development
    • Youth and Seniors Services
    • Food

Eligible Expenses:

  • Purchase of goods and services in keeping with the aim of the project
  • Advertising and Marketing
  • Overhead or administrative costs

Ineligible Expenses:

  • Capital funding and infrastructure costs (exceptions may be made for limited capital expenditures that are directly needed to run proposed programs) 



Questions about specific questions on the application, the assessment process, recommendations or grant stories can be directed to Headwaters Communities In Action at action@headwaterscommunities.org.

Questions regarding the application form, notifications or payments can be directed to info@dufferincounty.ca or call 519-941-2816 x2500.


Grant Writing Tips

Be concise

Answer the question asked

Don't refer to external marketing documents or website for information

Itemize your proposed expenditures

Tie directly to County priorities