Exclusive: Dozens of grassroots groups cut off from funding after Ontario Trillium Foundation repealed ‘shared platform’ policy

“I don’t think it’s really being inclusive … we should all have the same opportunity to shoot our shot.”

Why It Matters

Recent changes in federal law have made it easier for foundations to grant to grassroots organizations. But some Ontario charities say policy changes made by the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2020 move the province in the opposite direction, making it tougher for grassroots groups to access funds.

A record $601 million in provincial funding has flowed to the Ontario Trillium foundation over the last four years, but some charities and grassroots groups say the repeal of the foundation’s shared platform policy has meant they’ve been left behind and forced to find new funding partners.

As the pandemic unfolded in early 2020, the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s board passed a number of policy changes, including alterations to the foundation’s policies around shared platforms. Over the last three years, this change has blocked dozens of grassroots organizations from accessing foundation support. But exactly why this policy change was made remains unclear.

A letter sent by Trillium Foundation CEO Katharine Bambrick to Lisa MacLeod in 2020 — then Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister — suggests the repeal of the foundation’s shared platform policy was m

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