Grant Name: Systems Innovations Grant





Pre-Application Coaching Call Completed August 31, 2022
Lead Organization Registration deadline August 31, 2022
Grant Application deadline September 20, 2022, 5p.m. ET
Notification of Grant Application Approximately 6 months after the Grant Application deadline
Start date for all Grants No earlier than May 1, 2023


System Innovations Grants support collaboratives to better understand, strategize, and work collectively to strengthen systems so they work better for youth, while prioritizing Indigenous and Black young people.

What do you have the power to change?

Real change goes beyond any single organization or isolated program. Are you part of a collaborative (a group of two or more organizations) designing and/or implementing strategies for systems change? Apply for a System Innovations grant to lay the groundwork for systems change and/or to take steps to create system-wide change.

The grant funds one or both of the following:

  • Groundwork: Planning and preparing for systems change

Implementation: Putting research, theories of change, and plans into action


Eligible Collaboratives

Collaboratives eligible to apply to the System Innovations grant:

  • Must reflect the communities and populations served. This means that partnering organizations reflect communities served in terms of both mandate, leadership, and staff teams.
  • Must include young leaders in both groundwork and implementation as the intended beneficiaries of the systems change work
  • Have the capacity to lead culturally responsive youth-centred systems change
  • Can be newly formed or have been working together for some time
  • Include partners from diverse sectors and backgrounds relevant to the system in focus and vision for change. This includes, but is not limited to Indigenous and Black organizations, organizations led by and serving specific communities, grassroots groups, youth-led groups, system partners, and community networks. We recognize that collaboratives will enter this process in different stages of readiness. If there are collaborative members missing that you consider essential to the work, you will have the opportunity to describe how this collaborative will secure their engagement as part of the application.
  • Have clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities

We prioritize projects led by and for Indigenous (First Nation, Métis, Inuit) youth and Black youth. Read our definition of a Black- or Indigenous-led grassroots group.

What do we look for in a collaborative lead?

Each collaborative will select one organization to be the lead. The lead organization accepts responsibility for the funded project and plays a key role in bringing key stakeholders to the collaborative table. The lead must meet all requirements to be an OTF funded organization.

Additionally, they must:

  • Bring strong community connections, a strong reputation, and the respect of community stakeholders. We invite Indigenous organizations and Black organizations to assume the role of lead in the collaboratives that are working to improve systems for Indigenous and Black youth in Ontario.
  • Be a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency, or an organization incorporated as a non-profit corporation without share capital in a Canadian jurisdiction, or a First Nation, and a Métis, Inuit, or other Indigenous community.

 Project eligibility

Your project may be eligible if it:

  • Submitted a complete application
  • Has a collaborative agreement in place, which is available to be shared with YOF if requested
  • Strongly aligns with your chosen YOF Priority Outcome
  • Complies with OTF policies. Our policy requirements define eligibility for OTF funding and outline exclusions. Funds are granted to eligible applicants delivering eligible project activities that directly align with YOF Priority Outcomes.
  • Benefits young people ages 12-25 facing systemic barriers, and/or 12-29 for youth living with special needs and/or disabilities
  • Carries out all project activities in Ontario

Not sure if you are eligible? Reach out to us at

How to Apply?

  1. Key dates and Grant Application submission
  2. Before you Apply
    • Join us at an information webinar
    • Book a required one-to-one pre-application coaching call
    • Contact us at 1 800 263-2887 or for immediate support
  3. Register lead organization
    • If the lead is new to OTF, you should register your organization
    • If the lead is already registered with OTF, reach out to The YOF Team will check to see if you need to update any information in your organizational profile.
    • The YOF team will verify your organization’s eligibility to apply for a System Innovations grant. Lead organizations can apply online after they have been assessed as eligible, and after they have participated in a pre-application coaching call.
  4. Notification
    • All applicants will receive news on the status of their Grant Application approximately six months after the deadline date
  5. After approval
    • Start date: The start date is no earlier than May 1st of the year your grant starts.
    • Reporting & monitoring: In addition to scheduled touch points twice a year, Grantees track activities, spending, and learning to complete the annual report and a final report.
    • Evaluation: Grantees work with an external evaluation team to evaluate the collaborative’s progress towards the chosen YOF outcome.
    • Knowledge Sharing: If your project is approved for funding, YOF requires all System Innovations grantees to host one knowledge sharing event before the end of your grant.
    • Completion: After OTF staff approve a final report, the grant hold-back funds are released and the grant is closed.
    • Grantee compliance: A random sample of grants are subject to a Grantee Compliance Audit. Grant files can be audited for compliance at any point within the grant’s life, or after the grant has been closed.

Funding Amount

  • Minimum N/A
  • Maximum $250,000

Contact Information

1 800 263-2887
416 963-4927
TTY: 416 963-7905
Fax: 416 963-8781

Processing Fee




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