Grant writing for your park group

One of the great beauties of parks is that there is no cost to enjoying them. When you want to improve or animate your park, however, there is typically a cost. Whether it’s installing new flower beds, building a playground or putting on an event to support the work of your park group, even the most carefully planned budget can quickly add up to thousands of dollars.

This article deals with grant writing, which is the way that most organizations like yours raise a lot of money quickly. If you haven’t read it yet, our resource on fundraising covers other ways to raise funds: the different options, how to prepare, how to execute, and how to follow up. 

Fundraising for your park group: getting started

Fundraising is a great way to boost the impact of what your community park group’s work. With some funding, you can host larger events and undertake the kinds of projects that involve significant materials and paid labour.

In addition to raising money for your initiatives, fundraising can help your group form partnerships and increase your ability to connect to new audiences. It’s not difficult, but like anything, you need to ramp up your focus and skills. Start small, set achievable goals and gradually develop your group’s capacity to raise and steward funds over time.

Whatever your goal, remember that all fundraising is also “friend-raising.”In other words, it’s an opportunity to connect with new people to share your group’s awesome work in the park. 

Creating Community Partnerships that Work

Building partnerships with other groups in the community can help you achieve your goals more quickly and effectively. We spoke to Shahina Sayani, a Community Planner with the City of Toronto who shared her insider tips for making community partnerships work.

Partner with a charitable trustee

As a small, community-based organization, how do you raise funds to do the things you need to do? You need to bring on new members, undertake projects that may involve hard costs and publicize the events you hold. And when you want to do something ambitious, you really need to get creative about fundraising. Grassroots organizations in Canada can take the form of an Association, a Trusteeship, a Not for Profit, or a Charity. Only two of these will enable you to issue donor tax receipts and to apply for most forms of publicly available grants. They are trusteeships and charities.

Establishing a charitable trusteeship is the simplest, fastest way to issuing tax receipts and accessing grants. In essence, you align your organization with a charity whose mandate is somewhat similar to yours. Tax receipts are important to donors, especially larger donors, because a portion of funds donated gets deducted from their taxes. We spoke to Julet Allen, Program Director at Delta Family Resource Centre, a grassroots, non-profit, community-based agency in Toronto’s Rexdale community.

Leveraging the power of city parks through philanthropy (panel)

Presentations on the opportunity for philanthropy in city parks across Canada featuring:

Grants and funding your park group can access

Fundraising is a great way to build the capacity of your community park group.  Below are some key municipal, provincial and national grants that could help fund your next awesome park project. All national granting opportunities are marked with (N). 

Yet, before beginning your research, we advise you to look for available funding through your municipality.

Stay in the loop about Park People opportunities, programs & events

Subscribe to our newsletter!