Now that you have started a successful Mood Walks group, what’s next? Perhaps your group wants to branch out and try something new: urban poling, geocaching, or incorporating a strength training or flexibility component as part of your group’s activities. Or perhaps your group wants to meet more frequently or expand membership. Making these changes may require funding!
Funding agencies are a source of revenue. The application process can vary according to the amount of work involved and the time of year that funding decisions are made. Before you submit an application or spend a lot of time writing your proposal, be sure to contact the funder to make sure your program is eligible. Many funders will also be happy to provide advice to help you strengthen your application.
Some funders look for applications that include strong partnerships with other community organizations. Partners can provide in-kind resources that take some pressure off your budget. They can also make your program more sustainable by reducing your reliance on one-time funding sources. See “Working with Partners” for more information.
Here are some places to look for funding sources and grants:
- Charity Village lists numerous funding agencies and foundations of interest to nonprofit organizations (charityvillage.com/directories/funders).
- Community foundations across Canada focus on funding community vitality in a broad sense; learn more at cfc-fcc.ca.
- A list of Funding Opportunities in Ontario for Physical Activity, Nutrition and Environmental Initiatives created in 2010 by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario can be found at otf.ca.
- A list of organizations that offer funding opportunities related to physical activity promotion programs for adults can be found in the Resources section of the Minding Our Bodies toolkit at mindingourbodies.ca.
You could also consider a fundraising initiative that promotes physical activity. A group challenge such as a walk-a-thon, dance-a-thon, or golf tournament can engage participants and attract individual donors or organizational sponsors.
Strategies for Effective Proposal Writing
Writing an effective proposal can be challenging and time-consuming. The Health Communication Unit (THCU) offers a free online course, developed in partnership with the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition, to help you plan and prepare a good proposal. You can access the course at www.pwc.ohcc-ccso.ca.