Every Tree Counts
Every Tree Counts Community Grants
Every Tree Counts is a collective movement in Toronto to grow our city’s tree cover. With funding from the City of Toronto, Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation provides grants to make it easier for all Toronto residents to participate in tree planting and tree care.
URBAN FOREST FAST FACTS:
- Toronto’s urban forest is made up of all the trees in our city, including those in our yards, on our streets, in our ravines, and in our parks.
- Toronto’s urban forest provides the equivalent of $28.2 million in ecological services each year
- Toronto has approximately 26.6-28% forest cover representing 10.2 million trees
- Research has shown that the ideal tree cover in a city is 40%
- The City of Toronto plants over 100,000 trees annually on public lands (i.e. parks, green spaces and streets). However, the greatest potential for additional tree planting exists on private lands which make up more than half the city's land area.
- The distribution of tree cover across Toronto is uneven. Many of the city’s trees are concentrated in Toronto’s ravine system or valley lands.
- There is an imbalance of tree cover in neighbourhoods across our city; community groups getting involved in private land tree planting can help address this imbalance.
- Trees are reaching the end of their lifespans in many of Toronto’s older neighbourhoods.
- Tree care and timely replacement is critical to maintaining tree cover in our city.
Whether planting a tree at home, school or work, donating to the cause, or simply taking care of the trees we have – we are greening Toronto together.
At Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation, we believe everyone should have access to trees and the many benefits they provide. That's why we've partnered with the City of Toronto to offer the Every Tree Counts Community Grants Program. With funding from the City of Toronto, the Foundation is able to offer up to $300,000 in grants to stimulate and sustain community engagement as part of the City's Every Tree Counts tree planting and stewardship movement. The result is more trees in our yards, more trees in our communities, and more trees in our city.
With Community Grants starting at $10,000, Toronto communities can become active partners in growing our city’s tree canopy. These grants encourage innovative partnerships and cross-sector collaboration and ensure stronger tracking and reporting mechanisms to help us measure our collective success. Planting trees together creates opportunities to build civic engagement and foster a sense of neighbourhood pride. Community-led projects support capacity building and provide local environmental and health benefits while strengthening community connections to nature.
Program Goal and Objectives
The Every Tree Counts Community Grants support community-led tree planting, tree care and tree stewardship initiatives on private land. These efforts are part of the City of Toronto’s Every Tree Counts movement to reach the target of 40% tree cover in Toronto.
The key objectives of the grants are:
- To increase native tree and shrub planting on privately-owned land in Toronto
- To support tree care activities
- To support and encourage inclusive community engagement
- To support community capacity, knowledge sharing, partnerships and networks
- To facilitate community-powered, locally-driven tree stewardship efforts
Who Can Apply?
We welcome applications from organizations interested in leading native tree planting and tree care projects on private land* while expanding their partnerships, reach, and inclusiveness.
*For the purposes of the Every Tree Counts Project Grants, private land is defined as lands not owned or managed by the City of Toronto for public use. Private lands are owned for residential, industrial, commercial, or institutional use.
Applications will only be accepted from, and grants disbursed to, registered charities or qualified donees. A non-profit organization wishing to participate, that is not a registered charity or qualified donee, may consider a partnership with a registered charity or qualified donee. The CRA requires this partnership to be set out in writing and signed by the charity and the non-charity. For tips on creating a partnership, see the Better Together: A Guide For Charity/Non-Charity Partnerships document available for download or the CRA website.
Why do we need a partnership?
The Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation is a Public Foundation. As a result, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires that the Foundation make grants or distributions only to registered charities or qualified donees.
Registered Charity: An organization is considered a charity if it has been granted a charitable registration number by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) based on its charitable mandate, objects and activities. There are three forms of registered charities: charitable organizations, public foundations and private foundations.
Qualified Donee: According to the CRA, a qualified donee is an organization that can issue official donation receipts for gifts it receives from individuals and corporations. It can also receive gifts from registered charities.
A qualified donee can be:
- a registered charity (including a registered national arts service organization)
- a registered Canadian amateur athletic association
- a registered housing corporation resident in Canada constituted exclusively to provide low-cost housing for the aged
- a registered Canadian municipality
- a registered municipal or public body performing a function of government in Canada
- a registered university outside Canada that is prescribed to be a university, the student body of which ordinarily includes students from Canada
- a registered charitable organization outside Canada to which Her Majesty in right of Canada has made a gift
- Her Majesty in right of Canada, a province, or a territory
- the United Nations and its agencies
- Community Grant requests must start at $10,000 (please contact us to discuss funding requests over $100,000)
- Projects must focus on private land tree planting, tree care and stewardship within the City of Toronto
- Every Tree Counts funding is provided on a matching basis. The applicant must contribute an amount equal to or exceeding the grant request towards the expenses of the project. The matching funding may be in the form of cash or in-kind sources such as: volunteer hours or donated labour, equipment, or materials. All sources must be directly related to the project. You may include anticipated sources of matching funding in your project application.
- Documentation for donated resources must be maintained and may be requested from applicants for accounting purposes, including: (a) volunteer waivers and sign-in sheets for the project including date, name, signature, nature of work provided, number of hours worked, and total dollar value of hours worked; and (b) donation letters on business letterhead or invoices clearly indicating the fair market value of the professional services/materials that have been donated.
- Projects must be completed within one year of receipt of funding and a mid-term and final report are required
- Applicants must demonstrate how efforts will be sustained after the project ends
The Application Process
Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation in advance to discuss their proposal. Applying for grants is a two-step process.
Step One - Letter of Interest
Interested organizations must first submit an online Letter of Interest to the Foundation through SurveyMonkey Apply. This letter must include the name and charitable number of the applicant organization, the name of the project, and a brief overview of how it addresses the key objectives of the Grant program.
All applicants must also provide a Brief Project Summary Statement of no more than 50 words that provides a high level summary of the project’s goal, activities and expected outcomes. This (same) Summary Statement is required for both LETTERS OF INTEREST and FULL APPLICATIONS.
The Letter of Interest should also outline potential partnerships, the project timeframe, estimated outcomes, an estimated total budget (including 50% matching), and the amount being requested. Please also provide the City of Toronto neighbourhood(s) in which the proposed project will be implemented.
All Letters of Interest must provide the name, title, email address, and day-time phone number of the applicant organization's signing authority and the lead contact for the project (if different from the signing authority).
All Letters of Interest must be completed online and submitted via SurveyMonkey Apply by 5:00 pm on the deadline date. Please note that we will be unable to consider incomplete or late Letters of Interest.
To access SurveyMonkey Apply, use the following link: https://tptf.smapply.io/
An arm’s length Volunteer Grant Review Committee will review the Letters of Interest. The committee will determine which projects will be invited to proceed to the full application stage. The Committee reserves the right to accept or decline proposals based upon their review. The Foundation will notify organizations on the results of the review.
Step Two - Full Application
Applicants that are successful in the first stage will be invited to submit a detailed online application.
Full applications will expand upon the Letter of Interest to include the following:
- Name and address of the lead applicant organization
- The name and contact information for the lead applicant organization’s signing authority and lead project contact (if different from the signing authority)
- Charitable number of the applicant organization
- A Project Summary Statement of no more than 50 words that provides a high level summary of the project’s goal, activities and expected outcomes
- A description of how the project addresses the Every Tree Counts Community Grant program objectives (each program objective has been laid out in a separate question in the online application.)
- Applicant organization’s background and description of experience in tree planting and tree stewardship, environmental and/or community engagement initiatives
- The City of Toronto neighbourhoods in which the proposed project will be implemented, including a community outreach plan.
- Project partners and description of their roles
- A detailed project work plan including plan to ensure adherence to best practices for tree planting
- A detailed, complete, and balanced project budget, including matching funding (with sources) equal to the grant request (partnership funding, potential and confirmed financial sources, and in-kind contributions)
- Tree care and follow-up plan
- Promotion and recognition plans for indicating support from the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation and the City of Toronto
All applicants must also upload the following supporting documents:
- A list of current board members
- The organization’s current annual operating budget
- A copy of the organization’s most recent audited financial statement
- Letters of support from named partners for this project, signed, and on their letterhead
- Signed and dated Partnership Agreement, with all contact details, if applicable
The Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation must receive applications by 5:00 pm on the deadline date. Please note that we will be unable to consider incomplete or late applications.
Applications will be evaluated based on their demonstrated ability to:
- Meet the objectives of the program
- Provide a feasible plan for long-term stewardship and maintenance after the project is completed
- Inclusively engage the community
- Demonstrate capacity to leverage matching funding equal to the grant request through partnerships, potential sources (targets) and/or in-kind sources
- Provide measurable outcomes
Grants may only be used for eligible and approved costs associated directly with the project. The Committee reserves the right to accept or decline any application. Tree planting and tree stewardship funded through the Every Tree Counts Community Grants program is restricted to private land within the City of Toronto.
Applicants are encouraged to contact Margo Mullin, Assistant Director, Projects at firstname.lastname@example.org in advance to discuss their project ideas.
See a list of previous Community Grant recipients
Download PDF Every Tree Counts Community Grants Overview
To learn more about the Every Tree Counts movement, visit our partner website at www.everytreecounts.ca or see the City of Toronto's Every Tree Counts: A Portrait of Toronto's Urban Forest Report. Every Tree Counts Community Grants are made possible with funding from the City of Toronto.