Submit a complaint about a funding program allocation or appealing a funding recommendation

Some funding programs have an appeal process. Information on the process for review and approval of grants is included in grant program guidelines. These guidelines include information about the program's appeal process.

The specific committee or panel that hears appeals for a funding program will vary depending on the funding program's:

  • adjudication process (volunteer panels or staff review);
  • whether the program is delivered by a City division, board or agency;
  • whether the allocations are approved by City Council or another body delegated by Council to undertake this function;
  • the type of funding provided (ongoing or short-term); and
  • if the funding program is open to new applicants.

When a funding recommendation is determined, all applicants are informed about this recommendation by letter. The letter will include instructions on how to appeal the funding decision including:

  • the date and time of the appeal meeting,
  • the process for registering to speak to the appeal body, and
  • how to contact staff for more information to answer your questions.

The following general information about appeals is useful for organizations making appeals in any funding program.

  • Committee or panels or other bodies that hear appeals will have formal procedures. The process will be part of a public record. Your participation in the process and your organization's information will be part of the public record.
  • Appeals of funding recommendations can be made by any organization that applied to the funding program and is included in the funding program's allocation report.
  • Appeals are presentations of information by the applicant organization. You may or may not be asked questions depending on the interests of the committee or panel or other body hearing the appeal.
  • Information and tips about speaking to a Council Committee.

What is an appeal? Why would I make an appeal?

An appeal is an opportunity for applicants that are not satisfied with the outcome of the allocations to have the recommended funding decision reconsidered. The organization's appeal should include the following details:

  • why the organization thinks their proposed project/program should be funded
  • if the project plans or other circumstances have changed since the organization first submitted their application
  • whether the organization feels that their application was misinterpreted. If so, the appeal information should clarify where they believed that happened.

What do appeal bodies listen for when you make an appeal? What makes for a strong appeal?

When hearing appeals, the committee or panel or other body will consider key areas, such as:

  • Validity of the appeal: On what grounds is the organization appealing the decision? How valid or important is their evidence? Do they clearly explain why their application should be reconsidered?

  • New information: Does the organization present new information about the proposed activity or the viability of the project? What has changed about the proposed activity or related circumstances? What is the relevance of this new information?

  • Priorities: How does this project address the priorities of the funding program (as set out in the funding program guidelines)? Does the information provided in the appeal change the ability of the proposed activity to help the funding program meet its goals? Was this project identified in the allocations report as being a good fit with the program criteria?

Results of the appeals meeting are included in reports that include recommendations on how the appeals fund should be allocated. All organizations making an appeal will be provided with a copy of the report or other information on the results of their appeal.

Use and disclosure of personal information

In accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), the City of Toronto will only disclose your personal information to staff who require the information to perform the investigation. If your complaint is about an individual staff person, your complaint will not be shared with anyone else unless you provide written consent for such sharing or where the City is compelled to do so by law.

Office of last resort

If your complaint is not addressed to your satisfaction, you can complain to the Office of the Ombudsman. Visit the Ombudsman's secure and independent website for more information.

Telephone:  416-392-7062

Mailing Address:

Office of the Ombudsman
City of Toronto
375 University Avenue, Ste. 2013
Toronto, ON M5G 2J5

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