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Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment

February 20, 2019

Toronto Foundation is investing in social and environmental change in Ontario


Toronto Foundation has long been dedicated to supporting positive social and environmental change to make life more equitable for everyone. Now, for the first time in our history, we are excited to offer Social Impact Investments to the public through an open call for proposals.

These one-time investments, made in partnership with MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, will range from $250,000 to $1,000,000 and will go to approximately five Ontario-based organizations that are creating positive social and environmental change for people across Ontario. A total of approximately $1.6M will be invested.

The 2019 Social Impact Investment call for proposals is now open and will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019.

Access the submission guidelines (here) and application form (here). 

For Applicants: Questions and Answers 

If you have questions about applying, please direct them to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line “Question: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5 p.m. on Friday, January 25, 2019. Answers to all questions received will be posted on Toronto Foundation’s website on Wednesday, January 30, 2019.

Click here for answers to questions received by Thursday, January 17, 2019.


Common Questions

What is Social Impact Investing?

Social impact investing, also known as social finance or impact investing, is designed to generate both a positive social/environmental impact and a financial return. To learn more about Toronto Foundation’s work in Social Impact Investing, click here.

Who can apply?

The following organizations are eligible to apply for social impact investments:

  • Incorporated not-for-profit organizations
  • For-profit organizations with public benefit clearly demonstrated
  • Registered business in Ontario as sole proprietorship, partnership or co-operative with public benefit clearly demonstrated

All organizations must be headquartered in Ontario and generate impact that directly accrues to Ontarians.

For a detailed list of eligibility criteria, please see Phase 1 on the application form.

What does my application need to include?

Your application submission should include:

  • An initial intention to submit email, sent to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com by 5 pm on Friday, January 25, 2019
  • A completed application form, sent to Jaymin Kim at jkim@marsdd.com with subject line: “Application: Toronto Foundation Social Impact Investment” by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Your completed application form should present your argument for why your organization should receive impact investment funds. It should emphasize your impact (both financial terms and social benefits), the plan of action, and clearly demonstrate how the investment will be repaid. For more detailed information, see the submission guidelines and application form.

How will applications be evaluated?

Toronto Foundation will consider each application on its own merit as well as each application on a portfolio-basis, to ensure we achieve a diverse impact investment portfolio.

Applications will be subject to four evaluation phases, as laid out in detail in the submission guidelines.

  • In Phase 1, applicants will answer a series of yes/no questions to determine basic eligibility. Only applicants who meet all the eligibility criteria will move forward to Phase 2.
  • In Phase 2, designated reviewers will evaluate each eligible application by ranking criteria as “high” and “medium,” as outlined in detail in the application form. Applications with the highest scores will move on to Phase 3.
  • In Phase 3, applicants will deliver a 20-minute in-person presentation to the selection committee, with an additional 10 minutes for Q&A. A template for the presentation will be provided in advance.
  • In Phase 4, the selection committee will engage in deeper due diligence on the potential investment.
  • Finally, recommended investments will be put forward to the Toronto Foundation’s Board of Directors for final approvals, and then legal agreements will be put into place for those selected for investment.

For more detailed information, see the submission guidelines.