On Wednesday, local MPP Todd Smith met with representatives from the County Community Foundation (CCF) to officially congratulate them on receiving a $71,800 Collective Impact grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation earlier this year.  CCF is using its grant to support the continuing work of the Vital Signs Learning Collective on its collaborative project, as 20 local organizations are also involved with the support of the Laidlaw Foundation, to enhance opportunities and engage more youth in the County in a meaningful way.

“Congratulations to the County Community Fund on receiving this grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.  I am pleased to see this funding going to an organization that has assisted and supported so many groups in this community and has given them the ability to grow and truly benefit the residents of Prince Edward County” – Todd Smith, MPP for Prince Edward-Hastings

With this OTF Collective Impact grant, the long-term project can now move into the next phase of planning. A substantial part of the grant is going towards the “youth embedded roles” in the partner organizations. This translates into the hiring of local youth by all current, key service providers in the project, as well as a youth leader for the backbone organization, which includes the CCF. Other elements of the project are increasing partner collaboration; refining shared measurements; research; engaging new partners; and a communications plan. The Learning group will also be applying to the Laidlaw Foundation to fund the next phase of this project.

Collective Impact is a different way to get organizations and people to work together in pursuit of a clearly-defined common goal and to use shared measurement tools while addressing complex social issues in communities. Issues suited to the Collective Impact approach are those that are not easy to resolve, have persisted over time, and cannot be solved in isolation. OTF created its Collective Impact investment granting stream to financially support organizations ready to work with others to tackle complex intractable societal problems in a concerted way.

An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations.  With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities.