With financial support from the Province of Ontario, the African-Canadian Christian Network (ACCN) invites applications for funding from Black churches in the Toronto area, working in partnership with other churches or community organizations, to assist Black youth lead violence free and productive lives.

Program Goal and Areas of Focus

The goal of the organization is to encourage and support Black Christian churches, either singularly or in partnership with other Christian churches and / or community organizations to develop and implement programs aimed at Black youth who face systemic barriers in their lives. Many of these young people have been affected by crime and violence within neighbourhoods across Toronto. The program aims to strengthen on-going communication and collaboration between church and community organizations, and to foster Black leadership in cooperative community efforts to support Black youth and families in the following four areas:

  1. FAMILY – Strengthening the family

  2. EDUCATION- Focusing on Education

  3. EMPLOYMENT – Creating Employment Options and Opportunity

  4. CRIME PREVENTION – Crime Prevention, Justice and Rehabilitation

Eligibility: Who will we fund

The program is open to applications from Black churches that may apply singularly or in partnership with another Christian church or community organization who meet the project criteria.

The ACCN Grants Program is open to applications from:

  1. A Black Christian Church with registered charitable status as a single applicant

  2. A Black Christian Church with registered charitable status in partnership with one or more Christian Church(es) or faith group(s), with the Black Church being the Lead Applicant

  3. A Black Christian Church with registered charitable status in partnership with one or more Community Organizations. The Black Church must be the Lead Applicant. 
  • Project assessment will consider the extent to which the Black churches and community organizations are engaged in collaborative efforts to shape and contribute to the successful implementation of the project.

  • The project must operate within neighbourhoods in the Toronto area.

  • The focus of the leadership of the projects proposed must be demonstrably identifiable with and committed to resolution of the problems confronting Black youth.

  • The Lead Applicant is the designated financial management partner who will be required to sign a Contractual Agreement with the ACCN. 

Ineligibility: Who will we not fund

  • Individuals
  • For-Profit Organizations
  • Private or Public Foundations
  • Organizations whose purpose is lobbying government or involved in political activities as defined by Canada Customs and Revenue Agency 

What we will fund

The ACCN will fund reasonable project costs related to administration and evaluation, which may include items such as:

  • Personnel costs that is within current market rates. Applicable job descriptions must be included.
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  • Dedicated project space. If the church facility will be used for programming, the ACCN looks favourably at projects that offer such rental cost as “in-kind” contribution.
  • Honoraria for volunteers involved in the project
  • Refreshments, transportation and supplies for project recipients
  • Delivery and materials costs
  • Some hardware and software costs that are within current market rates. Applicants are required to provide 3 price quotations with the budget. We encourage you to purchase desktops as opposed to laptops as it may be challenging to secure them in a community space. Loss of your hardware may impact your program and the ACCN will NOT authorize the replacement.

Project administration costs are offered to increase the likelihood that funded projects will have the administrative and management support they need for successful implementation. These costs should not exceed 15% of direct project expenditures.

What we will not fund?

The applicant must demonstrate that the activity for which funds are sought will be discharged without financial gain for any of the organizations involved in the project, its members and directors. ACCN Grants Program will not fund:

  • Regular Church Programs

  • Capital Expenditure e.g. Purchase of land, building, etc.

  • Expenses not related to the project

  • Expenses incurred before approval of the application

  • Projects outside of the City of Toronto

  • Project deficits

  • 100% of total project cost  

Criteria for Project Selection:

The ACCN will fund projects within its pre-determined budget that are best aligned with its goals and objectives. While the ACCN funds projects in four areas of focus, the organization is encouraging churches to design projects and submit proposals in the areas of Crime Prevention / Justice and Employment.

Each funding cycle, preference will be given to projects with the following criteria:

  1. Completed applications

  2. Sound financial and operational planning as demonstrated in the audited or unaudited financial statements.

  3. A balanced and realistic budget that is completed using the spreadsheets included on the website.

  4. Financial and in-kind investment in the project by the lead applicant and its partners.

  5. Evidence of skilled and experienced leadership reflective of and sensitive to the needs
    of the Black community.

  6. Compelling evidence of the organization(s) ability to implement and complete the project.

  7. Clearly articulated and realistic work plans with attainable goals and measurable project outcomes.

  8. Persuasive rationale and potential for benefit to the youth and community.

  9. Clear articulation of how the project will help reduce youth violence with identifiable behavioural change(s).

  10. Ability to offer the program:

    1. to attract and retain clients from the broader community (external of the church)
    2. free of charge or at a nominal rate

Funding Period

The projects for this funding cycle will be awarded to the grantees for a period of no more than 1 year.

Grant Size

Grants will generally not exceed $50,000.

Deadline for Applications

Applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. on February 12th, 2008.

How to Apply

Application is by submission of five (5) completed copies of the application forms along with all required attachments. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.

Signed applications with required attachments must be submitted in a sealed envelope and addressed to:

The African-Canadian Christian Network
The ACCN Fund
60 Signet Drive, 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON, M9L 2Y4

Submissions will not be accepted by fax or e-mail.


(If you have further questions, please feel free to send us an e-mail at or call the office at 416-744-3084)


Please note that ACCN’s preference for communication is by e-mail. Please include an
e-mail address that you regularly check. Also include a phone number at which you can be easily reached.

This section also allows you to tell us about your experience in community programming.

Partner Information

This section gives us insight about your partner’s experience in community programming.


Project Overview

  • Consider Question number 2 (Your 60 words or less summary) your executive summary. Complete this question last. It should encapsulate the essence of your project. If your project is approved for funding, this description will be published.

  • Conduct an environmental scan and list what other organizations are offering a similar program. It is not effective to have 10 funded after school programs on one block. If you believe that your program is needed when there are similar programs, you need to provide a compelling reason as to why the ACCN should fund yours.

Project Objectives

Whatever you include in the proposal will be determined by your project objectives. This is a “High Level” description of what you want to accomplish. Your objectives must be SMART – Specific Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed.

Here are some questions that you need to ask and answer as you state your objectives:

Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timed
What exactly are we going to do, with or for whom?What exactly are we going to do, with or for whom? How will we know that the change has occurred? Can we get it done in the proposed time frame? Do we have the resources available to achieve this objective? Wehn will this objective be accomplished?
What strategies will be used? Can these measurements be obtained? Do w understand the limitations and constraints? Is it possible to achieve this objective? Is there a stated deadline?
Is the objective understood?   Can we do this with the resources we have?    
Is the objective described with action verbs?   Has anyone else done this successfully?    
Is it clear who is involved?   Is this possible?    
Is it clear where this will happen?        
Is the outcome clear?        
Will this objective lead to the desired results?        

Example of a SMART objective for a Crime Prevention Program:
“We will reduce the rate of recidivism from 10% to 5% by the end of the first year of programming”

An example of an objective that is NOT SMART:
“We will reduce youth violence”

  • The client, the community and your organization should benefit from your project. Describe how all three will benefit.

Project Needs Assessment

  • It is important to understand the needs of the community. Designing and offering a program based on secondary research does not mean that the clients will come. Talk to your community. Ask them:

    • What do they need?
    • What challenges are they experiencing?
    • What do they perceive to be the solution(s) based on the challenges they experience?
    • What is preventing them from overcoming these clallenges?
    • Are they willing to pay for the service offered?
    • If so, what is the threshold for the associated cost?
    • What will prevent them from coming to your program?

Project Model and Design

Here you have an opportunity to tell us all the details about your project. Everything that you do should align with your objectives. Your project is a solution to an identifiable challenge in the community. Describe how the solution addresses the challenge. The success of the program will not be measured solely on the numbers, but most importantly on the behaviours of the participants that will be improved.

Have you done this project before

If you have delivered a similar project, tell us about your successes and challenges.

Take the time to tell us about your organization’s capacity. Should your project be approved for funding, it gives the ACCN some insight into the support that we need to provide for the funded projects.

Your Project Activities

Itemize the things that you have to do for this project. Should your receive funding, you should have the manpower in place to support your timetable.

Example of an activity
If you have to hire a project coordinator, some of your activities will be to post the job, conduct interviews, do reference checks, and make the offer. Determine who will complete the tasks and when. Such activities will have to be completed before you open your doors to offer your program. Your program start date will be subsequent to the above activities.


Evaluation is a process that begins with the program. Do not leave this for the end. Having a third party complete this is preferable. A good evaluation can be used as a marketing tool when you seek other sources of funding.


Volunteers are your greatest resource. Challenge them to contribute, but don’t forget to recognize them. Set up the systems up front to measure their hours. Your ability to mobilize and retain your volunteers, keeps your program cost down as well as sends a great signal to potential funders. Strong interest and participation by volunteers suggest long-term sustainability of your efforts. Volunteers also help to raise the visibility of your program in the community.

Marketing To Your Community

Designing and implementing successful church programs are quite different tasks from offering community programming. Church programs can rely on a captive pool of clients from their membership.

To attract and retain young people from the community, churches have to be creative in the way they market to their target population. Your programs must be relevant to their needs and most importantly, your service deliverers must be non-judgemental. Your literature must be inviting, not condemning. Flyers are not the most effective ways of marketing to this audience. Devise a creative marketing plan to reach and retain your clients in tune with what is appealing and reassuring to the target audience.

SECTION D - Partnership

One of the goals of the ACCN is to foster partnerships between churches and community groups. We encourage you to ensure that the terms of the agreement are clearly pre-determined and documented. Please see the “The Sample Collaborative Agreement” on our website that you may want to customize for your use. The document must be signed by the partners before submission. We strongly urge you to have this document reviewed by your legal counsel.

SECTION E - Financials

Let the accountant for your church assist with this part of the application.

We ask for audited, if available or unaudited financial statements for the last 2 years to give us some frame of reference for the church’s financial management. The ACCN does not look favourably at financials with deficits.

Remember that your expenses cannot exceed your revenue as your program will fail. Your revenue cannot exceed your expenses as the ACCN will determine that you do not need all the funds that you are requesting.

The numbers in your budget cannot change after you have been approved, so please be comfortable with what you have stated. The ACCN monitors the budget to actual expenditure.

When you prepare your budget, consider the amount of unconfirmed funding that you have listed to support your program. If these funds are not confirmed at the time of approval, the ACCN will not disburse money to you until these sources have been confirmed.

We will NOT review your application if you have not completed the budget in the templates entitled Appendix B and Appendix B1.

ACCN Funding Guidelines
ACCN Funding Guidelines

ACCN Fund Funding Application
ACCN Fund Funding Application

Sample Collaborative Agreement

ABC Budget B
ABC Budget B1
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