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Grant Objective

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Black communities, The City of Toronto has developed a Mental Health Support Strategy (MHSS) that responds to the needs of diverse Toronto residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program is created to assist residents experiencing stress and anxiety due to being isolated, quarantined with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, experiencing financial hardships, or other mental health stressors.

Through meaningful partnerships, the program aims to support essential mental health service providers with resources to address the mental wellbeing of Toronto’s most vulnerable residents during this time. The City’s MHSS places emphasis on children and youth, seniors, frontline workers, as well as those with intersectional identities, such as Indigenous, Black, racialized, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ2S who are struggling with isolation, stress and anxiety exacerbated by COVID-19.

Under this City Council commitment, CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals was selected to provide oversight to $50,000 grant funding allotted to respond to the unmet mental health healing and recovery needs of vulnerable Black Torontonians.

The funds are intended to provide 3B (Black-led, Black focus, Black serving) continental African, grassroots, and emerging non-profit organizations operating in Toronto with financial support to execute innovative mental health healing and recovery initiatives. It will also provide capacity-building support to assist 3B in scaling up mental health services.

3B Organizations can apply for a maximum one-time micro-grant of $10,000. As part of the eligibility criteria, CEE will serve as the trustee organization for the disbursement of funds.


Applications must be submitted by June 21, 2021 at 11:59 PM

Applications received after this deadline will not be considered. Please review the entire grant guidelines  – see tabs below – before considering applying.

Applicants can submit a single application for a one-time grant of up to $10,000.

Please note, your budget must include a 10% trustee fee to The CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals

Once the funding has been allotted, successful applicants will have eight (8) weeks to use funding in its entirety.

For the purpose of this initiative the grant supports emerging organizations or groups that meet the following requirements:

• Is a B3 organization: Black, Black-lead and Black-serving (see terms of reference below) 

• Be based in Toronto

• Adhere to the requirements stipulated in this call-out grant guideline

• Voluntary driven 

• Incorporated or unincorporated, 

• Actively providing services and programming 

• In compliance with City of Toronto COVID 19 Public Health procedures in terms of the delivery of programs and services 

• Working with Toronto’s most vulnerable population 

• Is in good standing with the City of Toronto 

• Less than 2-10 years of not for profit track record and experience  

• Have an annual budget of under $500 000

• Have a maximum of 10 staff members or volunteers 

• Be currently providing essential and emergency support services

Be providing one or more of the following services: laptops, tablets, cell phones, internet access, TTC, transportation, food/gift cards, Black hygiene kits/products, and vouchers etc. 

• Be able to utilize and report back on funds at the end of two and a half months



B3 refers to organizations that meet the following three criteria:



• Supports causes that impact the Black community 

• Has Black service users 

• Identifies itself as a Black organization serving the Black community 



• A governance structure that is Black (i.e. most board members are Black) 

• Most senior management staff are Black 



• The main population or service users are Black

• An organization that explicitly (i.e. through vision, mission, or strategic plan) serves the Black community                  

• An organization that uses an African-centered, cultural, approach


Grassroots and Emerging Organizations are defined here as:

Grassroots or emerging organizations are formed by an individual or small group to provide frontline/direct services to the community. These organizations can be incorporated or unincorporated; are voluntary driven and have been operating for under six years.

Below are funding guidelines to support developing a budget for this MHSS funding:
Budget Line
Administration (Up to 20%)
Staff wages, phone bills, software costs, volunteer costs, etc.
Staff or Program Equipment (Up to 20%)
Physical cell phone, tablet, etc.
Program Supplies (Up to 80%)
Food, gift cards, transportation, honoraria, workshop facilitation, training for community members/participants, personal protective equipment (PPE), activity supplies
Note: 80% of funds are allocated to direct program supplies and/or delivering; Remaining 20% of budget can be accounted for between Administration and Staff or Program Equipment lines at your discretion.
Budgets must be approved by CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals prior to program activities and spending.
All program activities, spending, and final reporting must be complete by: Feb 1, 2022.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact: Joyann Smith –
The grant is not intended to be used for the following:
    • ·  Medication
    • ·  Rent
    • ·  Non-essential office supplies and/or repairs
    • ·  Debt repayment
    • ·  Staff training

Demonstrated effort in serving the community during the pandemic: How have you been serving the community’s essential needs since the COVID-10 pandemic

Clear presentation of urgent operational or administrative needs to move and transfer programs and services online to meet the needs of Black Torontonians:

What is the product/service being funded?

Is this essential in wake of the pandemic


Is it demonstrated that the project is feasible in terms of time frame, resources etc.?

Does the proposed budget match the proposed plan?

Community engagement and impact:

How is the product or activity going to help those being served?

The final report is due by Feb 1, 2022

Once the project is complete, successful applicants are required to report back to the original committee with the final product. After signing the MOU, agencies will be required to submit invoices in accordance with their application.

Reports, including data on the use of funds, its impact on service and proof of purchase receipts totaling the entire amount, will be required by February 1, 2022.

Should there be receipts for items outside the scope of this grant, or if the organization fails to provide receipts, there will be a request to repay allocated funds.

In order to ensure that the process is equitable, a panel of 3 will be selected to review all applications. 

All members of the panel will be community leaders and from Black, Black led and Black serving organizations. 

No person or organization represented on the grant review panel will be eligible to apply for the grant in order to mitigate conflict of interest. 

Once the panel has made its selections, the successful applicants will be publicized on this website and social media channels

For more information regarding the grant, email Floyd Heath  Sector Leadership Coordinator.

Email: with the subject heading “COVID-19 Microgrant inquiry”. 

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