Funding & Projects

Funding Process

This Funding Progress is no longer active as CIF winds up operations in accordance with Ontario provincial Ministry directives.

Application to Approval

The CIF assesses funding requests, assists in optimizing your application and then evaluates the submission to determine its funding level.

Preliminary assessment of all funding requests

Those interested in applying for a grant to an individual municipality are strongly encouraged to read the 2021 Interim Operations Plan, and contact CIF staff to discuss their project idea. 

To be eligible for review, applications must be received through the REOI process. All eligible applications are reviewed and categorized according to the priority area(s) under which they were submitted. CIF staff total the funding requests in each priority area to determine if the budget allocation for that area has been exceeded. Priority areas that exceed funding allocations are termed “oversubscribed.” CIF staff use this information to determine project approvals and funding levels as described in the Funding Application Evaluation Scorecard.

CIF Project Managers help optimize project funding

Eligible applications are assigned to a CIF Project Manager who works with you to:

  • Ensure the project meets the requirements of the REOI priority area under which it was submitted
  • Obtain additional information as needed
  • Suggest ways to optimize your application to increase the chances of approval
  • Define project deliverables and ensure that they are achievable

Important: CIF staff are here to help. However our perspective on, or enthusiasm for a project does not constitute an endorsement nor is it an indication of a project’s likelihood to receive funding. CIF staff cannot guarantee that a project will be successful in receiving funding.

Project applications are evaluated

Applications are usually evaluated using one of two processes.

Conditional Funding Offers

Having confirmed that each application meets the requirements of the funding opportunity, as described in the REOI, and that there is sufficient budget to approve the request, CIF staff recommend approval of projects within the priority area. If demand exceeds budget, staff make a recommendation to the CIF Committee to:

  • approve additional funding; or
  • distribute the available funds equitably among all applicants in the identified priority area; or
  • fund certain projects based on their individual merit.

Project Proposals and Centre of Excellence Initiatives

CIF staff score each project using the Funding Application Evaluation Scorecard, then check to see if there is sufficient budget to approve all projects that meet or exceed the passing score.  As outlined in the application evaluation scorecard, applications must achieve 65% (22.75/35 marks) on the collective benefit criteria scoring in order to be considered for funding. Where there is sufficient budget, staff recommends approval of these projects with funding commensurate with their merits. Where demand exceeds budget, CIF staff present a recommendation to the CIF Committee to:

  • approve additional funding; or
  • distribute the available funds equitably among all applicants in the identified priority area; or
  • fund projects preferentially based on their individual merit.

Approval Authority Levels:

  • Projects seeking funding of up to $50,000 before taxes are approved at the discretion of the CIF Director.
  • Projects seeking funding of greater than $50,000 but less than $250,000 before taxes are reviewed and approved at the discretion of the CIF Project Committee.
  • Projects seeking funding in excess of $250,000 before taxes are reviewed by the CIF Project Committee, which provides project-by-project recommendations to the CIF Committee for their consideration.
What if the application is not approved?

Applicants may file an appeal for any project not approved or concerning the amount of a project grant.  For details, please see the CIF Appeal Procedure in the appendices of the most current Operations Plan.

Implementation to Completion

Project proponents sign a Letter of Agreement or Grant, then implement the agreed scope of work, report on the project and invoice the CIF.

Review and sign your Letter of Agreement or Grant

The CIF notifies each applicant about whether their proposed project is approved or declined. Review and approval of REOI applications usually takes between eight and sixteen months, depending on the volume of applications. Upon approval, the CIF assigns a “CIF Project Number” which must be included in all correspondence with the CIF.

Letters of Agreement

Letters of Agreement are issued for project approvals up to $20,000

  • Terms and conditions, reporting and invoicing criteria are outlined  in the Agreement.
  • The agreement must be signed and returned to the CIF before the project begins and funds are spent.


Grants are issued for project approvals of over $20,000

  • A draft Grant containing terms and conditions, invoicing and reporting criteria is emailed to you for review and comment.
  • Once all comments are addressed, the CIF then prepares and emails the Final Grant to you for signature.
  • The signed Grant is then forwarded to WDO and SO to sign and a fully executed copy is then emailed to you.
  • Upon receipt of the executed Grant, you may begin your project and spend funds.

Projects are not guaranteed funding until a Grant is signed and the project is delivered in accordance with any relevant requirements. Applicants are cautioned against starting a project before a signed agreement is in place.

Prepare to implement the project

Your project must be completed in accordance with the terms and conditions of your Grant or Letter of Agreement to receive funding.

We recommend that you:

  • Ensure qualified staff is in place to complete the project. If your project lead staff person goes on leave/changes jobs, be sure to transfer CIF project responsibilities to another team member and inform your CIF Project Manager before your project lead leaves.
  • Ensure adequate resourcing is in place to complete the project on time and within budget.
  • Plan in advance how you are going to measure progress, mitigate issues and track achievements. Plan to record data, photos, develop charts, commentary and other items to make reporting out easy.
  • Find out early what is expected for your Final Report. Review reports for similar projects EARLY in your project and gather the information you will need to complete your project’s Final Report. We’ve created a guidance document to preparing your Final Report. The template provides step-by-step information to guide you in writing a report that meets the needs and objectives of the CIF and interested readers.
  • Pay attention to your project milestones.
  • Maintain contact with your CIF Project Manager to stay on track and let him/her know immediately if the project contact or scope changes or if any project timelines will not be met.

To complete the project, you will need to submit a final report and, in most instances, be asked to present the results at a public event such as a CIF Ontario Recycler Workshop.

Submit an invoice

CIF funding awards are based on a percentage of the total project cost and given a maximum funding amount. These two criteria are stipulated in your Grant or Letter of Agreement. The CIF will pay out on whichever amount is less. Supporting documentation for all invoices is required.

  • Grants: It is mandatory that the CIF reserve 25% of the total approved funding amount pending receipt of a final project report and invoice. The remainder of the grant is paid upon receipt of invoices at the conclusion of each milestone in the Grant.
  • Letter of Agreement: Where monitoring of a project is requested by the CIF, the CIF reserves 25% of the total approved funding amount pending receipt of a final project report and invoice. Where monitoring is not required, a final project report and invoice is all that is required.

Tips to Ensure Payment

  • Invoices for all projects must include the CIF Project Number as well as proof of project-related expenditures (e.g., copies of invoices, purchase orders, timesheets, photos of purchases) equal to, or greater than the percentage funded
  • Grant milestone invoices should specify the milestone completed and the amount requested up to the maximum dollar amount stated in Schedule C of your Grant
  • Do not add HST on your invoice. CIF project awards are inclusive of the non-refundable portion of tax charged to municipalities (1.76%). If your municipality must show HST for accounting purposes, the grand total of the invoice must equal the eligible amount of funding. See example invoicing scenarios below and a sample invoice
  • Save a tree…email invoices to CIF Staff.

When your project is complete, the project report will be displayed on the “Funded Projects” webpage. We encourage all CIF stakeholders to take advantage of the wealth of information presented in project reports available on this page.

Calculating Your Invoice: Samples and Scenarios

Scenario 1:  Your project cost comes in under your funding maximum

A municipality wishes to invoice the CIF for the purchase of Blue Boxes where eligible funding is 50% of the project cost up to a maximum amount of $10,000, inclusive of the non-refundable portion of taxes.  The vendor’s invoice to the municipality was $8,000 plus HST.

The non-refundable portion of the HST which is paid by municipalities is 1.76%; therefore the municipality’s invoice to the CIF would show:

Scenario 2:  Your project cost exceeds your funding maximum

A municipality wishes to invoice the CIF for the purchase of Blue Boxes where eligible funding is 50% of the project cost up to a maximum amount of $10,000, inclusive of the non-refundable portion of taxes.  The invoice from the Blue Box vendor to the municipality is $25,000 plus HST.

Since 50% of the vendor’s net invoice exceeds the maximum funding amount, the municipality’s invoice to the CIF must show $10,000, inclusive of taxes, which is the maximum amount of eligible funding.

Scenario 3: Invoicing for a Grant milestone

A municipality wishes to invoice the CIF for a milestone in their Grant. Their Grant states funding is 48% of the Blue Box related project costs to a maximum of $50,000 inclusive of non-refundable portion of taxes, for this milestone.

The municipality’s total costs incurred against this milestone total $90,000 plus HST.

To calculate the eligible funding for this milestone:

The total invoice is below the maximum funding limit of $50,000 inclusive of non-refundable portion of taxes eligible for this milestone, thus it can be submitted to the CIF.

Scenario 4: Invoicing where HST must be shown for accounting purposes

A municipality wishes to invoice the CIF for a Grant milestone. Eligible funding for this milestone is $10,000, inclusive of non-refundable portion of taxes, of which the municipality’s costs have matched or exceeded.

Since the invoice must show a grand total of $10,000 which is the maximum funding level allowed, to show HST for accounting purposes the municipality’s invoice would show: