Neighbourhood Engagement Matching Grant Program

The City of Hamilton, through its Neighbourhood Action Strategy, is offering a Neighbourhood Engagement Matching Grant Program (NEMGP). This program provides one-time matching funds to support neighbourhood and place-based grassroots initiatives across all neighbourhoods in the City.

  • The total budget available in 2018 is $10,0000.
  • Projects can apply for funds up to $1,000 maximum.

This Grant Program requires a 100% matching community contribution. The matching component can include any combination of volunteer labour, donated materials, donated professional services and/or cash.


The Neighbourhood Engagement Matching Grant Program will:

  • Actively involve the community and build neighbourhood connections
  • Support neighbourhood groups and/ or place-based grassroots initiatives in the city of Hamilton to change neighbourhood spaces, build community, and build capacity
  • Leverage the City’s financial support with 100% matching community contribution of City funds from volunteer labour, donated materials, donated professional services and/or cash

The NEMGP will fund one-time projects under three broad areas:

Changing spaces

Projects or activities with the primary focus to renew or revitalize neighbourhood public and green spaces, contributing to neighbourhood pride,  improving safety, or to enhance quality of life.

Examples of projects include:

  • Neighbourhood clean ups
  • Community gardens
  • Graffiti diversion/ clean up
  • Physical changes like lighting, parks etc.
  • Community public art

Building community

Projects or Activities that foster neighbourhood pride or build stronger relationships between neighbours/neighbourhood groups. 

Examples of projects include:

  • Special events for the neighbourhood (fundraisers are not eligible)
  • Celebrations/Recognition activities or events

Building capacity

Projects or activities that are not advocacy based but seek to empower neighbourhoods to be more actively involved in organizing, identifying, and coordinating around neighbourhood issues. 

Examples of projects include:

  • Learning how to organize citizens in an informal/formal decision making group
  • Acquiring skills to write and distribute  a neighbourhood newsletter
  • Using social media to enhance neighbourhood communication

Eligible groups

Grants less than $500

  1. Informal groups (led by a resident and working with at least three members)
  2. Formal groups

Grants between $501 and $1000

  1. Informal groups (must have a financial sponsor to apply for this amount)
  2. Formal groups
  3. Not-for-profit corporations

Not-for-profit corporations may act as a financial sponsor for an informal group.

Ineligible groups

  • Any informal/ formal group or not-for-profit corporation receiving or who have received Small Grant Funding from the Community Planning/ Team/ Social Planning and Research Council for the same project
  • For-profit corporations

Groups can only apply for one project/activity at a time. Annual events undertaken by groups such as Easter egg hunts, movie nights, Halloween haunts, winter/summer fests etc. may only be funded one time through the NEMGP. Groups may apply for another project/activity once they have submitted their final report to the City.

Eligible expenses

  • Project/ event supplies
  • City of Hamilton fees (permits, park fees etc. if not covered through another program)
  • Rentals – entertainment, tables, chairs etc.
  • Food

Ineligible expenses

  • All other applicant expenses not related to the project/activity for which NEMGP funding is being requested including fundraising
  • Minor and Major Capital expenses
  • Direct financial assistance to individuals or families
  • Duplicate existing public or private programs/events
  • Alcohol, tobacco, or gambling expenses
  • Inflatable structures such as bouncy houses, castles, slide, etc. 

Applications will only be considered for activities/events that have not taken place during the 4 weeks review period.  For example, if you submit your application by a July 22,2016 due date, your event or activity can’t take place from July 22, 2016 through to August 26th, 2016 (the next eligible submission date and the review period for July submissions). No retro-active funding requests will be considered.

How to apply

  1. Review and complete the application readiness checklist (PDF, 59 KB)
  2. Complete the Neighbourhood Engagement Matching Grant Program application form (DOC, 55 KB) and submit by 4 pm on the submission due date in one of three ways:

    By mail:
    ATTN: Neighbourhood Engagement Matching Grant Program
    City of Hamilton
    Community & Emergency Service Department
    Neighbourhood & Community Initiatives
    P.O. Box 2040
    Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5

    In person:
    Bobbi Jo Beitz
    28 James Street North, 5th floor (Lister Block), Hamilton

    By email:
    Send your submissions by email to:
  3. Applicants will be notified of the status of their application 4 weeks after the previous month’s submission deadline. For example, if applications are due April 27, all applications received in the month regardless of the date they were submitted will be reviewed at the same time and all applicants will be notified 4 weeks AFTER the submission deadline by May 27.

  4. Please note that cheques will only be processed AFTER confirmation has been sent to an applicant and can take 4 to 6 weeks to be received. You must plan to ensure you have cash flow to cover the expenses if your activity/event should take place during this time. 

Submission dates

Applications must be received by 4 pm on the submission due date to be considered for the grant.

Friday, January 26, 2018
Friday, February 23, 2018
Friday, March 23,  2018
Friday April 27, 2018

Friday May 25th, 2018
Friday, June 29, 2018
Friday, July 27th, 2018
Friday August 24th, 2018

Friday, September 28th, 2018
Friday, October 26th, 2018
Friday, November 23th, 2018
Monday, December 10, 2018

Review process

  • Each application will be reviewed by a cross-departmental staff team that will have representation from one or more of the following areas:
    • Parks
    • Culture/Special Event Advisory Team (SEAT)
    • Recreation
    • Neighbourhood Development
    • other City of Hamilton Divisions
  • Successful applicants are required to maintain all relevant receipts and provide the City of Hamilton a final report on their project/ activity within one month after the end date indicated on the application.