Mapleton to engage consultant to assist with pursuit of grants

MAPLETON – Township council has directed the municipality’s CAO to work with a consulting firm to pursue opportunities for funding from upper tiers of government.

GrantMatch Corp director of growth Gibson Ingram told council on July 11 his company consists of government grants specialists “who assist municipalities in securing government grant programming and funding.”

Ingram stated the company is “the industry leader” in securing grant funding for a wide variety of organizations, “primarily in the public sector, but also in the private sector.”

Over 25 years of operation, he said GrantMatch, which has a staff of about 45 in locations across Canada, has secured over $300 million in grants for clients.

“The reason GrantMatch exists is because there’s a pretty common problem that most Canadian municipalities face – and that is that it’s really, really difficult to make sure that you’re going after and pursuing maximum grant funding, or every grant opportunity that is actually a probably a great fit … it takes a pretty proactive approach,” Ingram noted.

He pointed out grant funding helps municipalities achieve objectives for local taxpayers faster and complete projects that may not otherwise be possible within budgetary constraints.

“You also can use grants to get ahead of failing infrastructure … a bridge rehabilitation isn’t as sexy, let’s say, as a really cool new sports complex, but it really does need to get done,” he said.

“And grants are abundantly available for failing infrastructure projects.”

With literally billions of dollars offered through a multitude of funds, Ingram said municipalities generally don’t have the resources to apply for everything available

“It’s very rare, in my experience, that municipalities, regardless of size, have the capacity to go after all the funds that they’re eligible for … They’re doing projects already and there are likely many grants that are kind of left on the table without the adequate support,” he explained.

GrantMatch tracks over 8,000 grant programs at various governmental levels across Canada.

“This allows us to be … first on scene and really understand a grant program through and through, so that we can communicate and match that opportunity to our clients’ projects,” Graham explained.

“This is a great way for community leaders to avoid that really painful process of sifting through various government PDFs, and websites to determine whether they’re eligible for a grant.”

Ingram said the new CMHC Housing Accelerator Fund is among the programs his company could help Mapleton tap into.

“This is the federal government responding to a huge need across Canadian communities. And it’s a really generous program with no known limit at the moment,” he said.

“And this provides base funding to get projects started, top up funding to help projects that are already underway to create affordable housing to move forward. And it also offers affordable housing bonuses for projects completed and units completed.

“It’s open right now and I’m sure that Mapleton and greater area has needs in this area as most communities do.”

Ingram told council the industry average rate of success for grant applications is about 25%.

“This is by design, of course,” he said.

“Governments are typically trying to promote or fund the cream of the crop projects, the projects that have the most socioeconomic benefits. And it’s a competitive process.”

Using an approach of utilizing “really talented people” to write grant applications and build strategies based on a data-first approach, said Ingram, “We actually achieve a 75% rate of approval.”

In terms of compensation, the company charges a percentage of funding secured: 10% on the first $1 million in funding approved and a 5% fee on additional funds obtained.

Mayor Gregg Davidson urged council to support a motion, which was approved by council, directing CAO Manny Baron to engage GrantMatch to pursue grants for Mapleton.

“There is no cost to us unless we get money. So if GrantMatch gets $10 million, it’s $550,000 to them and we get the balance,” said Davidson.