Regional Communication Grant Guidelines

Link to Regional Communication Grant Claim form

The Regional Communication Grant will support Regional Communication Coordinators (part-time service contractors hired by the Regional Board) in OSCIA’s eleven regions to strengthen inter-association networking opportunities, key regional events, and the assistance of RCCs in the production of the OSCIA e-newsletters The Innovator.

The available funding totals $6,500 per year per region. Access and conditions to receiving the Regional Communication Grant will be coordinated through the provincial OSCIA office, through the Service Contract agreement. Funds allocated but not used within the OMAFRA fiscal year (April 1 – March 31) will be forfeited by that regional association.

The Transfer Payment Agreement (TPA) between OMAFRA and OSCIA stipulates the purpose of the funding is to evaluate, demonstrate, and communicate new crop production technology to Ontario stakeholders. This is to be achieved from the perspectives of production, innovation, economic and environment, with the overall objective to improve the sustainability of crop production in Ontario and to extend the information and experiences to Ontario stakeholders.

It is essential that the intended purpose, as stated by OMAFRA, is closely adhered to for those projects that rely on communication funds through the TPA. These activities are expected to support the Ministry’s vision for successful and sustainable agri-food and agri-product businesses as well as the Ministry’s goals to increase competitiveness of the sector through innovation. An objective of the funding is also to increase membership engagement in local associations. The purpose of the additional funds provided by OSCIA aligns with the Ministry stipulations.

It is recognized that additional funds are often generated at the regional level to combine with the Regional Grant to support communication activities. The decision on how the additional communication dollars are invested is solely up to the Region.

All claims MUST be received in the Provincial office no later than February 28 of each fiscal year in order to meet the Ministry’s reporting guidelines outlined in the Transfer Payment Agreement (TPA) for 2018-2021.

Guidelines

  • Regional associations are encouraged to leverage funds from outside sources;
  • Reasonable corporate and commercial advertising is encouraged; however, multiple full-page advertising is not recommended;
  • The Application Form and Communication Plan must be submitted (at the beginning of the Three Year Agreement Period) to the provincial OSCIA office for 3-year approval;
  • A complete and signed claim form is required, along with a communication plan;
  • All publications will provide for public recognition of the contribution of OMAFRA and OSCIA, including the following statement: “The project was funded in part by the Ministry of Ontario Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs”;
  • Listing of grant expenditures including copies of invoices marked “paid” with full signature of the suppliers or copies of cancelled cheques;
  • An electronic annual report is required and must be sent to the provincial OSCIA office before January 15 of the following year. Please refer to previous Annual Conference reports for guidance;
  • Records must be kept for seven years so that the actual costs and expenses are available.

Eligible items include:

  • Labour, services and supplies;
  • Cost of printing Province-wide E-Newsletter The Innovator for members without internet access (this cost will be billed at a cost-recovery back to the region and is therefore eligible under this grant);
  • Funding can be used as startup funds for coordination of, or planning of a new regional communication event.

Eligible projects are activities which:

  • Strengthen local associations and increase membership through high profile events;
  • Strengthen inter-association networking opportunities;
  • Organize key regional significant events;
  • Attend knowledge transfer events to write articles and provide opportunities for increased membership benefits through knowledge transfer;
  • Write and develop up to 4 newsworthy articles per year to be submitted with pre-approval to OSCIA for use in the E-Newsletter The Innovator (up to a maximum of $500 at $125 each per year);
  • Develop and maintain a Regional landing page (on the OSCIA main website) or a Regional website, that features leading technology transfer produced for their local membership. As well as providing updates on upcoming events, local contact information and sponsorship ad placements.

Items NOT Eligible:

  • Postage;
  • Refreshments, nutrition breaks or food items;
  • Donations to other organizations;
  • Printing or mailing of local landing page material or Regional updates mailed out to members;
  • These funds are not intended to support ongoing or existing annual events;
  • The Communication grant cannot be used in combination with another OSCIA grant (i.e. cannot be used towards the same project expenses)


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