Coordinating NSG Toolkit

Full Coordinating NSG Toolkit

Welcome to the Coordinating Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) Toolkit! This Toolkit is filled with guides, templates and other resources to help you implement and coordinate the NSG program in your area. The Toolkit is organized into nine modules that follow the timeline of a granting cycle. You can either download the full Toolkit (which includes a helpful introduction on how to use this resource) or by individual modules.

Module 1: Getting Started

Whether you are new to NSG or just new to the Toolkit, this is the place to start! Module 1 offers a list of resources that provide a foundation for people who are involved in the coordination of NSG or any grassroots grantmaking program.

Module 2: NGC Recruitment and Orientation

In this module, you will find guides and templates for recruiting and orienting Neighbourhood Grants Committee (NGC) members. The NGC is the group of local volunteers who make decisions about how the grants are distributed in their community.

Module 3: Promotion and Branding Basics

Leading up to the opening of the grants through to the application deadline, the focus of NSG is primarily on promoting the grants and supporting people to apply. Module 3 includes information and resources to use in doing outreach to and building relationships with potential applicants in your community.


Module 4: Managing Applications

This module includes a guide to the online Grant Management System (GMS), which is used to manage applications both when they are in-progress and when they are submitted.

Module 5: Granting Decisions

In this module, you will find guides and templates to support the Neighbourhood Grants Committee through the process of making granting decisions and distributing your NSG funds.

Module 6: Project Leader Orientation and Cheque Issue

This module includes guides and templates for coordinating an event to orient Project Leaders to and connect them with other people involved in the program.

Module 7: Project Leader Resources

This module has a range of resources you can provide to Project Leaders to support them in organizing their NSG projects such as the Project Leader Manual.

Module 8: Wrap-Up and Evaluation

This module includes information on finishing your NSG granting cycle through project wrap-ups, the Wrap-Up Celebration event, and program evaluation.

Module 9: Learning Days/Summits

This module provides resources to help you plan and execute an NSG Learning Day, which are 1 to 2 day events that bring together Project Leaders, Committee Members, Coordinators, Partner Organizations, and Funders to share stories and skills, discuss best practices, attend presentations and workshops, and build relationships with one another.

NSG Partner and Coordinator Orientation Toolkit

Full NSG Partner and Coordinator Orientation Toolkit

This Toolkit includes resources for the facilitators of an NSG Orientation for new Coordinators and Partner Organization staff and board members. It features a Guide to Planning an Orientation Event, Ways to Make an Event Accessible and Inclusive, and a list of all the resources and handouts you’ll need to facilitate.

Orientation Agenda Template

For the Orientation Facilitator: This template is a suggested agenda for an NSG Orientation, based on a day and a half workshop.

Orientation Facilitator's Notes Template

For the Orientation Facilitator: This document provides a template to customize and use to guide the content of the session. It includes speaking notes, interactive activities (often with multiple options to choose from), and lists the corresponding PowerPoint slides and Toolkit documents that go with each section.

Section 1 PowerPoint - Program Overview

For the Orientation Facilitator: This Powerpoint provides an overview of the program and its background, including definitions, the history of NSG, Asset-Based Community Development, Grassroots Grantmaking, the Principles of Grassroots Grantmaking and so on.


Section 2 PowerPoint - Recruiting and Orienting the NGC and Promotions

For the Orientation Facilitator: This PowerPoint includes information on recruiting
and orienting the Neighbourhood Granting Committee (NGC) and
promoting the grants.

Section 3 PowerPoint - Granting Decisions, Applicant/Project Leader Support, Evaluation and Wrap-Up

For the Orientation Facilitator: This PowerPoint includes information on making granting decisions, orienting and supporting applicants and Project Leaders, wrapping up a granting cycle and evaluating an NSG program.

Sample NSG Applications Template with Teaching Notes

For the Orientation Facilitator: During the Orientation, you will ask participants to simulate an NSG granting decision-making meeting, using sample applications provided as a handout, all based on real past applications received in the program. This template includes teaching notes, so that you can ensure that the group has noticed the most important questions, concerns and strengths related to each sample application. One without teaching notes is available in the Handouts and Resources section to provide to the participants.

NSG Orientation Participant Feedback Form Template

For the Orientation Facilitator: This template can be adapted to create a feedback form for participants at an NSG Orientation.

NSG Orientation Organizers’ Debriefing Template

For the Orientation Facilitator: This document is a template for the organizers of an NSG Orientation to use to debrief after the workshop has taken place. It can be customized to capture successes, learnings and what you hope to add, change or address at future orientations.

1 - Resources to Send Out Before the Orientation

These resources are intended to be sent in the FIRST EMAIL to participants about 3-4 weeks before the Orientation. It includes: NSG Definitions, What is Grassroots Grantmaking?, Coordinator’s Guide to the Principles of Grassroots Grantmaking, and the Benefits of Neighbourliness.

2 - Resources to Send Out Before the Orientation

These resources are intended to be sent in the SECOND EMAIL to participants about 2-3 weeks before the Orientation. It includes: Mapping Your Community, A Guide to NSG Decision-Making, and List of Podcasts and Videos.

3 - Resources to Send Out Before the Orientation

These resources are intended to be sent in the THIRD EMAIL to participants about 1-2 weeks before the Orientation. It includes: How an NSG Program Works, NSG Coordination Checklist, and Guide to Knowledge Exchange and Skill Sharing.

Handouts for Use during the Orientation

These include a number of resources that you will need for activities during the Orientation and a few others you may want to consider printing to provide as handouts.

Exploring and Initiating NSG

Full Exploring and Initiating NSG Toolkit

This Toolkit is for anyone who is interested in exploring and setting up a partnership with an organization that is considering having NSG in their community. These resources will help you explore whether the potential partner has the right understanding and tools to support NSG in their community. The resources here will also help the potential partner understand their role in NSG and should they feel they are a fit for the program, formally begin the process of initiating the program.

Preliminary Questions for Potential Community Partners Template

This template includes preliminary questions that can be used in a first meeting to get a sense of who the potential Partner Organization(s) are, the work they do, who they serve, their values, and their experience with community development and working with diverse communities.

Criteria for Establishing NSG Partnerships Template

This template includes criteria potential Partner Organizations can use to self-assess whether NSG is a good fit for their organization. If there are any criteria from this list that they do not fulfill, then a conversation can happen about whether and how this can be addressed (for example by bringing in other partners) before moving on to the next step.

Guide to Presenting to Potential Community Partners

This guide provides an overview of considerations for presenting to the boards and staff of potential Partner Organizations who are interested in establishing their own grassroots grantmaking program.

Agenda Template for Presentation to Potential Community Partners

This template offers a sample agenda for a presentation to the board and/or staff of potential Partner Organizations.

Presentation to Potential Community Partners: Presenter Notes & PowerPoint

Presenter’s Notes can be customized to create the content of a presentation to the board and/or staff of potential Partner Organizations.

PowerPoint Template is designed to complement the Presenter’s Notes Template and provide the visuals for a presentation to the board and/or staff of potential Partner Organizations.

Resources & Handouts

Resource List for Potential Community Partners: This provides a comprehensive list of all the resources to share with Potential Community Partners and suggested uses for them.


Resources to Send Before the Potential Community Partners Presentation

ABCD at a Glance introduces Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) from the Tamarack Institute

Principles of Grassroots Grantmaking guide our mission of harnessing local skills and experiences to make neighbourhoods better places to live.

The Benefits of Neighbourliness introduces the concept of place-based community building.

Benefits of Establishing a NSG Program outlines some of the benefits offered to Partner Organizations when they form an NSG partnership.

Getting Started: Memorandum of Understanding Template

Vancouver Foundation or the Regional Network Lead will work with the organization on creating a Memorandum of Understanding where the roles and responsibilities of the two organizations as well as funding details will be co-developed.

Getting Started: Support for Coordinating a New Program Template

This template describes the kinds of support made available to new communities in their first year of coordinating the NSG program.

Setting the Timeline: NSG Program Activities Template

This template provides a general overview of the main activities involved in coordinating an NSG Program throughout a granting cycle.

Setting the Timeline: Granting Cycle Timeline Template

This template can be used to create a timeline of the program to help new Partner Organizations plan out their first granting cycle as well as understand the time commitment and schedule of activities they will be involved in as they establish their NSG program.

Setting the Timeline: NSG Coordination Checklist Template

This checklist outlines some of the specific steps involved in coordinating an NSG program throughout a granting cycle.

First Outreach: NSG Promotion & Branding Basics

Module 3 of the Coordinating NSG Toolkit provides tips on how to most effectively promote the grants within your community and few of the basics of NSG program branding for promotional materials.

First Outreach: Mapping Your Community

This document helps you get to know your town, city or region better through demographic and asset mapping. Demographic mapping can be particularly useful at this point in the process, as it helps you deepen your knowledge of the social groups you’ll be working with and consider whom you need to reach, connect with and engage to achieve the goals of the program and have it represent the diversity of your community.

Hiring a Coordinator

Time and Wage Estimation for NSG Coordination Template includes an estimation of how many hours of coordination are involved in an granting cycle and wage recommendations to help budget for the Program Coordinator.

Program Coordination and Job Description Template offers a job description that can be used to hire and train a new Coordinator.

Program Coordinator Position Interview Questions Template can be adapted for interviewing candidates for the position.

Potential Program Coordinator Reference Check Template includes sample questions to ask the references of a candidate.