Region of Peel
We have recently been awarded a 2 year Sustainability Grant, which is of special importance to our charity since the Region provides core funding, rather than the typical incremental project funding that is most common among grantors. Options has a long historical relationship with the Region of Peel, mostly as a resource for exchanging information and networking
Community Foundation of Mississauga
This agency is a great example of what being together as part of the community is all about. CFM has provided grant funding for a number of projects for Options over the years, mostly related to growing the business to be able to support more intellectually disabled individuals. Our business revenues have almost tripled in the last few years, in no small part due to the generous support of CFM. But just as good is the fact that CFM also supports Options by sending business our way - in this case having us assemble and send out mailings. It is a great relationship and Options is really fortunate to have such an organization in the Mississauga community.
Gov. Of Ontario, Ministry of Community and Social Services
The MCSS provides Options with $60,000 per year in core funding, the only ongoing funding we receive from any organization. And although it represents a relatively small (about 10%) of our annual budget, it is really important core funding that we can depend on. The MCSS is also an invaluable resource for networking and finding out what is going on from a policy and practical standpoint with regard to intellectual disability in the Province. Finally, there have been a few times over the last 15 years that Options needed some short term, one-time funding and the MCSS was there to help us when we really needed it. It is a great relationship, and the inherent knowledge and expertise in the MCSS provides a great partner with which to discuss Options’ ideas and plans.
Ontario Trillium Foundation
Next to the MCSS, over the last decade OTF has provided more funding to us than any other single organization, much of it about 5 - 10 years ago when Options needed significant investment to develop our business and through that investment be able to support many more individuals who have intellectual disabilities. When we first obtained a Trillium grant our annual business revenues were well under $100,000. They have now surpassed $250,00 and still growing. The two large trillium grants we received were absolutely instrumental in providing the funds for the early part of this growth, and without them (and later CFM) we simply could not have developed the robust, competitive business we have today.
Canada Summer Jobs
Options Mississauga has participated in this federal government program for many years. Essentially this program subsidizes the wages of 1 - 3 summer students, permitting us to hire where we would not otherwise have the financial means. It possibly provides the best "return for every dollar invested". Options has had really great, diverse students over time in several areas: marketing, social worker, graphic design, IT support - and we try to reserve one summer position each year for an individual who has an intellectual disability. This program has a corollary benefit: Options is a fairly unique place to work (being both a business and a social program provider) and it is typical for students at exit interviews to say they have gotten more out of their work term (specifically exposure to areas and topics they would not normally encounter) with Options than any other job experience they have had.