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Hi Mary Ann,

This is our first time to apply for Gaming grant.

Can you give us an idea/guide us on how to open a Gaming Grant account? We tried to search how to open a Gaming Account and even ask our bank if they are familiar with it. Is it the regular business chequing account, or is it only offered by certain banks who is authorized by Gaming.

Appreciate if anyone from this group can guide us.

Sheila

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Hi Maryann,

I'm working on our new Gaming grant and am trying to figure out how best to provide their required budget/actuals sheets. I believe we typically upload 1) our complete organizational budget for the current year, 2) our finalized financial statements for the past year, and then 3) a "Program Budget" spreadsheet, with columns for the past year and current year side by side.

The first two financial sheets are straightforward, but I'm wondering how to account for the expenses we have as part of our regular operations that are not eligible Gaming expenses. Do I just leave those out of the 3rd "Program Budget," and scale that budget sheet down to show just the portion of our operations that are eligible for Gaming support (this sheet will not exactly match the first 2 documents in this case)?

Gaming really only gives us a tiny percentage of our total operating budget and we're careful each year just to spend their budget on a handful of eligible expenses. And yet we continue to toil away providing them with massive budget sheets...confused about the point of this!

Thanks in advance for your advice...

Jacquelyn

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Hi Jacquelyn, sent you a direct email, just easier to answer all your questions :-)

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I would like to receive your newsletter

cobblehillevents@gmail.com

Cobble Hill Events Society (CHES) would be interested in working with a grant writer in the future.

Thank you

Ann Baty

Treasurer CHES

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Hi MaryAnn, Thank you for all the work you put into supporting the community on accessing the Gaming Grant. I would love a workshop!!! My question is where do I find the formula for calculating the 75% government support limit? And can we add our volunteer hours (in kind) to support our more than 25% outside funding?

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So the 75% figure you've noted has to do with this Gaming (program financial eligibility) guideline (see Section 4.3):

"For each eligible program, government funding (from provincial and federal sources) must not exceed 75 per cent of the actual operating costs in the previous fiscal year. To ensure the total provincial-federal contribution to the program remains within this 75 per cent threshold, Community Gaming Grant funding for the program may be limited or denied"

So how I calculate this for my clients is to create a % column next to each year & show the percentages for each revenue category. But keep in mind: this calculation is ONLY for the combination of federal + provincial funding sources and does NOT include regional/municipal funding...so I often show the latter in a separate section & keep prov+fed in its own area. Make sense?

As for the inclusion of in-kind contributions - YES! I encourage ALL of my clients to include any/all in-kind goods and services you receive, volunteer time etc. Not only does this help to show/quantify community support for your Program (an important assessment criteria for Gaming), it also help mitigate that overall prov+fed %...in fact, I have a number of clients that would never meet that 75% threshold if they didn't include the in-kind amounts.

If you do include in-kind/volunteer time (which I always encourage everyone to do)...please read over Gaming's guidelines for that, see Section 4.3, pages 22-23.

One last important note - there is also this statement in the 2023 guidelines, which has been added now since the start of the pandemic:

"Program financial eligibility criteria related to government funding may not be enforced for applicants affected by COVID-19. Applicants with more than 75% of program funding from government sources should demonstrate this is due to a direct result of the pandemic.".

I would note however, that in the previous 2 years, the wording of this was "...will not be enforced"...and this year that wording has changed to "may", so I would take caution.

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Thank you!!!!!

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Hi Maryann, last year we applied for Gaming, 3 programs. We gave the same information , descriptions and spreadsheets for all 3. One program was funded, and for the other two them they said we did not give the required information. We gave the same informaton for all three, in same format and level of detail. My feeling is they do not read the attachements

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I guess it depends what specific information they are saying you didn't attach? Maybe send me the letter via email & you last submission as well and I'll have a look at it. But yes, I have seen in past years where the assessor doesn't always rea through all the materials carefully enough...doesn't happen too often, but it does happen.

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Hi Maryann, we would love to gain any insight you might have on the mysterious "calculation" Gaming uses to establish its funding levels for various orgs. I know this is based on our program budgets, but am often confused as to why organizations of similar sizes and scopes receive such different funding levels from this grant. Thank you!

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Unfortunately I have limited insight for you on this. Gaming is not transparent on how exactly they do their grant assessment (a long time issue for our sector), so we are left to 'guess' as best we can regarding how they make these decisions - so yes, it is indeed a mystery. But, for what its worth, here's my thoughts on this subject (based on past experience & what I'm been been able to extrapolate from conversations with their staff over the years):

- I believe that some(?) of the variance of grant levels is a 'leftover' from historic practice...some folks might remember (WAY!) back when Gaming did granting through applicants receiving licenses for proceeds from bingo halls & gambling locations where you provided volunteers; when Gaming eliminated that system & switched to what they (then) call "direct access" granting, I believe some of these granting levels were set to reflect previous years' funding for many of the applicants, in order to ease that transition (again, I have no proof that's what they did, it was just my sense at the time); which simply means that some of the funding levels would date back to those days/that transitional practice;

- Gaming places a lot of emphasis (and theoretically sets their funding levels) based on their assessment of an applicant's overall "broad community benefit" - so although some groups may have similar budgets/artistic scope, they may have vastly different audiences/attendance figures, which I believe is a big factor for Gaming. Often (but not always?) I see that this translates into higher grant levels for large festivals (with corresponding large attendance levels). BUT, this isn't true in all cases, which means other factors are coming into play in their assessment?

- Last (but not least), past Gaming staff have told me that they also tend to fund at a higher % of (an organization's) overall budget, in cases where an applicant does not have access to other funding sources; which means that for many folks in the arts sector who can, or do, access a variety of other granting sources, this may in fact, create lower funding levels from Gaming. This would make sense when one looks at their eligibility criteria regarding a max of 75% prov+fed funding (which they use to determine program funding "need")...and I suspect that as a program budget approaches that 75%, their funding levels might drop accordingly?

In any event, as I said, this is all conjecture on my part - but hoprefully it helps! The take-away is to focus your application on demonstrating your program's broad community benefit (and back that up with stats as much as possible).

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This is incredibly helpful. Saving all for our notes! Thanks so much Maryann for your thoroughness.

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Would love a workshop where we can go over this complicated grant.

Thank you.

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Even a short info session with my new AD would be helpful one on one.

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I'd be happy to get on a call/session to get them up to speed. Send me an email and we'll set up a day/time.

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Hi Maryann - are you actually offering a workshop? I have a new AD and it would be a great thing to help on-board her to Gaming grants.

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Hi Rebekah...hmmm I hadn't thought of running a workshop (usually just wait on an invite)...but I suppose I could run one myself if there was some interest? Let me think on that...but if anyone is interested, please leave a note here.

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