Application Guidelines — Organizational Capacity Building component

The Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program

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Objectives of the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program

The Program’s objectives are to support communities to:

  • advance anti-racism; foster ethnocultural diversity and inclusion; promote intercultural and interfaith understanding;
  • provide equitable opportunities for equity-deserving populations and community organizations to participate fully in all aspects of Canadian society;
  • promote dialogue on multiculturalism, anti-racism, racial equity, diversity and inclusion to advance institutional and systemic change so that Canada becomes a more inclusive society, free from racism and hate-motivated actions; and
  • support research and evidence to build understanding of the disparities and challenges faced by equity-deserving populations.

The Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program (MARP) supports the mandate of the Department of Canadian Heritage by building on Canada's strength as a diverse and inclusive society.

Objectives and expected results for the Organizational Capacity Building component

The objective of the Organizational Capacity Building (OCB) component is to provide funding to eligible applicants to build and strengthen their internal capacity to meet the objectives of the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program. Thus, OCB is intended to fund projects that will contribute to the recipient’s ability to advance anti-racism and promote intercultural and interfaith understanding, to provide equitable opportunities, to promote dialogue on multiculturalism and anti-racism, and to build understanding of disparities.

This component specifically targets projects that build or strengthen an organization’s capacity to operate, and will help achieve one or more of the following expected results:

  • improved financial management;
  • stronger human resource capacity (both staff and volunteers);
  • enhanced governing practices;
  • increased partnership and networking abilities; and
  • creation or improvement of strategic plans.

Application deadline

The application deadline for the Organizational Capacity Building component is February 22, 2024.

Who can apply

To be eligible for funding, your organization or group must be a(n):

  • Canadian not-for-profit organization, association, or unincorporated group;
  • Indigenous not-for-profit organization (First Nations, Inuit, or Métis); or
  • Indigenous government, band council or tribal council.


We are responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, its project and project-related expenses.

Applicants that are not eligible for funding include but are not limited to applicants that:

  • discriminate, contrary to applicable laws, on the basis of prohibited grounds, including race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted or a record suspension has been ordered;
  • discriminate on the basis of language;
  • advocate intolerance, discrimination and/or prejudice;
  • provide support to organizations or individuals that share or promote offensive content or discourse;
  • undermine Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy;
  • undermine the values set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program (MARP) is highly competitive. Requests for funding typically exceed our available resources. If your organization or group is eligible, submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

Eligible projects

To be eligible for funding your project must contribute to both the Program’s objectives and the component’s expected results.

This call for proposals provides funding for initiatives with a start date no earlier than August 1, 2024 and that will be completed by March 31, 2026.

Eligible projects include initiatives that build or strengthen your organization’s capacity to operate in relation to financial management, human resources, governing practices, partnerships and networks, or strategic planning.

Examples of eligible activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Strengthening governing practices:
    • supporting the development or enhancement of skills to increase an organization’s ability to promote diversity and inclusion;
    • evaluating and improving board effectiveness or creating a board or governing body;
    • governance training for board/steering committee members.
  • Building financial management capacity:
    • creating a fundraising plan;
    • developing a planned giving campaign/program;
    • developing and implementing an organizational strategic plan to streamline an organization’s resources or to coordinate or share resources with other organizations, or to expand the reach and efficiency of services.
  • Investing in Human resources:
    • enhancing employee technology literacy (the ability to use and understand technology);
    • disseminating tools for learning and skills development of employees or volunteers.
  • Developing partnerships, collaborating, networking:
    • putting in place a client/stakeholder management software;
    • building and improving partnerships to strengthen the organization’s network.
  • Improving strategic planning:
    • researching, conducting feasibility studies, or gathering data relevant to the organization’s mission;
    • developing human resources strategies, a business plan, or an organizational strategic plan;
    • developing a communication plan or communications tools to improve online presence;
    • development of a website or social media accounts to improve access to information and services;
    • development of an evaluation strategy to improve performance.

Eligible expenses

Only project-related expenses are eligible, which can be of cash and in-kind value; these may include:

  • salaries, benefits;
  • honoraria;
  • consultant fees;
  • translation costs;
  • website development or upgrades and software;
  • domestic travel and accommodation, which must not exceed the rates permitted for travel on government business.
  • liability insurance;
  • administration/overhead costs (up to a maximum of 15% of total project funding before administration costs); and
  • costs associated with the production of an audited financial report for the project, if applicable.

In-kind contributions are considered to be real contributions to the cost of the proposed project but are not reimbursable. Donated goods or services may be considered in-kind contributions if they:

  • are essential to the project’s success;
  • are eligible and would otherwise have to be purchased or paid for by the organization;
  • can be measured at fair market value (i.e., in relation to similar goods and services); and
  • are balanced by an equal revenue in the budget (i.e., total in-kind expenses equal total in-kind revenues).

The following expenses are not eligible for funding:

  • any type of Director’s fees for members of Boards or other governing bodies;
  • capital costs or expenditures (e.g., renovation expenses, computer equipment, except when essential to the successful delivery of activities);
  • costs associated with the ongoing production of newsletters, newspapers, magazines, journals, or radio and television broadcasts;
  • budget deficits, debt reduction, organizational reserves or endowment funds;
  • bonuses, stipends or similar payments to project staff or others;
  • contributions to fundraising campaigns or other fundraising events;
  • religious and/or politically partisan activities;
  • direct service delivery activities; and
  • expenses for initiatives covered by other funding programs at Canadian Heritage and related Crown Corporations.

If your initiative is approved for funding, eligible project expenses incurred as of August 1, 2024 can be covered. However, if you incur expenses for your project before receiving written confirmation of your funding approval, you will be doing so at your own risk.

Limits of government assistance

To ensure the success of your project, we encourage you to have other funding sources. This may include contributions from your organization, the private sector, or other levels of government.

The total financial assistance received from the Program and other levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal) cannot exceed 100% of your total eligible project-related expenses.

The Organizational Capacity Building component’s maximum grant amount payable per recipient is $100,000 per initiative, while the maximum contribution amount payable per recipient is $250,000 per initiative.

In exceptional cases, we can fund up to a maximum of $500,000 of eligible expenses. The funding criteria linked to these exceptional cases are as follows:

  • organization with activities of national scope (three provinces/territories or more)
  • organization with activities of provincial/territorial scope

Your organization may submit only one application to the Organizational Capacity Building component for the current call for proposals.

Applying for more than 12 months

You may request funding for a project spanning more than 12 months. You must then show that there is a need for a multi-year commitment and that you have the capacity to complete the project. This is demonstrated with a realistic project timeline and budget projections as well as sound governance.

The duration of your project cannot go beyond March 31, 2026.

How to apply

Read these Application Guidelines in their entirety before completing your application.

You must meet all eligibility requirements and submit a complete application package to be considered for funding. Incomplete applications will be considered ineligible.

A complete application package includes a signed Application Form with responses to all questions, and the following supporting documents:

  • a balanced Budget (no surplus or deficit)
  • a signed Declaration/Attestation
  • a signed Application Checklist
  • a copy of your most recent financial statements, audited if available
  • a copy of your organization’s letters patent and documents of incorporation, including the certificate of continuance (Incorporated applicants only)
  • a list of your current Board of Directors (Incorporated applicants only)
  • a copy of your organization’s bylaws (Incorporated applicants only)
  • a copy of your articles of association or a copy of your Terms of Reference (Unincorporated applicants only)
  • a signed copy of the Unincorporated Applicant Acceptance of Liability form (Unincorporated applicants only)

Application process

  • Complete, sign and date the Application Form;
  • Complete the Budget Form;
  • Attach all the required supporting documents; and
  • Submit your application through only one means (i.e. by email or by mail).

Email submissions

We encourage you to submit your application package electronically to the following email address:

The email must be sent no later than 11:59 p.m. local time on the date of the application deadline for your application to be considered.

Mail submissions

You can mail or courier your complete application package to the headquarters of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Your application must be postmarked no later than the published deadline to be considered.

How applications are evaluated

We fund projects that have clear objectives and measurable results. Your application will be evaluated based on the Evaluation Criteria listed below. It will be evaluated by a review committee who will compare it with other applications from your region and prioritize it in relation to Program priorities and the funds available.

Failure to comply with any conditions of a previously funded project will be considered in the evaluation of your new application and could result in a rejection of your new application.

Evaluation criteria

This call for proposals will consider three areas of funding priority based on emerging governmental priorities while also aligning with Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy. Funding priority may thus be given to support:

  • initiatives that are led by or serving the communities of focus in Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy (Indigenous, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities), as communities with lived experiences of racism;
  • community-based organizations in order to support them in their daily efforts to drive positive change;
  • initiatives that reach into rural and remote locations across Canada.

The following criteria are used to assess funding applications.

Assessment criteria related to design and rationale:

  • the application contains a clear description of project activities and how they contribute to one or more of the Program’s objectives, as well as how activities contribute to one or more of the Organizational Capacity Building component’s expected results;
  • the application identifies the need for the project as well as its value added;
  • the application identifies the beneficiaries (as applicable), and how the project reaches different beneficiaries and/or participants.

Assessment criteria related to results, budget integrity and impact:

  • the application demonstrates the applicant’s level of engagement with the communities and the project’s future impact on the community or the communities being served, or the impact is clearly defined;
  • the application contains realistic and measurable expected results and how the applicant will measure and report on these results are also included;
  • the application contains a project budget that is sufficiently detailed, balanced, and reasonable, and reflects due regard for the efficient and prudent use of public funds.

Assessment criteria related to applicant capacity:

  • the application demonstrates the applicant’s capacity to deliver the proposed initiative in a successful, efficient, and timely manner (referring to relevant resources or other delivery experience the organization has previously obtained).

Application processing time

Please refer to the Service standards for Canadian Heritage funding programs or contact the Program.

We will acknowledge receipt of your application within two weeks of receiving your application in our office.

Funding decisions

We reserve the right to target our funding to specific projects.

Please note that decisions regarding eligibility and funding amounts are final.

How funding is provided

We will determine if funding will be disbursed as a grant or as a contribution.

A grant is a payment issued to a recipient for a project. The conditions you agreed to at the time of application will apply. At the end of your project, you will be required to submit a final activity report and/or participate in the evaluation of results.

A contribution is a conditional payment issued for a specific purpose, as outlined in a funding agreement. The agreement is signed by your organization and by the department and specifies the terms and conditions to receive payment. At the end of your project, you must submit a final activity report as well as a financial report.

Funding conditions

If you receive funding, you are required to submit a final report at the end of your project. You may also be required to submit interim reports during your project, should you receive funding as a contribution. If you receive $250,000 or more as a contribution, you are required to submit an audited financial report. Costs associated with the production of an audited financial report specifically for the funded project are considered an eligible expense.

Additional conditions may apply and, if applicable, will be included in your funding agreement.

Workplace well-being

The Government of Canada is strongly committed to promoting healthy workplaces where harassment, abuse and discrimination are not tolerated. Organizations that receive funding from Canadian Heritage must take measures to create a workplace free from harassment, abuse and discrimination.

Public Health Guidance

We expect that you will act in compliance with applicable statutes, laws, bylaws, regulations, orders, codes, standards, directives and guidelines governing the activities for which funding is being sought, including those related to public health and safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Official languages requirements

We are committed to taking positive measures to enhance the vitality of official-language minority communities and to promote the use of English and French in Canadian society. If you receive funding, you agree to comply with the official languages requirements set out in your application and in your funding agreement.

Acknowledgement of financial assistance

If you receive funding, you must publicly acknowledge – in English and in French – the financial support received from the Government of Canada in all communications materials and promotional activities. Additional requirements may be included in your funding agreement.

For additional information, please refer to our Guide on the public acknowledgement of financial support.

Access to information requests

We are subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. The information you submit in your application may be disclosed in accordance with these acts.

Disclosure of information

By submitting your funding application, you authorize us to disclose any information submitted with this application within the Government of Canada or to outside entities for the following purposes:

  • to reach a decision;
  • to evaluate the results of the project;
  • to support transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement; and
  • to explore the possibility of funding from another federal government program.

Audits of recipients and evaluation of the Program

We reserve the right to audit your accounts and records to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of your funding agreement. We also conduct periodic Program evaluations, during which you may be required to present documentation.

You must keep any records, documents, or other information that may be required to perform the audit or the evaluation for five years. Demonstrated failure to maintain such records may result in the repayment of amounts previously received.

Contact us

For further information, please contact us:

Department of Canadian Heritage
Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program

15 Eddy Street
Gatineau, Quebec
J8X 4B3



1-866-811-0055 (toll-free)


1-888-997-3123 (for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired)

Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (ET).

Regional offices of the Department of Canadian Heritage


Administrative costs
Administrative expenses such as office supplies, telephone, fax, Internet, utilities, postage, courier, photocopying/printing, and rent for office space.
Audited financial report
An audited financial report includes a statement of operations for the given period with regard to the Project and is prepared by a certified accountant who is not part of your organization.
Audited financial statements
A complete set of financial statements including a statement of financial position; a statement of operations; and a statement of changes in financial position. Audited financial statements are completed by a certified accountant who is not part of your organization. The certified accountant performs auditing activities in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
Black Canadians
Black Canadians generally includes diverse individuals, populations, and communities in Canada that identify as having African or Caribbean ancestry.
Business plan
A written document that describes your organization’s current status and plans for two to five years. It identifies future opportunities and includes the financial, operational and marketing strategies to achieve your goals.
Cash flow
A presentation of all anticipated revenues and planned expenses that will occur over the length of your project. At the beginning of your project, your cash flow will have only forecasted revenues and expenses. Over time, your cash flow will be updated to reflect the actual revenues and expenses.
Community Based Organizations
Community-based organizations are defined by the Program as organizations that serve the community.
Equity-deserving individuals and groups

Equity-deserving individuals and groups are defined as those facing significant barriers to participation in different facets of society, primarily due to policies and practices that produce inequitable treatment. This marginalization could be created by attitudinal, historic, social, economic, legal and/or environmental obstacles, based on such factors as age, ethnicity, disability, economic status, gender, nationality, sexual orientation and transgender status. Equity-deserving individuals and groups are those who face barriers to equal access, opportunities and resources due to disadvantage and discrimination created by institutions, systems, narratives and individuals in power.

Equity-deserving individuals and/or groups could be those identifying as:

  • Indigenous (in Canada and from around the world)
  • Racialized including racialized immigrants/migrant workers
  • Black individuals or groups
  • A member of a religious minority
  • Women and Gender Diverse
  • A Person with a Disability (physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments)

This is a non-exhaustive list.

Ethnocultural communities

A group of people whose members identify with each other through a common heritage. An ethnocultural community or group is defined by the shared characteristics unique to, and recognized by, that group. This includes characteristics such as cultural traditions, ancestry, language, national identity, and/or country of origin.

To the extent that religion is inextricably linked to the group's racial or cultural identity, it can also be recognized as a defining characteristic. In some cases, a group may view its common origin as pan-national, or it may be based on geographic region of origin.

Ethnocultural communities may or may not overlap with racialized communities (See definition of racialized communities).

Federal lands
  1. lands that belong to His Majesty in right of Canada, or that His Majesty in right of Canada has the power to dispose of, and all waters on and airspace above those lands, other than lands under the administration and control of the Commissioner of Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut;
  2. the following lands and areas. (i) the internal waters of Canada, in any area of the sea not within a province, (ii) the territorial sea of Canada, in any area of the sea not within a province, (iii) the exclusive economic zone of Canada, and (iv) the continental shelf of Canada; and
  3. reserves, surrendered lands and any other lands that are set apart for the use and benefit of a band and that are subject to the Indian Act, and all waters on and airspace above those reserves or lands.
Final report
A final report is submitted at the end of your project based on the requirements in the funding agreement. Your final report needs to provide the results of the activities you have undertaken for the duration of your project.
Final financial report
A final financial report includes, as separate items, the budget as well as all of the revenues realized and expenditures incurred for the given period with regard to the Project being funded.
Financial management
This includes the planning, organizing, directing, and controlling of an organization’s financial activities including how it obtains and uses funds.
Financial statements
A complete set of financial statements, including a statement of financial position; a statement of operations; and a statement of changes in financial position. Financial statements may be audited or unaudited.
Governance practices
The practices that ensure effective management and decision-making in an organization. This includes the structures and systems in place to assign decision-making authorities, oversee service delivery, and report on and evaluate performance.
Payments for services provided by a person who is not a staff member of the organization, or by a firm that is separate from the organization [for example: gifts given to Elders or Knowledge Keepers, gifts to encourage participation of underrepresented communities (Black youth)].
Human resource capacity
The availability of skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced individuals in an organization, particularly in relation to their ability to carry out the job they are employed to do.
Indigenous communities
Indigenous communities are First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
Interim reports

Interim reports are submitted during your project based on the requirements in the funding agreement.

These reports indicate the results of the activities undertaken for a specific period. In addition, they include a status report on the work to be accomplished and updated revenue and expense reports.

Liability insurance
Insurance for claims arising from injuries or damage to other people or property.
National scope
Projects that are carried out or have an impact in at least three provinces and/or territories.
Official-Language Minority Communities
The official-language minority communities are the Anglophone communities residing in Quebec and the Francophone communities residing outside of Quebec.
Partnerships and networking
Networking and partnership building practices allow organizations to expand their reach, access new resources, and form mutually beneficial relationships with other organizations that have common goals.
Racialized communities
Communities of shared heritage who have been historically disadvantaged as a group and may experience discrimination based on colour, culture and/or race.
Religious minority communities
A minority religion is a religion held by a minority of the population of a country, state, or region. In Canada, these are people who identify as being affiliated with a non-Christian religion, for example, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jewish, Traditional (Indigenous) Spirituality, and others.
Remote communities
A community with a population less than 50,000, which is located more than 200 km from either an urban centre with a population over 100,000, or provincial/territorial capital.
Rural communities
A community with a population of less than 50,000, which is located between 50km to 200km from an urban centre with a population over 100,000.
Strategic planning
The processes which set out an organization’s goals and the actions/activities, resources, and strategies needed to achieve those goals.
Systemic Barriers
Policies or practices that result in some individuals from underrepresented groups receiving unequal access to or being excluded from participation in employment, services or programs. These barriers are systemic in nature, meaning they result from institutional-level practices, policies, traditions and/or values that may be “unintended” or “unseen” to those who do not experience them, but that have serious and long-lasting impacts on the lives of those affected (e.g., on their career trajectories and/or mental and physical health.
Refers to individuals in the stage of life from adolescence to early adulthood. Numerically it includes young people between the ages of 15 to 29.
An individual working on behalf of others without receiving financial or material gain.

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