What this program offers

We are accepting applications from organizations interested in receiving funding from the pan-Canadian stream of the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP). Eligible organizations can apply for $1 million to $5 million. Projects should last between 4 to 5 years.

This process involves 2 steps. This first step is a competitive Call for concepts. Your concept should provide high-level information about a complex problem that is having an impact on the wellbeing of vulnerable seniors, and how you would address the issue. If you succeed in step 1 of this process, we will invite you to step 2 to develop a full project proposal. In step 2, we will also request more information and documents about the project. Funded organizations will act as backbone organizations to lead collective impact plans.

On this page

Program objectives

The objective is to invite eligible organizations to submit an application that broadly describes a concept for a collective impact plan that will measurably increase the social inclusion of vulnerable seniors.

This process aims to:

Through this process, we will fund backbone organizations to act as intermediaries. Backbone organizations will work with collaborating organizations to put in place a collective impact initiative.

Funding priorities

Priority will be given to funding projects in as many provinces and territories as possible.

Projects will be considered for funding based on their own merit. We will also consider how the projects contribute to the diversity and inclusion of the group of projects.


Here is a list of key terms used in this application process.

Action research
Research that happens at the same time as actions are taken to solve issues.
Backbone organization
A backbone organization supports and coordinates various activities and collaborators involved in a collective impact initiative and is responsible for the following activities:
  • holding a funding agreement with the Government of Canada, acting as an intermediary and managing sub-agreements with collaborating organizations.
  • demonstrating good management of public funds, ensuring verification of financial claims from sub-funded organizations for reimbursement of eligible costs.
  • coordinating the development and implementation of a collective impact initiative, including:
    • supporting relationships between organizations
    • supporting activities across organizations and aligning them with each other
    • providing strategic guidance and leadership to organizations
  • building collective knowledge and ensuring alignment of efforts through regular meetings, etc.
  • establishing sub-agreements with each collaborating organization. This includes:
    • coordinating the process of reviewing and approving the collective impact sub-projects by collaborating organizations
    • re-distributing funding to collaborating organizations
    • establishing shared measurement practices across collaborating organizations
    • monitoring all sub-agreements with collaborating organizations
    • reporting to ESDC on the results and outcomes of the sub-agreements
  • thinking about long-term solutions and gradual impact, as well as sustainability after federal funding ends.
  • helping build public will, community buy-in and support through strong power to bring stakeholders together to increase the social inclusion of vulnerable seniors
Call for concepts
A 2-step process used in determining Grants and Contributions funding. Step 1 is a competitive process where applicants submit their concepts. Those successful in the first step get invited to the second step. Step 2 consists of developing a full proposal based on the successful step 1 concept.
A collaborating organization
An eligible organization that receives funding (through a sub-agreement) from the backbone organization. They run project activities that contribute to the success of the collective impact initiative.
Collective impact

Collective impact is a collaborative, multi-partner approach to increase the social inclusion of vulnerable seniors in a specific community. This approach brings together a group of collaborating organizations from different sectors to commit to a common agenda aiming for important changes in the community. The group of collaborating organizations forms an integrated strategy to achieve the larger outcomes of the collective impact plan.

The collective impact structure has 5 conditions:

  1. a common agenda: collaborating organizations work towards a common set of outcomes
  2. shared measurement: collaborating organizations agree on how success will be measured and reported
  3. mutually reinforcing activities: collaborating organizations work together to support each other
  4. continuous communication: there is routine, planned communications among collaborating organizations
  5. backbone organization: a dedicated team that provides support and coordination
Complex problem
A problem that is not easy to resolve, has persisted over time and can’t be solved in isolation.
Documents, statistics and information that support the activities included in the concept.
Focus on
A concept that focuses on a specific sub-population (group) is generally led by and for the group that it serves. It mainly targets the sub-population and it meets their unique needs (such as linguistic or cultural needs). For example, a concept that focuses on Official Language Minority Communities (OLMC) is led by an OLMC backbone organization and serves the needs of OLMCs.
Geographic area
A defined area such as a town, city, province, territory or region.
Informal caregiver
Someone who provides unpaid care to a senior family member or friend with a long-term health condition, a physical or mental disability, or problems related to aging. Informal caregivers may or may not be seniors.
Innovative approach
An innovative approach proposes something new and not done before. For example, tailoring an approach to meet the specific needs of a vulnerable population.
An approach that acknowledges the ways in which people's lives are shaped by their many and overlapping identities, which, together, can produce a unique and distinct experience for that individual or group. For example, creating more barriers or opportunities.
Low income
For this CFC, low income means not having enough money to buy basic goods and services. This can include:
  • food
  • housing
  • clothing
  • transportation
  • practical services
Official Language Minority Communities (OLMC)
We define official language minority communities as:
  • a French-speaking population living outside of Quebec, where English is predominant, or
  • an English-speaking population living in Quebec, where French is predominant
Outcomes are the short-term, intermediate or long-term changes that the collective impact initiative should deliver. Outcomes answer the questions “How will we know the concept is a success?” and “How will the concept benefit participants?”

A partnership is a relationship between the backbone organization and another party, other than a collaborating organization. Partners:

  • collaborate
  • share knowledge
  • help carry out the project
  • contribute valuable resources, time, and expertise to increase project success

Partners differ from collaborating organizations in that partners do not have sub-agreements with the backbone organization nor receive funding from the backbone organization. Partners can be:

  • other community organizations
  • not-for-profit organizations
  • private sector organizations
  • municipalities
  • grassroots groups
  • foundations
  • governments
Two-spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual, plus other identities.
Examples of sectors can include:
  • seniors groups, associations, centres and tables
  • youth and intergenerational programs
  • caregiver support
  • ethno-cultural, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQIA+, faith-based, health-based, other community groups
  • local community funders
  • cooperatives and financial institutions
  • other public and private institutions (universities, colleges, hospitals, pharmacies, long-term care, transportation)
  • municipalities
  • research sector
Person aged 55 and older.
Social inclusion
Social inclusion is the ability to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from all aspects of society. A lack of social inclusion can:
  • create loneliness
  • create financial insecurity and dependence
  • create declining mental and physical health
  • increase the risk of abuse and neglect
Social isolation
A situation where a person has a low quantity and quality of contact with other people. This may include few contacts, roles and the absence of rewarding relationships. This may cause adverse impacts on physical and mental wellbeing.
Sustainability is when some or all activities that are part of your project can continue beyond the end of a funding agreement with ESDC.
Systemic barriers
Institutional-level policies, practices or traditions that result in some individuals from underrepresented groups receiving unequal access to or exclusion from participation in employment, services or programs.
Vulnerable seniors
Individuals or groups aged 55 or older who face barriers to social inclusion. These barriers may decrease access to supports and services. Examples of vulnerable seniors can include members of one or more of the following groups:
  • have low income
  • are Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis)
  • are 2SLGBTQIA+
  • are Black or racialized
  • are members of OLMCs
  • are persons with disabilities
  • are immigrants or newcomers
  • are living in rural and remote settings
  • are at increased risk of social isolation due to factors such as being an informal caregiver or living alone
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