Prepare to apply

Before you start your application, gather your supporting documents, and get familiar with the information you will be asked to provide in the application.

Prepare your documents

You must include the following with your application for it to be considered complete.

What happens if a supporting document is missing from your application

ESDC may refuse applications that are incomplete or contain errors. We may contact you to request any mandatory information that is missing from your application. We will do this before we determine if your application is eligible. If you receive such a request, you must respond within 5 business days of the date we sent the request. If you do not respond by the deadline, we will screen or assess your application as is and this could result in your application being screened out.

How to answer the application questions

The purpose of this section is to help you fill in the application. It describes the specific information you need for each question on the form.

Section A

Important information appears in Section A of the application and is for your information and understanding. It contains information about the Attestation, the information you provide in the application, and the access of information. Read this information carefully.

The following information is posted on Open Government:

  • Organization name
  • Business number
  • Amount of funding
  • Project title
  • Agreement number
  • Agreement dates
  • Location

Part 1 – Organization

A - Organization identification (Questions 1 to 19 in the PDF version of the application form)

  • Legal name (Question 1)

    What is your organization’s legal name? The legal name is usually:

    • the name on your registration with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or provincial/territorial equivalent, or
    • the name used on funding cheques, bank accounts, etc.
  • Operating (common) name (if different from legal name) (Question 2)

    What is the operating (or common) name of your organization (if it differs from the legal name)?

  • Year established (Question 3)

    State the year your organization was established.

  • Organization type (Question 4)

    This question is mandatory. Choose one of the following:

    • Not-for-profit
      Not-for-profit organizations are established for purposes other than financial gain for their members. They primarily receive provincial/federal funding (supplemented by fundraising and fees), often rely on volunteers to deliver programs, and are often governed by a Board of Directors or a Committee. These organizations include but are not limited to:
      • community, charitable or voluntary organizations, including faith-based organizations (for example, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques)
      • associations of workers or employers as well as professional and industrial organizations
      • Indigenous not-for-profit organizations
      • non-governmental organizations
      • unions sector councils
      • not-for-profit band councils
  • Organization category (Question 5)

    This question is mandatory. Select the most appropriate category from the following based on what you chose in question 4.

    • Not-for-profit sector
      • Local community, charitable, or voluntary
      • Provincial non-governmental organizations
      • National non-governmental organizations
      • Not-for-profit band councils
      • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) with a focus on encouraging employment
      • Unions
      • Associations of workers and/or of employers
      • Indigenous not-for-profit groups
      • Sector councils
    • Indigenous
      • Band council
      • Tribal council
      • Self-government entity
    • Provincial/territorial entities
      • Educational institutions: school boards, colleges, and universities
      • Health and social services: hospitals, community health centres, community centres
      • Municipalities: towns, cities or municipal government departments and agencies
  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Business number (Question 6)

    What is your 15-digit Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number? (For example, 123456789 RR 0001).

    For registered charities and not-for-profit organizations, what is your registration number?

    You can find your CRA business number on tax-related documents or written communications from the CRA.

    Find more information about the Canada Revenue Agency.

    Acceptable alternatives - If you do not have a CRA business number or a charity or not-for-profit registration number, provide 1 of the following documents:

    • If incorporated:
      • a copy of letters of patents
      • articles of incorporation
      • certificate of incorporation
      • memorandum of association
      • your rules, by-laws, or constitution
    • If not incorporated, provide:
      • a copy of your rules
      • council resolutions, or
      • constitution
  • Organization primary address (Question 7)

    State the primary address of your organization. The primary address is usually the head or main office.

  • Mailing address (is it the same as the organization primary address?) (Question 8)

    State “yes” or “no” to the question of whether your mailing address is the same as the primary address. If no, state the mailing address of your organization.

  • Organization’s primary activities (Question 9)

    In this section you must describe your organization’s main activities, including your mission and objectives, as well as how your organization meets the applicant eligibility requirements for this call for proposal. This includes:

    • Provide your organization’s primary mandate, confirming it is to promote the social inclusion of persons with disabilities, including your mission, objectives and main activities

      Note: A disability organization works primarily or entirely with disability communities if the main population that benefits from the organization’s work is persons with disabilities. An organization is not eligible if serving people with disabilities is only one part of the larger mandate population with which they work. Also, an organization is not eligible if serving persons with disabilities is one of several mandate subpopulations with which they work

    • Explain how your organization has a national reach through current activities in 3 or more regions. Include each activity and the region where the activity takes place

      Note: For this CFP, having a website that is accessible to people across the country does not constitute national reach or grant national status to an organization

    • The percentage of people on your organization’s Board of Directors who self-identify as having a disability or as having disability-related lived experience. Note that for the purposes of this funding, organizations require a majority representation of at least 51% or more of persons with disabilities and/or disability-related lived experience

      Note: If your organization’s board of directors does not meet the majority target at the time of submitting a funding application due to a recent departure by a board member, your organization may still be considered eligible to receive funding. If this applies to your organization, please include a plan to achieve a majority target within 6 months of the start of this funding (for example, by April 1, 2024).

      Note: For the purposes of this CFP, recent departure is defined as a board member departure in the past 12 months at time of application.

    Ensure to select the target group(s) that best aligns with your organization’s mandate or purpose (you can select more than one).

    • Seniors
    • Individuals experiencing homelessness
    • Youth
    • Women
    • Newcomers
    • Visible Minorities
    • 2SLGBTQI+
    • People with disabilities
    • Low income
    • Remote/rural
    • Official language minority communities
    • Indigenous peoples:
      • First Nations
      • Inuit
      • Metis
      • urban/non-affiliated
    • Other: specify
  • Primary contact information (Questions 10 to 13)

    Who is the main contact person for the proposed project? Provide the contact information for the person who will be ESDC’s primary contact person in respect to your application for funding.

    This person must be available for questions during the review process.

    Note that this email address will be used for all correspondence.

  • Secondary contact (Questions 14 to 16)

    If we cannot reach the main contact, who else can we contact? Provide the person’s full name, telephone number where we can reach them during business hours and their email address.

    This person must be available for questions during the review process.

    Note that this email address will be used for all correspondence.

  • Secondary contact address (Question 17)

    Select the correct address. If different from the main address, provide another address.

  • Does your organization owe any amount to the Government of Canada? (Questions 18 and 19)

    If “Yes”, complete the fields for each amount owing. We will not reject your application for this reason. However, you must provide detail as to the type of debt and the arrangements you have for repayment.

    Example of detail to provide or the type of debt and the arrangements you have for repayment
    Amount owing Nature of amount owing Department or agency to which money is owed
    $10,000 Overpayment Employment and Social Development Canada
    $5,000 Taxes Canada Revenue Agency

    Answering “Yes” will not make your application ineligible. But, you must provide details about the type of debt owed.

    If you have a payment plan in place to repay the debt, check “Yes” under Question 19, otherwise check ‘No’. You may be asked to provide the current arrangements for repayment during the assessment of your application.

Part 2 – Project

A - Project identification (Questions 20 to 22 in the PDF version of the application form)

  • Project title (Question 20)

    The title will be: [the name of your organization] – Organizational Capacity Development 2024 to 2026.

  • Planned project start date and end dates date (Questions 21 and 22)

    This question is mandatory. State the planned start and end dates of your project.

    Agreements are expected to be in place effective April 1, 2024, and end by March 31, 2026.

    You can only start your activities after a signed agreement is in place. Expenses incurred outside of the agreement timeframe will not be covered.

    Once we review your application and make a decision, we will notify you in writing. You can only start your project activities after we approve your project and when a signed funding agreement is in place. We can only pay for activities that have started after the agreement is signed.

B - Project description (Questions 23 to 28 in the PDF version of the application form)

The Department uses the information you provide in this section as part of the assessment in determining whether your proposed project is eligible for funding.

  • Amount requested from Employment and Social Development Canada (Question 23)

    For this question, please provide the amount of funding you are requesting from ESDC for your proposed project.

    This amount should be at a minimum of $250,000 up to a maximum of $500,000 for up to 24 months.

    Applications that are not within these respective amounts will be screened-out as ineligible.

  • Project summary (Question 24)

    In 500 words or less, include a description of your project including its goals, expected results, and the targeted group(s). You must also provide a clear description of key activities and show how they will enhance organizational capacity.

  • Project objectives and national priorities (Question 25)

    Describe how your organization proposes to meet the objectives and priorities of the funding program.

    You must identify and explain the capacity challenges for your organization.

    Your proposal must clearly show how project activities will address the challenges identified. For example, it must explain how the project will help facilitate at least 1 of the expected outcomes within the call for the funding stream.

    Please note that the quality of the information you provide is more important than the number of outcomes you address. For example, meeting the minimum of 1 outcome fully explained and outlined will be scored higher than attempting to cover all 5 items but with reduced details.

  • Project activities and timelines (Question 26)

    This question is mandatory. Describe, in full detail, the proposed project activities. These must be broken into clear steps. Explain the timeframes involved in completing each step.

    Project activities are the steps that you will take to meet the objectives of the project. Activities should be S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

    The activities should show how you would achieve the project outcome(s).

    The following can help guide you when filling out the Project Activities and Timelines table in the Application for funding form:

    • activities should be listed in bullet point form and organized in chronological stages (for example, Months 1 to 3, Months 4 to 6, etc.)
    • starting each bullet with a verb should help keep activities clear and concise
    • if any partners are involved, specify which activities will be carried out by the partner(s) and which will be carried out by your organization, and
    • if any of the activities involve research, include a brief outline of the methods, processes or strategies that will be used

    Please read the list of eligible activities that may be included to answer this question.

    The listed activities must include all of the primary activities in the chart below and clearly show how you will achieve the project and program objectives/outcomes. They must align with their associated costs outlined in the budget (Questions 30 to 31).

    The primary activities proposed should be included in the chart in chronological order. For additional information, please consult project outline.

    Example of expectations for project phase breakdown
    Project phase Timelines
    Initiation: Project goals, stakeholders’ roles and overall feasibility are reviewed. This could include setting up meet and greet virtual discussions with key participants and partners. Month 1 – 3
    Planning: A workplan is established in this phase that lays out timelines, tasks and responsibilities of everyone involved. Partners, if applicable, should be engaged in codesigning the workplan. You must outline a clear plan that includes activities and timelines that demonstrate how and when the project activities will be achieved. Monthly - Ongoing
    Implementation: The activities of the project are launched. Leaders of the project oversee activities they monitor and adjust as needed ensuring that the outcomes align with the intended objectives. You must provide details on how the project will be implemented to achieve the outcomes and the objectives. Month 12 - 15
    Evaluation: This phase can happen throughout the project’s life cycle. Examples of activities could include an external review of outcomes and processes, focus group(s) with stakeholders to gather and share lessons learned and reporting on future recommendations to advance work accomplished in the project. These activities could be external or facilitated through a third party. You must demonstrate how the evaluation of the expected results (outputs and outcomes) of the project are clearly linked to the funding objectives. Month 15 – 18 as well as throughout the project
  • Will any of the proposed project activities be delivered at your organization’s primary address? Will any of the proposed project activities be delivered in a different location from your organization’s primary address? (Question 27)

    State where your project activities will be taking place. Will they be at the organization’s main address and/or at a different location? If ‘yes’ to a different location, include the address for every other location.

  • Will the project or any of its activities involve or benefit people in English or French linguistic minority communities in Canada, in some way? (Question 28)

    We commit to enhance the vitality of the English and French linguistic minorities in Canada. We support and assist their development and foster the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society. Official language minority communities are English-speaking communities established within the province of Québec and French-speaking communities established outside the province of Québec.

    Answering “No” to this question will not invalidate your application.

    If your proposed project involves official language minority communities, you should answer “Yes” to this question. Complete the question following the instructions in the application form.

    Answering “No” to this question will not invalidate your application.

    Find more information about official language minority communities.

  • Is your project targeting vulnerable groups? (Question 29)

    Indicate the vulnerable groups your project is targeting, if applicable.

Part 3 – Budget (Questions 30 to 32 in the PDF version of the application form)

  • Project costs (expenses) for the eligible activities or services of the proposed project (Question 30)

    This question is mandatory. List each activity and its associated cost. Costs must be reasonable and support project activities.

    Please go through the list of eligible costs and ineligible costs to answer this question.

    Please note that in the application form ‘project costs’ include all eligible costs for the project, this is an overview of your project costs. However, in the budget detail template you will have to provide a breakdown of all costs by category: for example, the administrative costs and the direct costs for the project. Direct costs will then need to be further broken into staff salaries and project costs.

    Limitations and instructions regarding the budget

    • In an effort to streamline the budget process and ease administrative burden, a flat rate of 15% shall be calculated for Administrative Costs. This flat rate has been developed to represent the cost of undertaking the administration functions of the grant agreement
    • When completing the Budget section of the application and the Budget Detail Template, calculate 15% of the Direct Project Costs to determine the 15% flat rate Admininistrative cost. For example: Direct Project Costs = $260,000 x 15% = $39,000. Therefore, the flat rate amount for your Admin will be $39,000. Put this amount in the Administrative Costs section
    • These costs do not need to be detailed at the time of application and will not be negotiated, however, if this rate does not meet your needs, you may provide a detailed rationale explaining your situation which we will review
    • The total Direct Project Costs and Administrative flat rate costs must not exceed the program funding maximum of $500,000
    • You may also choose to not claim administrative costs, and opt-out of the flat rate
    • Important: You are still required to keep all documentation of these costs. If you are subject to an audit, you will need to supply the supporting documents at that time

    For more information on eligible costs consult administration costs.

    For additional information about costs, please consult project costs and examples of ineligible costs.

  • Funding sources (revenues) for the proposed project costs noted above (Question 31)

    This question is mandatory. Complete the question following the instructions in the application form.

    If you are getting a cash contribution from another source, tell us how much. Include proof with your application.

    Donations (in-kind) are goods or services that people or organizations give to you free. Your organization or other organizations or partners can donate. Donations include equipment, services, or labour that you receive free.

    To be eligible as a donation:

    • you must need it for the project to succeed
    • the organization who gives it to you also gives you a document showing its commitment

    We will recognize in-kind contributions only if we can estimate what your organization would pay for the contribution.

  • Budget details (Question 32)

    Please provide a breakdown of total costs per fiscal year. Fiscal years start April 1 and end March 31.

    For example, a 2-year proposal with eligible costs of $290,000:

    • fiscal year 2024 to 2025: $190,000
    • fiscal year 2025 to 2026: $100,000

Part 4 – Attestation

This question is mandatory. In order for your application to be eligible, you, as an official representative who has the capacity and the authority to submit proposals on behalf of your organization, must:

  • attest that you have the capacity and authority to submit the application
  • certify that the information provided is true, accurate, and complete, and
  • attest that you have read and understood all of the program’s requirements

In order to do this, the official representative must provide their name, title, and the date.

As this is an attestation, no signature is required.

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