Funding for contribution projects under the Sustainable Development Goals Program – Applicant guide

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Part 1 - Organization

A - Organization identification

Question 1 - Legal name

Provide the legal name of your organization. This is usually:

  • the name associated with your registration with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), or
  • the name that would appear on funding cheques.

Question 2 - Operating (common) name (if different from legal name)

Provide the operating (or common) name of your organization if it is different from the legal name.

Question 3 - Business or registration number

Indicate your 15-digit CRA business number or, for registered charities and not-for-profit organizations, your registration number (for example, 123456789 RR 0001).

Your CRA business number can be found on tax-related documents or CRA correspondence.

For more information, please visit CRA.

Question 4 - Organization type

Your answer to this question must be one of the following:

  • non-profit organizations
  • Indigenous organizations (including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities)
  • international organizations
  • coalitions, networks or committees
  • research organizations or institutes
  • educational institutions
  • public health and social services institutions, or
  • for-profit organizations

For-profit organizations are eligible for funding provided that the nature and intent of their activities is non-commercial and not intended to generate profit.

Question 5 - Organization category

Select the most appropriate category from the following:


  1. Indigenous not-for-profit groups
  2. Associations of workers and/or employers
  3. International non-governmental organizations
  4. Local community, charitable, voluntary organizations
  5. Non-governmental organizations with a focus to encourage employment
  6. National non-governmental organizations
  7. Not-for-profit band councils
  8. Provincial non-governmental organizations
  9. Sector councils
  10. Unions


  1. Banks
  2. Businesses, bodies incorporated or unincorporated
  3. Indian band corporations (profit basis)
  4. International sector
  5. Band councils
  6. Private Universities and Colleges


  1. Public degree-granting colleges
  2. Public degree-granting universities
  3. Public community colleges and vocational school
  4. Public Health
  5. School board/Other educational institution not classified elsewhere

Question 6 - Year established

Indicate the year your organization was established.

Questions 7 to 11 - Organization address

Indicate the address of your organization. You must provide a complete address in a format recognized by Canada Post. Information is available on the Canada Post website.

Questions 12 to 14 - Telephone, fax and email

Indicate the telephone number, fax number (if applicable) and email address of your organization.

Questions 15 to 19 - Mailing address (if different from organization address)

Indicate your mailing address if different from your organization's address.

Questions 20 and 21 - Telephone and fax (if different from organization address)

Indicate the telephone and fax numbers if different from your organization's address.

Question 22 - Organization's mandate

Describe the main activities of your organization, including your mission and objectives.

B - Organization contact

Question 23 - Given name and surname

Provide the name of the person in your organization who will be the main contact for the proposed project.


We must be informed if your main organizational contact changes.

Question 24 - Position title

Provide the title of the organization contact identified in Question 23. This person can be a Business Owner, President, Executive Director, etc.

Question 25 - Preferred language of communication

Indicate the preferred language of the organization contact for both written and spoken communication (English or French).

Question 26 - Organization contact - Address

Indicate whether the address for the Organization Contact is the same or different as the Organization Address or the Organization Mailing Address in Section A.

Questions 27 to 31 - Contact address

If you selected "Different" in Question 26, provide the address for the Organization Contact.

Questions 32 and 33 - Telephone and fax

Indicate the telephone and fax numbers of the Organization Contact.

Question 34 - Email address

Indicate the email address of the Organization Contact. Please note that this is where all correspondence will be sent.

C - Organizational capacity

We use the information provided in this section to help assess your organization's capacity to manage a project.

Question 35 - How many employees does your organization currently have?

Indicate the total number of people employed in your organization.

Question 36 - Has your organization undergone any important transformations in the past two years?

Important transformations refers to events such as:

  • a change in leadership in the board of directors or at the executive level
  • an important reduction, increase or turnover in staff
  • a merger with or split from another organization
  • a change in mandate or main activities, etc.

If you answer "yes" to this question, provide a description of the changes.

Question 37 - Describe how your organization has the experience and expertise to carry out the proposed project activities.

Include any relevant past experience.

Question 38 - Does your organization owe any amounts to the Government of Canada?

If yes, indicate the amounts owing in the spaces provided. See the following example:

Amount owing Nature of amount owing Department or agency to which money is owed
$10,000 Overpayment Employment and Social Development Canada

Question 39 - If an amount is owing, is a payment plan in place?

Indicate whether or not payment arrangements have been made.

Answering "yes" to this question will not invalidate your application. However, you must provide details as to the type of debt owed and the arrangements that have been made for repayment.

Part 2 - Project

A - Project identification

Question 40 - Project title

Provide a brief, descriptive project title.

Questions 41 and 42 - Planned project start (yyyy/mm/dd) and end dates (yyyy/mm/dd)

Indicate the planned start and end dates of your proposed project.

Projects must not exceed 36 months in duration.

Projects start date will vary. We anticipate that projects will start as early as Winter 2020.

Proposed activities cannot begin before your project is approved and a Funding Agreement has been signed by you and ESDC. Any activities that occur prior to the signing of the Funding Agreement by our Department cannot be reimbursed.

You should not assume any commitment on our part until funding has been approved and a Funding Agreement has been signed by a representative of ESDC. We will notify you in writing of the funding decision of your application.

B - Project description

Question 43 - Project objectives (must be clearly linked to the objectives of the program to which you are applying)

Objectives are statements of desired change that describe what should be accomplished and provide a context in which progress of your project can be measured.

In this question, you must include clear and achievable objectives that are described in terms of measurable goals to be achieved through this project.

Specifically, your application for funding must demonstrate how your organization will work towards achieving 1 or more of the following objectives:

  • identify and address gaps in knowledge and/or data to support Canada's efforts to meet the SDGs
  • enhance collaboration between various sectors to explore new technologies and foster innovation and investment for the SDGs
  • create resources to enhance and share knowledge on the SDGs including the contribution of Indigenous knowledge and practices in relation to advancing sustainable development.
  • establish accountability frameworks to support impact measurement and demonstrates SDG progress
  • Your application clearly demonstrates how it will:
    • advance the 2030 Agenda as a whole, or multiple SDGs. (projects targeting only one SDG will not be eligible for funding)

Question 44 - Project activities (must be broken down into clear steps)

Activities are the steps that will be taken to meet the objectives of the project. Activities should be specific, measurable, realistic and relevant to the project objectives and demonstrate how the project outcome(s) will be achieved.

Your application clearly demonstrates how your organization will:

  • identify and implement new innovative approaches for advancing Canada's progress on the 2030 Agenda; or
  • increase the impact of existing activities that support Canada's implementation of the 2030 Agenda

Your answer to this question must include details regarding all of your planned activities, as well as the following:

  • a description of each activity and an explanation of how each relates to the project's objective(s). There should always be a clear link between the activities and the objective(s) (see Question 43 above). Please list the activities in a logical sequence, including timelines and/or duration of each, and descriptions where needed. Timelines must be clear and feasible. See below for examples of eligible activities
  • project milestones (These are significant events/deliverables or points of progress during the project)
  • clear linkages between the proposed activities and the costs outlined in the budget (see Questions 58 to 61 below). Costs associated with identified activities should be reflected in the Budget detail template

The SDG funding program will invest in projects that contribute to the advancement of the 2030 Agenda as a whole or support projects that foster partnerships, innovation and address data/research gaps in Canada, and mobilize action to drive progress on multiple SDGs. The following includes examples of eligible activities, but are not limited to activities that:

  • conduct research, data collection and analysis to support evidence-based decision-making
  • conduct research that identify emerging sustainable development trends, risks, and best practices to support Canada's implementation of the 2030 Agenda
  • support the development of new and innovative approaches and breakthroughs that are scalable, and support multiple SDGs
  • build partnerships, and support the multidisciplinary nature of the SDGs in order to amplify impact and strengthen resource mobilization
  • support the integration of Indigenous and/or local knowledge into approaches to advance the 2030 Agenda in Canada and support the 10 Principles of Reconciliation
  • support the development and application of knowledge sharing resources and tools, to advance sustainable development across diverse communities
  • facilitate SDG progress measurement and accountability, and
  • integrate sustainable development practices into results management tools to advance the social, economic, and environmental impact of organizations

Ineligible activities

  • organization's core, existing or ongoing activities

Further consideration could be given to:

  • applications that support Official Languages Minority Communities
  • coverage of a variety of SDGs goals, and
  • geographical coverage

Question 45 - Expected results of the project (must be clearly linked to the project objectives and be specific, concrete and measurable)

Expected results are the proposed outcomes and outputs of your project.

Your application must clearly describe the expected outcomes and outputs of your proposed project. Describe how they are linked to the project objectives. It is important to set results that are specific, concrete, measurable and demonstrate the impact (qualitative and/or quantitative), so that you can track the success of your project.

Your application must focus on 1 or more of the following outcomes:

  • the identification of gaps to meet the SDGs and approaches to address them
  • the implementation of innovative approaches that drive progress on more than one SDG
  • the integration of Indigenous and local knowledge into approaches to achieve the 2030 Agenda; and
  • The development of new ways to measure the impact of the SDGs indicators

Outcomes are the changes that are expected to occur as the result of the project (more than one outcome could be directly related to an objective). They answer the question, "How will we know if the project has achieved its expected results, whether this is at a system, community or individual level?"

Outputs are direct products or services that will be produced to generate the desired outcomes. Several activities could contribute to one output. They answer the question, "What will the project produce?" (for example, a guide, information sessions, etc.). A good project proposal will clearly define project outputs and expected results.

Question 46 - Does the project include Results Measurement Indicators?

Your answer to this question must be "yes".

Outline the indicators that you will use to measure your project's results. You must include at least one result measurement indicator for each of your project's results identified in Question 45.

Your application describes how you intend to measure and report on each individual result indicator.

Question 47 - Does this proposed project fit with your organization's other activities?

Describe how your proposed project relates to the ongoing work of your organization.

Question 48 - Will any of the project activities be delivered in a different location than where your organization is located?

Indicate "yes" or "no". If "yes", please list the main address first, followed by each additional location.

If there are more than five locations, please include in Appendix A.

Question 49 - Is your project designed to benefit or involve people in English or French-language minority communities? If yes, please provide an explanation and any details on whether consultations will take place with these communities?

Answering "no" to this question will not result in your application being refused/dismissed.

ESDC is committed to enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minorities in Canada by supporting and assisting their development and fostering 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.

If your project will involve official language minority communities, you should answer "yes" to this question and ensure that this is listed and described in your answer to Question 44 - Project activities.

In addition, identify the linguistic profile of the beneficiaries targeted by your project, document any special needs of the official language minority communities, and indicate whether or not they were consulted. The related budgetary items can be identified in Part 3 of the Application for Funding.

The following link points to information about official language minority communities.

Question 50 - Will any other organizations, networks or partners be involved in carrying out the project?

If partners are involved with this project, you must provide the following information regarding the partner organization(s):

  • Name of the organization
  • Type of organization (for example not for profit, publicly funded, etc.)
  • Nature of partner's involvement in the proposed project

Question 51 - Does the project address the program's national, regional or local priorities?

There are no national, regional or local priorities for this application process.

Answer "no" to this question. Answering "no" will not invalidate your application for funding.

Question 52 - Does your project include activities that are listed in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's (CEAA) Regulations Designating Physical Activities established under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012?

Not applicable for this intake process. Indicate "no"

Part 3 - Funding

A - Anticipated sources of funding

You are not required to secure (that is leverage) cash or in-kind contributions from sources other than the Government of Canada for this application process.

However, if you do secure cash or in-kind contributions from sources other than the Government of Canada, you must provide information on that in your Application for funding. See instructions below.

Each program has a "stacking limit", in other words, a maximum permitted amount of combined funding from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments. If your proposed project is retained, contributions to the project cannot exceed 100% of eligible costs.

Question 53 - Source name

If applicable, include the name of the organization that will contribute cash and/or in-kind contributions to your project. We should be listed as the first source name and any other sources listed below.

Question 54 - Source type

If applicable, identify the types of organizations that are contributing funds to this project from the following options:

  • crown corporation
  • federal department or agency
  • foreign governments
  • non-profit
  • organization / recipient
  • other
  • private sector
  • provincial government
  • regional or municipal government
  • union

Question 55 - Cash

If applicable, include the amount of funding that will be provided.

Question 56 - In-kind ($ value)

In-kind contributions are non-monetary goods or services that may be contributed to the project by your organization or other organizations or partners for which your organization will not be requesting reimbursement. In-kind support may include donated equipment, services or labour necessary for the proposed project that would otherwise have to be purchased.

To be eligible as an in-kind contribution the contribution must be:

  • essential to the project's success, and
  • supported by a commitment from the contributor

In-kind contributions will only be recognized when fair value can be reasonably estimated.

Question 57 - Confirmed cash and in-kind

If applicable, indicate if the contributions from other sources have been confirmed.

B - Budget

You must provide an estimate of the project's eligible costs that will be used to assess the overall cost, as well as the general nature of the costs to be covered by all anticipated sources of funding.

Use the Budget detail template (Excel format, 293 KB or PDF format, 47 KB), which must be included as part of the application submission. It is important that you use the same amounts entered in the Application for Funding (Part 3 - Funding).

Question 58 - Cost category

Summarize your project budget by using the Budget detail template (Excel format, 293 KB or PDF format, 47 KB).

Here are some examples of eligible expenditures considered necessary to support the purpose of the funding.

  • administrative costs, including costs related to central administrative functions of the recipient organization that are drawn upon to support agreement activities (for example shared postage, telephones, information technology maintenance and head office support)
  • materials and supplies
  • wages and mandatory employment-related costs (MERCS)
  • professional fees (for example research, audit, evaluation, translation and legal)
  • training and professional development costs
  • printing and communication costs
  • travel costs (international travel must be specifically authorized)
  • participant costs (for example income supports, hospitality, accommodation costs, child care costs, transportation costs)
  • costs of the purchase of tools, equipment, computers, furniture, and
  • other costs necessary to support the purpose of the funding, as approved by ESDC

Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to:

  • costs associated with fundraising activities
  • Canada Revenue Agency or payroll penalties
  • parking tickets
  • fines or penalties
  • entertainment costs
  • depreciation on fixed assets
  • board membership fees
  • capital costs for the construction of a building or the purchase of land or buildings
  • purchase of motor vehicles
  • legal fees and court awards for inappropriate dismissal or other inappropriate/illegal activity
  • membership fees for private clubs, etc. (golf clubs, gyms, etc.) unless part of existing (non-monetary) employment benefits package
  • staff salary bonuses if not originally negotiated into agreement
  • purchase of alcoholic beverages
  • purchase of any illegal substances
  • gifts or payments for recognition, and
  • other costs ineligible as per program terms and conditions

Questions 59 to 61 - Planned expenditures ($) - ESDC/other - Cash/other - In-kind

Provide the total planned expenditures from all sources including ESDC.

"Other" includes funding from another source (not ESDC), whether cash or in-kind.

C - Budget details

Question 62 - Associated businesses or individuals.

Check all statements that apply to your planned expenditures of ESDC funding.

In carrying out the project, you may have to purchase various goods or services needed to perform the project from contractors. You may also contract-out to third parties (outside providers) to perform part of the project activities.

"Associated businesses or individuals" means:

  • an officer, director or employee of your organization
  • a member of the immediate family of an officer, director or employee of your organization
  • a business in which an officer, director or employee of your organization, or a member of their immediate family, has a financial interest, or
  • a business which is related to, or associated or affiliated with, your organization

Question 63 - Capital assets: Will capital assets be among your planned expenditures with ESDC funding?

Indicate yes or no.

If "yes", explain how your project will benefit from the purchase of capital assets.

A capital asset is any single or composite asset with a purchase value of more than $1,000 (before taxes) that is not physically incorporated into another product and that remains functional at the end of the project.

A composite asset is a collection of unique assets that form one identifiable functional unit, where all components are required for the asset to be functional. The collection of assets is treated as a single capital asset if the total cost of all individual items together is greater than $1,000 (before taxes).

For example, a personal computer composed of a hard drive, a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse and cabling is a composite capital asset. Four $300 chairs are not capital assets because each chair is functional on its own and, as single units, fall below the established threshold of $1,000 (before taxes).

Question 64 – Further budget details.

Budget details are intended to capture a further breakdown of your total eligible project costs over the life of the project, by project activity and cost category.

Your Application for Funding must include:

  • a brief and clear justification of how you intend to use the funds. Costs must be reasonable and support the proposed project activities and scope of work; and
  • a complete Budget detail template

Part 4 - Declaration

In order for your application to be eligible for funding, it must be completed and signed.

If you are not submitting your application through the Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS), please ensure that your application is signed by a person with signing authority, which is normally one or more of the executive members of the board of directors (president, vice president, secretary or treasurer) and employees of the organization (chief executive officer, executive director, chiefs of finance or human resources).

Annex A

Use this section to complete questions from previous sections of the application for funding, and specify the question or section meant to be continued.

Notice to applicants

The information collected in your application will be used to assess its merits.

It may also be used and/or disclosed for policy analysis, research, and/or evaluation purposes. In order to conduct these activities, various sources of information under the custody and control of ESDC may be linked. However, these additional uses and/or disclosures of information will not impact your project.

In the event that the application contains personal information, such personal information will be administered in accordance with the Privacy Act and the provisions governing the protection of personal information that are set out in the Department of Employment and Social Development Act. The application is also subject to the Access to Information Act ("ATIA"). The ATIA provides every person with a right of access to information under the control of the department, subject to a limited set of exemptions. Instructions for obtaining access to this information are outlined in the government publication entitled Information about programs and information holdings, which may also be accessed online at any Service Canada Centre.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: