Climate Action Fund - Applicant Guide 2019

The application process is now closed

May 13, 2019: the application process is now closed

Section 1: Program information

1.1 Purpose

This guide is meant to assist applicants in completing and submitting their application to the Climate Action Fund. Please take your time and carefully read the following three sections in this guide before completing your application:

  • Section 1 outlines the program parameters, including eligibility criteria for applicants and projects.
  • Section 2 contains a list of considerations and information you need to include in your on-line application.
  • Section 3 covers a series of frequently asked questions.

1.2 Application period

The call for proposals is open from April 29, 2019 until May 13, 2019 at 6PM (PT).

1.3 Program objectives

Since 2018, the Climate Action Fund has provided $3 million per year to support innovative ideas. The objective of projects funded under the program is to raise awareness of climate change and to build capacity in order to increase climate actions that contribute to Canada’s clean growth and climate change plan (Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change).

1.4 Eligible recipients

The following categories of recipient are eligible to apply:

  • Full-time Canadian students
  • Canadian youth between the ages of 15 and 30 (inclusive)
  • Indigenous peoples and organizations
  • Small- and medium-sized Canadian businesses with less than 500 employees
  • Canadian research, academic, and educational institutions
  • Canadian non-profit and non-government organizations

1.5 Maximum funding

The maximum Climate Action Fund contribution per project is $250,000. The only exception is for small- and medium-sized businesses, where the maximum is $200,000.

1.6 Eligible project period

Only projects with a start and end date in the Government of Canada’s current fiscal year will be considered eligible (i.e., as of the date of notification of project approval, up to March 31, 2020).

1.7 Eligible project activities

Project activities must directly target, involve and result in benefits for one or more of the target groups.

The target groups designated under the Climate Action Fund are students, youth, Indigenous peoples and organizations, and small- and medium-sized businesses.

Eligible activities include developing and disseminating educational and/or training tools; outreach and capacity building; and supporting networks and partnerships.

1.8 Expected results

Your project must address the program's objective to raise awareness of climate change and build capacity in climate actions that contribute to Canada’s clean growth and climate change plan.

Your project must lead to the desired outcome of increasing awareness of climate change and capacity for climate action among students, youth, Indigenous peoples and organizations, and/or small- and medium-sized businesses.

1.9 Eligible expenditures

The following categories of eligible expenditures are acceptable:

  • Communications and printing, production and distribution costs
  • Management and professional services
  • Materials and supplies costs
  • Overhead
  • Salaries and wages
  • Travel and hospitality (based on Government of Canada rates)

1.10 Project selection and funding decisions

Environment and Climate Change Canada will review proposals as submitted and does not expect to contact applicants for further information. It is your responsibility to provide clear, comprehensive, and accurate information.

Environment and Climate Change Canada will assess all applications received by the deadline. We will notify all applicants of the final decisions. Decisions are final: there is no appeal process.

1.11 Types of funding

Following project approval, Environment and Climate Change Canada will decide whether a project will be funded as a grant or contribution, and all applicants will be informed.

1.12 Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Service standards

Service Standard
General acknowledgement of inquiries Within 5 business days of inquiry
General acknowledgement of receipt of application Within 5 business days of deadline
Communication of funding decision to applicants Within 5 business days of final funding decision
Provide funding agreement to recipient for signature Within 15 business days of finalizing the required details of the agreement

Section 2: Key considerations to include in your application

Note: the following is not the application form. You must follow the instructions on our webpage to submit your application on-line.

The following section is provided to highlight key considerations you should include and where you should include them in your application. You must include this information in your application as reviewers will use this information to evaluate your proposal.

All required sections in the application must be completed. Where we have not included any points to consider in the second column, answer according to the instructions on the application.

On-line application Key considerations and information to include
Tombstone data Tombstone data
Organization Name Provide the legal name of the organization.
Organization Address  
Organization Email  
Organization Phone  
Organization Fax  
Principal applicant representative Principal applicant representative
Organization identification type  
Organization identification number  
Organization type

For Non-profit organizations select one:

  • Environmental Non-governmental Organization; or
  • Not-for-profit Organization (other than ENGO or Aboriginal)

For students and youth, select:

  • Individual
Organization website  
Organization description

Your organization’s mandate and primary areas of work, particularly as related to the proposed project.

You should demonstrate how you are or your organization is able to deliver the project.

Organization experience Organization experience
Please identify if your organization is a new or returning application / recipient of funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).  
Have you ever applied to other ECCC funding programs for this project?  
Have you ever received funding from other federal government departments?  
Project summary Project summary
Project title A short project title to identify the project for reporting and communications purposes.
Start date

You can enter an estimated start date.

Project activities and costs are eligible after formal approval and notification, up to March 31, 2020.

End date No later than March 31, 2020.

Project location

  • City
  • Province
  • Longitude (from Topographic maps – opens in a new window)
  • Latitude (from Topographic maps – opens in a new window)
Project goals / objectives Describe the applicability of your project’s objective to the program’s objectives defined in section 1.3 of the Applicant Guide.
Project description At a minimum, ensure that the following information is included:
  • an overview of the project’s goals and objectives
  • the need/gap of the project
  • your project’s approach to address the identified need/gap
  • how the target group(s) will benefit and/or be involved in the project
  • indicate all activities that will be undertaken in the implementation of the project (these activities should be consistent with the work plan)
  • describe how these activities relate to your organization’s on-going program and/or activities
  • key partners and collaborators, if applicable
  • what are the project’s output(s)?
  • what is the project’s expected outcome?
  • does the project achieve the program’s outcome?
Project team experience Describe the project team. What are the team’s qualifications and experience relevant to the project?
Project delivery experience Project delivery experience
Financial capacity Describe your readiness to undertake the project.
Project management capacity Describe relevant experiences in managing similar projects.
Climate Action Fund 2019-20 Climate Action Fund 2019-20
Project snapshot Project snapshot
Please provide a summary of the project (less than 750 characters)

Important: The initial project review will include a review of the Project snapshot.

If ECCC receives an unexpectedly high number of applications, the quality of your Project snapshot may determine whether your application will be considered for further review.

Program priorities Program priorities

Eligible activities (select one)


Which group(s) does this project support (select all that apply)  
Identify the primary target group supported by this project (drop-down)  
Performance measurement indicators Performance measurement indicators
  • Number of events held
  • Number of targeted participants at an event
  • Number of media distributions (articles, publications, newspapers, and other publicly available content, etc.)
  • Number of posts on social media and subsequent clicks / views / shares / reactions / retweets, etc.
  • Number of educational and training programs and tools developed to support climate action
  • Percentage of participants/users indicating increased capacity related to climate change (i.e. increased knowledge, skills and awareness of tools available)
  • Percentage of participants/users indicating increased awareness of climate change

Provide numerical (#) targets for all indicators that apply.

If you would like to provide additional indicators that are not listed, provide them in the box below

Targets should be realistic, measurable and achievable.


Work plan Work plan
  • Key project activity
  • Timeline
    • Q1: April 1 to June 30
    • Q2: July 1 to September 30
    • Q3: October 1 to December 31
    • Q4: January 1 to March 31
  • Milestone(s)
  • Associated costs ($)
  • Personnel

Is your work plan realistic and achievable?

Does it demonstrate value for money?

Are associated costs for each activity commensurate with the activity?

Note: See FAQs for a list of ineligible activities. Proposals that include ineligible activities may be screened out.

Communications plan Communications plan

Using 1000 characters or less provide a communications plan, including the following elements* where applicable

* Method of information dissemination (e.g. internet, mail outs, newspaper advertisement, workshops, etc.); If the internet is the main method for sharing, how the website will be promoted and maintained; Expected target audience; Expected outreach (e.g. number of web site users, recipients of mail-out, number of participants at a workshop, etc.)

Project risk Project risk
Identify possible risks (Maximum 250 characters, including spaces) How do you plan to mitigate risks?
Project budget Project budget
Screenshot of the application, see text bellow

Screen capture from the Climate Action Fund online application with the heading “Add contributor,” the fields “contributor name, contributor type, fiscal year breakdown,” and the buttons to calculate totals or save the data.

Projects are not subject to a minimum threshold or cost-share requirement.

Project activities and costs are eligible after formal approval and notification, up to March 31, 2020.

Screenshot of the application, see text bellow

Screen capture from the Climate Action Fund online application with the heading “Add expenditure,” the fields “expenditure type, expenditure description, ECCC funding and total project expenditures,” and the buttons to calculate totals or save the data.

Although the drop down menu contains costs categories that are not eligible under the Climate Action Fund, only the following categories are eligible:

  • communications and printing, production and distribution costs
  • management and professional services
  • materials and supplies costs
  • overhead
  • salaries and wages
  • travel and hospitality (based on Government of Canada rates)

Note: See FAQs for a list of ineligible costs. Proposals that include ineligible costs may be screened out.

Other supporting information Other supporting information
Additional supporting information Additional supporting information
Select a file  
File description  
Official languages Official languages
Is the organization international, national, provincial or territorial in scope? (Drop-down)  
Is the project international, national, provincial, or territorial in scope? (Drop-down)  
Is the project delivered in a geographic area with official language minority communities (OLMCs)?  
Is the project’s target audience composed of individuals or groups belonging to both official language communities?  
Is the target audience composed of individuals or groups belonging exclusively to an official language minority community?  
Do the project activities include any public events, signage, promotional or other communication activities?  
Is there an opportunity for involvement of official language minority communities to participate  
Certification Certification

Approver Title

* By signing this application, you are certifying that the information stated in the application is complete and accurate.


Section 3: Frequently asked questions

3.1 What projects and activities cannot be funded?

The following types of projects are not eligible for funding:

  • energy efficiency improvements, retrofits, and construction
  • projects focused primarily on the purchase or installation of capital assets or equipment
  • projects already underway
  • on-going programs and activities which are already planned and funded
  • activities required by law and/or mandated by all levels of government
  • projects in relation to the enforcement of or compliance with by-laws in effect
  • incentives and rebates
  • lobbying, advocacy, or fundraising activities
  • further disbursement of funds to a third party recipient

3.2 What are some examples of costs that are not eligible?

Cost that are not eligible fall under the following categories:

  • costs incurred outside the eligible expenditure period, including costs for preparing the application
  • costs incurred for cancelled projects
  • land costs (acquisition, leasing, property taxes)
  • purchase of capital assets
  • lobbyist fees
  • legal fees
  • financing charges and interest payments on loans
  • expenditures for provincial sales tax, goods and services tax, and harmonized sales tax for which the recipient is eligible for a rebate, and any other costs eligible for rebates
  • any goods and services costs which are received through donations or in-kind
  • honourariums

3.3 If my project is successful, when can I claim project costs?

Funding is conditional on the successful finalization of a funding agreement and costs are eligible as of the date of notification of project approval, up to March 31, 2020.

3.4 What makes a strong application?

A strong application aligns with the program’s objective, meets eligibility criteria, and includes the required information necessary for reviewers to evaluate your capacity to carry out the project, the feasibility and merit of the project, and expected results of the project.

3.5 Can I submit more than one proposal?

You may submit multiple proposals as long as they meet the eligibility criteria stated in the Applicant Guide. However, funding awarded to a recipient is subject to maximum limits per recipient.

3.6 Can we call or meet a program officer to discuss specific questions about our proposal?

For transparency and fairness to all applicants, we are not able to assist or provide comments on proposed projects. You are encouraged to read the Applicant Guide for guidance on eligibility and to consider the suggestions provided.

3.7 What is the application deadline?

The application deadline is May 13, 2019 at 6PM (PT).

You are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the on-line application system and allow yourself enough time to complete your application before the deadline.

3.8 Do I have to use the on-line form?

Yes, only applications submitted on-line will be considered.

3.9 What is the Government of Canada’s fiscal year?

The federal fiscal year starts on April 1 and ends on March 31.

3.10 What are the next steps if my project is approved for funding?

You will be notified of the approval of your project and you will need to finalize a funding agreement with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

In most cases, funding is expected to be delivered through grants, however, some projects may be funded as contributions.

Grants are unconditional transfer payments that the government provides to individuals or organizations for activities that meet eligibility criteria set by the funding program.

Contributions are similar to grants, except that, in order to receive funding and be reimbursed for specific costs, recipients need to meet certain conditions. The government can also audit the recipients' use of funding.

3.11 How can I connect to an organization to access the Climate Action Fund opportunity if I am applying as a youth or student?

If you are applying as an individual and not as an organization, you can create an organization using your name (e.g. “John Smith”) as a title along with any 9 digits as the business number, e.g.123456789.

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