Applicant Guide

This Call for Proposals is now closed.

Status of Women Canada is pleased to invite eligible organizations to submit an application for funding through the Capacity-building Fund of the Women’s Program.

1. Overview

We recommend that you read the following guide in its entirety before you start completing your application for funding. This guide contains important details on the information and supporting documentation that we require to assess your application.

The call for proposal (CFP) is a competitive process and not all applications for funding submitted will be selected. Funding is limited and subject to Status of Women Canada’s (SWC) yearly budget considerations and allocation of funds by Parliament.

We reserve the right to give consideration to factors such as geographic and population group representation, sector needs, official languages requirements, an organization’s current SWC funding, and coverage of SWC’s priority areas.

Purpose of this Guide

The purpose of this guide is to help you complete the application for funding. The guide provides important information about this CFP; indicates how best to respond to questions in the Application for Funding form; and, provides a checklist of the supporting documents you are required to submit. If you have enquiries about this CFP process, please contact an SWC office. Note that this CFP closes on December 11, 2018, at 11:59 a.m. PST.

Objective of the Women’s Program

Through funding for organizations, the Women’s Program (WP) supports action to advance equality between women and men in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada.

Objectives of the CFP

The objective of this CFP is to fund proposals that will increase the capacity of eligible women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations whose initiatives contribute to a viable women’s movement in Canada to advance gender equality. Funding will increase organizational capacity and help organizations work collectively to address gender equality issues.

Note: In a process separate from this call, SWC will seek the assistance of one or several organization(s) to provide expertise, tools, and supports to women’s organizations throughout the sector. Funded organizations will have the opportunity to take advantage of this assistance.

2. Eligibility information

For the purpose of this CFP, funding will be provided to successful applicants based on the eligibility of the project, recipient, activities, and expenditures.

Eligible projects

To be considered eligible, the project must meet each of the following requirements:

Eligible recipients

Under this CFP, organizations eligible for funding are legally constituted not-for-profit organizations in Canada, and must be:

Note to organizations established in Québec

The Québec National Assembly adopted an Act respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (M-30). The provisions of this Act impose certain conditions on Québec government bodies and certain other entities wanting to contract with the federal government. You should consult the provisions of M-30 prior to submitting your Application for Funding to ensure compliance with the Act respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif (M-30). Any entity that is subject to the Act is responsible for obtaining such authorization before signing any agreement with the Government of Canada.

Eligible activities

The following is a non-exhaustive list of activities eligible for funding under this CFP:

Potential capacity needs to be addressed Examples of eligible activities
Human resources management Develop human resources products and tools based on gender-based analysis
Establish and implement recruitment and retention strategies
Board governance Evaluate and improve board effectiveness
Results-based management Implement results-based management processes and systems to improve performance measurement, risk management, and evaluation
Evaluate and improve current awareness activities
Partnership development, collaboration, networking Build and improve networks and coalitions to work together to strengthen the not-for-profit women’s sector and address issues that impact women in Canada
Provide outreach to include Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs)
Strategic planning Develop and implement an organizational strategic plan
Succession planning Develop and implement an organizational succession plan
Diversification of funding sources Develop and implement a sustainability plan
Develop a viable social enterprise model
Develop and implement a funding partnership with the private sector
Build organizational capacity to write funding proposals
Advocacy Build organizational capacity to affect change through the development of an advocacy strategy
Increase organizational capacity to affect change by evaluating current advocacy activities to inform the development and implementation of an improved advocacy strategy
Improve organizational capacity to conduct analyses of policies, programs and services
Increase Indigenous women’s organizations’ capacity to provide input to include Indigenous women’s perspectives in consultations on legislation, policies and programs
Increase Indigenous organizations’ capacity to advocate on Indigenous women’s issues
Sector coalitions and partnerships Develop and implement collective initiatives for policy development
Develop and implement collective advocacy initiatives, including increased participation in intergovernmental fora
Develop and implement collaborative initiatives to increase sector sustainability

For the purpose of this CFP, ineligible activities include, but are not limited to:

Eligible expenditures

Eligible expenditures are costs considered necessary to support the project. For this CFP, eligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

Direct delivery expenditures

(considered necessary to support the project)

  • Travel: Travel expenses shall not exceed the rates for civil servants set out in the National Joint Council Travel Directive.
  • Salaries and benefits for staff for the duration of the project and that are directly related to project delivery
  • Honoraria and professional fees
  • Materials and supplies
  • Facilities that are project specific such as room rental for activities
  • Translation
  • Professional development
  • Engagement of Indigenous Elders
  • Publicity and promotion
  • Other:
    • Integration expenses relating solely to caring for dependants/children such as dependent care
    • Expenses not included in other budget items, such as costs for refreshments/meals served during key project activities.

Administrative expendituresFootnote 7 

(related to central administrative functions of the organization receiving funding that support project activities)

  • Project oversight
  • Project staff office space
  • Telephones
  • Computer equipment
  • IT maintenance
  • Accounting
  • Shared postage

Note: All eligible costs are subject to assessment and negotiation.

Ineligible expenditures

Ineligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

3. Developing your application

SWC recommends that you consult this section while filling in the application for funding, as it provides important details on the information and supporting documentation required to assess applications. Provide your answers in the application form and attach only the documents requested (see Apply/Checklist).

The main sections of the application for funding are:

All required documents must be uploaded; otherwise, your application will be considered incomplete and screened out. You are required to submit your application in one submission by the closing date of the CFP.

Section A – Organization information

SWC uses the information you provide in this section to establish your organization’s identity and to help assess your organization’s capacity to effectively manage a project. SWC reserves the right to conduct reference checks with your funding partners.

Question 1 – Legal name

Please provide the legal name of your organization; that is, the name shown on the Certificate of Incorporation or Registration.

Question 2 – Operating (common) name

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

Question 3 – Legally constituted not-for-profit Organization

Please indicate if your organization is incorporated or registered as a not-for-profit and at which level of government. Note that your organization must be a legally constituted not-for-profit organization to be eligible for funding.

You must provide your incorporation or registration number (e.g. 111111-0). You will find this number on your certificate of incorporation or registration. Please indicate the year your organization was registered.

Please provide your 15-digit CRA registration number, if applicable (e.g. 111111111RC0001). You will find this number on your CRA documentation (e.g. payroll deductions, GST/HST).

Question 4 – Type of eligible organization

Please indicate whether you organization is:

Only these two types of organizations are eligible under this CFP. Others will be screened out at this stage.

Please select only one option.

Question 5 – Scope of the organization

Please indicate the scope of your organization:

Select only one option.

Question 6 – Priority area

Please indicate the SWC’s priority area on which your organization primarily focusses:

Please select only one priority. It is understood that some organizations work on more than one priority, but for the purpose of this CFP, select the main priority of your organization.

Question 7 – Organization’s main target population

Please indicate your organization’s main target population. Select only one main target population. It is understood that some organizations work with more than one main target population, but for the purpose of this CFP, select only one.

Question 8 – Organization’s secondary target population

Please indicate your organization’s secondary target population (if applicable). Select only one secondary target population. It is understood that some organizations work with more than one secondary target population, but for the purpose of this CFP, select only one.

Question 9 – Organization mandate

Please describe your organization’s mandate which should, for the purpose of this CFP, demonstrate how your organization meets the following requirements:

Please describe your organization’s role and expertise on gender equality issues in the community or sector over and above service delivery.

Please also describe how your organization’s mandate or work is aligned with the objective of the Women's Program, which is to support action to advance equality between women and men in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada.

Please provide concrete examples of how your organization has successfully addressed gender equality issues in your community, province/territory or sector.

Questions 10 to 13 – Organization address

Please indicate the address of your organization.

Questions 14 – Confidential address

Indicate whether this information is confidential (i.e. address of a women’s shelter).

Questions 15 to 18 – Mailing address (if different from organization address)

Please indicate the mailing address if it is different from the organization’s address.

Questions 19 to 22 – Organization contact information

Please indicate the telephone number, fax number (if available), email address of the organization, and website for the organization.

Question 23 – Preferred official language of communication

Please indicate the preferred official language for both written and spoken communication:

Questions 24 to 29 – Main Contact for the Organization and their Coordinates

Please provide a main contact for the purposes of communicating with your organization about this proposal. This could be a project manager, an executive director, or someone else. Typically, the person responsible for the proposal and/or someone with signing authority is identified here.

Please provide the title of the main contact. Example: President or Executive Director.

Please indicate the telephone number of the main contact, as well as their email address. Please note that this is where all emails will be sent.

Questions 30 to 39 – Name and coordinates of signing authority for the organization

Please provide the name and coordinates of the person with signing authority for the organization. Please indicate their mailing address if it is different from the organization’s address.

Question 40 – Previous funding

Please indicate if your organization previously received funding from government (federal, provincial, territorial, municipal) or a private foundation. If yes, please provide information about your most recent funders, excluding Status of Women Canada, their contact information and the amount of funding received. Please also indicate if this funding was project funding, program funding, or core funding. You are encouraged to prioritize prior funding that further demonstrates that your organization’s primary objective is to promote equality for women in Canada. Note that results of past SWC-funded projects are taken into account during the assessment process.

SWC reserves the right to conduct reference checks with your funding partners.

Question 41 – Organization’s Most Recent Financial Statements

You must upload your organization’s most recent financial statements. These statements should be audited financial statements or, at a minimum, include all sources of revenue.

Section B – Detailed project information

Question 42 – Project title

Please provide a brief, descriptive project title.

Question 43 – Project duration

Please indicate the project duration in months. Note that all projects must end by March 31, 2023.

Question 44 – Exception to project maximum amount

Project maximum amounts may be adjusted where organizations identify a need to consider increased costs due to remotenessFootnote 9 . Please indicate if this is the case for your project. If yes, the budget form will need to reflect these costs.

Question 45 – Needs to be addressed

Please check all boxes that apply, indicating the categories of need your project will address. If you check “other”, you will be prompted to provide a brief description.

Question 46 – Project objectives

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

Please describe the project objectives. They should be clear and achievable objectives described in terms of measurable goals to be achieved through the project. The objectives should provide more information about the needs identified in the previous question.

For this CFP, the proposal must show how the project will build the organization’s capacity to respond to the objectives of the Women’s Program, which is to support action to advance equality between women and men in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada.

Question 47 – Project key activities (must be broken down into clear steps)

Project 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.

Outputs are the products, goods or services stemming directly from the activities of a project such as action plans, protocols, policies, and other tools.

Please refer to the Eligibility information section for examples of eligible activities.

You must include the following details:

Question 48 – Short project description

Please provide a short project description that includes a summary of the project duration, objectives, and key activities. (1 paragraph maximum)

Question 49 – Sustainability of capacity supports

Please describe how your organization will sustain the capacity supports developed and implemented during this project, after project funding ends. This question is intended to ensure that capacity supports are formally integrated in the operations of the organization. For instance, if your organization intends to work on strategic planning, it is important that lessons learned, tools, and activities related to strategic planning are integrated in the yearly planning process for the organization. This could include formally adding the responsibilities for these in the organization’s by-laws or other guiding documents of the organization.

Question 50 – Official language minority communities

SWC 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 Canada. 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 is designed to improve your capacity to support official language minority communities, please answer ‘yes’ to this question and ensure to list and describe your approach or related activities in your answer to question 47 – Project activities. Please also identify the linguistic profile of the beneficiaries targeted by the project, document any special needs of the official language minority communities, and indicate whether or not they were consulted in the development of this proposal.

Answering ‘no’ to this question will not invalidate your application.

Section C – Budget form

Applicants must provide an estimate of the project’s costs. SWC will use the information provided in this section to assess the overall cost of the proposed project, as well as the general nature of the expenditures to be covered by all anticipated sources of funding.

The budget form is part of the application for funding form. You must use the form provided for your application to be considered complete.

The budget form is divided into two tables:

Table 1 - Budget Form – Part 1: Direct delivery expenditures

Direct delivery expenditures are related to the implementation of a project and are defined as costs that can be easily traced to a specific project.

Please provide a brief description of proposed expenses in each budget line. Here are some examples:

Direct delivery expenditures
Budget line item Expected level of detail Detailed description

The description must mention:

  • Who will travel, title, org, role in the project (e.g. staff, participants)
  • Travel expenses related to this person (including the means of transport)
  • The places of departure and arrival, if possible
  • Frequency of trips

3 trips for the Project Coordinator (Ottawa-Montreal) for workshops, train tickets $114 X 3 workshops = $342

Meal allowance and incidental expenses: 3 X $90 = $270.

Total cost: $342 + $270 = $612

Salaries and benefits


  • The number of people to work on the project
  • The hourly or annual wage
  • The percentage of time project staff will devote to the project

Project Coordinator total annual salary of $60,000, 25% of working time on the project: $60,000 X 25% for 4 years = $60,000

Project Officer total annual salary of $50,000, 50% of working time on the project: $50,000 X 50% for 4 years = $100,000

Total cost: $60,000 + $100,000 = $160,000

Honoraria and professional fees

Indicate for each person :

  • The cost related to the project
  • Approximate duration and time period

Facilitator: $420 for 3, half-day workshops

Simultaneous interpretation for 3 half-day workshops: $1,050

Consultant: $3,000

Translation of workshop materials: $1,000

Total cost: $420 + $1,050 + $3,000 + $1,000 = $5,470

Materials and supplies

Indicate the items to be purchased

Supplies for participants: $400

Printing of training materials for 25 staff: $500

Total cost: $500 + $400 = $900

Facilities (project-specific)

Indicate the daily rental costs and all related expenses

Rental space for the day: $400

Rental of audiovisual equipment: $500

Total cost: $400 + $500 = $900

Publicity and promotion


  • The type of promotion used for the project (e.g. brochures, posters, leaflets)
  • The number of items to be used

1,200 Brochures: $1,000

250 Posters: $1,000

Advertising space for 3 runs: $360

Fees for portal design: $2,000

Total cost: $1,000 + $1,000 + $360 + $2,000 = $4,360

Other (specify)


  • The type of expense
  • The number of meetings

Refreshments (coffee/tea/juice, muffins) for working group for 3 workshops: $600 X 3 workshops = $1,800

Integration expenses = $4,500

Total cost: $1,800 + $4,500 = $6,300

All budget costs must be rounded to the nearest dollar.

If your project extends over more than one fiscal year, you must also break down the estimated expenditures by fiscal year (2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2022-2023). Fiscal years start April 1 and end March 31.

Table 1 - Budget Form – Part 2: Administrative expenditures

Administrative expenditures are a necessary part of an organization’s operations as part of the delivery of a project and as such are eligible. Administrative expenditures are defined as costs related to an organization’s ability to carry out its central administrative functions and support project activities. These costs must not exceed 20% of the total amount for direct delivery costs requested from SWC. Administration expenditures could include, but are not limited to, salaries and benefits specifically pertaining to administration and managerial supervision; professional fees (e.g. accounting); office equipment (e.g. photocopier and computer equipment); telephones; IT maintenance and other related costs.

Include all administrative expenditures in this table. Listing Administrative Expenditures under direct delivery expenditures (Table 1, part 1) could automatically result in cuts to the amounts requested under both categories. Therefore, please ensure that descriptions are clear and detailed enough to avoid confusion.

Please describe and provide a breakdown of each budget item. The description and breakdown should be presented in point form. Here are some examples:

Administrative expenditures
Budget line item Expected level of detail Detailed description
Salaries and benefits

Indicate for each:

  • The hourly or annual wage
  • The percentage of time that will be allocated to the administration of the project

Director General total annual salary of $65,000, 5% of working time on the project: 5% X $65,000 X 5 years = $16,250

Total cost: $16,250

Honoraria and professional fees

Indicate for each:

The cost related to the administration of the project

Accounting (50% of 10 days): $3,000

Technical support (25% of 6 days): $1,000

Total cost: $3,000 + $1,000 = $4,000

Materials and supplies

Indicate the percentage of the costs attributed to the administration of the project

Photocopying/printing: $150/month X 10% X 12 months X 4 years = $720

Total cost: $720

Facilities (not project-specific)

Indicate the percentage of the monthly cost associated with the project

Office space: 10% X $1,500/month X 12 months X 4 years = $7,200

Total cost: $7,200

Office equipment


  • The cost of leasing or purchasing office equipment
  • The percentage of internet and telephone costs associated with the project

Laptop (1): $1,000

Internet and telephone: $100/month X 12 months X 4 years: $4,800

Total cost: $1,000 + $4,800 = $5,800

SWC will use this information to obtain an overall picture of your budget. It is also used to ensure you have respected the maximum for administrative expenditures of up to 20% of the total amount for direct delivery costs requested from SWC. For example:

Table 2: Other sources of revenue

These sources of revenue are cash and/or in-kind contributions from organizations other than SWC.

Cash contributions are financial contributions provided directly to the project to offset costs. Cash contributions can be fundraising money, other funding provided by other levels of government and/or private sector.

In-kind contributions are non-monetary goods or services provided instead of cash. For your project budget, a reasonable monetary value should be applied to these contributions. In-kind contributions may include staff and volunteer time, services, programs, office space and administrative services necessary for the proposed project that would otherwise have to be purchased. Organizations cannot request re-imbursement for these contributions.

If you requested administrative costs, the requested amount cannot be counted as in-kind. For example, if you requested 5% of the Executive Director’s salary in the administrative costs with regards to the supervision of the project, this 5% cannot be counted towards your organization’s in-kind contribution.

Sources of revenue

Your Organization: Indicate the cash or in-kind goods and services directly related to the project that your organization will donate.

Other sources: List contributions from other sources such as governments and private sector partners and specify whether the contribution is cash or in-kind.

4. Review process

This section outlines the assessment process and criteria used to review and assess applications for funding.

Eligibility requirements

This section indicates what information is needed to complete an eligible application. The eligibility requirements are considered during the screening process. If an application does not meet all the eligibility requirements, it will not be assessed and therefore, will not be eligible for funding.

1. Complete application for funding

1.1 The completed Application for Funding was received no later than the stated closing date/time for the CFP: December 11, 2018 at 11:59 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST).

1.2 The Application for Funding was electronically signed by the legally authorized representative(s) of the organization (see Developing your application, Section D – Declaration and undertaking).

1.3 All required documents are attached to the application for funding:

2. Eligible recipients

2.1 The organization is a legally constituted, Canadian, not-for-profit organization.

2.2 The Application for funding was submitted by an eligible recipient. Under this CFP, organizations eligible for funding must be:

3. Eligible project duration

3.1 The project will end by March 31, 2023.

4. Budget

4.1 The total amount of funding requested of SWC for the project does not exceed $50,000 per year for a maximum of five years for a local organizationFootnote 10 , $150,000 per year for a maximum of five years for a provincial/territorial organizationFootnote 11 and $200,000 per year for a maximum of five years for a national organizationFootnote 12 .

4.2 The total amount of administrative expenditures does not exceed 20% of the total amount for direct delivery costs requested from SWC.

Assessment criteria

This section indicates how a variety of elements in an application are considered in the evaluation of its overall quality in comparison to other projects submitted in this competitive process. The application will be assessed only if all of the eligibility requirements have been met.

A – Organization and project relevance in the community or sector

A1. Understanding the relevance of the organization and the overall relevance of the proposed project (refer to question 9)

A1.1 The proposal shows how the organization is aligned with the objective of the Women’s Program, which is to support action to advance equality between women and men in the economic, social or democratic life of Canada.

A1.2 The proposal explains the organization’s role and expertise in addressing gender equality in its community or sector.

B – Project management and results

B1. Experience in delivering similar activities and achieving positive results (refer to question 9)

B1.1 The proposal includes information about recent funders that demonstrate that:

B2. Project activities, timelines and feasibility (refer to questions 46, 47 and 49)

B2.1 The proposal provides a clear description of each activity. Activities are detailed and measurable.

B2.2 Timelines for each activity are clearly established and feasible.

B2.3 Activities and outputs are relevant to the project objectives.

B2.4 The proposal identifies feasible measures for the sustainability of the developed and implemented capacity supports beyond the duration of the project.

C – Project budget

C1. Project costs (refer to Section C – Budget Form)

C1.1 The proposal demonstrates that the project costs are effectively itemized (i.e. adequate budget details for each requested project cost).

C1.2 The proposal demonstrates that the project costs are reasonable.

C1.3 The proposal demonstrates that the project costs support the project activities.

Expected results

SWC's capacity-building funding will help women's organizations and Indigenous organizations to improve organizational and sector capacity at the national, provincial/territorial, and local levels. Over time, the sector will be better equipped to address systemic barriers slowing down women's progress and advancement.

Funding recipients will be required to identify and report on qualitative and quantitative indicators during the project lifecycle. SWC is currently developing a tool to guide successful applicants in determining relevant indicators to measure planned project results, in advance of signing funding agreements.

In addition, funding recipients will be required to do a pre and post funding self-assessment (developed by SWC) to determine the specific impact the funding has had on strengthening the capacity and sustainability of their organization. Note that SWC may require organizations to participate in an overall evaluation of projects funded under this call.

Section D – Declaration and undertaking

In order to be eligible for funding, your application must be completed and signed electronically by the official representative(s) of the applicant organization in accordance with the organization’s by-laws or other constituting documents. People with signing authority are 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). The signatory must include their title and date of signature.

Notice to applicants

The information collected in your application will be used, and may be disclosed, for the purposes of assessing the merits of your application. As part of the assessment process, the information may be shared with external consultants, review committee members, officials in other federal departments, federal, provincial and/or territorial governments or Members of Parliament.

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 SWC may be linked.

In the event that the application contains personal information, the personal information will be administered in accordance with the Privacy 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. Instruction for obtaining access to this information are outlined in the Government of Canada publication entitled Information about programs and information holdings.

5. Apply

Before submitting your completed application for funding, please ensure that you have included all of the following documents in your application package.

Required documentation – Checklist

Submit your application

Your application, and other required documents, must be submitted no later than December 11, 2018, at 11:59 a.m. PST. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered.

Important notice regarding online applications

You must create an account in FluidReview, our application software, as soon as possible. The same account can also be used to apply for other funding opportunities available at SWC.

If you already have a FluidReview account, you are strongly encouraged to apply online now. Note that you are able to save changes and return to the application up until you have clicked on “submit”. If you experience technical difficulties related to the completion or submission of your application, please contact Support Help Services. Applications received after the call deadline will not be considered.

6. Follow-up

When you submit your application through FluidReview, you will receive an acknowledgement immediately. If you do not receive an automated acknowledgement, please contact Support Help Services.

Please note that not all applications submitted under this CFP will be approved. Funding is limited and subject to Status of Women Canada’s (SWC) yearly budget considerations and allocation of funds by Parliament.

Decisions are final and there is no appeal process.

If you have enquiries about this CFP process, please contact your SWC office. Note that this CFP closes on December 11, 2018, at 11:59 a.m. PST.

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