Apply for funding through an unsolicited proposal


Changes are coming to the form to submit unsolicited proposals in July 2020. The preliminary proposal form currently published will continue to be accepted until September 1, 2020.


Since September 1, 2019, partner organizations are required to have a code of conduct to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) in place to apply for development funding. Find our approach and expectations at: Sexual exploitation and abuse in international development.

There are two ways to apply for funding for an international development project:

Refer to the resources on this page before you begin to develop your unsolicited proposal. Following these instructions will help give you the best chance of obtaining support for your initiative.

What you need to do to submit an application

  1. Check to see whether your project idea is in line with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and Global Affairs Canada’s priorities
  2. Refer to the resources under funding tools to build your application
  3. Prepare your preliminary proposal
  4. Submit your preliminary proposal
  5. Wait for the response

Submitting an unsolicited preliminary proposal does not guarantee that it will be assessed. If the proposal does not meet minimum requirements, or if the programming space for the relevant country and action area is already committed, your preliminary proposal will not be reviewed. We strongly recommend that your proposal complies with the cost share policy and commits to at least 5% cost share.

We cannot offer funding on the basis of a preliminary proposal. We use the preliminary proposal process to identify the applicants with the best chance of receiving funding if they submit a strong full proposal based on that idea. This lowers the effort required to initiate an application for funding.

We do not give applicants detailed feedback on their preliminary proposal. Limiting feedback on preliminary proposals enables us to respond to applicants and advance the whole process much more quickly than would otherwise be the case.

We do not fund the preparation of full proposals. If an applicant is invited to submit a full proposal, they may accept or decline the invitation. Submitting a full proposal does not guarantee funding. Funding can only be recommended after a full proposal is assessed. If funding is provided, only costs incurred after the signature of a funding agreement are eligible for reimbursement.

1. Check to see whether your project idea is in line with Global Affairs Canada’s priorities

There are many more development needs and requests for support than Global Affairs Canada can fund. Funding is therefore provided only to select initiatives that are in line with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and the department’s international development priorities.

Your proposal should avoid duplicating efforts from recent projects and its rationale should be evidence-based. Consult the Project Browser for information on projects previously funded by the Government of Canada.

Also, please take the time to:

2. Funding tools

Use the funding tools to help you incorporate best practices into your development initiative and build your application.

Before you start preparing your preliminary proposal, please also read How we assess your proposal.

3. Prepare your preliminary proposal

Your preliminary proposal package must include three types of documents:

  1. A preliminary proposal form (.pdf, 330KB — Help: Opening PDFs on your computer) with a validated label
    • You must use the preliminary proposal form linked to this page
    • Applications submitted using other templates will not be considered
    • You must complete and validate your application form before submitting it as part of your application package

    If you have technical difficulties downloading or using the application form or questions on completing it, please see Questions and answers about applying for funding.

    To validate the application form:

    • Click on the “Validate” button on the top right hand corner of the first page
    • Correct any errors highlighted
    • Click on the “Validate” button again—a “Validated” label should now appear on the top of the form. If you edit the form after validating it, you will have to re-validate it

    Please note:

    • The validation function is an automated check
    • It will not ensure the completeness and accuracy of your application
    • Please read over your application carefully before submitting it
  2. Financial statements for the last two completed fiscal years.
    • Audited financial statements are preferred
      • Other financial statements may be accepted such as:
        • review engagement
        • compilation engagement/Notice to reader
        • internal
      • The reliability of the information in the financial statements (the extent to which an external auditor was involved) may have an impact on the assessed risk of working with your organization
        • Financial statements provided must pertain to your organization, not to specific projects you have managed
  3. Organization Attestation (PDF, 105KB - Help: Opening PDFs on your computer), signed by your organization’s Chief Financial Officer
    • This form must be used, and must be signed, or your unsolicited proposal will not be assessed.

Remember: it is your responsibility to double-check your documents before submission:

4. Submit your preliminary proposal

If your organization is registered in the Partners@International portal:

If your organization is not registered in Partners@International:

*The time it takes to verify a registration request varies greatly from one country to another.

Upload documents to Partners@International portal

Press the “Submit” button on your proposal in Partners@International after uploading all documents.


You need to submit documents in either English or French, or a combination of the two.

5. Wait for the response

You should receive a response within three months of submitting your preliminary proposal. The response will either indicate that you are not invited to submit a full proposal, or that you are invited to submit a full proposal. If you are invited to submit a full proposal, the invitation letter will provide you with further instructions, including a useable version of the full application form (.pdf, 316KB — Help: Opening PDFs on your computer) and budget table. A contact point will be identified in the invitation letter for any questions.

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