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Unsolicited Proposals: Guidance for Concept Notes

Please follow the instructions for drafting your concept note to begin an application for funding for international development projects. If you do not respect page limits and other instructions, we will not assess your concept note.

You must submit your unsolicited concept note through the Partners@International portal to ensure that your concept note and the date you submitted it are logged in the system. If you send us your concept note any other way (e.g. in person or email) we will not consider it as submitted.

Please note:

Word limit:




Basic information

You may wish to format the following information as a short table to save space.

Title: title of your proposed project

Duration: Specify the number of years

Country(ies) and sector: Identify the country or countries in which the project will take place and the main sector the proposed project will address. This will ensure that the most appropriate program receives your concept note.

Funding requested: Indicate the amount of funding you are requesting from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) in Canadian dollars. Please keep in mind:

Contact name, title and email: You only need to specify 1 contact for this initiative because your organization’s information is already in the Partners@International portal and the concept note you submitted through the portal is attached to it. You may include a second contact if you wish.

Signatories: List signatories you plan to include on a funding agreement with Global Affairs Canada if funding is approved. If none, indicate N/A.

Partners: List implementing partners or local partners you have already identified. If none, indicate N/A or “not yet,” as appropriate.

Innovative finance

Will your proposed project, or a component of it, result in revenues or an increase to the value of your business? Yes/No

Will the funding provided be used to make investments, issue loans or offer financial guarantees for the purposes of attaining development results? Yes/No

If you answered yes to either question above, your project may be eligible for inclusion in a Global Affairs Canada CRC Pilot. See details below.

CRC Pilot: GAC has launched a 5-year (2021 to 2026) pilot for select types of non-complex projects that require the use of CRCs (CRCs are required whenever projects/activities generate revenue or funding is used to make investments, issue loans or offer financial guarantees.). More information about the CRC Pilot is available on the Innovative finance programs web page. Please note that at this time, the CRC Pilot is limited to projects/recipients that meet the pilot criteria only. Please visit this page regularly as specific guidance will be updated as the CRC Pilot evolves.

CRC Pilot criteria: Please answer the following questions to determine whether the innovative finance element(s) of your project may fall within the CRC Pilot criteria. If you answer yes to all the questions below, complete the mandatory Innovative Finance Annex so that we can assess your project further.

Development challenge


Organization capacity


  1. Optional- All concept notes should:
    • be no longer than 1 page or 500 words (maximum of 1.2 pages or 600 words if written in French)
    • may include a preliminary logic model, photographs and/or infographs.
  2. Mandatory Innovative Finance Annex- If you answered yes to all of the questions above related to the CRC Pilot criteria, write a document of no more than 500 words (maximum of 550 words if written in French) describing the following:
    1. Repayable contribution - Briefly describe the project activities that may result in revenues or an increase in the value of your business.
    2. Instrument - Provide an overview of the proposed financial instruments/structure (either loan portfolios, loan portfolio guarantees or both). Provide details of the financial activities to be undertaken and briefly explain the flow of funds, the involvement of any intermediaries in the structure and how the fund(s) will be managed.
    3. Experience - Please describe your experience managing similar (in size and scope) innovative finance projects.
    4. Financial- Please provide, as certified and signed by your chief financial officer (this information should match your annual audited financial statements), the:
      1. last 3-year total assets and funds under management, each presented distinctly by fiscal year:
        1. Value of investment portfolio
        2. Loans receivable under management
        3. Financial guarantees
        4. Other assets
      2. last 3-year annual capital disbursements (annual capital disbursements made for financing activities such as total disbursements for loans in a fiscal year).
      3. last 3-year annual revenue, net income and retained earnings, or if an NGO, your unrestricted reserves (any reserves that do not have externally imposed restrictions).
      4. functional currency of the information provided (e.g. Can$).
    5. Risk sharing - Please describe how you plan to contribute financially to this innovative finance element of your project and/or share in the risk with GAC.
    6. Size - Approximately how much funding will be required for the innovative finance/CRC component?
    7. Flow of funds/wiring diagram - Provide on a separate page a graphic representation of the initiative’s flow of funds between and toward different organizations or parts of organizations and reflecting the roles of all proposed partners, intermediaries and beneficiaries.
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