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New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) - Community-Based Projects for Seniors

Grants to Canada Nonprofits, For-Profits,
Agencies, and IHEs to Benefit Senior Citizens

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Government of Canada - Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

Deadline Date:

06/15/18 11:59 PM PT Postmark or Online Submission


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Grants of up to $25,000 to Canada nonprofit organizations, for-profit enterprises, government agencies, research organizations, and IHEs to improve the quality of life for senior citizens. Applicants are advised that registration in the online grants portal may take up to several business days to complete.

The New Horizons for Seniors Program provides federal grants and contributions funding to organizations that want to help seniors (aged 55 and older) make a difference in the lives of others and in their communities.

This program provides funding for:
-Projects that encourage seniors to play an important role in their communities by volunteering, participating in and leading community activities
-Organizations to make necessary modifications or repairs to their existing facilities, or to purchase/replace equipment and furnishings to enable programs and activities for seniors

Eligible Projects:

In order to be eligible, project must be led by seniors, or seniors must play a meaningful role in the project (planning and/or delivery). Applicants are encouraged to work with other partners in their community to identify local needs and to design projects that respond to these needs. The NHSP seeks to fund programs or projects that:

-Are seniors' led or inspired. Seniors must also be involved in the project’s development and/or implementation in a meaningful way. The role of seniors is a key element when NHSP projects are being considered for funding. It is not enough that an organization proposes to carry out an activity and then recruits seniors to take part in it. Consulting with seniors to develop a project of benefit to them is also not sufficient.
-Benefit a broad clientele
-Propose activities that address an identified need or an area of concern within the community
-Strive to have a lasting impact on communities
-Involve collaboration and partnerships
-Use resources efficiently and effectively
-Occur within a 12-month (52-week) period. NHSP only funds projects that will be completed within this time frame.
-Support at least one of the program objectives. For those projects that primarily meet the fifth objective, projects must involve programs or activities not already carried out by your organization or that are at risk of not continuing should the renovation and/or equipment purchase not be funded.

Example of eligible projects:

-When ideas are inspired by seniors, their roles are stronger as they are involved with developing the project and envisioning the timelines and through the planning their delivery of the activities are implemented for seniors as leaders, as well as beneficiaries, which makes it meaningful. The role of seniors is a key element when NHSP applications are being considered for funding. It is not enough to identify an organization’s board is composed of all seniors; or that proposed activities will be carried when seniors are recruited to participate; or even consulting seniors to develop a project to benefit seniors.

-A senior traveling in Europe, discovered community “Fix-it” centers. Seniors with skills were volunteers helping other seniors and low-income families by offering repairs (small appliances, watches, clocks, jewelry). He was inspired by this activity and brought it back to his home community by connecting with the local recycling center and the local seniors group. The recycling center applied for the grant with support from the seniors' centers. Seniors have roles on the start-up committee and other seniors sign up as volunteers. There are Monthly “Fix-it” workshops advertised in the community as well at seniors' centers and facilities. Youth are invited and are mentored on repairing items supervised by seniors.

-Seniors coming up with ways to encourage new and emerging cohorts of seniors to be more actively involved in community activities;

-Doing things in a way to more effectively attract, recruit and retain diverse cohorts of volunteers, including other generations, and/or vulnerable populations;

-Expanding and/or adapting successful way of doing things (programs and activities) to reach new group of seniors (for example, a specific population of seniors such as Indigenous seniors, LGBTQ2, seniors in rural and remote areas;

-A project could include identifying target group(s); adapting programs and activities to meet needs, and/or removing barriers to participation and undertaking outreach to these seniors;

-Seniors sharing their knowledge, skills and experience with others;

-Promoting awareness of elder abuse, including financial abuse;

-Seniors reaching out to vulnerable seniors, such as those who are socially or geographically isolated, including new Canadians, Indigenous seniors, or LGBTQ2;

-Volunteering, mentoring, leadership training and skill matching for seniors;

-Seniors’ intergenerational and intercultural learning and relationship building programs and activities;
-Seniors involved in developing/sharing tools and resource materials;
-Seniors supporting senior caregivers in rural and remote areas, including the North (for example, through support home visit or phone call service);
-Seniors sharing best practices;
-Equipment purchase or replacement for programs and activities for seniors, and
-Renovations and repairs to facilities for programs and activities for seniors.

Eligible Activities:

Funding is available for new activities, as well as for recurring activities that have a proven track record in meeting the needs of seniors. Eligible recurring activities could include:

-Project that provides high levels of opportunities for seniors to lead and volunteer in the activities on an ongoing basis;

-Opportunity for an organization to gain community support through new partnerships; however, it still requires access to funding in order to be fully sustainable;

-After one year, the organization is able to demonstrate the project’s success in their community: results include continuously high enrollment in seniors who are actively participating; increased numbers of new seniors who have taken on roles as volunteers and/or leaders; and/or able to have linked new senior participants to other activities within the organization and the community which results show increased social participation.

Example of eligible recurring activity:
-The focus of a previous project was to engage newcomers (seniors and non-seniors) in gardening. Feedback given at the end of the project included appreciation for food production and social connection as a way to address food security. The responses also identified more community engagement for senior newcomers and community seniors so that all could access various cultural backgrounds, create friendships, share food-related skills/knowledge, cultural traditions and stories related to food. This recurrent activity was submitted due to increased interest for both newcomer seniors and community seniors; increased collaboration with other organizations that serve both seniors and newcomers.

New National Level Priorities:

Should your application address one of the following national funding priorities, additional points may be awarded:
-Projects that will benefit vulnerable populations;
-Projects focusing on the diversity of Canada's seniors;
-Projects that will use volunteerism to increase an organization’s capacity.


-Vulnerable seniors: are used to describe seniors who face barriers, on one or more dimensions, to fully participating and aging well in their communities. According to the United Way Ottawa, many cross-sectoral factors are most commonly associated with an increase in vulnerability and, in turn, a heightened risk of poor outcomes for this population. For the purpose of NHSP and this CFP, vulnerable seniors include at risk senior women, LGBTQ2 seniors, Indigenous seniors, newcomer seniors, seniors with disabilities, and any members from the sub-populations identified above.

-Cultural Diversity/Multiculturalism: reflects the cultural and racial diversity of Canadian society and acknowledges the freedom of all members of Canadian society to preserve, enhance and share their cultural heritage, according to the Canadian Multiculturalism Act. For the purpose of the NHSP and this CFP, multicultural seniors is defined as seniors of diverse backgrounds, identities, and lived experiences including Indigenous peoples, newcomers and refugees, members of ethno-cultural populations, members of visible minority groups, and members of the LGBTQ2 community.

Eligible Project Costs:

Project costs must relate to the project and could include:
-Salaries, wages and mandatory employment-related costs (MERCs) for project staff (including administrative costs). Must not account for more than 25% of the total amount requested from the NHSP. This reflects the Program’s focus on volunteerism;
-Professional services (for example, presenters, trainers, facilitators, researchers, etc.), (including detailed rationale);
-Trades/construction contractors, installers, technicians, etc.;
-Evaluation costs (for example, surveys to be distributed to seniors at events);
-Honoraria and hospitality costs (including detailed rationale);
-Security checks for volunteers;
-Travel expenses within Canada (proposed costs must not exceed the rates prescribed in the Travel Directive for Kilometric Rates and Meals Allowances), including transportation costs to assist seniors in participating in project activities. Day trips (for example, visits to Heritage Village where seniors mentor a youth group, seniors travelling to another community to present a theater performance on elder abuse) could be eligible. Requested costs will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis depending on the eligibility, the leadership of seniors, the purpose of the “visit” and its impact on the community. The trip needs to clearly respond to one of the first four program objectives such as: volunteerism; mentoring; elder abuse awareness; and social participation and inclusion.
-Transportation and meal delivery service to seniors in rural and remote areas, including the North;
-Feasibility studies needed for physical work, including environmental assessments;
-Transportation to provide a personal service to seniors (for example, training senior drivers);
-Support home visit or phone call service to isolated seniors, seniors living alone and to seniors caregivers, in rural or remote regions, including Northern regions. In order to support seniors including senior caregivers, home visit or phone call services to individuals to confirm that they are safe or to provide some reprieve could be eligible. However, applicants should not already be receiving funding from other levels of government;
-Purchase of materials and supplies;
-Printing and distributing project materials;
-Rental and maintenance of equipment;
-Rental of space or other facilities;
-Utilities directly related to the project;
-Delivery/shipping costs for material and equipment;
-Dumping and disposal fees;
-Renovations or repairs;
-Capital costs required to undertake the project (for example, equipment for seniors, furnishings and fixtures). Capital assets are non-consumable single items or (a) grouping(s) of similar items that total $1,000 (before applicable taxes) or more. For example, a group of similar items could be a public address system for seniors' events, composed of an amplifier ($600), two speakers ($150 a piece), a microphone ($150), stand and cables ($100), which equal $1,150 since they are a collection of items that are designed to function together. Non-consumable items are those that will continue to exist after the funding period ends, such as equipment, electronics, furniture and fixtures; and
-Any applicable taxes. See the current HST, provincial taxes, Canadian sales tax calculator.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 158250

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum funding available is $25,000 including applicable taxes per year, per organization. Projects cannot exceed one year, and funding cannot be renewed. Requests that exceed $25,000 will be screened out.

If you do not apply for a $25,000 grant, you can apply for a small grant of a maximum of $5,000 if you have not been funded for community-based projects for the last five years (since the 2012-2013 NHSP Call for proposals).

Note: Within the same year, you could apply for either a $25,000 or $5,000 grant for community-based projects in addition to a $750,000 grant for pan-Canadian projects.

Term of Contract:

Projects cannot exceed one year, and funding cannot be renewed.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants:
-Not-for-profit organizations such as charities, activity clubs, volunteer organizations, professional associations, museums, churches or faith-based associations or in some cases, sports associations
-Coalitions, networks and ad hoc committees
-Municipal governments
-Research organizations and institutes
-Educational institutions such as universities, colleges, CEGEPs, school boards/school districts
-Public health and social service institutions
-Indigenous organizations including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities
-For-profit enterprises (provided that the nature and intent of the proposed activity are non-commercial, not intended to generate profit, and supports program objectives)

Eligibility of the institutions funded by the provinces and territories:
Institutions funded by the provinces and territories are eligible with the agreement of the provincial/territorial government. This approval will be sought as part of the assessment of your application.

Ineligible applicants:
-Provincial/territorial departments and agencies (such as post-secondary institutions, social service and public health institutions) are ineligible without the agreement of the provincial or territorial government.

Ineligible projects/activities and costs:

Note that the proposed activities, including any purchases, cannot begin before the recipient receives a signed agreement by ESDC. Until an agreement is signed by both parties, Canada is not legally bounded and the recipient is at risk of not being reimbursed for expenses incurred before the agreement date.

The following projects/activities and costs are not eligible for community-based funding:
-Core operational expenses of an organization, such as salary dollars unrelated to project activities, utilities, and day-to-day maintenance of facilities including general operating costs of your organization that are not related to this project (for example, regular telephone and heating costs, rent, utilities, property taxes, insurance, including vehicle insurance and maintenance, equipment for staff, audit costs (not required for this program), etc.). Equipment for staff is not eligible under for-profit organizations. However, these costs could be considered eligible under not-for-profit organizations depending on the rationale provided for this need in the Standard Grant Application for Funding (EMP5585) (for example, if it demonstrates a benefit to the organization and the community with a direct link to project activities);
-Costs incurred to prepare the Standard Grant Application for Funding (EMP5585). This could include costs used to pay for third parties assisting the applicant in obtaining Government of Canada funding such as lobbyists;
-Activities where the role of seniors is minimal or not clearly described;
-Projects to develop or deliver accredited primary, secondary, or post-secondary curricula;
-Fundraising activities, door prizes or gifts;
-Projects seeking funding to renovate and/or for the maintenance of an establishment not owned by the applicant that does not provide direct seniors’ programming (for example theatres, seniors homes, health and care establishments such as health and foot clinics);
-Projects to build or add a structure on a land that is not owned by the applicant (for example gazebo, greenhouse, pickleball court in municipal parks);
-Projects which provide a core health care or personal support service to individuals (for example one-on-one training, projects that deal primarily with health interventions, nursing, physiotherapy, or medical supplies, treatment and equipment). NHSP is not intended to fund projects which provide a core health service. Providing a service means offering activities which are designed to meet basic needs in areas such as health care, some meal delivery programs including soup kitchen, shelter, or income support which are generally the responsibility of other levels of government;
-Items of a personal/medical nature such as wheelchairs/scooters, CPR/First Aid equipment, automated blood pressure monitor, defibrillators, hearing aids, as well as costs for a Snoezelen room, or a pet-facilitated therapy (purchase of animals);
-Purchase of land or buildings, including new construction;
-Repairs or renovations to a building or the purchase of equipment for the new building that your organization does not yet occupy;
-Decorating/beautification costs (such as painting or landscaping for aesthetics purposes);
-Cost over-runs (project costs that are higher in implementation than anticipated). The value of an NHSP community-based grant cannot be increased once it has been approved and signed by the Department. If costs are higher in implementation of the project than budgeted, it is the responsibility of the applicant organization to seek financial support from other sources to cover the shortfall in order to procure the missing funding to complete the project;
-Unexpected costs or contingency costs which are planned costs added any costs not planned for, or for potential increases in costs; and
-Programs or services that fall within the responsibility of other levels of government.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline to apply is June 15, 2018 at 11:59 PM Pacific time.

You can submit your application package in the following ways:

1. Complete the Standard Grant Application for Funding (EMP5585) online, print it, sign it and mail it (postmarked) no later than June 15, 2018 before 11:59 p.m.

2. Complete the Standard Grant Application for Funding (EMP5585) by hand, sign it and mail it (postmarked) no later than June 15, 2018 before 11:59 p.m. Pacific time.

3. Apply online with your Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS) account. If you are already have a GCOS Grants account you are strongly encouraged to apply online.

You must create a Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS) account to apply online. Applicants with a Canada Revenue Agency business number are encouraged to submit their application through GCOS. GCOS is a secure web environment which allows stakeholders to apply for grant and contribution funding opportunities online and subsequently manage their ESDC active projects. This includes tracking the status of their application as well as submitting claims or supporting documents all within one online system.

It may take several business days to finalize your GCOS account. You are strongly encouraged to initiate the one-time GCOS account creation process as soon as possible. The same GCOS account can also be used to apply for other funding opportunities available at ESDC.

NEW THIS YEAR: If you do not apply for a $25,000 grant, you can apply for a small grant of a maximum of $5,000 if you have not been funded for community-based projects for the last five years (since the 2012-2013 NHSP Call for proposals). More information may be found here:

View tip sheets here:

More information about the Standard Grant Application may be found here:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Create a Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS) account to apply online:

Visit contact New Horizons for Seniors Program – Community-based projects to find the mailing address of the center where you need to send your application and required documents:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon