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Call for Applications: New Standards Program Fee Subsidies Available

Call for Applications: New Standards Program Fee Subsidies Available


As we progress into the “new normal” post-pandemic, it is crucial that charities and nonprofits can build donor confidence and identify and mitigate organizational risks while advancing staff management and volunteer involvement. The Standards Program is designed to support organizations so that they can elevate their practices and demonstrate excellence to their donors, staff team, and partners. 

In order to impact a greater number of organizations with the Standards Program, BDO Canada and Imagine Canada are pleased to announce the creation of the BDO Nonprofit Excellence Accelerator Grants program. 

About BDO Nonprofit Excellence Accelerator Grants

Through the program, up to 15 organizations will receive in-kind assistance to pursue Standards Program accreditation. In-kind assistance will provide up to six months of free access to the Standards Community, including access to a peer advisor, and a waived application fee. This program is made possible through the generous support of BDO Canada.

How to Apply

We recognize that the accreditation application and the internal practice improvement that goes along with it requires substantial effort and so have endeavored to keep this process as simple and succinct as possible.

In Stage 1, we invite all interested applicants to complete a 10-minute online statement to help us understand your organization and your interest in applying to the program. The deadline for completing the statement is 11:59pm PDT on Thursday, July 7th.


Expressions of interest will be reviewed for alignment with the grant program’s goals and eligibility criteria. All applicants will be notified as to whether they are being invited to Stage 2 in the application process. 

In Stage 2, invited applicants will be asked to provide additional details outlining their approach to accreditation, as well as some additional details about your organization. At this stage you will also provide a signed attestation from your Board Chair and Senior Executive about your intent to receive Accreditation. 

Eligibility and Evaluation Criteria 

The BDO Nonprofit Excellence Accelerator grant is open to charitable organizations and public benefit nonprofit organizations who are prepared to complete and submit their application for Standards Program accreditation between March 10 and June 16 2023. Existing Standards Community members who are yet to pay their application fee are also eligible to apply. To qualify, organizations must have a mandate beyond the promotion or practice of a specific religion. 

Applications that reach Stage 2 will be reviewed by a selection committee composed primarily of BDO Canada employees with guidance from Imagine Canada. Should we receive more grant applications than it is possible to fund, the committee will evaluate applicants using the following categories:

  • Rationale: Has the organization strongly articulated how being accredited will impact their ability to deliver on their mission? Have they articulated a strong case for why this financial support will bolster their efforts? 
  • Approach: Are the project timelines for getting accredited reasonable?  Does the organization have a team with the ability to execute, and strong leaders with experience in operational change? Have they previously attempted to pursue accreditation? (If so, what did they learn?). 
  • Strategy: Does the organization have a vision and plan for social impact? Do they show a desire for learning and continuous improvement? What other organizations does the applicant collaborate with to achieve their mission? 
  • Diversity: Is the staff, board members, and executive team representative of diverse backgrounds? Does the organization specifically focus on supporting marginalized communities?  

Email us at with questions about the program.


About Imagine Canada Accreditation

Created “by the sector for the sector,” the Standards Program is the only national accreditation program that is designed for all Canadian charities and nonprofits. To earn accreditation, organizations must demonstrate excellence in five fundamental areas: board governance; financial accountability and transparency; fundraising; staff management; and volunteer involvement. 




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