External opportunities

Grants for small projects to increase the capacity of NGOs

External opportunity |
Grants for small projects to increase the capacity of NGOs

The Open Estonia Foundation announces a competition under the Active Citizens Fund (ACF) for small projects of non -governmental organizations, the goal of which is greater capacity and sustainability of non-governmental organizations.

Application deadline: 4 December 2022
Grant size: EUR 10 000 – 20 000
Project period: 12 – 14 months


The Active Citizens Fund seeks to develop the long-term sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector, with the aim of strengthening its role in contributing to democratic governance, policy development, promoting democratic participation and active citizenship. Priority is also given to actions that improve the accountability of NGOs to the wider public and strengthen their ability to empower and involve local communities, as well as advocate on their behalf, and actions to communicate the impact of civil society to social change.

Eligibility criteria

Eligible applicants for ACF are non-profit organizations registered in Estonia (established on the basis of the Non-Profit Associations Act) and foundations (established on the basis of the Foundations Act) pursuing a public benefit purpose working in the following five areas:

  • Democracy, active citizenship, good governance and transparency
  • Human rights and equal treatment through combating any discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Social justice and inclusion of vulnerable groups
  • Gender equality and gender-based violence
  • Environment and climate change

Eligible activities

  • development of transparency and accountability of non-governmental organizations’ activities;
  • enhancing the management of non-governmental organizations;
  • bringing new knowledge, skills and people into the activities of the free community;
  • development of cooperation networks of non-governmental organizations;
  • learning from each other and sharing experiences, e.g. mentoring;
  • development of impact assessment of one’s activities;
  • developing partnerships with other sectors;
  • 4activities to increase the financial capacity of the NGO, etc.

Specifically welcomed are projects that increase the engagement of national minority organisations and thus increase multicultural understanding.

Application and submission

The grant rate is up to 95% of eligible expenditures of the project. The co-financing must be provided in the form of cash or in-kind contribution in the form of voluntary work. Voluntary work may constitute up to 100% of the co-financing required for the project and it may be provided only by the project promoter and/or any NGO acting as a project partner(s). In the framework of the current call the cost of voluntary work shall be between EUR 5,16 and 13,25 depending on the nature of work.

Eligible organisations can submit one application as (lead) applicant within the call. There is no limitation as to the number of partnerships any organisation may be involved in as a project partner. Projects can be started from March 2023 and must be finished by April 30, 2024.

Applications, along with a detailed budget, partnership declarations (if relevant), CVs of key staff and the latest annual report should be submitted in the Estonian language electronically via e-mail sent to acf[at]oef[dot]org[dot]ee by 23:59 Estonian time on the date of the deadline of the call. All documents must be in one digital container signed by an authorized person.

Detailed information on eligibility criteria and application requirements, application forms, and the dates and locations of upcoming information days and training opportunities are available on the Active Citizens Fund Estonia website.


Find more information here.

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