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Active Citizens Fund

The aim of Active Citizens Fund is to strengthen civil society, active citizenship and empower disadvantaged groups.

Why is civil society important and how Active Citizens Fund supports it:

Civil society is a prerequisite for a functional democracy that cannot be achieved without the active involvement of citizens in public affairs and decision-making processes. The Active Citizens Fund aims to support civil society organizations to enhance transparency in governance, improve civic and media education, promote respect for human rights and take into account the needs of disadvantaged groups.

Activating the involvement of young people is a persistent challenge. That is why the Active Citizens Fund program focuses on financial support for civil activities on strengthening effective cooperation and on education and capacity building of the civil sector.

More about the program:

The program is implemented within the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Norway Grants 2014-2021. In the Czech Republic the program is managed by a consortium of the Open Society Fund, the Committee of Good Will – Olga Havel Foundation and the Scout Institute, which was selected on the basis of an open competition. Through the EEA and Norway Funds, the States of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute to reducing economic and social disparities in the EEA and to fostering cooperation with 15 European countries.

The total amount allocated to grant support amounts to almost EUR 13 million. The first grant calls are planned for autumn 2019. The expected start of supported projects is the first quarter of 2020, all projects must be completed by 30 April 2024. Non-profit organizations registered in the Czech Republic (associations, institutes, foundations and endowment funds, special-purpose facilities of churches, public benefit organizations and associations of legal non-profit persons) that have at least two years’ active history (for action grants, at least one year’s active history) can apply for the grant.

Program strategy

  • to increase capacity and cooperation within the civil society sector;
  • to increase the number of partnerships between the civil society sector and public/private sector entities and the ability of the civil society sector to approach inactive or marginalized groups;
  • to strengthen civil society advocacy and watchdog role and to increase the participation of citizens in civic activities such as public policy-making and its enforcement;
  • to address the public in the underserved regions and outside of the civic society activism centers;
  • to address the vulnerable groups and minorities including Roma to strengthen their rights with the aim to increase their ability to advocate for their rights (e.g. disadvantaged families with children, the LGBTI community, single parents and the elderly at risk of poverty, people with disabilities, migrants or other groups facing discrimination in education, housing, health care, at the labor market, etc.);
  • to increase youth participation in civic life.

Thematic areas of Active Citizens Fund

  • democracy, active citizenship, good and transparent governance
  • human rights and equal treatment, combating all forms of discrimination
  • social justice and inclusion of disadvantaged groups
  • gender equality and gender-based violence
  • environment and climate change

Focus of grants

  • civic participation
  • advocacy and watchdog activities
  • strengthening disadvantaged groups and their ability to defend their rights
  • civic education and media education
  • strengthening non-profit organizations and their capacity, professionalism, sustainability and ability to build and support their supporters’ networks

Types of grants

  • System grants: 100 – 250 thousand EUR for projects lasting 3-4 years to support systemic changes – distributed in 2020
  • Basic grants: 8 – 85 thousand EUR for projects lasting 1-2.5 years, which respond to current topics, but also develop existing activities – part distributed in 2020
    – Action grants: 1 – 3 thousand EUR. for projects with duration between 1-12 months, which address problems in the specific locality or support the participation of local citizens in public affairs; enable organizations to acquire or strengthen knowledge of digital technologies – ongoing calls announced
    – Matching grants: up to 4 thousand EUR for projects lasting between 6 and 12 months and support the communication of public activities through crowdfunding campaigns – call closed
    – Grants for bilateral cooperation: 1 – 4 thousand EUR for short-term and one-off activities in order to support cooperation between Czech organizations and organizations from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – ongoing call opened

Active Citizens Fund supports foreign partnerships:

FIND A PARTNER ORGANIZATION Abroad. Potential applicants from the Czech Republic can register in a database where they can choose from partnerships with Active Citizens Fund. By signing up, you will increase the chance for foreign organizations to engage with you. If you want to find a partner from all areas of the EEA and Norway funds, register HERE.

To stay informed about the Active Citizens Fund, please fill out this form: https://www.activecitizensfund.cz/newsletter/.

All necessary information can be found at www.activecitiziensfund.cz.

Read Stories of courage of our granters and consortium members.

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