The Open Estonia Foundation is announcing an open call for proposals for civil society organisations working in public benefit for initiatives that contribute to the following outcomes:

  1. Strengthened democratic culture and civic awareness
  2. Increased support for human rights and equal treatment
  3. Vulnerable groups empowered

Projects focusing on the following five areas are eligible for support:

  • 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

Project proposals are recommended to address some of these cross-cutting concerns:

  • Youth inclusion
  • Strengthening the capacity and sustainability of the civil society sector
  • Outreach to under-served geographic areas and target groups
  • Focus on intercultural understanding with special emphasis on national minorities

Project applicants are encouraged to seek to engage the above-mentioned target groups and objectives into project design either by independently reaching out to or by partnering with CSOs that focus on these concerns.

Call specifics


Altogether EUR 1 218 922 is available for medium-sized projects.

Medium-size grants
 range from 30,000 to 60,000 euros in all thematic areas lasting between 18 to 24 months to allow CSOs to set long-term goals and pursue strategic work in their issue area.

The minimum amount of the grant is EUR 20 000, and the maximum size of the grant is EUR 70 000 (EUR 80 000 for projects that involve partners from donor countries of Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) in all thematic areas lasting between 12 to 18 months to allow CSOs to set long-term goals and pursue strategic work in their issue area.

The following list is non-exhaustive and elaborates on the types of activities that are eligible for support:

  • Civic action in shaping public policies and strengthening of democratic practices
  • Advocacy, awareness-raising and outreach to citizens
  • Watchdog and monitoring, including following up on recommendations of international monitoring bodies
  • Citizen activism, volunteering and civic participation
  • Participation in policy and decision-making processes, including promoting an enabling environment for civil society
  • Support for freedom of expression, investigative journalism and media
  • Countering hate speech, including support to networks working with hate crime victims
  • Promoting LGBTI rights and anti-discrimination activities
  • Capacity building of the civil society sector, including sustainability, networking and accountability of CSOs
  • Partnerships between CSOs, public and private sector entities
  • Civic education and training
  • Research and analysis to inform policy-making
  • Social innovation and social enterprise development
  • Intercultural dialogue, including platforms for minority/majority interactions
  • Inter-generational cooperation
  • Awareness-raising and capacity building on environmental issues including climate change and adaptation
  • Access to information, participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters in accordance with the Aarhus Convention.

Partnerships with organisations from donor countries are encouraged and will receive additional scores in the evaluation process.

We specifically welcome projects that increase the engagement of national minority organisations and thus increase multicultural understanding; such projects receive additional scores in the evaluation process.

Projects that foster cooperation between CSOs on multiple levels and engage specifically CSOs working on local level1, receive additional scores in the evaluation process.

To mitigate the effects of restrictions and insecurity caused by COVID-19 pandemic, the grant rate in this particular call is up to 95% of eligible expenditures of the project.

For the same reason, the projects’ in-kind contribution in the form of voluntary work may constitute up to 100% of the co-financing. The co-financing may be financial, but it is not required.

Co-financing in the form of voluntary work 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 5,16 and 12,18 euro per hour 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.

Deadline for submitting proposals is May 24, 2022. The application form, along with all required annexes, should be submitted in the Estonian language electronically via e-mail sent to by 23:59 Estonian time on the date of the deadline of the call.

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

For any questions and additional information contact:
Ksenia Gutnitšenko
Open Estonia Foundation

Tel. + 372 615 5700