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The goal of the Active Citizens Fund is to support civil society and vulnerable groups.

Civil society is an essential condition of thriving democracy. To fulfil this irreplaceable goal, it is necessary to increase citizens’ active participation in the public life and decision making, to strengthen transparency in public administration, to improve civic awareness and media literacy. It is crucial to promote respect for human rights and to give more consideration to the needs of vulnerable groups. There is an ongoing challenge of mobilizing and stimulating participation of youth.

The Active Citizens Fund thus focuses on financial support of citizens’ initiatives, boosting efficient collaboration, education and further development of capacities of the civic sector. The programme contributes to the long-term sustainability of the civic sector and its role of promoting democratic principles, active citizenship and human rights.

Priority areas

  • capacity building and collaboration of NGOs across the civic sector
  • partnership of the civic sector and the public; its ability to reach non-active or marginalized groups
  • advocacy and watchdog activities, civic participation in forming and implementing public policies
  • youth participation

Focus target groups

  • the public in peripheries of Czechia and places outside the main hubs of civic activity
  • NGOs, including those with little experience
  • marginalized target groups (including the Roma minority) with the goal to empower them

Program outcomes

  • Increased citizen participation in civic activities
  • Strengthened civil society advocacy and watchdog role
  • Vulnerable groups empowered
  • Increased support for civic education and media literacy
  • Increased capacity and sustainability of civil society sector and individual civil society organisations

Program structure

Calls under this program will be structured according to focus of projects.

Strategic grants

The aim of strategic grants is to focus on acceptance and enforcement of systemic changes especially in topics like role of the civil society organizations, civic activities in watchdog, privatization/politicisation of public posts, political interference into independent public agenda, measures on social inclusion of vulnerable groups and application of their rights, mitigation of poverty and social exclusion on the central level, promotion of gender equality, higher civic participation and awareness of the active citizen role, strengthening of the tools for information verification and detecting misinformation, increased media literacy, and enforcement of law on the Paris Agreement, etc.

These strategic grants in amount of € 100,000 – 250,000 will be distributed across all five programme areas of the Active Citizens Fund. Supported projects in this call with duration of 3 to 4 years are supposed to result in systemic changes.

Medium sized grants

Mid-sized grants are suitable for support and stabilization of large and smaller non-profit organizations. Projects with potential for sustainability and further dissemination of good practice will be supported.

Amount of € 100,000 – 250,000, duration of 1 to 2,5 years.

Action grants

Action grants enable organizations to react to actual challenges. Local projects, networking in the region, informal initiatives (grass-root) will be supported.

Amount of € 1,000 – 3,000, duration of 6 to 12 months.

Matching grants

Matching grants support projects amounting to 50% of funding, providing an additional 50% (a crowdfunding campaign carried out by grant participants in cooperation with a grant intermediary). Part of the grant support is education in methods of communication and crowdfunding.

Amount to € 4,000, duration of 6 to 12 months.

Bilateral cooperation

The Fund serves as a flexible source of financial support for a wide range of initiatives of mutual interest both for Czech entities and for entities from the donor states. The prerequisite for successful grant application is therefore the cooperation between civil society organisations in the Czech Republic and entities in the donor states.

Activities supportet by the Bilateral fund

  • networking
  • support of mutual cooperation
  • experience sharing
  • sharing of best practices

Calls for grant applications in the Fund for Bilateral Relations are open from the date of the announcement to 31 August 2023 (or until allocations for the given years or the overall allocated funding for these projects are used). Supported projects must be completed by 30 April 2024.

The total sum of € 65,000 is available for the bilateral projects in the period from July 2019 to August 2023. The annual allocation is divided as follows:

  • 2019 € 15,000
  • 2020 € 15,000
  • 2021 € 15,000
  • 2022 € 15,000
  • 2023 € 5,000

The minimum grant amount is € 1,000, maximum grant amount for one project application is € 4,000. The Fund covers 100 % of the eligible costs. Project promoters are not required to provide any co-financing for the projects. The recommended duration of the bilateral project is 1 – 9 months.

The remaining part of funding is allocated for study visits, expert visits and networking meetings related to programme topics. Organization of these bilateral activities is guaranteed by the Programme Consortium. Further details will be published here.

Fund operator

The Open Society Fund Prague in cooperation with The Committee of Goodwill – Olga Havel Foundation and The Scout Institute.

Katka Nováková
programme manager
Nadace OSF
603 354 364

Resources and more information

Website of Active Citizens Fund in the Czech Republic

Further information on the EEA and Norway Grants in the Czech Republic

See the EEA and Norway Grants 2014 – 2021 fact sheet for the Czech Republic