Active Citizens Fund – Regional

flag Poland


The ACF-Regional Programme is designed to address challenges and needs of the civil society in Poland. Its main objective is to contribute to strengthening active citizenship, greater empowerment of vulnerable groups, promotion of human rights and social diversity, and enhanced capacity and sustainability of the civil society.

Areas of support

The ACF – Regional Programme will seek to support projects in the following priority areas:

  • supporting execution and compliance of human rights (including gender equality),
  • empowering vulnerable groups and promoting social diversity,
  • strengthening democratic culture and civic participation at the local level (including environmental protection initiatives).

Special focus within the 3 priority areas will be put on initiatives addressing specific target groups and organizations dealing with sensitive issues with extraordinary importance:

  1. in the area of supporting execution and compliance of human rights – on projects addressed at groups of migrants & refugees, LGBT+ groups and manifestations of discrimination;
  2. in the area of empowering vulnerable groups and promoting social diversity – on projects counteracting domestic violence;
  3. in the area of strengthening democratic culture and civic participation – on projects concerning watchdogs and public participation and policy making.

Call proposals will be supported by mechanisms including outreach, sustainability and capacity-building activities organized by the ACF-Regional Programme Operators.


 Outcome 1: Increased support for human rights

Support under Outcome 1 will be provided for projects focusing on developing the ecosystem of organizations equipped with proper resources to safeguard and advocate for compliance with human rights standards. Support will be offered for projects addressing education on human rights and equal treatment, countering social prejudices and related misinformation, tackling hate speech online and offline, promoting sensitivity for human rights in everyday life. Projects addressing special needs of minority groups & refugees and anti-discrimination issues will be prioritized as those of special concern.

Outcome 2: Vulnerable groups empowered

Under Outcome 2 the ACF-Regional will seek for solutions which could significantly improve the life situation and status of vulnerable groups. Projects focused on new or extended empowerment measures will be promoted, e.g. building awareness of the community about special requirements indispensable for the well-being of vulnerable groups, activities and inclusion schemes engaging various minority groups and strengthening their presence in all areas of life, and formulation and implementation of “exit strategies” enabling for recovery from long-lasting exclusion and poverty.

Outcome 3: Strengthened democratic culture and civic awareness

Projects funded under Outcome 3 seek to foster civic engagement and increase of public participation, basing on community mobilization approach and social movements & citizen-driven initiatives, with special focus on the area of responsibility for climate & natural environment.

Outcome 4: Enhanced capacity and sustainability of civil society

Support under Outcome 4 is mainly channelled through additional funding for capacity-building and institutional development activities available for project promoters in all call proposals (up to 15% of the total grant amount). CSOs who will be granted those funds will have an opportunity to benefit from expert consultancy and customized support in preparing and implementing individual learning plans for their organizations.
In addition, the ACF-Regional Operators will provide a comprehensive capacity-building program offered to CSOs, including topics such as project and institution management and communication, incubating initiatives and new leaders, navigation and practical deployment of digital technologies, boosting financial independence, and strengthening the visibility and the position of CSOs.

Structure of the program

The ACF Regional comprises of 2 open calls for proposals covering the aforementioned 3 thematic areas.

Grants available for CSOs within every call proposal:

  • Small grants: from 6 000 up to 23 000 EUR and between 6 and 18 months of implementation,
  • Big grants: from 23 001 up to 84 000 EUR and between 12 and 24 months of implementation.

Additional funding available within call proposals for:

  • components implemented in cooperation with Donor States entities – up to 15% of the total grant amount,
  • capacity-building and institutional development activities – up to 15% of the total grant amount.

“Fast track” opportunity to apply for grants in an ongoing call dedicated to projects of an intervention/ad hoc character in response to unpredictable circumstances. Those projects should be planned for the amount of up to 15 000 EUR and between 3 and 8 months of implementation. 

Bilateral cooperation

The ACF-Regional will promote development of bilateral cooperation of Polish CSOs with Norwegian entities, as well as those from Iceland and Liechtenstein. Means of support for bilateral cooperation are:

  • educational materials on different aspects of civic sectors in both Poland and Donor States available to all interested parties;
  • match-making events (including online) during which Polish CSOs and entities from Donor States will be able to find project partners, learn from one another and start the process of project preparation;
  • travel grants mechanism allowing partners from both sides to visit each other in order to better understand the situation in place (related to project area), as well as thoroughly discuss and prepare a partnership project proposal;
  • study visits for CSOs from Poland to Donor States, but also for entities from Donor States to Poland, aimed at getting in-depth understanding of each other’s experience in the Programme-related areas.

Fund operator

The ACF – Regional Programme in Poland is operated by Foundation in Support for Local Democracy in cooperation with Education for Democracy Foundation and Information Society Development Foundation.


Ewa Stokłuska – bilateral and regional cooperation coordinator,

Resources and more information

Website of the Active Citizens Fund – Regional in Poland

Further information on the EEA and Norway Grants in Poland