Call for sectoral projects

A consortium of the Stefan Batory Foundation, the “Shipyard” Centre for Social Innovation and Research Foundation, and the Academy of Civic Organisations Foundation issues a call for sectoral projects in the Active Citizens Fund – National, financed from the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021.

Grants can be applied for in the call according to the following conditions:

  • minimum grant: EUR 25 000,•maximum grant EUR 125 000,
  • implementation period: between 12 and 36 months,
  • co-financing – 10% of the overall project and capacity building expenses, a minimum of half of which must be in financial form.

Application timeline:

  • project outlines: between 6 May 2020 (from midday) and 30 June 2020 (up until midday),
  • detailed projects: between 27 August 2020 (from midday) until 26 October 2020 (up until midday).

Types of activities supported:

  • Provision of services and organising other activities that support capacity building of CSOs and civic movements,
  • Monitoring of the law,
  • Advocating for rights and interests
  • Increasing public awareness of the role and importance of the civic sector and the need to become involved in supporting it,
  • Research, analyses, opinions, and expert analyses.

Applications can be submitted via the Online Application System

Fundacja Akademia Organizacji Obywatelskich (the Academy of Civic Organizations Foundation) is responsible for the call.

Here you can find “Call for sectoral projects” .

All the information and documents (in Polish version) can be found HERE.

Matchmaking online meeting

The aim of the meeting is to facilitate networking  of Polish civil society organizations with their potential project partners from Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). We also want to deliver and discuss information on the current condition of the civic sector in Poland and in Donor States and to share recommended activities empowering the civic sector from each country.
The meeting will be also the opportunity to deliver information about Active Citizens Fund – National application submission rules (call for proposals for sectoral projects) and answer concerns/questions addressed at the meeting.

In order to fulfill expected aims we decided to divide the meeting into two parts (you can find the full meeting’s agenda below). First part is a webinar and consists of presentations and time for participants’ questions. We invited representatives of Icelandic, Liechtenstein, Norwegian and Polish CSOs who will share their knowledge and reflections on the most common and effective CSO’s capacity building and civic sector empowerment and development activities.

The second part of the meeting is going to be a moderated discussion which will be based on the participants’ preferences marked in the registration forms. We proposed 3 topics. Let’s see which of them are going to be most interesting for matchmaking meeting’s participants. That is why we would like to ask you to fill the registration form (link below) in order to help us prepare the matchmaking meeting as much based on your needs and choices as it is possible.

The working language of both parts is English.

After filling in the registration form you will receive more information about the meeting including the link to the online meeting platform. When it comes to the technical equipment there is only computer with loudspeakers/headphones needed.

Having applications exceeding our technical capacity we are going to decide on the participation based on the diversity of participants and on the quality of their applications.
In order to register please use this link:

Having any questions or remarks, please do not hesitate to contact Anna Fedas from Batory Foundation:

Matchmaking meeting’s agenda

Part 1 (recorded and available online after the meeting)
10-11.30 a.m. CET
1. Welcoming remarks (representatives of the Active Citizens Fund – National Program Operator consortium)
2. Presentation on the civic sector in Iceland – a representative of the Icelandic Human Right Centre (10 minutes)
3. Presentation on the civic sector in Liechtenstein – a representative of the CSO from Liechtenstein (10 minutes)
4. Presentation on the civic sector in Norway – a representative of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee (10 minutes)
5. Presentation on the civic sector in Poland – Lidia Kuczmierowska from the Academy of Civil Organizations Foundation (10 minutes)
6. Presentation on the “Sectoral projects call for applications” – Andrzej Pietrucha from the Academy of Civil Organizations Foundation (10 minutes)
short break
Part 2 (not recorder) in 2 working groups:
11.45 a.m.-1 p.m. CET
1. Discussion on the common challenges of the civic sector in each country and brainstorm on potential solutions.
Identifying potential barriers and supporters to one chosen activity responding to the challenges/solutions discussed before.
2. Golden practices and failures (for those who want to share it with other participants).
3. Presentation of the projects’ ideas (for those who want to share it with other participants).
Concluding remarks & goodbye (in one common session)

* depends on the topic(s) chosen by participants in the registration form

First call for thematic projects

A consortium of the Stefan Batory Foundation, the “Shipyard” Centre for Social Innovation and Research Foundation and the Academia of Civic Organisations Foundation issues the first call for thematic projects in the Active Citizens Fund – National, financed from the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 (EEA Grants).

The amount designated for grants for the first call is EUR 10 455 000.

The amounts allocated to particular support areas are:

  • Area 1: civic participation in public affairs and social activities: EUR 4 500 000
  • Area 2: protection of human rights and equal treatment: EUR 2 985 000
  • Area 3: empowerment of vulnerable groups: EUR 2 970 000.

The envisaged results of the Programme and particular areas for which support is provided are listed on the Programme website:

There are two types of grants available in the call for proposals:

Small grants:

  • Minimum grant: EUR 5 000
  • Maximum grant: EUR 25 000
  • Project implementation period: between 8 and 24 months
  • Co-financing – 10% of project’s budget, may be entirely in the form of in-kind contribution (voluntary work).

Large grants:

  • Minimum grant: EUR 25 000
  • Maximum grant: 62 500 euro
  • Project implementation period: od 8 do 24 months
  • Co-financing – 10% of project’s budget, of which a minimum of 50% must be a financial contribution.

Applications can be submitted via the Online Application System available at

Deadlines for applications:

  • Project outlines can be submitted between 10 February 2020 (from 15.00 pm CET) and 15 April 2020 (up until 12.00 pm midday CEST)
  • Detailed projects can be submitted between 15 June 2020 (from 12.00 pm midday CEST) and 10 August 2020 (until 12.00 pm midday CEST)

All the information can be found here: Call for thematic projects

A webinar on the subject of the Active Citizens’ Fund – National Programme

Webinar agenda:

  1. Information on organisational matters concerning the Active Citizens’ Fund – National Programme (dates, amounts, procedures)
  2. Information on thematic areas for which funding is available
  3. Information about additional amounts of grants for capacity building and/or cooperation with Donor State organisations.

Chaired by:

Aleksandra Muzińska – Active Citizens’ Fund – National Programme financial  director, Stefan Batory Foundation

Maria Jagaciak – Area 1 coordinator in the Active Citizens’ Fund – National Programme, “Shipyard” Centre for Social Innovation and Research Foundation


Piotr Henzler, Academy of Civic Organizations Foundation

Webinar devoted to bilateral cooperation

In the webinar there were experts with practical experience of bilateral projects:

– Prof. Marta Bivand Erdal – Director of Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
– Leiv Igor Devold – Polish-Norwegian film director, graduate of the Polish National Film School in Łódź
– Donata Honkowicz-Bukowska – Polish language teacher, educational and multicultural advisor in primary schools in Kópavogur, Iceland
– Alina Kula – co-founder and member of the Board of the Positive Change Foundation. In the previous edition of the Active Citizens Programme she implemented a project with an Icelandic organisation.

Working language of the webinarium was Polish.


We will be touring Poland!

At the briefings, the organisers will talk about the main precepts of the Programme and the first call for projects, and the challenges related to areas for which funding is provided. They will present inspirational examples of activities and answer questions. The briefing will also include a workshop for attendees can work on preliminary ideas for projects. This is something to consider beforehand.

Opole – 5.02 – registration closed
Koszalin – 13.02 – registration closed
Białystok – 18.02 – registration closed
Zielona Góra – 20.02 –  registration closed
Rzeszów – 24.02 – registration closed
Ełk – 27.02 – registration closed
Olsztyn – 2.03 – REGISTRATION until 24.02
Kielce – 4.03 – REGISTRATION until 26.02

Important! Due to popularity, the venues selected for the meetings may change (locations in particular cities). Registered attendees will be notified.

We are looking for experts to evaluate applications

Experts must fulfil the following requirements:

  • they must have knowledge of a minimum of one of the thematic areas and be familiar with the activities of CSOs active in this area,
  • they must have the ability to apply their knowledge and experience when analysing and evaluating projects,
  • they must have an ability to formulate evaluations and opinions concerning applications clearly and communicatively in writing,
  • they must guarantee that projects are evaluated impartially,
  • they must be available at the times specified on the application form.

The experts’ task will be to evaluate project outlines and detailed projects, and attend three meetings during each of the calls, including two training sessions on the subject of application evaluation and one meeting of experts subsequent to evaluation of detailed projects.

Online  recruitment system

We will announce the results of the recruitment process by 2 March 2020. Prior to applying, please read in particular the information on the areas for financing for which applications can be submitted. The Operator reserves the right to hold meetings/interviews with applicants using new technology such as Skype. Successful applicants will be asked to sign an agreement for a specified task (umowa o dzieło) specifying the terms of employment and remuneration according to the rates given below:

Small grants (up to EUR 25 000): project outline – PLN 55 gross, detailed project – PLN 210 gross. Large grants (up to EUR 62 500): project outline – PLN 70 gross, detailed project – PLN 280 gross. These rates cover all costs related to evaluation, including attendance at meetings.

The experts we select will be required to sign a conflict of interest declaration/deklaracja bezstronności eksperta/ki, which is an appendix to the agreement.

If you have any questions regarding recruitment please contact:

regarding areas 2 and 3 – the Batory Foundation

tel. (22) 536 02 00

regarding area 1– the “Shipyard” Foundation
tel. (22) 100 55 94

Please be informed that for the sake of transparency and openness of evaluation of applications submitted in the Programme, when the calls for projects are completed, personal data of experts who evaluate applications in the Programme, being the first name, surname, and brief description of their occupation, will be posted on the Programme website on the grounds of legitimate interest of the Programme Operator (art. 6(1)(f) of the GDPR).

Official launch of Active Citizens Fund – National programme

The programme, for which the budget is EUR 30 million in aid from EEA countries (Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein), will provide support for social organisations such as associations, foundations, social cooperatives, and rural housewives’ circles working towards greater civic participation in public life, protection of human rights and equality, environmental protection, preventing climate change, and empowering vulnerable groups. The programme is run by a consortium of three organisations, the Stefan Batory Foundation (leader), the “Shipyard” Centre for Social Innovation and Research Foundation, and the Academy of Civic Organizations Foundation.

– I would like to congratulate you for showing such determination and strength. It is due to that determination and strength, and the action taken to overcome a range of different obstacles, that the Fund is able to operate in a spirit of independence, with due regard for the values set out in the Polish Constitution, international treaties to which Poland is party, and European values – Adam Bodnar, Polish Commissioner for Human Rights, said at the official launch of the programme in Warsaw.

The Active Citizens Fund – National programme will provide support for projects put forward by organisations throughout Poland, but in particular activities of less experienced organisations based outside large conurbations and in areas where access to aid programmes is limited. Our aim is to offer the opportunity for funding to those most in need: groups that face discrimination on the grounds of race or ethnic origin, belief, gender, age, or sexual orientation, and vulnerable groups: people with disabilities, people facing homelessness, the elderly, and victims of violence … –Sylwia Sobiepan, programme director, said. – Young people are an important group in all areas in which support is given, Zofia Komorowska from the “Shipyard” Foundation added.

The programme will provide grants for awareness-raising activities, including grants to improve awareness of civic, equality and discrimination issues, for activation activities and activities related to voluntary work, and action and campaigns to improve awareness of climate change issues, combating prejudice, hate speech, and violence, projects to increase civic participation in decision-making, watchdog activities, intervention in matters concerning respect for human rights and the rule of law, measures to empower vulnerable groups and help them to become independent, measures towards integration in local communities, advocacy for better public policies and law and better policies for enforcing the law, and measures to improve the standards of public institutions and the services they provide.

– Providing support for development of social organisations will be an important element of the programme. Each organisation that applies for grants for a project will be entitled to a further grant to build the organisation, by investing in team-building, improving skills, raising funds for its activities, and improving management and communication etc.  – Lidka Kuczmierowska of the Academy of Civic Organizations Foundation said.

A separate call will be held for grants for projects to support the civic sector, such as infrastructure funding (training, awareness-raising, consultancy), measures to increase public awareness about what organisations do, or for instance monitoring laws that affect their activities.

On the second day of the official launch, more than eighty representatives of organisations from Poland, Iceland, and Norway met in Warsaw to discuss ideas for collective projects.

Applications can be submitted in the first call from 3 February. Another call – for sectoral projects, will be held in April 2020. The programme team will be organising a series of meetings in the coming months in a number of regions in Poland, to provide information about the programme.

Broadcast of the general session of the conference

Presentation on the Programme 

Programme leaflet

Conference agenda


Conference to launch Active Citizens Fund – National programme

Day I (Wednesday, 8 January) will feature a presentation on the programme, areas in which support is provided, and rules for applying for grants.

On day II (Thursday, 9 January) we will organise networking workshops for Polish, Norwegian, and Icelandic organisations active in similar areas, seeking to perform partnership projects. The workshops will be held in English, and will help to forge new relationships, devise the basic principles for partnership projects, and discuss the rules for applying for funding.

application form

conference agenda

Applications must be sent by 31 December 2019. We will send confirmation of a place at the conference by 3 January 2020.

Due to the limited number of places available, please only submit an application for one person from each organisation. We recommend registering as soon as possible!
We appreciate that travel costs are truly an obstacle and might prevent attendance at the event. We do have certain (limited unfortunately) funds designated for covering travel and accommodation costs for attendees who do not live in Warsaw. If you are able to cover these costs by yourself please do so, to enable us to help people in need of such funding to come to the conference.

The Active Citizens Fund – National programme is one of eleven programmes run in Poland using funds from the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism (known as the Norwegian and EEA funds) 2014-2021 and one of two programmes designated to provide support for activities of social organisations. The aim of the Fund is to strengthen the civic society and active citizenship, and empower vulnerable groups. In its activities, the Fund subscribes to the universal values specified in the TEU: respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, and the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

The National Fund is operated by a consortium of three organisations, the Stefan Batory Foundation (leader), the “Shipyard” Centre for Social Innovation and Research Foundation, and the Academy of Civic Organizations Foundation.

Active Citizens Fund – National programme consultations completed

The initial conclusions reached in the consultations were represented at the main consultation session – on 17 January in Warsaw. The session was attended by approximately 70 people from various social organisations, as well as CSOs and public authorities. Following the main event, thematic meetings were also held on a smaller scale for organisations active in the areas for which the Fund provides funding. Currently, together with the FMO in Brussels, which manages EEA programmes for civic societies in 20 countries, we are making preparations to launch the Fund in Poland.