Eligibility of applicants

Yes, newcomers can apply. The founding of the association or other entity does not need to be complete at the time of application. Where possible, we can try to support you in finding a suitable host organization. A non-profit organization must be founded by August 31, 2021 at the latest in order to be able to sign the grant agreement with us.

Unfortunately, we cannot enter into grant agreements with individuals, private initiatives or local citizens’ groups. Funding will be provided on the basis of a signed grant agreement between MitOst and a registered non-profit organization. However, we are committed to supporting the best and most relevant ideas. Therefore, if your project idea is selected, a non-profit organization must be established by signing the grant agreement on August 31, 2021 or you must identify an organization that agrees to legally host your project.

It is generally possible for small initiatives with no legal registration to apply with a host organization. Please be aware that your host organization needs to be a non-profit. If your idea is chosen as a winner project, we will sign the grant agreement with your host organization and mention the name of your initiative in it. You, on your part, will need to sign agreements with the host organization. This way we can be sure that you will receive the funding in the end. Everything else – your cooperation in the implementation process – is up to you and your host organization to decide.

Commercially oriented organizations and project formats that are not recognized as non-profits cannot be funded. For-profit organizations can, however, be involved as project partners as long as the proposed project and applicant are non-profit. We encourage you to opt for cross-sectoral partnerships if it makes sense for your initiatives.

Public organizations can be only funded in case they are non-profit (exclusively and directly pursuing charitable purposes). Otherwise public institutions can be involved as project partners. In this case the non-profit organization should be the applicant and the public institution can be listed as partner. We welcome cross-sectoral partnerships if they serve the purpose of your idea.

We can provide funding to registered organizations of a non-profit legal form (exclusively and directly pursuing charitable purposes). We are aware that there can be a wide variety in the legal forms and regulations in the different countries we are working in. If your organization has a non-commercial/non-profit legal status under the national law of your country and your organization complies with our legal and documentation requirements – then you can apply.

The Civic Europe Idea Challenge is strictly limited to CSOs from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain that are active locally, regionally, nationally and/or internationally. CSOs from other countries can be listed as partners, consultants or supporters, but cannot submit an application themselves.

Not directly. The applicant of the project must be a CSO from the country or the region (it can be cross-border) where the project will be implemented. So in this example, a Portuguese organization should apply with you, where you are in the role of a partner. We believe that local actors know best what their communities need.

Partnerships and selection criteria

No, you don’t. Your idea is what counts for us the most. However, we do encourage you to tell us with whom you will work in order for us to understand better how you plan to implement your idea on the ground.

In this case the non-profit organization should be the applicant. You can name the for-profit organization as your partner and implement the project together. However, please be aware that the nature of your project idea should be purely non-profit.

Yes, of course. We encourage cross-sectoral cooperation if it is relevant to your idea. We believe that cross-sectoral cooperation deepens the impact and opens up new opportunities for the project implementation.

Capitals and urban centers are not generally excluded from the idea challenge. Most important to us in this case is the question: Why is your community lacking civic cohesion in the sense of our selection criteria? If your idea fits our selection criteria, you are certainly eligible and welcome to apply.

Yes. However, it will be important for us that you cooperate with locals rooted in the community that you want to work in. Furthermore, we will need to know why you are well equipped to understand the relevant, local issues of that region/community.

Yes, that is possible. We encourage everyone who has a good idea on how to strengthen active citzenship in our eligible countries and comply with our selecton criteria to apply. However we will not fund the same project ideas we have funded already or extend existing grant agreements.

Use of funding

Funding can be used for all project-related costs, including personnel and materials. Material costs include travel costs, accommodation and subsistence, service contracts and honoraria (for external trainers, experts, service providers, etc.), and materials for project implementation (equipment, etc.), the presentation of results, public relations and communications.

Civic Europe supports up to 20 project ideas with a maximum of €35,000 each. When planning your project, we kindly ask you to apply for the amount that you will actually need to implement your idea. Don’t apply for the maximum simply because you can. The finances planned should be realistic, in accordance with the project activities that you proposed.

The first round of the Idea Challenge in 2020 showed us that there is a much bigger demand for funding on the local level than expected. With 841 applications on our table we realized that we should shift our focus. This is why we decided to support 20 project ideas instead of the originally planned 15 with a reduced amount of funding – up to €35, 000 each, combining it with a comprehensive non-monetary offer including various learning labs and events.

Even though we do not ask you for your budget calculation in the application, we will ask all ideas that are ultimately selected for the shortlist to hand in a financial budget. We strongly advise you – in your own interest – to calculate beforehand.

An application for co-financing for a project proposal with a total budget of more than €35,000 is possible. In the application we ask for further information about other sources of funding. What is important for us and what we ask in our interviews with shortlisted candidates is: What are possible scenarios for the overall project idea if the co-financing sources break down?

Funding from Civic Europe can be used after signing the grant agreement with us from September 2021 until November 2022. You will need to submit a financial and narrative report by November 30, 2022.

You can request the first payment right after signing the agreement with MitOst. Please note that you can request up to 80 percent of the total funding amount as an advance payment. The remaining 20 percent will be transferred after the submission of the financial and narrative report and not later than January 2023.

The financial report (including all original receipts) must be submitted to MitOst by November 30, 2022. For projects with a shorter time frame, reports should be submitted one month after the end of the project. We will require that you submit all receipts and forms digitally as well as in hard copy for the German tax office. Should national legislation or tax law prevent you from sending us your original receipts, we will need copies as well as a signed statement referencing the specific law or legislative piece. If you’re not sure, you might get in touch with a tax consultant. In some cases we might know from previous experience and might be able to help out.

Our reallocation policy states that you have flexibility within up to 20 percent of change of the budget’s main headings of material costs and up to 10 percent with regards to personnel costs, under the condition that the overall funding amount remain the same. Changes above those percentages and creation of new budget’s headings have to be approved by the Civic Europe team. In general we are open and flexible when changes are well explained and make sense for your project.

Idea space and application

In order to register, please click on the registration button at the top right of the webiste. Insert a username (your username doesn’t have to be your real name), an email address and a password and press the “Register” button. We will send you an automatically generated email with your validation link to the email address you provided. Please check your inbox and click on this link to complete your registration. The link is valid for seven days. Please also check your spam folder. If you do not receive any validation e-mail, please let us know.

You can submit ideas by using the “+ add idea” button. You can find the button when you click on the arrow next to your user name. Note that in order to click on this button, you have to be logged in. The form has to be filled in one sitting and cannot be stored temporarily. Please note: Your application will not be saved until you hit the “Submit” button at the very end of the application form. Please save an offline version of your answers to avoid lost data.

Anyone who has submitted an idea to the Civic Europe Idea Challenge and up to four co-workers of their idea can support other submitted ideas. Your co-workers have to register and be added on your idea before the call ends. When you click on the idea, a detailed idea description will unfold where you can find the support button. Click the support button to support the idea. Note that in order to click on this button, you have to be logged in. You can support various ideas or withdraw your support. You cannot support your own idea. Please follow our netiquette when you vote for the Community Award.

You can comment on the ideas of other users by entering your comment in the comment field at the bottom of the idea. Please note that in order to comment you have to be logged in. Use the small arrows below a comment to rank it. If you want to reply to a comment, use the “Answer” button. If a comment is inconsistent with the general rules or netiquette, you can report this comment via “Report,” which you can find by clicking on the “…” button. Please make sure that your comments follow the netiquette.

Yes, all fields of the application form that are marked with a “*” must be filled in in one sitting. After the application has been submitted and published online, you can still edit and adjust the text up until the submission deadline on April 26 2021, 12:00 noon (CET).

Yes, it is possible to enter multiple project ideas through a single user account.

To upload images, please use the data formats .jpg, .png or .gif with a max. size of 3 MB and a minimum width of 400 px.

No, we want to give all participants the same chance and therefore ask that you refrain from sending additional materials via post or email. In the submission form itself, however, you can include links to graphics, videos, blogs, etc.