Popular calls for NGO projects in Bulgaria and Romania
The NGO funds in Bulgaria and Romania closed their first calls for proposals in October, and the fund managers are now busy evaluating the close to 700 submitted applications.
The NGO funds have been eagerly anticipated in Bulgaria and Romania, arriving at a time when other donors are pulling out and shifting focus to non-EU members.
The €5 million Romanian NGO fund has a split focus on supporting watch-dog activities and developing model projects providing social services. Project support for NGOs will be made available through two open calls, of which the first closed in early October this year. A total 367 applications are now under appraisal at the Civil Society Development Foundation, managing the Romanian NGO fund. Civil Society Development Foundation has promised an efficient evaluation process, and the selected projects will be started in January 2009.
The €2 million Bulgarian NGO fund is earmarked projects within the fields of environment and sustainable development, provision and development of social services, and development of civil society and protection of human rights. The 321 applications received in response to this summer's call for proposals are now being appraised by fund manager Foundation for Local Government Reform. The majority of the submitted projects involve partnerships between several Bulgarian NGOs. According to Boneva of the Foundation for Local Government Reform, the NGO fund is one of the most flexible and accessible funding options for supporting Bulgarian civil society.