hungaryflagNGO Programme 2009-2014
Total allocation: 153 million €
Allocation to NGO Programme: 12.618 million €


According to the latest data available from the Central Statistical Office, there were approximately 65,000 NGOs registered in Hungary in 2010, indicating, for the first time, a slight decrease (about 1,000) compared to the previous year. The most common areas of focus for foundations are education (32 %), social services (16%) and culture (14%), while leisure and hobby (25%) sport (16%) and culture (12%) are the predominant activities among associations.

The EEA/Norwegian NGO Fund in Hungary will be designed and operated with the general aim to help strengthen civil society, build its capacities especially in the fields of democracy, advocacy and civil participation, in line with the Donors' priorities. The primary outcome of the NGO Fund will be the fostering of active citizenship – it is an overarching theme underlying all focus areas, calls and activities but several more specific outcomes are expected to be achieved concerning both the functions of NGOs themselves and their constituencies.

The core of the program will comprise of small grants – a system of several, partially interlinked calls for proposals with different project sizes, durations, target groups, procedures and thematic areas is foreseen so as to best serve the varying needs of NGOs. All in all, between 355-440 NGO projects are expected to be supported most probably in 3 grant rounds, in the following 7 priorities:

  1. human rights and democracy,
  2. local community and organisational development,
  3. women and equal opportunities,
  4. youth programmes,
  5. environment and sustainable development,
  6. Roma integration,
  7. social and welfare services.

Grant-making will be coupled with capacity building activities, partly carried out by the Operator itself, but also provided more intensively in the framework of macro projects by nationwide NGOs expected to transfer their knowledge and knowhow, give trainings, mentoring and coaching services to the smaller groups, thereby also helping them prepare for developing their own project applications. This component will target human rights and watchdog NGOs (including those working on women's rights and youth) on the one hand and community and organisation developer ones on the other. Call for macro projects will be announced in the first round so as to allow enough time both for the grantees' own capacity building and for the activities serving the transfer of knowledge .

At the same time, a "first aid" call to support micro projects will also be announced to sooth the acute financial needs of NGOs. The call for First Aid projects will only be announced in the first round. Subsequently in the second and third round, micro and medium grants as well as internships will be made available in the above thematic areas.

Bilateral cooperation
A combination of pro-active measures to improve bilateral relations, which also require the openness and active cooperation of the relevant partners, have been proposed:
  1. Internship + grant pilot program: an internship pilot program will be organised as part of the open calls. Applicants may receive funding for spending up to 3 months time at a Donor State NGO to learn about their issues, working methods and especially to collect good practice on NGO fundraising and advocacy. Upon their return home, interns will be expected to utilize their experience through developing project proposals (small and medium) to be submitted for consideration to the NGO Fund.
  2. Project level partnership: the Operator will strongly encourage and support NGOs to seek partners, especially the macro project applicants – human rights & advocacy, community & organisational development organisations – the majority of which are members of European networks and/or have international contacts to liaise with their Donor State counterparts. In case of smaller NGOs, the Operator will assist them to find appropriate partners and to develop joint activities with them as part of the full project proposal. As a concrete incentive, NGO which have Donor State partners may apply for 10% higher amount than the limit in their given grant category and use the extra funds to cover the costs of joint activities.
  3. Organisation of study trips: the Operator will organise study trips for representatives of NGOs implementing successful projects of a model value. The first such trip will be organised one year after grants in the first call for proposals are awarded. Application to the trip will be open to all (small and medium) grantees. Participants will be expected to utilize the experience of the study trips in their own NGOs and to spread them to other ones they work with, hopefully leading to building partnerships with Donor State entities in later projects as well.
  4. Students as partnership brokers: The Operator will contact Norwegian students studying in Hungary (with the possible help of the Embassy) and organise meetings/workshops with them to present the NGO Fund, Hungarian civil society and examples of the projects funded. Students will be asked to act as volunteer 'partnership brokers' i.e. to visit selected Hungarian NGOs, learn about their work and upon their return to Norway to look for possible counterparts for them thereby helping partnerships.
  5. Youth exchanges: together with Donor State entities the Operator will organise exchange programs for young people (age 18-30). Up to 10 creative and committed young people, selected through an open process will be supported to visit the Donor States for up to one month period. Each of them will be tasked to find at least 5 good idea in his/her in way which could be implemented in Hungary. If there is demand, the exercise may be repeated vice versa e.g. young people from the Donor State can come to Hungary for 'fact-finding' trips to take back home what they learn.
Call for proposals  
1st call: February 2013
2nd call: January 2014
3rd call: September 2014
Programme Operators 
Hungarian Environmental Partnership Foundation
Telephone: +36-1-411-3500 
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Foundation for the Development of Democratic Rights
Telephone: +36-1-411-0410
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Resources and more information
Website of the Hungarian NGO Programme
Latest news on Hungary
Further information on the EEA Grants in Hungary