January 12, 2009, Beijing—The Civil Society Fund, formerly known as the Small Grants Program, supports activities related to civic engagement by providing small grants administered through World Bank Country Offices.
The Civil Society Fund seeds and supports activities that empower and enable citizens to take initiatives to enhance and influence development outcomes. Activities strengthen mechanisms for inclusion, accountability, and participation. Activities also strengthen partnerships with public sector, other civil society organizations, and the private sector.
The Civil Society Fund provides grants in the range of $3,000 to $7,000 each, with a maximum of $10,000. But it rarely funds more than half of the proposed budget for an activity, and therefore encourages grantees to use the World Bank grant to leverage additional contributions from other sources.
Local CS organizations are invited to apply. Priority will be given to grassroots CS organizations in remote and poor areas.
The deadline for application is March 15, 2009. Decisions on grants allocation will be announced around May.
Since 1999, the World Bank Small Grants Program supports five to ten projects proposed by local CS organizations each year.