1. General information

The NCM expects applications from NGOs and foundations working in public interest, and which strive for increasing social cohesion and strengthening civil society in the Baltic States.

2. Objective

The Nordic governments are convinced that cooperating with non-governmental organisations (NGO) in the Baltic Sea region enhances networking, prosperity and democracy. To promote these aspirations the governments asked the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) to establish the NGO Programme.

3. Purposes of the programme

The NGO programme is a Nordic instrument that supports the development of a strong and dynamic civil society in the Baltic Sea Region and helps expanding the capacity of NGOs in the Baltic States by sharing experience and knowledge with the Nordic partners.
The purpose is to promote:

  • Network cooperation in prioritised areas
  • Knowledge transfer for mutual benefit within different sector areas
  • Experience exchange on best practices
  • Capacity building within civil society

4. Priorities

4.1. To fulfill Our Vision 2030, The Nordic Council of Ministers has established a set of strategic priorities. This means that all undertakings should fulfil at least one of the following priorities:

  • A green region – together, we will promote a green transition of our societies and work towards carbon neutrality and a sustainable circular and bio-based economy.
  • A competitive region – together, we will promote green growth in the region based on knowledge, innovation, mobility, and digital integration.
  • A socially sustainable region – together, we will promote an inclusive, equal, and interconnected region with shared values and strengthened cultural exchange and welfare.

4.2. Successful projects should take into account Guidelines for the Nordic Council of Ministers' cooperation with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from 2014

5. Projects should take into consideration cross-cutting themes

Gender equality, children and youth, Agenda 2030.

The linked documents might guide Applicants how to mainstream gender equality, children and youth as well as Agenda 2030 goals in the Project. In September 2015 the UN adopted a global agenda for sustainable development – Agenda 2030 – which features 17 SDGs and 169 objectives. Subsequently the member countries of the UN, including the Nordic countries, pledged to implement the agenda.

6. Applicants (eligibility)

It is a formal requirement that the applicant and relevant partners are Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
The programme defines NGOs as "non-profit, publicly anchored, civic organisations that are neither owned nor controlled by public authorities, nor by private companies, and which have an open and democratic structure".
Applicants should have good working knowledge in English. English is the language of application writing, reporting and the work language of all programme documents.

7. Annual round of applications

Each year there will be one round of applications. The deadline for sending applications will be announced on the home pages of the Nordic Council of Ministers' Offices in Estonia (www.norden.ee), Latvia (www.norden.lv) and Lithuania (www.norden.lt) at least 6 weeks in advance.

8. Eligible forms of project activities

  • Network activities, such as seminars and workshops with the aim to strengthen cooperation within the priority areas of the programme.
  • Study visits for exchange of experience
  • Trainings, societal education projects
  • Research projects

9. Requirement for partner NGOs

At least three NGOs must be involved in a project for it to be eligible for funding.
2 different Nordic and 1 Baltic country or, alternatively, 1 Nordic and 2 different Baltic countries (NB 2+1 or 1+2).

10. Duration of a project

Applicants must clearly state the duration of the project. The maximum duration is one year.
Activities carried out before the decision on funding from the programme are not eligible for funding from the programme.

11. Financial framework

From 2020 on the official currency of the Program is Euro (EUR).

A  total of approximately 60 000 EUR has been earmarked for the programme in each of the Baltic countries.
The minimum grant is 2700 EUR, and the maximum – 13.5000 EUR. In some cases, projects where a bigger grant size can be motivated, the maximum grant for the project could be up to 20.000 EUR.

11.1 Eligible costs and financing
  • Costs related to network activities like seminars, meetings and workshops
  • Travel expenses (economy class)
  • Accommodation and per diems
  • Expert fees
  • Salary of the Project leader and Accountant

Proposals with a part of the budget financed by the applicant or a third party will be viewed favourably. Co-funding should be given as a monetary contribution, either directly by the applicant or indirectly through a third party (organisation/partner/donor/authority) towards the project.
To be considered as co-funding the contribution need to be directly linked to the budgetary framework provided and be an integral part of the application and the specific activities within this and provided before or during the implementation period. In-kind contributions, such as use of space, staff time or equipment, is not considered as co-funding.

Non-eligible costs:

  • Infrastructure, regular activities and administrative costs of the applicant.
  • Other costs which are not in harmony with the objectives of the programme.
11.2 Payment procedures

85% of the allocated grant is paid as advance payment. The remaining part is paid after an activity report (content and financial) has been submitted and approved.

12. Criteria for support

Decisions on grants are based on the quality of the application and the following criteria for support:

  • The application has been submitted in due time and in accordance with the requirements in the application form and the guidelines
  • The applicant fulfils the requirements for eligibility (see 6 above)
  • The activity contributes to the objective of the programme (see 2 above)
  • The activity promotes the purposes of the programme (see 3 above) 
  • The application concerns a form of activity eligible under the programme (see 8 above)
  • The activity fulfils at least one of the priorities (see 4.1 above)
  • The activity takes into consideration the cross-cutting themes: gender equality, children and youth, Agenda 2030
  • The activity is flexible to adapt to COVID-19 situation.

13. Outcome of the application

Decisions can be expected no later than 6 weeks after the deadline of submitting an application.
Decisions on grants are taken by the Directors of the Nordic Council of Ministers' Offices in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania based on the quality of applications, the budget frames of the programme and the following indicators:

  • Purposes of the programme (see 3 above)
  • The criteria for support (see 12 above)
  • Consistency between the problems, objectives and activities, and results
  • A clear division of tasks and responsibilities
  • Sustainability: the proposals containing a description of follow-up activities are viewed positively.
  • Cost-efficiency

All applicants will be informed about the outcome of the selection process. The decisions cannot be subject to appeal.

A grant should be used within twelve months after signing a contract.
All programme participants are to report on and evaluate their experiences.

14. Practical information for applicants

The information concerning applying is available at the home pages of the Nordic Council of Ministers' Offices in Estonia (www.norden.ee), Latvia (www.norden.lv) and Lithuania (www.norden.lt). The homepage of the electronic system of Nordic Baltic NGO Programme is www.ncmgrants.org
The applicant should fill in the on-line electronic application form.The following documents (in free format) should be uploaded as attachments to the application:

  • Detailed budget
  • Timetable
  • Letter of commitment of partner organisations
  • Visibility and Communication Plan

All documents should be submitted in English.

15. How to apply

Applications and attachments (uploaded) are to be submitted on-line using the electronic application and reporting system at www.ncmgrants.org no later than the deadline announced on the home pages of the Nordic Council of Ministers' Offices in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

16. Reporting requirements

A report is to be submitted on-line using the electronic application and reporting system at www.ncmgrants.org no later than 30 days after the end date of the project.
The report should consist of an activity report and a financial report. The reporting scheme is available on www.ncmgrants.org.

The activity report should include an evaluation of the experience, describing the benefits of the programme, how the activity contributed to achieving results/s as well as suggestions for improving the programme, as appropriate.

Under Point 20. Expenditure column the granted sum must be written under Programme Grant and the co-financed sum under Co-financing column. The system itself total up both columns and the result will appear under Actual Total Expenditure.

Under Point 21. Actual Total Expenditure must be verified: Scanned copies of invoices, receipts, tickets, payment orders or statement of bank account should be uploaded by grouping documents proving each cost in one file. Please give a number to each file with an explanation in English and with the corresponding sum in EUR.
Upload a separate table with all the expenditures with the corresponding sum in currency of payment and EUR (with inserting 0 on the Expenditure line).

Originals of expenditure documents should be kept by the applying and partner organisations for 5 years.
The reports should be written in English.

17. Project results

All publications, announcements, etc. which at any given time derive from the funding awarded from the NCM program for the Nordic-Baltic Non-Governmental Organisations’ (NGO) Cooperation must carry the Nordic Council of Ministers' logo.

Logo of the Estonian NCM Office

Logo of the Lithuanian NCM Office

The grant recipient must refer to the Nordic Council of Ministers when informing about the program in communication activities.
The grant recipient is to invite the respective adviser from the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office to openings/closings of events, presentations and to other relevant events.

18. Disclaimer

Publications, including reports, websites, and other information material, produced under this project shall contain the following disclaimer: This publication has been produced with the financial support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the coordinators of this project and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

19. Questions

Questions related to the application can be directed to the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office according to the residence country of the applying organisation:

Contact person in Estonia:
Merle Kuusk, Adviser, Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Estonia:
Tel +372 627 31 00, Mob: +372 52 75209, e-mail address: merle.kuusk@norden.ee

Contact person in Latvia:
Daina Mežecka, Adviser, Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Latvia:
Mob: +371 29 394 399, e-mail address: daina@norden.lv

Contact person in Lithuania:
Mindaugas Damijonaitis, Adviser, Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Lithuania:
Tel: +370 61113790, e-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.