Main funding opportunities

Approximately 80% of EU funding sources for NGOs are managed by EU countries themselves. Each country provides detailed information about funding and application procedures on the websites of the managing authorities. The rest are managed by the Commission or other EU bodies.

Social inclusion, gender equality and equal opportunities

NGOs working in these fields may benefit from European Social Fund (ESF) support. These funds are managed by the managing authorities in an EU region or country.

Culture and media

The Creative Europe programme supports initiatives related to the European audiovisual, cultural and creative sector. The programme consists of two sub-programmes: Culture and MEDIA.

The Culture sub-programme opportunities cover a diverse range of schemes: cooperation projects, literary translation, networks and platforms, while the MEDIA sub-programme provides financial support to help the EU film and audiovisual industries develop, distribute and promote their work. It also funds training and film development schemes.

The Creative Europe programme is managed by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).

Foster citizenship and civic participation

The Europe for Citizens programme has two main goals: to help the public understand the EU, its history and diversity, and to foster European citizenship and improve conditions for democratic and civic participation at EU level. The programme is also managed by EACEA.

Research and innovation

Societal Challenges, a component of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, provides funding for projects covering areas such as health, demographic change, food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry and marine, maritime and inland water research. It is managed by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME).

NGOs can also apply for projects under ‘Smart green and integrated transport’ and ‘Secure, clean and efficient energy’, two other components of the H2020 programme which are managed by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA).

Development and humanitarian aid

NGOs can get funding under most of the thematic or regional programmes managed by the Commission’s department dealing with international cooperation and development (DEVCO). 

NGOs are also eligible for funding for humanitarian aid and civil protection activities through the Commission’s department dealing with humanitarian aid and civil protection (ECHO).

Transport, energy and ICT

Some funding areas of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) are open to NGOs. The CEF programme is managed by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA).