CIVICUS Solidarity Fund (CSF)

We are stronger when we work together!

A central tenet of membership in the CIVICUS alliance is belonging to a global movement that stands in solidarity. In this spirit, the alliance is launching the CIVICUS Solidarity Fund (CSF), a member-led and member-resourced mechanism that makes provision for both flexible and rapid response funds. The framework for the CSF was approved by members during the 2018 Annual General Meeting.  The fund is accessible to a broad spectrum of constituents that normally struggle to access resources and support due to restrictions in the space where they operate, their organising characteristics or simply who they are and what they challenge. These include small CSOs (formal and non-formal), individuals, movements- particularly from the edges- and early-stage social advocates and entrepreneurs that are contributing to transformational impact in the communities served. In addition to financial support, members accessing the Fund are assisted with tools, mentorship, visibility and knowledge sharing.

The objectives of the CIVICUS Solidarity Fund are to:

  • Enhance solidarity within the alliance, fostering a sense of belonging to a global movement for change;
  • Support civil society diversity and resilience, especially among smaller, non-formal actors;
  • Create opportunities where they do not exist for change-seeking actors to contribute to a more just, inclusive and sustainable world.

Eligibility Guidelines

CIVICUS Solidarity Fund has two funding streams and applications are open to all types of organizations and individuals - youth and women organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), grassroots movements, community or people’s organizations, and social enterprises.

Priority will be given to small, informal groups and individuals from the global south and from contexts with restricted spaces. However, if duly motivated, proposals can be also accepted from established organisations of different geographies/contexts.

Please review the following eligibility guidelines:

Flexible Funding

  • You must be a CIVICUS voting member or associate member.
  • You are trying to address a specific problem or need for a particular community. You may also be aiming to support cutting edge work and innovative ideas also geared at assisting or enhancing the needs of a targeted community. Costs of legal action, media coverage, travel/participation support to mission-aligned events and enhancing safety/wellness of activists and their communities are also admissible.
  • Your application and/or proposed initiative clearly strengthens civil society and citizen action, contributing to a more just, inclusive and sustainable world.
  •  Your proposed project unfolds over a maximum of 24 months

Rapid Response Funding

  • You are a CIVICUS voting or associate member. 
  •  If you are not a CIVICUS voting or associate member, then please have your application referred to us by a CIVICUS voting member or by the Secretariat. 
  • Your activity is an urgent intervention or an immediate response to a pressing threat. Some projects that would be considered eligible include actions to repeal restrictive legislation, advocacy work to ensure freedom of association and assembly, and others. Please see some examples of projects that would be considered eligible for Rapid Response funding here.
  • Your proposed project will unfold over the course of six months or less. 


Submit applications for the Flexible funding or for the Rapid Response funding through the forms linked below by Sunday, 20 October, 2019 23:59 UTC

Flexible Funding Application

Rapid Response Funding Application

Applicants will be notified by November 15, 2019

Evaluation Criteria and Assessment Process

There are 5 main criteria for assessment. The information provided below aims to help applicants understand what the Membership Advisory Group will be looking for when making their decisions.

  • Criteria 1: Meaningful for the communities involved (30%) – Scale: 1 to 5: funds support actors whose mission and activism clearly benefit a broader community. Programme initiatives will be a result of a collective planning process in which those impacted by the project will play a lead role in its design.
  • Criteria 2: Mission-alignment (20%) – Scale: 1 to 5: the applicant and/or proposed initiative clearly strengthens civil society and citizen action, contributing to a more just, inclusive and sustainable world. Alignment to the broader principles and priorities of the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan will be also considered, as well as the Diversity and Inclusion components of the application.
  • Criteria 3: Clarity and Organization (20%) – Scale: 1 to 5: The project should demonstrate clear objectives that are clearly communicated to us. The project must indicate the detailed activities and targeted indicators and it should be clear that these will produce the proposed objective. This criteria evaluates the extent to which the applicant has considered the execution of their proposed project.  
  • Criteria 4: Innovativeness/Innovation (10%) – Scale: 1 to 5: The submission should demonstrate that the proposed idea offers a creative approach to the problem outlined in the submission. We will be looking at how the intervention is innovative and potentially transformative. 
  • Criteria 5: Relevance (20%) – Scale: 1 to 5: The intervention should be relevant to the implementation context. We will be looking at how the intervention responds to a specific need that cannot presently be met otherwise, and how it takes into account the needs and characteristics of its constituents and beneficiaries.

Rules and Regulations

  1. Submissions should be the original work of the entrants. Submissions must not copy or use other materials without properly citing the source.
  2. All submissions must be in either English, French or Spanish.
  3. It is the responsibility of each applicant to the CSF to determine how much detail about their concept to include in their application. All applications submitted to the Survey Monkey platform are private,  and will be viewed only by the Fund Management Team and the Membership Advisory Group (MAG). Please refer to the section titled “Intellectual Property (Confidentiality and Patents)” for more guidance.
  4. CIVICUS reserves the right to use basic information about successful applicants of the CSF. Successful applicants will receive a report that includes the assessment scores about their submissions once the selection process is complete. Membership Advisory Group’ personal information and details of scoring will not be shared with teams in this report.
  5. Do not provide unnecessary personally identifiable information (such as ID number, credit card numbers, driver license numbers) online, which may be inadvertently obtained by others or, in rare instances, used for illegal or harmful purposes.

No-Spam Policy

  1. To spam includes but is not limited to sending identical and irrelevant submissions through the Survey Monkey forms. These type of submissions will be ineligible.

Intellectual Property, Confidentiality and Patents

  1. When you conceive, design and create an innovative product as part of the CIVICUS Solidarity Fund, you are creating intellectual property that belongs to you. When you start work on your idea, you should think about whether you want to try and protect your intellectual property through patents or confidentiality agreements. You may want to share your ideas with the public at large and decide not to seek any special legal protections for them. The choice is yours. CIVICUS recognises the need for applicants’ intellectual property to be protected and for any innovative idea/concept to be kept confidential.
  2. For this reason, the CSF is asking all judges to keep confidential any technical or organisational information they learn by reading the strategies/plans submitted by as part of applications.