The Open Society Foundations have been actively supporting Hungarian civil society for the last 30 years. The Hungary Project, part of the Rights and Liberties team of the Open Society Initiative for Europe, is an indirect successor to the national foundation that was transformed into the Hungary Project and operated out of the Budapest office a decade ago.
Five years ago, the project staff also directed the emergency assistance that George Soros awarded to the region in the wake of the economic crisis. As such, the Hungary Project has historically been a backbone to support watchdogs and civil society organizations.
The overall goal of the Hungary Project is to build broader and deeper constituencies for open society in Hungary. The project doesn’t only work with traditional Open Society partners but tries to widen the constituencies for open society values and reach out to new target groups.
In order to achieve its goals, the Hungary Project has set three specific objectives for 2015, aiming at different target groups:
1. NGO Legitimation and Base-Strengthening
The Hungary Project aims to strengthen the legitimation of key actors of the Hungarian civil society, by assisting them with their efforts to enhance their constituencies and thereby increase their support from local sources with a mid-term aim of reaching self-sustainability. Grantees are selected by invitation (solicited proposals).
2. Hungary 2025
The Hungary Project seeks to inspire the development of long-term, liberal visions on Hungarian politics with special focus on bridging the gap between the EU and Hungarian politics in key issues such as migration/asylum and transparency/accountability. Grantees are selected through unsolicited proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year.
3. Community Organizing
The Hungary Project strengthens civil activism, social self-organizing, and community advocacy in Hungary through the empowerment of the groups of citizens to impose pressure on decision makers. The Hungary Project supports local community organizing groups and alternative online communities, activists of issues-based coalitions and pressure groups.
Grantees will be selected through an open call (community organizing groups) and also through unsolicited proposals (alternative online communities, activists of issues-based coalitions and pressure groups) on a rolling basis throughout the year. Budapest-centered projects are not preferred under this objective.
The Hungary Project uses different grant-making methods (open calls, solicited proposals, unsolicited proposals) to select its grantees. In the case of unsolicited proposals the project accepts proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year. Prior to sending a full proposal, potential applicants should submit a brief concept paper of no more than two pages to determine whether projects meet the Hungary Project’s current funding priorities and guidelines.
The concept paper should include the following:
- a brief description of the project, planned activities, methodology, and goals
- information about the applicant organization
- estimated overall budget and timeframe for the project
If proposals meet the Hungary Project’s criteria, applicants will be invited to submit a full grant application within four weeks of receiving the concept paper. The project start date should be anticipated two to three months from date of submission, if the application is approved.
Applications must be submitted in English or (in the case of small grants) Hungarian. Applicants will receive electronic confirmation that their concept paper has been received.
For more information, please contact the Hungary Project staff: