Opportunity Fund

Opportunity Fund

The Roma Initiatives Office invites Roma and pro-Roma organizations, and nonformal groups, networks, or individuals from Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Spain to apply for urgent-action grants of up to $15,000, provided that they meet certain conditions. We support timely actions and opportunities that promote structural change for the benefit of Roma or respond to anti-Roma events and trends.

Eligibility Criteria

Actions should fulfill all of the following criteria in order to be eligible for funding:

  • Unexpected and time-sensitive: The action is a response to a specific event, social situation, or an opportunity that could not have been predicted and that requires immediate reaction.
  • Strategic and policy-relevant: While we do not expect policy change to happen within a short time, the proposed action must be designed with a perspective for change in policies, practices, or public discourse in the long term. The action should be based on a strategy that would allow for adjustments according to new needs or shifts in the context.
  • Roma-centered: While it is not necessary for the applicant organization to be a Roma NGO*, applicants must demonstrate Roma leadership or partnership on an equal footing in all phases of the action. Roma should also benefit from the policy change targeted with the action.
  • Location: The action must respond to an opportunity or crisis taking place in one of the eligible countries: Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, or Spain.

*The Roma Initiatives Office defines a Roma NGO as an organization in which at least 50 percent of the membership (in the case of associations), the governance body, and the senior management openly declare their Roma ethnic origin.

Ineligibility Criteria

The following are not eligible for support from the Opportunity Fund:

  • direct humanitarian help and services
  • costs of activities that can be planned over a longer period of time (such as conferences) or are long term (more than four months)
  • safety measures (evacuations, legal representation, protection, etc.)
  • awareness-raising campaigns without clear policy targets
  • conferences, training, travel, and scholarships
  • individual help or personal need
  • covering shortfalls in the budgets of long-term projects
Purpose and Priorities

The Opportunity Fund supports urgent, action-focused grants of up to $15,000 to provide immediate support for seizing opportunities as they arise or making timely responses to crisis situations. While we support the strategic advancement of Roma with a long-term view, this fund will provide short-term support to the field at times when an unforeseen social or political event requires fast action or the adaptation of approaches.

While there are no specific priority areas for support, the Opportunity Fund will support short-term actions (up to four months) in two main categories. To receive a grant under this call, a proposal must fall under at least one of these categories:

  • seizing a window of opportunity for achieving change, including precedent setting at the legal, policy, or institutional level (Actions could also aim to protect good policies or legal frameworks that are under attack.)
  • responses to hate, violence, or politically volatile environments, including responses to hate speech
Guidelines

Applicants should submit concept papers in English. Applications are accepted by:

  • online application: submit your concept paper, which should not exceed two pages, through the Open Society Foundations Grant Portal
  • video application: you can also choose to explain your action by filming a video and submitting it through the Grant Portal (Please note that the video should not exceed 25MB.)

While there is no prescribed format for concept papers or videos, the following should be included:

  • description of the context, event, situation, or opportunity that has prompted your proposed action—what has happened unexpectedly?
  • brief description of the proposed action
  • explanation of why an urgent response is needed and how the proposed action is strategic and policy relevant
  • requested budget in USD (Please provide an itemized budget.)

Please read the full application guidelines before preparing your concept paper. Applications for funding in a particular year may be submitted at any time during the year until September 30. Applications received after September 30 will be reviewed and considered for funding in the following year. If you encounter problems during the application process, please contact us at: [email protected].