Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Civil Societies, NGOs, and Associations to Promote Democracy

UNDEF Project Grants


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF)
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);
USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)
International, Israel and Canada.

Important Dates
Deadline: 11/30/23 Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA, Canada, and International civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, independent and constitutional bodies, inter-governmental bodies, associations, and organizations for projects that promote democracy around the world. Funding is intended to support projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. Strong preference will be given to applicants from countries and regions where the challenges of democracy are more critical.

The vast majority of UNDEF projects are delivered directly by civil society organizations (CSO). In this type of project, the CSO is responsible for the overall management of the project and bears all substantive, financial, monitoring, and reporting and evaluation responsibilities.

Projects fall under one or more of six main themes:

  • Rule of law and human rights
  • Media and freedom of information
  • Women Leadership
  • Youth engagement
  • Strengthening civil society interaction with Government
  • Electoral processes (elections scheduled mid -2025 at the earliest)

Strong preference will be given to applicants from countries and regions where the challenges of democracy are more critical, such as countries emerging from conflict, new and restored democracies, the Least Developed Countries (as per the official classification of the UNOHRLLS), Low Income Countries (“Low Income Economies” as per the World Bank’s official classification based on Gross National Income per capita) and Middle Income Countries (“Lower and Upper Middle-income Economies”, idem).


Additional Eligibility Criteria
UNDEF funds projects implemented by non-UN organizations, not individuals, profit-making or government entities. Eligible applicants must be duly constituted nationally or internationally and have legal status.

At the project proposal stage, you will be required to indicate the type of organization applying for funding:
(1) Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations engaged in promoting democracy,
(2) Independent and Constitutional Bodies,
(3) Global and Regional inter-government bodies, organizations and associations other than the United Nations.

UNDEF prioritizes Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations. The organization must be legally constituted. UN accreditation is not a prerequisite to apply for UNDEF funding.

Pre-Application Information
These guidelines describe the two-stage approach of the application procedure for UNDEF grants: (1) submission of a project proposal during the call for project proposals; and (2) development of a full project document.

Schedule (indicative)
4.2 Call for Project Proposals
- 01 November: Call for Proposals; Online Project Proposal System opened
- 30 November: Deadline for Project proposals submission; Online Project Proposal System closed
- End of December: Proposals assessment

- January: UNDEF Secretariat to compile long-list; UNDEF Programme Consultative Group (PCG) & UN Resident Coordinators (RCs) to provide comments
- March: UNDEF’s Advisory Board3 to recommend short-list; UNDEF informs Permanent Missions of projects on short-list; UNDEF submits recommended short list to Secretary-General for approval
- May: Request to short-listed applicants to draft detailed project documents with a one-month deadline
- June onwards: Project document negotiations begin between applicants and UNDEF Secretariat
- August: First project documents finalized, first disbursements and projects start

Timeline: Please note that, if approved, your project will not commence until August 2024 at the earliest. Therefore, projects with activities that need to commence earlier than this will not be considered.

In this round of funding, UNDEF envisages to shortlist some 40 proposals.

Short-listed applicants should submit a completed project document based on the original project proposal within four weeks of the notification of the “approval in principle”. Failure of the applicant to comply with this deadline may result in UNDEF not going ahead with the grant. Extended deadlines may be granted by UNDEF on an exceptional basis, to especially complex projects.

Project proposals will be accepted by the online Application Portal only during the call for project proposals. UNDEF will not accept proposals submitted via e-mail, regular post, facsimile, diplomatic or UN pouch, hand or courier delivery or any other channel. Project proposals can be submitted only in English or French, the two working languages of the United Nations. A confirmation email will be generated by the Portal. The UNDEF Secretariat will communicate directly with the applicant should additional information be required.

Applying for an UNDEF project grant and selection process:

How to Apply - Online Project Proposal System:

When to Apply and Who can Apply:

Technical Guidance - Online Project Proposal System:

How Proposals are Assessed and the Selection Process:

Project Management Arrangements and Monitoring and Evaluation:


Estimated Size of Grant
Applicants must request an amount within a range of 100,000 USD and 200,000 USD for any given proposal.

Term of Contract
In principle, UNDEF grants will be allocated for projects with default duration of two years. However, it is acceptable to UNDEF if a successful applicant completes a project in less than two years.

Contact Information
Apply Online:

For questions and technical support, please email

Grant News
Live Chat Chat Now