Civil Society Fund

Irish Aid

Relevent Country: Ireland

The Civil Society Fund accepts applications from Irish and invited international civil society organisations for grants for overseas development projects.

The Civil Society Fund (CSF) is Irish Aid’s main project funding scheme. The Civil Society Fund (CSF) provides support to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to carry out development projects of between one and three years’ duration.  It is primarily aimed at Irish development NGOs but a limited number of international NGOs are also supported on the basis of identified policy gaps, mainly in the area of human rights.

Funding Information

  • The minimum annual grant is €50,000 and the maximum annual grant has increased to €800,000 (previously €400,000), subject to the limit of 60% dependency on the Department.

Eligibility Criteria

The following eligibility criteria apply:

  • Country of Registration: The applicant organisation must be either Irish, or a non-Irish organisation which has received an invitation to apply for funding.
  • Charitable Status: Irish applicant organisations must hold a Registered Charity Number for a minimum of two years as of 2 October 2023 and be compliant with the Irish Charities Regulatory Authority annual reporting requirements. International NGOs must be in receipt of a relevant invitation from the Civil Society Fund, registered as charities in the countries of their headquarters for a minimum of two years as of 2 October 2023 and be compliant with the relevant charities regulatory authority (or equivalent) reporting requirements.
  • Organisation Focus: Irish applicant organisations must have ongoing operations in Ireland that relate to the direct management and oversight of overseas development projects. International NGOs must have HQ operations that include responsibilities for the direct management and/or oversight of overseas development projects. Missionary organisations and religious orders are not eligible to apply and should instead contact Misean Cara.
  • Independence and Added Value: If the organisation is part of a larger international family, it must have its own constitution or governance document and an independent board of trustees (i.e. the board must be locally appointed and be free and able to make independent decisions on strategic and operational issues).
  • Tax Clearance Certificate: Irish organisations must submit a Tax Clearance Certificate with the Eligibility Form. Non-Irish organisations must provide an equivalent assurance.
  • Funding Status: Applications cannot be accepted from any organisations which have been approved by the Department to receive a grant in 2024 from either the Department of Foreign Affairs Civil Society Fund or Ireland’s Civil Society Partnership for A Better World (previously the Programme Grant II).
  • Focus of Work: The areas of intervention by the organisation must meet the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) definition of Official Development Assistance and take place in a country or countries classified by the OECD DAC as eligible for assistance.
  • Accounts: The Eligibility Form should be accompanied by full audited accounts for the two financial years prior to application. Accounts must also be available on the organisation’s website prior to the eligibility deadline.
  • Record of Compliance: Applicants with a record of non-compliance with the terms of Department contract(s) may not be considered for funding.
  • Safeguarding: Applicants must have policies and procedures in place to protect vulnerable and young adults, children, beneficiaries, staff and volunteers, as relevant. Copies of these policies should be submitted along with the Eligibility Form. If it is intended to on-grant some or all of the CSF support to a partner organisation, these must also have relevant policies and procedures in place and copies of these should also be submitted with the Eligibility Form.