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Open Call for Grant Application

Strengthening Democratic Resilience and Civil Society in Poland


Action for Democracy (A4D) is a US based 501 (c)(4)  non-profit organization that empowers democratic actors to defend and rebuild their democracies. We believe that now more than ever, we need to defend our freedom, human dignity, and democracy, all of which are under assault. We strive to build and mobilize a global pro-democracy solidarity movement committed to promoting democratic values and institutions and pushing back against the rising threat of autocracy around the world. We focus on empowering democratic actors in battleground states for the global fight for democracy: from Brazil to Hungary, from Italy to Poland. We partner with frontline democracy organizations on the ground to broaden democratic participation, promote genuine elections, encourage transparency and accountable governance, and combat hate, fear, and exclusion.


We are pleased to invite applications for our grant call: ‘Strengthening Democratic Resilience and Civil Society in Poland’. The grant is directed at Polish civil society organizations working to expand democratic participation, support free and fair elections, promote good governance, engage citizens around issues of social progress, and combat fear, corruption and exclusion in Poland.


Action for Democracy plans to award grants which must be used to cover specific activities related to the grant’s main objectives. Our grant support will also in some cases include in-kind professional advice and consultation to enhance the grantees’ capabilities. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis and will be subject to the availability of funds.



It was not long ago that Poland was considered the most successful example of democratic transformation in Central and Eastern Europe and a pioneer of European integration. Today, the country exhibits increasing signs of democratic vulnerability and backsliding. Growing party political influence over state institutions, rampant nationalist and discriminatory rhetoric, the curtailment of the rights of women, minorities, and LGBTIQ+ communities, constant attacks against judicial independence, suppression of independent journalism, and cronyism have become increasingly prevalent. 



Against this backdrop, Poland is preparing for parliamentary elections in the fall of 2023. Action for Democracy considers the resilience of Polish democracy pivotal to its global objectives and to this end aims to support values-based non-partisan civil society organization and activities that: 


  1. Promote freedom of the press and information; 

  2. Raise democratic awareness about the importance of voting and encourage mobilisation of under-represented groups; 

  3. Empower minorities, young voters, and the diaspora; 

  4. Support local communities to defend democratic values and institutions; 

  5. Combat fear and exclusion; 

  6. Creatively address social inequalities or other themes of social progress;

  7. Investigate and highlight current and historic examples of corruption, discrimination or extremism.



Non-governmental,  non-partisan civil society organizations (CSOs) based in Poland; Polish municipalities and local governments; Polish schools, higher education institutions; Polish research and scientific bodies and public institutions. Commercial actors, e.g., companies with a legal entity are also eligible, but only if their project is of nonprofit character. In general, grantees are expected to:


  • be non-partisan;

  • have a national reach and/or operate in a rural setting in particular;

  • support an enabling environment and ecosystem for civil society to grow and thrive;

  • comply with all Polish and U.S. rules and regulations, including any relevant electoral and campaign finance laws;

  • communicate in a fully transparent manner about the support they receive.



The proposed project and its desired outcome must be connected to the main objective. Priority will be given to projects related to the following topics:

  • Women’s rights Democracy protection and promotion

  • Mobilisation and engagement of marginalised or under-represented groups 

  • Workers’ rights

  • Climate change and energy transition

  • Victims of child sexual abuse 

  • Pro-West and EU orientation 

  • Cost of Living and Poverty crisis

  • LGBTQ+ rights

  • Countering extremism and discrimination 

  • Exposing corruption and impunity

  • Combating disinformation

  • Monitoring and countering Russian influence

  • Monitoring and countering Chinese influence


We invite initial expressions of interest from potential grantees, which should take the form of a concept note which is no more than three pages long. Concept notes should outline the objectives and possible activities for which grant funding is being sought, and the nature, track record and capabilities of the applicant.



  1. Organizing a values-based digital community

  2. Creating and distributing creative content

  3. Strengthening capabilities of new organizations

  4. Strengthening grassroot fundraising capabilities 

  5. Voter mobilization

  6. Nonpartisan election information for citizens



Applicants can apply here: 

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