ICNC’s Small Grant Program supports educational initiatives related to nonviolent civil resistance. Such initiatives may involve:
• developing educational resources (such as articles, online courses, videos, curricula, translations, websites and books);
• convening workshops and educational gatherings;
• research and documenting case studies;
• developing and sharing knowledge about a wide range of topics related to movement organizing and civil resistance.
We do this because we believe that unified, organized people waging nonviolent struggle are a powerful force to advance rights, freedom, justice. We also believe that strategy can help movements overcome challenging conditions; that effective nonviolent struggle involves skills that can be learned; and that increasing education about civil resistance increases people’s chances of success.
Many people organizing movements work at the local community level and we aim to work closely with the grassroots. However, most people at the grassroots do not have access to traditional philanthropy, and many are also not be affiliated with a formal non-profit organization that can administer grants. We have found that small grants are often more effective for funding in this environment, as they require less administration and bureaucracy, do not divert people’s attention from their primary work, and reduce the potential of creating competition among people on the ground.
Funding Amounts and Length of Grant
The minimum grant level is $2,500 and maximum is $20,000 with an average grant being $7,500. Smaller grants will require less documentation. All grants require official NGO registration in a country or a partner with official registration who can administer the grant.
Initial grant periods can be for anywhere between 3 months and 1 year, depending on the proposed program, project, activity, material, or translation. Afterwards, grantees are allowed to apply for continued funding for their work for terms of up to three years, with each year subject to annual review for approval. Please note that a first grant is not a guarantee of future funding.
Trust in our grantees and knowledge of how they work allows us to provide targeted small grants and reduce administrative requirements. Accordingly, ICNC accepts Small Grant applications from:
1. Individuals who are alumni of ICNC’s educational programs, such as the Fletcher Summer Institute (FSI), ICNC Summer Institute, ICNC-Rutgers online course, Local Learning Initiatives Network (LIN) fellowship, academic seminars, or field workshops
2. Individuals who receive a strong reference and referral from an ICNC staff member, advisor, or ICNC program alumni
If you do not meet one of the above criteria, please do not apply for a Small Grant. We are unable to respond to proposals from applicants who do not meet these criteria. Please see our many other opportunities for engagement here.
We aim to be flexible and accessible for applicants that have limited options or history of receiving funding and that reside in under-served areas or regions of conflict. Individuals can apply by themselves or on behalf of groups or organizations, and do not need official registration as an NGO for grants under $7,000.
In accordance with ICNC’s mission, applicants must be committed to nonviolent methods in their groups, organizations, campaigns or movements, and their aims must be consistent with the establishment and defense of human rights, democratic self-rule, rule of law, and justice.
Funding Priorities and Selection Criteria
• Individuals, groups, or organizations that want to produce knowledge, share knowledge, or create educational resources related to nonviolent civil resistance;
• Projects and programs that:
• can be replicated either within a sector or across geographical locations;
• have either broad reach across regions of the world or deep reach within certain communities;
• demonstrate plans for long-term sustainability and impact;
• demonstrate connection to community and the participation of community members involved in campaigns or movement building;
• demonstrate creativity, outside-the-box thinking, and the development of new ideas, constituencies, and outcomes;
• Development of educational resources (articles, books, curricula, tools, videos, apps, websites, and other materials) and translations about nonviolent civil resistance.
• General operating expenses that are linked directly to a project or initiative that is supported by ICNC’s small grant.
We give priority to:
• Small, emerging grassroots groups, campaigns, or movements with little or no access to funding from larger donors;
• Applicants that are seeking to broaden or deepen their current work and connection to a community related to nonviolent organizing, campaigns, and movements;
• Applicants that show a commitment to inclusivity of membership and outreach to diverse groups. Diversity and inclusivity can be shown through through involvement, promotion, or outreach to participants or constituents from multiple geographic areas, socio-economic backgrounds, tribes, languages, ethnicities, political views, castes, religions or other orientations. Inclusion of those from different genders and identities is strongly encouraged, as is accessibility to participants with disabilities and other hardships;
• Applicants that demonstrate the likelihood of sustainability, replicability, and dissemination of their project, activity, or deliverables;
• Groups, organizations, campaigns, and movements that show a history of collaboration and sharing across or within communities, regions, nations or internationally;
• Proposals that include plans to monitor and evaluate, including measuring where possible, the impact of their project.
Applicants should make plans for diverse and representative participation of the community within which a proposed program, project or other initiative will occur.
We do not fund:
• General operating costs that are not directly linked to the project or initiative that is supported by ICNC’s small grant;
• Political parties, voter registration, election monitoring, or litigation;
• Material support for movement or campaign activities such as expenditures for t-shirts or posters advertising a protest or campaign, or expenditures to advertise a specific slogan of the movement;
• Applicants that are not completely committed to nonviolent means of struggle or who engage in nonviolent means of mobilization and resistance to advance agendas that curtail human rights, democratic self-rule, rule of law or justice;
• Emergency assistance for activists, scholars, and human rights defenders. There are other funders who focus on this and some of them can be found here.
If you you meet our eligibility requirements (described on this page), you can request a small grants application by emailing us at: smallgrants [at] nonviolent-conflict.org
To apply, you should fill out and submit an:
- ICNC Small Grant Application
- ICNC Small Grant Budget
and send by email to: smallgrants [at] nonviolent-conflict.org
Small Grant Proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis by ICNC. If their project is approved, all grantees are required to sign a grant agreement, which will outline the budget and financial requirements, timelines, activities and deliverables, reporting, monitoring and evaluation, and other terms and conditions regarding how funds will be distributed. Grantees commit to being available for regular communication with ICNC staff and to share regular updates about the project, including being available for possible site visits by ICNC staff.