United Nations Democracy Fund Grants

Deadline: 31 December annually
Open to: Civil Society Organizations, NGOs, Independent and Constitutional Bodies, Global and Regional inter-government bodies
Grant: $100,000 – $400,000


The United Nations Democracy Fund  was established by the UN Secretary-General in 2005 as a United Nations General Trust Fund to support democratization efforts around the world. UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. The large majority of UNDEF funds go to local civil society organizations — both in the transition and consolidation phases of democratization.

UNDEF invites civil society organizations to apply for funding for projects to advance and support democracy during the annual proposal window, which is open only from 15 November to 31 December. Only on-line proposals during this period, in either English or French, will be accepted.


The following institutions are eligible for UNDEF grant funding:

  1. Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations, engaged in promoting democracy. These are anticipated to receive the bulk of the funding.
  2. Independent and Constitutional Bodies, including Election Commissions, Ombudsman Institutions, National Human Rights Institutions and other independent governance bodies, for project proposals facilitating the inclusion of the voice of civil society.
  3. Global and Regional inter-government bodies, organizations and associations other than the United Nations, for project proposals which strengthen the voice of civil society.


UNDEF projects are two years long, project grants ranging from $100,000 to $400,000, and fall under one or more of six main areas:
  • Community development
  • Rule of law and human rights
  • Tools for democratization
  • Media
  • Women
  • Youth


The on-line project proposal system can be accessed HERE. The annual proposal window is open until 31 December 2013. 

For more detailed information visit the Frequently Asked Questions page HERE and the official website HERE.

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