“Challenge” program

  •  March 30, 2006
The basic goal of this program is to achieve stability of NGOs working on gender equality issues by encouraging their efforts to fundraise resources at local level.

This goal is defined, on one hand, by the variety of specific conditions and needs of different regional, ethnic, social and economic groups in Bulgaria on the issue of women’s equality. The Fund carried out a survey with 22 NGOs members of the National Gender Equality Network and it proved that the grassroots organizations are the ones that can define the problems most accurately and work out optimal programs for their solutions.
On the other hand, the goal is specified by the necessity that NGOs raise part of the funds needed for resolving each concrete problem by involving potential state, municipal and private donors in their projects.
The Program opens a project competition for solving concrete problems. Every three months the Grant-making committee selects to fund those projects which fit the criteria of the Fund and the Program. The major requirement is the project to fit in with the Fund’s goal – to promote gender equality. The number of projects selected for funding will depend on the amount of funds raised.
Bulgarian Fund for Women provides the bigger part of funding for the projects. The funding scheme is 3:1 – the Fund gives three times the amount raised by the NGOs.

Project proposals will NOT be considered if:
  • the NGO cannot prove that its financial contribution of 1/4 is raised at local level;
  • the project is about organizing scientific research, conferences or publications;
  • the project is about raising individual scholarships and participation fees;
  • the project is concerned with economic activity;
  • the project is directed towards humanitarian aid;
  • the project has a single effect;
  • the project has direct commercial, ideological, political, ethnic, or religious goals

The Program envisages maximum duration of one year for project implementation cycles.

Each NGO can apply with only one project during the three-month period for evaluation and selection. BFW will not consider or evaluate projects which have already been funded in another program and are still under implementation.
Projects which meet selection criteria but cannot be financially supported because of fund shortage are allowed to apply for funding once again in the next three-month funding period after the NGO confirms the relevance of the project. The projects receive funding in two partial transfers – 80% of the amount is given at the start of the project, and the remaining 20% after the end of implementation, when BFW has received its narrative and financial report. The financial report concerns 100% of the funding, not just the amount given by the Fund.
The project proposals are considered and evaluated by independent experts, hired by BFW, who prepare a list of selected grantees. In case the funds raised prove insufficient to fund all selected projects, the final decision for funding is made by BFW Board.
All grantees confirm that they accept funding form BFW by transferring the amount of their own contribution (1/4 of project worth) to the Fund’s bank account. After that, a contract is signed for the implementation of the respective project activities.
Detailed information about the amount of the funds raised, the projects selected, and the financial reports will be presented at the Annual meeting of BFW donors, grantees and Fund representatives in the second half of November.
Upon request from its donors, the Fund will provide current information about the grantees in the respected selection session, as well as copies of grantees’ financial reports on project implementation.

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