BFW launches “Mission: Possible” Open Call to Fund Organizational and Administrative Needs

  •  April 28, 2023

The Bulgarian Fund for Women announces a call for proposals for the “Mission: Possible” program – the only donor program in Bulgaria that provides flexible funding for the administrative needs and organizational development of civil society organizations (so-called core funding). The program is implemented within the framework of the project “Building an Inclusive Resilient Democratic Society in Bulgaria” (BIRDS in BG), implemented in partnership with the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law (BCNL) and Impact Drive Foundation (IDF), with the financial support of the European Union (EU).

The “Mission: Possible” program aims to contribute to building an inclusive, sustainable, and pro-democracy civil society in Bulgaria by providing financial support to civil society organizations whose main mission and activities are to protect, promote and raise awareness of fundamental rights, EU values, the rule of law and democracy and which work on controversial and often neglected issues such as the rights of women, the LGBTIQ+ community and other vulnerable groups, including issues related to systemic пър

With a total budget of €1,120,000 (BGN 2,190,496), the competition is expected to provide access to flexible funding of up to 24 months to organizations, including newly registered ones, that aim to strengthen their long-term sustainability, identify their own priorities, develop strategies that will be most effective for them and their communities, and increase their capacity to leverage additional funding to achieve their missions.

In line with the values of the Bulgarian Fund for Women – reducing the burden on applicants and facilitating procedures, reducing competition and a real chance to access funding, etc., the selection process will take place in two phases, with a maximum of 50% more applications allowed to the second phase of the competition compared to the funding sought.

General Information and Application Guidelines

Financial support covers the full spectrum of the organization’s core activities and can focus on improving or increasing resources, skills, systems, strategies, leadership, technology, and all other activities that lead to strengthening and ensuring the sustainability of CSOs’ work. Financial support can also be used for programmatic work, from planning a program to ensuring that it meets community needs, to developing an evaluation plan to measure program outcomes.

A wide range of costs is eligible for funding, such as operational costs (salaries and related taxes and social security contributions; external consultants; staff training and capacity building; office costs – rent, overheads, marketing and communications, equipment, office supplies, bank charges); activity/program costs (materials, events, other related costs); travel and participation fees (conferences, etc.); other direct costs.

Newly registered organizations (less than 3 years old, registered after 28 April 2020) can apply for a minimum of EUR 5 000 up to a maximum of EUR 10 000 (BGN 9 779 / BGN 19 558) for a period of 6 up to a maximum of 24 months. The funds can cover up to 100% of the organization’s total budget.

Established organizations (registered more than 3 years from the date of the call for proposals) can apply for a minimum of EUR 20 000 up to a maximum of EUR 60 000 (BGN 39 116 / BGN 117 348) for a period of 6 to 24 months. The funds may cover up to 70% of the organization’s total budget.

Type of OrganisationAmount of FundingPeriod of Implementation% of Total Budget of the Organisation
Newly Registered Organisations (less than 3 years old)Min. 5000 euro / 9 779 BGN
Max. 10 000 EUR / 19 558 BGN
6 months to 24 monthsUp to100 % 
Established Organisations (registered more than 3 years ago)Min. 20 000 EUR / 39 116 BGN
Max. 60 000 EUR / 117 348 BGN
6 months to 24 monthsUp to 70%  

If the application is approved, disbursement shall be made in two installments – 90% upon signature of the grant agreement and 10% upon approval of interim financial and narrative reports. Applicant organizations are not required to make any financial or in-kind contribution of their own.

In the event of an insufficient number of applications received and/or organizations approved for Funding, the Fund has the right to modify the terms of the Funding procedure, including the amount of Funding, in compliance with the terms of the BIRDS in BG project grant agreement concluded between the Fund, its partners and the EACEA.

Application Conditions
Eligible Candidates

Only organizations registered in Bulgaria under the Non-Profit Legal Entities Act (NPOA) and operating for public benefit may apply.

The following legal entities are ineligible for funding in this competition: a non-profit private benefit association, a non-profit private benefit foundation, a community center, a trade union, an international organization without registration in Bulgaria, a commercial company, a cooperative, as well as unregistered collectives, and individuals.

Applicant organizations may be active at the local and/or regional as well as national levels.

Applicant NGOs must be independent of local, regional or central government authorities, other public bodies and institutions, as well as party, religious, and commercial interests. They must respect, promote and defend the values on which the European Union is founded, namely respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

Priority in the evaluation will be given to small, local organizations, led by their communities, working in underprivileged areas and on controversial issues – the backbone of civil society in Bulgaria, which is under real threat and under attack and political pressure.

Candidates with one or more of the following characteristics will be given priority in the evaluation:

  • Organizations that have as a core mission (and not just a partial focus in their programs) to advance the rights of women, girls, LGBTIQ+ people, and vulnerable groups;
  • Organizations whose work focuses on issues that are undervalued, contested, and/or under-addressed;
  • Organizations that are run by or whose teams include women, girls, people with disabilities, LGBTIQ+ people, and the groups whose needs and rights they work for;
  • Organizations that have an integrated approach to gender equality (gender mainstreaming), non-discrimination and work from a feminist and/or human rights perspective;
  • Organizations that have the potential to achieve social and systemic change.
  • Organizations whose activities take place outside Sofia, especially in rural or underprivileged areas; Newly established organizations and those whose activities have been in place for less than 3 years;
  • Organizations whose annual budget is less than 100 000 (one hundred thousand) leva.

Selection and Evaluation Process

The evaluation and selection will be carried out in two stages by two independent evaluators: one external expert and one member of the Bulgarian Fund for Women program team.

In the first stage (Concept Note Form), the evaluators will focus on compliance with the administrative and eligibility criteria of the applicant, as well as the alignment of the mission, activities, and target groups the organization works with with the objectives of the call.

In the second stage (Full Proposal), the evaluation will be based on three main criteria – Relevance, Quality, and Impact. These include the organization’s potential/capacity to achieve social/systems change; participation and leadership in the decision-making of the groups for whose rights the organization works; priority work in line with EU values; integration of a gender mainstreaming and non-discrimination approach; clear strategic plans for organizational development; clear strategy for diversification of financial resources; expected long-term impact, etc.

The selection process will culminate in the final approval of the project Steering Committee (SC), based on the ranking lists and recommendations submitted by the BFW program team. The MC may change the ranking of applications in justified cases related to risks to the reputation and values of the EU.

Measures will be taken during the evaluation and selection process to ensure transparency, objectivity, and prevention of conflicts of interest. For more information, please see the Application Guidelines.

Documents to Apply

The application process will take place entirely online through the Bulgarian Fund for Women Salesforce portal. The first time you log in, you will only need to register your organization with a single user and password (The manual with detailed guidelines for navigating the system will be available when it opens on May 8, 2023). The application process includes the creation of a detailed organizational profile and the completion of a Concept Form (per Phase One). Completion and submission of a Full Proposal (Phase II) will only be open to applicants approved in Phase I.

The submission system will be open 10 days after the call for proposals (on 8 May 2023). Until then, please familiarise yourself with the General Conditions of the call, the Application Guidelines, and the Sample Forms.

The Application Guidelines include a detailed description of the conditions of the call, the eligible applicants and activities to be funded, the priority themes and target groups, the evaluation and selection criteria, guidelines for completing the Form, etc.).

Sample Organisational Profile Form, Concept Note Form and Form for Application for Phase II.

Terms and Conditions of the Bulgarian Fund for Women Foundation for the award of grant funding for organizational and/or administrative needs of organizations under the Mission: Possible program in the framework of project No. 101091529 – BIRDS in BG, funded by the European Union.

Guide to completing an organizational profile and submitting an application in the Salesforce system under the Mission: possible program (due May 8, 2023).

An information day for applicants is planned in connection with the competition, which will take place on 19 May 2023. Stay tuned for detailed information coming soon on the BFW website.

  • Publication of the open call: 28 April 2023.
  • Online Information Day: 19 May 2023
  • Deadline for Phase One applications: 23:59 on 28 June 2023.
  • Announcement of candidates admitted to the Second Phase: August 11, 2023.
  • Start of the Second Phase in the Mission: Possible program open call: August 22, 2023.
  • Q&A meetings related to the Second Phase of the open call to discuss the process and key parameters of the application**: 19, 20, 21 September 2023.
  • Drafting of detailed concepts for strategic development and provisional organizational budget for the planned period by the organizations admitted to the Second Phase: until October 2, 2023.
  • Evaluation of applications: until 20 November 2023.
  • Signing of grant contracts: by December 1, 2023.

* Timelines are based on estimated expectations and there may be changes in the actual timing of successive phases according to the number of applications received.

** The feedback will take the form of group meetings with the applicants to clarify the main parameters of the application form for the Second Phase, as well as to draw up a budget. 2 meetings are planned per day, within 90 minutes. The meetings are designed in a format of up to 25 people, representatives of organizations, in order to be able to discuss specific inquiries. All applicants will receive an invitation to fill out a registration form to participate, and will have the opportunity to choose the most suitable day and time for them.

Additional Information

For more information on the Mission: possible competition procedures, please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Answers to the FAQs will be posted on the BFW website in due course. In the meantime, you can submit your questions to the following email address: ask [at] Telephone consultations will not be provided

In the event of technical problems related to your application, please include the following information in your request:

Username, phone number, and email address;
Details of the specific problem (system-generated error message, description of the error occurring. Example: some of the selection options do not work, etc..);
Screenshot of the problem.
BFW is a data controller and processes personal data in accordance with data protection legislation and Regulation (EU) 2016/679. You can read our personal data processing policy HERE.

We look forward to your applications!

BIRDS in BG project is co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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