Active Citizens Fund


Main challenges of Lithuanian civil society and CSOs

  1. Civic engagement remains relatively stable, yet very low (e.g., ~27% community engagement in 2016);

  2. Reluctance of public authorities to engage CSOs in the decision making;

  3. Lack of CSOs’ resources for advocacy, monitoring, etc., national funding for HR related issues is almost non-existent;

  4. Negative attitude towards HR issues is entrenched in public discourse;

  5. Lack of compliance of legal environment with international human rights standards (e.g., Istanbul Convention not ratified);

  6. Large social disparities among regions are dividing country;

  7. Despite recent economic growth and decreasing unemployment, poverty in the country is not decreasing;

  8. Insufficient representation of the interests of vulnerable groups, e.g. children at risk of poverty, pensioners, (long-term) unemployed, homeless, people with disabilities, people with dependency illnesses, victims of domestic violence (especially women);

  9. Almost 40% of small CSOs have annual budgets of less than EUR 3000, over 50 % of CSOs have no staff;

  10. National/municipal funding is mainly project-based and awarded on an annual basis, undiversified sources of CSOs income make CSOs financially unstable;

  11. In the areas with the large concentration of national minorities (e.g., Southeastern part of Lithuania), most of CSOs are fragmented along ethnic lines and very little engage in civic activities.

Opportunities offered by the ACF Programme in Lithuania

As the response to above mentioned challenges, the ACF Programme in Lithuania would have three main interrelated cross-cutting focuses – thematic, systemic and geographic.

Thematic focus:

The core outcome – strengthened active citizenship and empowered vulnerable groups – is a central prerequisite to underpin other outcomes to strengthen civil society. To achieve the overall objective, the ACF Programme’s support for CSOs projects will focus on the following thematic outcomes (one outcome per project):

Systemic focus:

Strengthening the functional and organizational development capacities of the civil society, and CSOs in particular, will be another core focus contributing to the overall objective of the ACF Program. To achieve this, the support to enhance the following sectoral changes will be provided:

Intensive capacity building measures will be provided by FO (including a pre-defined project aimed at assisting small-scale CSOs in Lithuanian regions, strengthening their organizational development capacities, empowering them through mentoring and leaders’ training).

 Geographical focus:

Specific attention will be given to larger territorial distribution of grants in reaching out to the underserved areas, target groups, supporting local CSOs, small organizations/new initiatives. To achieve this, the following measures will be provided:

Programme implementation modalities

In order to provide adjusted respond to the needs of CSOs, the following Programme modalities will be offered:

Lithuanian CSOs will be encouraged to establish partnerships (i.e., national/local; bilateral; CSO/public/private entities) for project implementation.

Bilateral initiatives

Fostering qualitative partnerships between Lithuania and donor countries, the following activities implemented by the CSOs and/or FO consortium in partnership with donor entities, will be supported: 1) partner search visits; 2) matchmaking events; 3) individual short-term internships and know-how exchanges; 4) initiatives of the FO to facilitate exchange of knowledge and/or establish networks.

ACF Programme’s grant for Lithuania – 9 mil. EUR. It is expected that the ACF Programme will reach ~250 CSOs (including 80 small-scale local CSOs from under-served regions). The Programme will support ~180 projects implemented by ~160 CSOs. The overall goal of the ACF Programme is to engage directly 10.000 citizens through the activities of CSOs.

Fund Operator in Lithuania

Open Lithuania Foundation (OLF, leading Consortium partner) has a solid experience in re-granting and in running operational programs designed to strengthen civil society, active citizens and the CSOs at large.

OSFL Projektai (OSFLP) possess an extensive re-granting experience and deep technical knowledge of audit and accounting practices applied in Lithuania and particularly in the NGO sector.

Geri norai LT (GN) offers a tailor-made support for early stage social entrepreneurs, local action groups in the regions, linguistic and ethnic minorities, etc.



Open Lithuania Foundation (OLF)

Didžioji str. 5, 01128 Vilnius, Lithuania

Sandra Adomavičiūtė, Director,

Giedrė Tumosaitė, Programmes Director,



Sponsors and partners