The program is aimed at strengthening the capacities of regional NGOs and financing human rights projects.


evaluation of applications

The “Verta!” program is designed to strengthen non-governmental organizations operating in the field of human rights and provide funding for their projects. The program focuses on organizations and projects related to ethnic minorities, migrants and refugees, LGBT+ individuals, vulnerable women, children, and other socially marginalized groups, aiming to ensure their equality, promote solidarity, and improve conditions for civic and democratic participation. Special attention will be given to strengthening regional, small NGOs.

The “Verta” program was developed and implemented by the Open Lithuania Foundation, a public institution, and is funded by the European Commission’s Citizens, Equality, Rights, and Values program. From 2023 to 2025, a total of 2.7 million euros will be allocated for the capacity-building of NGOs.

First, it is tailor-made training specifically designed for the needs and challenges of non-governmental organizations. Up to two representatives from each selected organization will have the opportunity to participate. In the NGO Academy, professionals in their respective fields will teach participants how to attract funding for their organization, professionally prepare projects, ensure the organization’s financial sustainability, disseminate knowledge, and communicate with the community. The training program will last for 7 months.

Second, it is an opportunity to implement projects in one’s own community, promoting equality, solidarity, and increasing civic and democratic participation. It also provides a platform to share project experiences with similar organizations operating in other regions or at the national level.

Third, it is an opportunity to disseminate knowledge at the national and even international level, strengthen advocacy networks, and gain international experience.

The “Verta!” program is open to both national advocacy organizations and small organizations operating in the regions. However, the program will place particular emphasis on small regional organizations during the two-stage program.

For regional small NGOs, a two-stage program is planned: first, after the evaluation of applications and interviews, selected organizations will be invited to participate in a long-term capacity-building program called “NGO Academy. Social Leaders Program.” Upon completion of the training, these organizations will have the opportunity to apply for project funding.

National advocacy NGOs will be invited to submit project proposals for funding at the end of 2023, including activities that involve exchanging experiences and collaborating with small NGOs. They will also receive advocacy strengthening training and engage in advocacy network development activities.

How regional NGOs can get involved?

  • Stage 1 of the selection process. On February 28, 2023, an open call is announced for submitting applications to participate in the 2023 capacity-building program “NGO Academy. Social Leaders Program.” The application forms with attachments must be submitted by May 2 at 23:59.
  • Stage 2 of the selection process. After evaluating the received applications, a minimum of 50 selected NGO teams will participate in the 2023 capacity-building program “NGO Academy. Social Leaders Program.” The NGO Academy for the selected organizations will take place from September 2023 to March 2024.
  • Stage 3 of the selection process. After completing the capacity-building program “NGO Academy. Social Leaders Program” in spring 2024, the participating NGOs are invited to submit project proposals for funding their organization’s projects. The project funding competition in 2024 is closed and exclusive to organizations that participated in the 2023 capacity-building program “NGO Academy. Social Leaders Program.”After evaluating the project proposals, a minimum of 34 NGOs will receive support for project implementation. The project duration ranges from 10 to 12 months, and the maximum funding amount is 30,000 EUR.

How national advocacy NGOs can get involved?

The call for proposals for large non-governmental organizations (e.g., umbrella associated structures) will be announced at the end of 2023.

The program “Verta!” presentation video

The program is financed by the European Union. However, the expressed views or opinions are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the European Union or the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the funding institution is responsible for them.