Financial Support to Third Parties: Innovation Seed Grant Call


This Innovation Seed Grant call is launched by the Bridge for CSOs Programme implemented by Armenian General Benevolent Union in partnership with Eurasia Partnership Foundation and funded by the European Union. The global objective of the action is to strengthen and build the capacity of Armenian civil society to effectively contribute to decision making processes in Armenia. The specific objective is to improve organisational capacities of CSOs to better respond to citizen’s needs.


To better serve citizens, Armenian CSOs need to overcome various challenges in terms of their professional/technical expertise, internal governance and financial sustainability. The programme interventions will help to improve quality of services, increase financial sustainability and public trust of Armenian CSOs. Organizational Needs Assessment conducted in the frames of Bridge for CSOs Programme has revealed willingness of CSOs for organizational theory of change and need to improve their capacities in working with public, information technologies, social entrepreneurship, service provision, etc. To address these needs and further contribute to the sustainable development of the CSO sector, Bridge for CSOs Programme will organize trainings and consultations, support CSO visibility activities, engage Diaspora professionals to provide thematic support, as well as provide small grants to improve services to beneficiaries and financial diversification through establishment or expansion of social enterprises.


The purpose of the Innovation Seed Grant Call is to develop new and original concepts in service delivery to better respond to beneficiary needs. Innovation is critical to support development of the next generation of CSOs in Armenia. It will allow CSOs to reach out beneficiaries that otherwise would be difficult to reach and provides a better connection to members, donors and beneficiaries. Innovation can also help to improve service delivery capacity of Armenian CSOs which can increase cost effectiveness and reach, decrease donor dependence and improve quality of services for the beneficiaries. Innovation is not simply a new software, idea or method. It is also the process of revealing new ways to do things. It can be achieved through modifying operational models and adapting to changing environment.

The Innovation Seed Grant Call is designed to support CSOs, as well as non-registered initiatives or groups serving the public good, working to ensure tangible social impact for communities and enrichment of life circumstances of their beneficiaries. CSOs registered and operating in Armenia as well as informal initiative groups (with significant track record) that are working to advance their missions, serve their communities and improve services to their beneficiaries through public engagement and sustainable models of service delivery are encouraged to apply.


We are looking for CSOs or non-registered initiative group that serve the public good, are responsive to the needs of people and communities, address the need of vulnerable population, reduce inequalities and promote social inclusion, encourage volunteerism and mobilization, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, ensure sustainable model and community participation through empowering youth, engaging women and girls.

There are no restrictions in terms of sectors of project implementation, but at least half of the grants supported shall be implemented outside of Yerevan. Proposals aiming to provide paid services and receive profit (including social enterprise type projects), will not be considered in this grant call. Please consider, that re-granting to other parties is also not acceptable.
All projects must be implemented in Armenia. While the Innovation Seed Grants does not discriminate proposals on a geographical basis within Armenia, a balance among awarded beneficiaries is pursued to cover different regions.


The call is open to CSOs* and initiative groups with no mandatory legal registration**. It is important to note that initiative groups should also have track record of implementing projects and carrying out certain initiatives in order to be eligible for this grant call. Initiative groups that do not have track record and experience in dealing with the proposed idea/project should not apply as these projects will not be considered for funding.

We also look for original and creative partnerships – and particularly those, which bring people from different organizations, sectors, backgrounds and communities together, and which show the power of collaboration and teamwork. We are also interested to hear from organisations who have never received a grant of this kind before or currently are not involved in managing EU grants. Those organisations that have difficulty accessing funding or have previously been rejected to receive funding due to organisational capacities but have good ideas are encouraged to apply.


Bridge for CSOs Programme will support 8-14 grant projects with funding ranging from AMD 3,000,000 to AMD 9,000,000. Organisations with little grant management experience are encouraged to apply for minimal funding. Projects should be designed to run up to 12 (twelve) months.

Applicants are required to provide own contribution (both monetary and non-monetary is acceptable) in the amount of at least 5% of the total requested funding. Proposals not meeting the match funding requirement will not be considered.
In addition to financial support, selected project teams will have access to Organisational Capacity Building Assistance. From the first day of programme implementation, each of the sub grantees will be granted support and guidance of hand-picked diaspora mentors from selected fields. In addition, sub grantees will have opportunities to participate in the Non-profit management certificate programimplemented by the American University of Armenia, various capacity building trainings to address the capacity gaps and needs required for smooth implementation of the selected projects.


Applying for Innovation Seed Grant is a three-stage process.

Stage 1: As a first step, applicants will be invited to submit ideas, summarizing problem statement and overall project objectives and outcomes, reflecting on the social impact and innovation that the project offers. Initiative groups will also be required to provide brief description of previous experience. Experience of initiative groups.
Stage 2: Up to 30 pre-selected applicants will be invited to participate in the Proposal Development and Quality training. This training will enable the applicants to develop proposal development skills, introduce the tools and concepts used in proposal writing. Upon successful completion of the training course, applicants will be invited to submit full proposals. Guidance and explanations on submitting the full proposal will be provided during the training.
Stage 3: The preselected applicants will be invited to develop and submit full proposals. After submitting the proposals, individual meetings will be scheduled with each applicant to pitch their ideas to the Selection Committee.


Think you are a match? Then fill in our Idea Competition Template HERE.

Applications must be submitted online, in English or Armenian. Each applicant is only permitted to submit one application. The deadline for submission of ideas is 14:00, 31 May, 2018. Application portal will be closed after this deadline.
Please, follow social media pages of Bridge for CSOs, Armenian General Benevolent Union and Eurasia Partnership Foundation to be informed about the upcoming orientation sessions in Yerevan and the regions.


Final selection of the sub-grant recipients is done by the selection committee comprised from 5-7 experienced professionals from the non-profit sector covering various fields of expertise. Selection Committee members review and score the applications by using the 0-4 scale, where:

0- not meeting requirements
1- poor
2- satisfactory
3- good
4- outstanding
Proposed ideas in the first stage of selection process will be evaluated based on the following criteria. Please, note that equal weight is given to all the four criteria.

Evaluation Criteria for Idea Selection

Maximum Score

1. Problem statement

How well is the problem framed (based on statistics, other evidence and factual arguments)?


2. Project description

How interconnected and feasible is the proposed solution to the identified problem?


3. Innovation

To what extent is the proposed project idea ensuring innovative approach of solving respective problem in the community?


4. Social impact

To what extent is the proposed project idea ensuring social impact in the community?


5. Sustainability

How sustainable are the expected results of the proposed action?


Maximum Total Score


Evaluation criteria of the full proposals will be provided to the shortlisted candidates before submitting the full proposal.

Important Note:

Selection Committee Members have the task to identify the best proposals based on the criteria provided above. No committee member has the task to provide individual consultancy to the applicants regarding the received scores, reasons for rejection or ways to improve project proposals for future funding opportunities.

! Bridge for CSOs team is not involved in the evaluation and selection process of the proposals and cannot provide any feedback regarding the selection outcome.

* Civil Society Organisation includes non-governmental non-profit organisations and independent foundations, think tanks and networks at local and national level

** Initiative group will be required to register a formal CSO upon successful selection of the proposed project