The FIO is a grant program addressing non-for-profit organizations, formed for the purpose of initiating and strengthening civic initiatives, in cooperation with NGOs. It is complementary to the already functioning solutions and practice in this area.
The program stems from the idea of strengthening the civic sector which is being implemented by the government with the help of legal, informational, infrastructural, financial and institutional instruments.
According to the goals and tasks of the Program, as well as functions, priorities and goals of the Fund should be adequate to the character and needs of the development of the civic initiatives’ sector, with the participation of NGOs.
Following the resolution passed by the Council of Ministers, passed on August 11, 2004 entitled “the Governmental Program – Civic Initiatives’ Fund”, the Public Benefit Works’ Council has passed and forwarded to the Minister of Social Policy priorities for the year 2005.
The main goal of the FIO is providing financial support to civic initiatives aiming at:
Hence, the FIO tasks has been defined as follows:
Providing financial support to activities initiated by NGOs in the area of public tasks, as defined in the article 4 of the public benefit and volunteer work Act of law, following the open competition procedure; preference criteria shall include: innovativeness and guaranteeing equal opportunities and start of NGOs from impoverished environments;
Financing NGO operations aimed at obtaining EU funds (resources from the FIO shall be treated as the NGO’s contribution in applications for the EU funds);
Supporting comprehensive civic initiatives demanding integrated forms of NGO activity (due to objective reasons, activities undertaken in diverse types of partnerships need to be supported);
Promotion of good practice, model solutions serving the idea of civil society development with the collaboration of NGOs, and the cooperation between sectors (financial aid in this field aims at developing appropriate standards, taking into consideration rules and forms of cooperation defined in the public benefit and volunteer work Act of law).
The FIO is to be coherent with the National Strategy for the NGO Sector Development, and its size correlated with the ”1% institution”, provided that the amount can not be lower than the amount paid within the framework of “1%” mechanism to public benefit organizations by taxpayers in the preceding year. In the years 2005-2007, regardless of these decisions, the government shall allocate the amount of 30 million zloty for the purpose of the FIO priorities implementation.
Non-governmental organizations and church organizational units, defined in the article 3, item 1, of the public benefit and volunteer work Act of law active in the area of public benefit work shall be eligible to apply for the FIO funds.
The abovementioned financial resources shall be managed and distributed by the office of the minister responsible for social policy issues.
Procedures and grant competitions
Donations within the framework of the FIO shall be distributed through open grant competitions. The assumed procedure is simple and based on tested mechanisms (public tasks commissioning as defined in the public benefit and volunteer work Act of law; templates of grant proposal, agreement and of the reports defined by the resolution of the Minister of Economy, Labor and Social Policy of October 29, 2003 (Journal of law No 193, item 1891) and institutions (Ministry of Social Policy and the Public Benefit Works Council – an opinion-making and advisory body affiliated to the minister responsible for social security issues).