Any legal entity or natural person worldwide is eligible for funding, provided that the given project proposal deals with topics relevant to the Visegrad region and promotes cooperation among project partners in the region. Preferences are given to applicants from non-governmental and non-profit organizations,municipalities and local governments, public schools and universities, research and scientific bodies and public institutions in general with the exception of organizations directly funded from state budgets—e.g. institutions of state administration, ministries, embassies, cultural institutes (Instytut Polski,Èeské centrum), etc.
1.2 Project partners
It is compulsory to secure participation of subjects from at least three different V4 countries (an organizer and at least two project partners); with the exception of Cross-Border Cooperation where cooperation of two countries is sufficient (organizer and a single project partner) and the Visegrad Strategic Program where all four V4 countries must be represented). Applicants are, however, strongly encouraged toinvolve project partners from all four Visegrad countries. If cooperation does not—or cannot—include all four parties, applicants are requested to give reasons. Similarly as with applicants, organizations directly funded from state budget cannot be considered valid project partners—e.g., institutions of state administration, ministries, embassies, cultural institutes (e.g. Slovenský inštitút, Magyar kulturális intézet, etc.).
1.3 Project topic or the so-called “Visegrad feature”
There are no preferences as of content of a given project. Each project topic shall, however, contain a reasonable Visegrad feature, i.e., the project must deal with the Visegrad Group countries or with Central Europe and its peoples. Priority is given to projects that create common added value rather to projects which simply just involve partners from several countries.
1.4 Re-applying/Simultaneous applications
Applicants can only apply for a single Small or Standard Grants project at a time. In case of multiple applications from the same applicant, the first registered application will be considered, while all other will be disregarded. Applicants may re-apply for grant support at any point, only if all their previous grant projects financed by the Fund have been finished (i.e., their final reports have been duly approved by the Fund). The Visegrad Strategic Program is the only exception; Strategic Grants can be implemented simultaneously with Small or Standard Grants.
1.5 Consulting the Fund
Applicants can freely consult the staff of the Fund in writing (e-mail), by telephone or in person. Visitors to the Fund are kindly requested to make an appointment. Unannounced visits or consultations within 10 working days of the given deadline are discouraged.
1.6 FAQ I
Can a private company be an applicant?
Any legal entity or natural person can apply; priority is, however, given to public and non-profit institutions.
Can I apply if I am not from the V4 region?
Applicants from non-V4 countries are eligible no less than V4 applicants: their projects must, however, have a clear “Visegrad feature” (see paragraph 1.3) and involve partners from at least three V4 countries (see paragraph 1.2). Applicants are, however, strongly advised to involve project partners from all V4 countries.
If I organize a music festival and invite bands and musicians from the V4 region—is it enough?
It is always advised to strive for more than merely collecting artists from four countries, who then perform one by one. An added value is always welcomed, let it be in the form of a joint performance (e.g., a jam session), or a separate stage (e.g. a “Visegrad” stage within a bigger festival).
When can my project start?
Theoretically, a project can start once it has been approved and the contract has been signed between the grantee and the Fund. Only those costs that occurred during a given contractual period are legitimate and can be covered by the Fund. This means that applicant should carefully consider (1) the evaluation period of projects (see paragraph 3.1) and (2) the necessary time for completion of other contractual terms, such as defining a project website, bank account, etc. (see paragraph 4).
2. APPLICATION FORM/PROJECT PROPOSAL
English is the official language of the Visegrad cooperation, as well as of the International Visegrad Fund—application forms, as well as all official correspondence with the Fund can be accepted only in English.
The following are annual deadlines for submission of Small Grants: March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1. The following are annual deadlines for submission of Standard Grants: March 15 andSeptember 15 (unless stipulated otherwise on the website and in the on-line application system). The Visegrad Strategic Program has a single annual deadline (the date is announced). Electronic application forms shall be submitted by 12:00 CET (noon) on given deadline date. Hard-copy versions (printouts) with relevant accompanying documentation shall be either sent by registered post on the same day at the latest or delivered to the Fund personally by 16:30 CET.
If the given deadline falls on public holiday (when postal services might be closed for business), the hard-copy applications and the accompanying documents will be accepted with the postmark of the nearest business day following the deadline, or can be delivered in person to the fund by 16:30 CET on that day. Please note, however, that the electronic submission must be respected.
2.2 Project categories
There are six categories into which Small/Standard Grants projects are divided (Strategic Grants follow annual priorities). Applicants themselves shall decide which category best fits the content of their project. The following are the six categories with example of concrete project topics:
- cultural cooperation (film and theater festivals, exhibitions, publications)
- education (seminars, education workshops)
- scientific exchange and research (academic workshops, conferences)
- youth exchanges (summer camps, school exchanges)
- cross-border cooperation (site-specific, locally or regionally relevant projects)—applicants and project partners cannot have their seats further than 80 km from given border (projects in this category can involve two or three countries—see paragraph 2.9)
- promotion of tourism (tourist portals or brochures, promotion of concrete sites)
2.3 On-line application system
Application forms are available through an on-line system at http://applications.visegradfund.org/. The system usually opens 30 days prior to given deadline. Applicants need to register with an existing e-mail address to start a new application form. Each form is then password protected and can therefore be saved and edited later. Every application form has its unique 8-digit number (application ID)—applicants shall use this number whenever communicating agenda related to the project.
2.4 Hard-copy version and accompanying documentation
A hard-copy version of an application form can be printed out from the system only once the on-line application form has been submitted. The following documents must also be delivered to the Fund in a single package with the original application form (separately delivered documents cannot be considered):
- original letters of intent (see paragraph 2.5)
- copies of ID or registration documents of the applicant and project partners (see paragraph 2.6)
- copies of confirmations about co-financing (copies or scans of documents proving other confirmed financial contributions to the project from other donors or sponsors)
Please do not bind the documents together.
2.5 Letters of intent
Letters of intent are an important part of the application—they document the project partners and describe their concrete role in it. There is no template for such letters—the statutory representative of the partner organization (or the natural person) should formally declare their intention to actively participate in the project and briefly describe their role in it. They can also describe their experience with the applicant from their previous cooperation. The letters must:
- be original documents—copies or scans cannot be accepted
- be printed on an official letterhead paper (where applicable)
- be written in English
- refer to the project by its official name (as registered in the application form)
- signed by the project partner’s statutory representative (or by natural person if the project partner is not a legal entity)
- delivered to the Fund as part of the application form (separate submission cannot be considered)
- dated no earlier than 3 months prior to a given deadline
2.6 Identification documents (IDs)
Copies of identification documents shall confirm to the Fund the legal status of the applicant and of the project partners. The ID documents of V4 applicants are accepted in the original languages; non-V4 applicants attach an English translation of such documents (unofficial translations are acceptable).
Please note that a statute of an organization, founding documents or deed of foundation do not replace the identification documents and are therefore not required.
If the applicant or project partner is an organization (legal entity), the ID document must have the form of anabstract (printout, scan or copy) from relevant registry which is not older than 3 months (see below). The abstract must contain the following data:
- name of the organization
- seat of the organization
- ID number—tax number/registration number (e.g. IÈO, DIÈ, adószám, NIP, REGON, etc.)
- legal form
- name of the statutory representative (can be a separate document, e.g. a nomination decree)
Such documents have the form of an abstract from relevant registry (national statistical office, district court, interior ministry, etc.) and cannot be older than 3 months—see the following links:
- http://www.stat.gov.pl/regon/, or http://krs.ms.gov.pl
If the applicant or project partner is not an organization (natural persons), they document their status with a copy of a valid ID card (e.g. passport).
The Fund covers up to 80% of total project costs within Small and Standard Grants, and up to 70% within Strategic Grants. The remaining 20–30% of the budget shall consist of other financial (the applicant’s, partners’ or other donors’ financial contributions) or non-financial contributions. The organization or volunteer work of the applicant and the partners, as well as other operational costs (e.g. use of one’s own premises, equipment, cars, etc.) are considered a non-financial (in-kind) contribution and shall be included in the budget (Table A in the application form).
A well-planned budget shall be simple and realistic. The budget should include approximations of project’s future expenditures in EUR (€) based on average prices in the region. Applicants are recommended to use the average exchange rates available at the given national bank at the time of preparing the application form.
When planning the budget, it is important to adhere to the following list of eligible cost categories, i.e., costs that can be covered by the Fund (for further details please paragraph 6.4):
- Printing and publishing/Delivery of printed/published materials
- Rent of premises and related technical services
- Fees for artists/Copyrights
- Fees for experts
- Accommodation and board
- Transportation costs
- Translations and interpreting costs
- Awards and prizes
- Office supplies/Consumption and promotional material/Entrance fees
- Public relations costs (advertising, promotion)
- Website design and update
- Tangible and intangible assets (goods or services related to the project)—max. 7% of the granted sum (only possible within Strategic Grants)
- Overhead costs—max. 15% of the granted sum—see point 12 in paragraph 6.4)
The following costs cannot be covered (with the exception of 15% overhead costs and 7% tangible/intangible assets in Strategic Grants):
- Capital investments
- Applicant’s own indirect costs (e.g. utilities, telephone bills)
- Internal costs (rent of one’s own premises, one’s own work)—see exceptions in point 14 in paragraph 6.7
- Salaries or financial remuneration of employees (or any expenses related employment based on the labor code, including allowances and part-time work, per-diems, etc.)
2.8 Calendar—project phases and list of events
The calendar shall include as many details as available to the applicant when preparing the project. Project phases refer to distinct phases or periods from the start of the project (preparation) to the implementation and settlement and conclusion. If a project gets approved, the calendar of events becomes a crucial tool for the grantee to keep the Fund up-to-date with all project activities, be it public events or closed sessions (please see paragraph 5.1 for more details).
2.9 FAQ II
Applicants from which countries can participate in the cross-border projects?
The following two-country combinations are possible: Czech-Polish, Czech-Slovak, Hungarian-Slovakand Polish-Slovak; and the following three-country projects are possible: Czech-Polish-German,Czech-Slovak-Austrian, Polish-Slovak-Ukrainian, Hungarian-Slovak-Austrian and Hungarian-Slovak-Ukrainian.
Which types of projects fit in the cross-border cooperation category?
They must involve project partners from the border areas and must be locally or regionally specific (e.g. mapping endangered species in the Tatras could be an example of a Polish-Slovak project).
3. PROJECT SELECTION
3.1 Evaluation period
Evaluation period lasts up to 50 working days (ca. 10 weeks) after given deadline in the case of Small and Strategic Grants, and up to 60 working days (ca. 12 weeks) in the cases of Standard Grants. Applicants shall take this into account when planning project events, as no project can be scheduled to start before its prospective approval.
3.2 Selection criteria
Every project is carefully reviewed on its own as well as in the context of other projects within a given deadline (especially among projects with similar topic). Preference is given to those projects which develop civil society, promote cooperation across borders and cultures and, last but not least, have Visegrad added value (see 1.3).
The following are the selection criteria:
- topic and content of the project, its originality and compliance with the aims of the Fund,
- quality, relevance and contribution of project partners,
- transparency and accuracy of the budget,
- development of civil society,
- promotion of the concept of Visegrad cooperation,
- multiplicative effect,
- proposed media coverage and public relations, networking effect,
- continuity of the project, and
- previous experience with the applicant (where applicable).
Selection committee is called for each deadline by the Fund’s Executive Director. The Executive Director makes his/her recommendations based on the discussion within the Committee and passes the recommendations to the Council of Ambassadors (the Council consists of ambassadors accredited in a country in chair of the Fund and representatives of a given foreign ministry). The Council decides on the 50th or 60th working day (see paragraph 3.1) at the latest when the final results are also published on the Fund’s website. Decisions made by the Council are final and shall present no grounds for any form of appeal, nor do they require any detailed reasoning.
3.4 Announcement of results
A list approved projects within a deadline is published on the website of the Fund on the day of the approval by the Council of Ambassadors. All applicants—whose projects were approved or rejected—are also informed by e-mail.
3.5 FAQ III
Who picks the projects?
Selection committee is called for each deadline by the Fund’s Executive Director. The committee comprises members of the Fund’s secretariat. The Executive Director makes his/her recommendations to the Council of Ambassadors (the Council consists of ambassadors accredited in a country in chair of the Fund and representatives of a given foreign ministry). The Council decides on the 60th working day (or 50th in case of Small or Strategic Grants) at the latest when the final results are also published on the Fund’s website (see paragraph 3.4).
What is the proportion between approved and dismissed projects? What are my chances?
There is no direct answer to this question as each deadline and program is different. On average 20–30% of applicants receive support, depending on the deadline and program.
4. CONTRACTUAL TERMS
The contract between the grantee and the Fund is concluded once the grantee has fulfilled the following conditions: (1) allocating a bank account which will serve the purposes of the project (such account can be an existing bank account used by the grantee, or a new separate bank account); (2) setting up a project website (see paragraph 4.2); and (3) acceptance of the contract draft by the grantee.
4.1 Bank account
Every grantee shall allocate a bank account (or a sub-account) for the purposes of the project. Such bank account can be an already existing account owned by the grantee; all operations conducted on the said account during the contractual period must be, however, related only to the project. The bank account must be available within 20 working days (ca. 4 weeks) after the approval of a project.
4.2 Project website
Project website must be set up and made available within 20 working days (ca. 4 weeks) after the approval of a project and must be active for at least the whole contractual period. Each project website must have its own address. Alternatively such website can have the form of a sub-site within an existing website, social networking sites (e.g. Facebook or Google+), or blogs (e.g. Twitter). Each project website must contain the logo of the Fund with a direct link to the Fund’s website (www.visegradfund.org), as well as direct links to the websites of all project partners.
When publicly communicating through social media (Facebook, Google+, or Twitter), grantees are advised to make references to the Fund’s active accounts on the given sites:
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/visegradfund
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/visegradfund (when using hashtags, “#Visegrad” and “#V4” are recommended)
4.3 Contractual period
The maximum time frame for each Small Grant project is 6 months, for Standard Grant project 12 months and for Strategic Grants the time frame is between 12 and 36 months. After the implementation period of a project (i.e., the period during which the project as such takes place) there are additional 20 working days (ca. 4 weeks) during which the grantee shall finalize and submit the final report. Each project is successfully concluded only after the Fund’s approval of a given final report—within 30 additional working days (ca. 6 weeks).
5. PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION
Once approved each grantee shall remain in contact with the Fund through the on-line system. All official correspondence (questions, comments, requests for prolongations) shall be conducted through the system or by e-mail; communication by telephone is possible but cannot be considered in case of disputes. Allcontractual changes (i.e., prolongations, changes of project partners, etc.) must be requested in writing—i.e., on letterhead paper with the signature of the statutory representative.
5.1 Calendar of events
The calendar of events is an on-line tool for communicating progress of a project between the grantee and the Fund. It is necessary to keep all events up-to-date since the calendar serves the purpose of project evaluation and extends the public relations of an event as the entries get published on the Fund’s website.
Dates and sites for each event must be confirmed in the on-line calendar only 10 working days before the event takes place but 3 working days at the latest.
5.2 Press releases/Public invitations
Grantees are obliged to prepare at least a single (one) press release or a public invitation per project. Such press releases or public invitations can be written in any relevant language, submitted in the on-line system, and disseminated to relevant media, social media, mailing lists, and/or through other relevant channels (as planned in the “Planned PR activities” section of the application form). Press releases or public invitations serve the Fund for the purposes of project evaluation and enable media and public oversight of the given projects.
6. REPORTING, DISBURSEMENT AND REIMBURSEMENT
6.1 Project disbursement and reimbursement—Tranches
The grants are disbursed in tranches. The size of the tranches is decided during the evaluation process and specified in the contract. The rule is that Small and Standard Grants are paid in two tranches, while Strategic Grants in two or three tranches.
The first tranche is transferred (disbursed) to the grantee within 15 working days after the delivery of the signed contract to the Fund. Subsequent tranches are disbursed upon the delivery and approval of complete and duly prepared interim/final reports and financial settlements. Before submitting these reports—i.e., before claiming the second tranche—grantees are requested to have utilized approximately 4/5 (or 80%) of the first tranche.
The second (for Small and Standard Grants)/last tranche usually amounts to about 20% of the grant’s total sum and is reimbursed after the delivery and approval of the final report. The grantee must therefore have this portion prefinanced (covered from other sources) when submitting the final report and the financial settlement.
The sum of the last tranche must be first covered from the grantee’s resources and gets reimbursed only after the approval of the final report and the financial settlement.
6.2 Interim and final reports
Please note that the financial settlement of the final report shall only cover those items that were not included in the previous interim report(s). The narrative final report, however, refers to the whole project.
Original interim and final reports are to be delivered to the Fund by the deadlines stipulated in the contract. Both interim and final reports consist of (1) the report and (2) the original financial settlement. Please note that the report must always be accompanied by the financial settlement—they must be sent together(both signed by statutory representative). Processing of the reports by the Fund may take up to 30 working days (ca. 6 weeks).
6.3 Financial settlement—General requirements for all costs
Financial settlement consists of an overview of expenditures within a project accompanied by (1) copies of relevant financial documents (invoices, receipts, bills, contracts), (2) printout of the complete bank statement or all petty-cash vouchers (for cash payments) and any other additional documents (as stipulated in paragraph 6.4). Grantees are kindly requested to number all financial documents (invoices, bills, bank statements) with corresponding numbers used in the Financial settlement table. It is also recommended to sort financial documents chronologically.
Please note that the financial settlement shall concern only the granted sum, not the project’s entire budget.
6.4 Financial settlement—Additional requirements for specific types of costs
All costs claimed for reimbursement must be documented by corresponding financial document (invoice, receipt, bill, contract); below please find specific requirements for each cost category which are additional to the general requirements in paragraph 6.3:
Printing and publishing/Delivery of printed materials:
samples of the printed materials containing the Fund’s logo (books, magazines, posters, bulletins, etc.);
Rent of premises and related technical services:
copies of invoices where available;
Fees for artists/Copyrights:
contracts/invoices regarding the service or purchase (incl. an indication of payments of all relevant taxes, where applicable); contracts cannot be based on Labor Code;
Fees for experts (professional contributors):
contracts/invoices regarding the service not ruled by Labor Code and an indication of payments of all relevant taxes (in the bank statement);
Accommodation and board:
list of participants and detailed invoice with the following information: the provided board, prices (costs per unit, e.g. 1 lunch, 1 person/night) and dates;
transportation costs reimbursement sheet (available on the Fund’s website); copy of internal transportation costs document (where available); copy of vehicle registration documents; invoices or copies of tickets or boarding passes (where applicable);
Translation and interpreting costs:
contracts/invoices; samples of translated texts (printouts or digital copies);
Awards and prizes:
brief report on the award-giving (list of awarded persons including their names, signatures and dates);
Office supplies/Consumption and promotional materials/Entrance fees:
samples of each item with the Fund’s logo (T-shirts, bags, CDs/DVDs, USB sticks and other gadgets, etc.);
Advertising and promotion:
samples of the advertisements in the print media, digital copies (e.g. screenshots, graphic files) of audiovisual advertisements or on-line banners, photos of billboards;
Website design and update:
full website link (URL);
Tangible and intangible assets (Strategic Grants only):
goods or services related to the project—max. 7% of the granted sum;
Overhead costs (max. 15% of the granted sum):
“Overheads” must be traceable and verifiable in case of financial audit. Also, overhead payments must be carried through the project bank account (transferred to other accounts or withdrawn). Grantees do not need to account for the “overheads”, but must record these costs in their accounting system.