The German Federal Fund

The German Federal Fund

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The German Federal Government provides embassies and consulates with small budgets for supporting small scale projects in the field of technical cooperation. In 2009 the Federal Foreign Offices supported nearly 1,000 micro-projects with a total of €7.1 million.


This scheme is especially targeted at NGOs and self-help initiatives working at the grassroots level.


Grant Size

As a rule, the grant size does not exceed €25,000.


Own Contribution

Own contribution is desired, yet not a prerequisite for funding.


Funding Priorities

The aim of the micro-project scheme is to improve the basic needs of the poor and most vulnerable population groups in a non-bureaucratic and efficient manner. The German embassies and consulates provide support either directly or indirectly (through the purchase of technical equipment or material). The project's positive impact on the local population should be clearly demonstrated. Personnel costs or costs for salaries, administration and travel cannot be funded.


Grantmaking Criteria

1.     Projects cannot otherwise be realized by the recipient

2.     Projects are not already part of development aid activities of the German government

3.     Projects do not create additional costs after being funded once

4.     Projects should be completed within the same fiscal year in which funding has been provided.



Most German missions in developing countries are provided with funds to finance small-scale technical co-operation projects for which local NGOs can also apply. These are subject to:


1. Guidelines emphasizing rural development (in particular food security), power supply, protection of natural resources, (handi-)craft and small industries, education and training, whereby preference is given to self-help-initiatives and measures aimed at satisfying the basic needs of the people.


2.    Budgetary implementations directed at enhancing the efficiency of people and organisations, especially of the poorer population sector through transfer and mobilization of knowledge and capabilities or improving the basis for their utilization; priority is given to the basic needs of the poorer and poorest population groups. Moreover, measures aimed at the enhancement of democratic structures and human rights may be sponsored and special consideration is given to ecological aspects and those projects serving the improvement of the social position of women.


3.     Specific administrative regulations are contained in the "Richtlinien des BMZ zur Durchführung von Kleinstmaßnahmen der technischen Zusammenarbeit durch deutsche Auslandsvertretungen in Entwicklungsländern" (Guidelines for small-scale projects for technical co-operation in developing countries). These constitute the operational framework for the missions.


Project Duration

The maximum project duration is one year (January 1st – December 31st).



No deadline applies; but it is advisable to contact the embassy, consulate or German representative as early as possible (preferably before the year for which the funding is sought).


Application and Procedures

Develop your proposal bearing in mind the above-mentioned guidelines. The embassies, consulates and representatives are responsible for making the grant decision. The German institutions will consider the quality and reputation of the NGO or institution looking for support, evaluate the project, its layout and target group, check whether additional costs might arise after completion of the project, and evaluate the quality and outcomes of the project. A statement of the project outcome will be sent to the Federal Foreign Office in Germany and to the Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ) after completion of the project.



German, English, French or local languages.


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