IHEU-HIVOS 2008 grants programme

  • post Type / Growth and Development
  • Date / 28 July 2008

IHEU invites applications for funding in the 2008 IHEU-HIVOS grants programme. The deadline for applications was September 30th, 2008. APPLICATIONS HAVE NOW CLOSED. For information about our 2009 grants programme, please monitor this web site or sign up for our email newsletters.


The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) is the world union of Humanist, rationalist, secularist and atheist organisations with over 100 member organizations in more than 40 countries. IHEU promotes and defends freedom of conscience and expression, and advocates for the separation of religion and state. IHEU co-ordinates the activities of its member organisations and offers them advice and guidance on policy issues and strategy. It fosters the growth of new Humanist groups, and represents Humanist interests at the UN, UNESCO, UNICEF and the Council of Europe.

IHEU and its member organisations defend civil liberties, promote more humane and rational attitudes on abortion law, sexual relationships, voluntary euthanasia, capital punishment and other ethical issues. IHEU supports campaigns against blasphemy laws, projects aimed at protection of minorities and ethnic groups, and activities that will achieve the elimination of discrimination based on religion or belief.

HIVOS is the renowned Dutch Humanist funding agency, and a Specialist Member of IHEU, with headquarters in The Hague in the Netherlands, and regional offices in Bangalore, Harare and Costa Rica (www.hivos.nl).

IHEU and HIVOS have been collaborating since 1988 to promote a Humanist oriented development, through human rights and Humanist networking oriented projects. For this present funding arrangement IHEU, and not HIVOS, should be contacted.

Who can apply for funding?

Organizations (and exceptionally individuals) from countries which are classified as “least developed” or low/low-middle income countries by the United Nations and the World Bank. The full list is available here. Organisations, resident nationals of these countries as well as those residing permanently in these countries are eligible to apply.

Type of projects previously supported by IHEU:

In 2007, IHEU supported 16 projects. Details are available here. These included Humanist projects such as education and training for young Dalits, a programme of eradication of superstition in health care, building a science laboratory in a Humanist school, national conference on Secularism and Humanism, seminars and workshops promoting critical thinking and social outlook, conference on Untouchability (Osu) in Nigeria and taking an anti-superstition video to schools in a rural area.

Grant criteria

The projects should achieve one or more of the following goals: Promote the understanding of Humanism to a broad audience; promote separation of religion and state; promote human rights, especially those of women and children; or support and encourage the participation of youth in the movement. The full criteria are published and are available here.

Where travel funding is allocated, the cheapest economy class air fare / Apex air fare / cheapest train travel along with minimum living expenses only will be paid. The purpose of travel must be consistent with the projects that IHEU would normally support under this funding programme

Different Humanist groups specialise in different activities, and applicants are encouraged to be creative in developing their proposals which will have an impact on their immediate environment. Project proposals must have a Humanist bias. By Humanist bias, IHEU means (as an illustration only) projects, such as those relating to: separation of religion and state; inculcation of scientific temper; support to Humanists/atheists subjected to discrimination because of their life-stance, including victims of similar discrimination such as children, women, homosexuals, physicians involved in voluntary euthanasia and abortion etc; social, legal and intellectual defence of the right to self-determination and other human rights.

Please note: purely humanitarian aid projects are not eligible for funding.

IHEU’s priorities in the developing world are currently to support projects in South Asia and Africa.

IHEU would ideally like to see a public-relations and media strategy built into the project, so that public awareness of Humanist activities, of the world wide Humanist movement, and of IHEU as an organisation, will increase. Funding recipients will be expected to acknowledge IHEU’s assistance in their publications and project material.

All funding recipients will have to provide an interim report on the project by 31 July 2009 and a full report with detailed accounts by 15 January 2010. Recipients who have received grants from IHEU for other projects in the last five years will have to have completed their reporting and accounting for those projects.

What levels of funding are available?

Budgets in applications must be in Euros and also indicate the local currency equivalent. A total of Euros 75,000 is available in 2008 and maximum funding for a single project is Euro 10,000 per grant per year. However, IHEU encourages smaller proposals from new Humanist groups.

When approved, funding is guaranteed for only one year at a time. IHEU may increase or decrease the level of funding requested. Renewal of funding will depend on project performance, applicants’ compliance with IHEU’s reporting and performance criteria (which will be strictly monitored), and of course, on other funding applications that IHEU is evaluating in that year. Where appropriate, IHEU will also consult with other Humanist organizations which may also be funding Humanist activities, to ensure there is no overlap in funding allocations.

IHEU may allocate up to Euro 2,500 for travel-related expenses for supporting travel of Humanists from the developing-world.

Application Form

The application form must provide sufficient detail for your proposal to be evaluated without further reference to you.

The proposal must be realistic and clearly state the project activities and the practical results that are expected. It must clearly show the financial participation of the applicant, and indicate if funding will be required for more than one year. It should further indicate how your organisation will ensure that IHEU’s support to your organisation’s project is made public through your newsletter, websites etc.

Individuals applying for funding should state reasons why their proposal is not routed through a Humanist organisation.

If you need help or guidance, please contact IHEU by e mail at .

Additional Information requested with Application Form and project proposal.

Please send:

1). A pamphlet/leaflet/publication/press reports about your organisation, which informs IHEU about the goals and objectives of your group. Your documents must be in, or translated into the working language of the IHEU which is English. A web site link is also acceptable.

2). It is the applicant’s responsibility to check their own eligibility and local legal position for receiving IHEU’s funds. Usually, a Chartered Accountant, an advocate or your local Government Charity Commissioner’s office can give you written advice on this matter. Please include such a certificate where such laws exist in your country.

Project Assessment and Monitoring:
Once funds are allocated, disbursement will take place after IHEU enters into a contract with the recipient organisation. IHEU will monitor the project’s progress closely, and an external evaluation will be conducted in 2009. All fund recipients are expected to fully cooperate with IHEU and HIVOS and their representatives by providing information and ready access to records to enable evaluation of the projects.


Funding applications for 2008 must be sent by email to , to arrive at IHEU by September 30th, 2008. All applicants will be informed about the result of their application in January 2009. Please do not ask for information about how your application is being processed before these dates. Funds will be transferred from IHEU’s Bank soon thereafter. Successful applicants should allow an average of one to two weeks for the funds to arrive by international bank transfer.


  • Are you in a country on the eligible list?
  • Have you read the grant criteria? Purely humanitarian aid projects are not eligible for funding.
  • Have you reviewed the successful applications in 2007?
  • Are you applying for not more than Euro 10,000 (and a lesser amount if you have not applied for a grant previously?
  • Are you applying as a Humanist organization, or if not, have you explained why you cannot apply through a Humanist organization?
  • If you received a grant or grants in previous years, have you submitted all the required progress reports?
  • Have you included all required information and attachments with your application? (See above and the application form for full details.)
  • Are you sending your application by email to arrive before the deadline of 30 September 2008?

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