Apply now for IHEU 2011 grants programme

  • post Type / Growth and Development
  • Date / 11 July 2011

The International Humanist and Ethical Union is pleased to announce it is now accepting applications for the IHEU-HIVOS Humanist Network and Development programme for 2011. A total of 75,000  Euros is available for grants, with Euro 10,000 per year as the maximum annual funding for any single project. The deadline for applications is September 1, 2011 (but there is an August 1 pre-qualification deadline for groups that are not IHEU member organizations). Detailed information on the programme and the grant application procedures, plus application forms, can be found below.


The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) is the world union of Humanist, rationalist, secularist and atheist organizations 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 organizations 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. More information can be found on the website www.iheu.org.

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. More information can be found on the website 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. All applications regarding this programme should be directed to IHEU as specified below.

About the applicants

This grants programme is for Humanist organizations only. The following organizations can apply:

  1. IHEU Member Organizations in developing countries (according to the DAC list ),
  2. organizations that have received grants under the IHEU/HIVOS programme in one of the last 10 years,
  3. organizations pre-qualified by application.

Organizations that are not members of IHEU can apply for pre-qualification by sending in the pre-qualification application form (below). See more information on the criteria in the form.

Grant criteria

The project should achieve specified goals in one or more of the following areas: promoting Humanism, secularism, human rights or scientific method, or building competence and capacity of the organization itself.

  • Promoting Humanism: The project is promoting Humanism as a life-stance to politicians, media or the general public. The activities of such a project could include public meetings, seminars, advertizing, media coverage, publishing, articles in printed media, etc. The project will have to include an assessment of the effect of the activities on the target audience.
  • Promoting secularism: The project is promoting separation of state and religion and/or equal treatment of secular and religious life-stances to politicians, media or the general public. The activities of such a project could include public meetings, seminars, advertizing, media coverage, publishing, articles in printed media, etc. The project will have to include an assessment of the effect of the activities on the target audience.
  • Promoting Human Rights: The project is promoting the human rights of people with a secular life-stance, and/or supporting human rights of other specific groups suffering from discrimination based on religion, caste, descent, work or gender. The activities of such a project could include promotion of new legislature, exposing human rights violations of the government and advocacy towards politicians, media or the general public.
  • Promoting scientific method: The project is promoting critical thinking and scientific method as opposed to pseudo-science, superstition and alternative religions. The activities of such a project could include means to popularize science, propagating scientific method, producing information material, skeptical activities towards witchcraft, sorcery, astrology, etc.
  • Building organizational capacity: The project is strengthening the organization’s ability to reach out to new potential members, to grow and prosper. The activities of such a project could include training of staff, elected officers and other volunteers, sending representatives to meetings or conferences organized by IHEU or one of its Member Organizations, improving fundraising capabilities, or improving gender equality or youth participation in the organization.

Funding availability

Budgets in applications must be made in Euros and also indicate the equivalent in local currency. Projects should preferably be completed within the year of 2012. A total of Euros 75,000 is available in 2011, of which Euros 24,500 is already allocated for multiple-year projects funded in 2009 or 2010. The maximum funding for a single project is Euro 10,000 per year. However, IHEU encourages smaller proposals from new Humanist groups. The project should be partly funded by the Humanist organization applying for grant, and not be solely reliant upon external funding.

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. The grant cannot be used for capital costs, e.g. equipment, computer, etc.

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. When approved, funding is guaranteed for only one year.

All funding recipients will have to provide an interim report on the project by 31 July 2012 and a full report with detailed accounts by March 2013. 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.

Funding recipients will be expected to acknowledge IHEU’s assistance in their publications and project material.

Application Form

The application form, available below, 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 organization. Individuals applying for funding should state reasons why their proposal is not routed through a Humanist organization.

The most common issue with unsuccessful applications is that they are long on problem description, but short on how the proposed activities will help solve the problem and to document that effect. We encourage applicants to pay particular attention to this in the applications.

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 organization. IHEU will monitor the project’s progress closely, and an external evaluation will be conducted in 2012. 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 2011 must arrive at IHEU’s London office by email by 1 September 2011. All applicants will be informed about the result of their application in November 2011. Please do not ask for information about how your application is being processed before these dates.

Time                                        Activity

1 August 2011                         Deadline for pre-qualification applications

1 September 2011                  Application deadline

November 2011                      IHEU will notify applicants of the result and recipients send in the Grants Acceptance Agreement

December 2011                       IHEU will transfer 80% of the grant to recipient

July 2012                                   Recipient sends interim report

August 2012                              IHEU will transfer 20% of grant to recipient

March 2013                                Recipient sends final report and accounts


Please read carefully:

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