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Democracy Commission Small Grants

The Democracy Commission Small Grants program was initiated in 1994 as a flexible mechanism to enable embassies to support local democratic initiatives in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the NIS.

The implementing body at each mission is the Democracy Commission, chaired by the Ambassador and including the Public Affairs Officer, other members of the Country Team, and representatives of other USG agencies.

Grants are aimed primarily at indigenous NGO's. Grants are awarded on the basis of a competition or upon determination of need by the Commission. Funds are disbursed by the Public Affairs Officer or the designated grants officer.

Final technical review and approval of grants is carried out in Washington. The purpose of the technical review is to ensure compliance with program parameters and to verify that budgets are accurate and allowable.

The following are the basic parameters for soliciting and awarding grants:

The Commission may award grants of up to $24,000 to indigenous Armenian non-profit, non-governmental organizations and media outlets that support the following initiatives:

  • Civil society development
  • Free flow of information (including support for independent media)
  • Transparency in government
  • Public education and advocacy
  • Rule of law and legal reform
  • Conflict resolution
  • Human rights and ethnic and minority rights
  • Civic education

American and third-country organizations and individuals are not eligible for grants under this program. Grants should not be used for partisan political activity. However, non-partisan election education and public information activities are appropriate.

Grants should not provide for long-term infrastructure needs that are not sustainable once grant funds are depleted. Salaries and other administrative expenses should be linked to specific grant activities.

Democracy Commission funds should not be used to pay for travel to international conferences.

Democracy Commission funds should not be used to provide direct social services to populations.

Democracy Commission funds should not be used for food expenses. When these costs cannot be supported otherwise, they should be clearly justified and limited to a maximum of 10% of the total award amount.

Grants for publication of materials should describe the intended audience, content, and how materials will be distributed.

Grants for seminars/workshops should describe the expected audience, content, and timeframe.

Democracy Commission will meet periodically to review the Small Grants applications received. For your convenience, please download the application package at

The US Embassy may also announce deadlines for application submissions to target selected areas of development. The information about such announcements will be available on the Embassy website:

If you have questions about the grant program you may contact the grants team at