The program’s open grant competitions award grants to Polish non-governmental organizations for projects designed to share Polish experiences, especially in the area of building civil society, social assistance, transformation of local government, education reform, and free media. The maximum grant amount is $17,500. About 30 grants are awarded annually.
As part of the program, organizations may also apply for small travel grants which can be earmarked for project consultation with a foreign partner before the application for a grant is submitted, strengthening cooperation with a partner organization or evaluation of an implemented project. Under a special grant path, “RITA” Program grants may be used for co-financing of a larger project for which a given organization has been awarded a grant from other sources, Polish or foreign. However, such projects must comply with objectives of the “RITA” Program as well as geographic and thematic areas of its operation.
Additionally, the program offers training opportunities and experts’ support to Polish NGOs and schools, as well as assistance in establishing contacts and developing cooperation with foreign partners. Every two years, the meetings of the “RITA” Program grant recipients named Ambassadors of Transition in the Regions are held. Information exchange between organizations and civic leaders is facilitated also by the www.civicportal.org social networking site. The portal is also an e-learning platform offering training to Polish and foreign NGOs.
The main grant competition is announced twice a year. The applications are to be submitted by mid- March and by mid-October. Applications for travel grants and subsidies for larger projects are accepted on an on-going basis until the funds earmarked for those activities are exhausted.
Over the years 2000-2019 the “RITA” Program supported a total of 1,080 projects.
The Foundation has disbursed $15,133,196, including $496,268 for the current edition of the program.