The program’s open grant competitions award donations to Polish non-governmental organizations for projects designed to share experiences, especially in building civil society, social assistance, transformation of local government, education reform, and free media. The maximum grant amount is PLN 60,000. 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 regular grant is submitted, for 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 a larger project for which a given organization had 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 operations.
The main grant competition is announced twice a year. Applications may 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.
Starting from 2021, seasoned non-governmental organizations, i.e. managers of “RITA” projects, are welcome to apply for grants of up to PLN 100,000 under the “RITA – Partnership To Power” competition to continue their work.
Additionally, the program also offers training opportunities and expert support to Polish NGOs and schools as well as assistance in establishing contacts and developing cooperation with foreign partners. Every two years meetings of the “RITA” program grant recipients, “Ambassadors of Transition in the Region,” are held. Information exchange between organizations and civic leaders is facilitated by the www.civicportal.org social networking site. The portal is also an e-learning platform offering training to Polish and foreign NGOs.
Between 2000 and 2022, “RITA” provided support to 1,161 projects.
In the first days of March 2022, in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the immediate aid efforts of Polish NGOs, “RITA” opened an ad-hoc “Ukrainian path” in its grant competition. Available organizational and financial “RITA” resources were redirected to the new path. In line with earlier announcements, the “Ukrainian path” became part of a newly created, separate “Support for Ukraine” program. Once the “Ukrainian path” was transformed into “Support for Ukraine,” a total of PLN 1,7 mln was allocated to ad-hoc projects.
The Foundation has disbursed $17,750,442, including $1,807,501 in for the current edition.