The program’s open grant competitions award donations to Polish non-governmental organizations for projects designed to share Polish 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.
Additionally, the program 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.
The main grant competition is announced twice a year. Applications may be submitted by mid-March any 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.
In 2020, despite the pandemic restrictions, it was possible to maintain cooperation within international partnerships. Part of the program had to be carried out online. Meetings with other applicants and recipients, and some project activities implemented in cooperation with partners based in the Region had to go digital as well.
Between 2000 and 2020, “RITA” provided support to 1,092 projects.