Balkan Trust for Democracy
Important Note to Applicants: From June 2013, BTD entered into its second mandate and has implemented structural changes to its geographic coverage and grantmaking procedures. Please review these prior to submitting projects for consideration.
The Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) is grantmaking initiative that supports democracy, good governance, and Euroatlantic integration in Southeastern Europe. BTD was created in 2003 by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. BTD’s original ten-year mandate came to an end in May 2013. BTD then entered into its second mandate (2013-2020) with structural changes to geographic coverage and grantmaking scope.
BTD operates with a small, skilled staff with extensive experience in the region. BTD’s grantmaking review committee is composed of GMF and BTD staff members, with BTD donors serving as observers. An extensive network of proposal reviewers made up of partner donors and local experts further guide BTD’s grantmaking review and ensure coordination.
Through its grantmaking, BTD supports a wide range of innovative and creative forms of public outreach, cross-border and regional exchanges, and inter-community dialogue. Preference will be given to those proposals designed to increase citizen engagement with government; have an impact on public policy; strengthen leadership skills of individuals and organizations; facilitate cross-border and/or cross-sector cooperation; and allow for the transfer of experience and innovative ideas through a clear communication and dissemination plan.
Operating from the German Marshall Fund's Belgrade office, BTD’s grantmaking activities focus primarily on six countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. BTD also support relevant regional initiatives that promote benefits of pan-Balkan network, including civil society stakeholders from Western and Eastern Europe, and in particular those based in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.
In addition to grantmaking, the Balkan Trust for Democracy has continually worked to accelerate the region's integration into Euroatlantic structures and to raise the profile of the Balkans. Together with GMF's Washington Headquarters and its other European offices, BTD has connected local actors with European Union, U.S., and international individuals and institutions in order to build networks and consensus on Balkan issues from a broader, multi-stakeholder perspective.
Changes in Grantmaking Procedures:
Since 2013, BTD awards grants to supports projects addressing themes of democracy and good governance, policy dialogue and networking and regional cooperation and European integration. Priority areas within these themes include:
- Civic Engagement
- Youth Leadership and Empowerment
- Government Accountability and Transparency
- Culture of Giving
- Euro-Atlantic Integration
- Dialogue and Reconciliation
Supported projects typically achieve their goals through: public debate; leadership development; policy work; civic education; mechanisms; advocacy; monitoring; implementation and enforcement; shared objectives; best practices; networks; re-granting; reconciliation.
BTD’s grantmaking activities focus primarily on six countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. BTD also support relevant regional initiatives that include civil society stakeholders from Western and Eastern Europe, and in particular those based in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.
Since 2013, BTD no longer accepts unsolicited proposals.
Organizations that are interested in receiving BTD funding are welcome to send a brief email in English (no more than 3 paragraphs) outlining the project idea and approximate budget amount to firstname.lastname@example.org. BTD does not recommend that organizations develop full project proposals unless invited to do so by BTD program staff.