An official website of the United States government

Democracy Commission Small Grants Program
January 1, 2020

Purpose of the Program

The purpose of the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program is to award grants for specific projects that support democracy and the development of democratic institutions in the Republic of Serbia. Grants will be primarily awarded to non-governmental (NGOs) and other non-profit organizations with projects in the regions outside of Belgrade. The maximum amount of a grant is $50,000, but smaller grants are preferred in order to support more projects. To be eligible for consideration, every applicant must be registered in the territory of the Republic of Serbia and engaged in, or propose to carry out, a project whose purpose is to further the development of democratic institutions in Serbia, especially in local municipalities.

The U.S. Embassy Belgrade announces an open competition for local, non-profit civil society or non-governmental organizations (CSOs or NGOs) and independent media outlets to submit applications to take part in the Democracy Commission Small Grants program in Serbia.

Program Objective

The U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Section has set aside funds for the Democracy Commission Small Grants Program specifically designated to strengthen democracy and protect human rights and to empower local organizations to advance these changes and reforms in the Republic of Serbia, including in local municipalities outside Belgrade.

Priority Themes

The following list represents the project priority themes. 

  1. Participatory Democracy: Promoting increased participation by informed citizens – especially, but not limited to, university students and youth – in the democratic process. Supporting effective advocacy on behalf of communities or groups, promoting government responsiveness to constituents, strengthening transparency, and combating corruption. Education of voters and young people, even if they cannot yet vote, about policy choices and the decision-making processes. Public debate over matters of public interest or concern.
  2. Human Rights: Promoting tolerance of, understanding of, and equality for vulnerable populations, particularly, but not limited to, Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), ethnic and religious minorities, the LGBTQ community, migrants and refugees, victims of gender-based violence or human trafficking, etc. Furthering gender equality and women’s empowerment.


To be eligible for consideration, applicants must be a local, non-profit civil society or non-governmental organizations (CSOs or NGOs) or an independent media outlet legally registered in Serbia.


You CANNOT apply for a Democracy Commission Small Grant from the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade if your project:

  • involves partisan political activity.
  • fund attendance at overseas conferences or trips abroad.
  • international travel to/from the U.S. or countries outside the Balkan region.
  • involves giving charitable activity and humanitarian aid.
  • involves fundraising.
  • is commercial in nature, i.e., you are making money.
  • focuses on academic or scientific research.
  • is focused on arts, culture, or any other areas beyond the themes listed above.
  • is focused on skill learning or training programs unless the activity is specifically aimed at promoting the integration of disadvantaged groups into society.
  • duplicates an already existing project.
  • involves the provision of health care or services, child care, food subsidies, or other social services to populations.

Evaluation Criteria

The U.S. Embassy has established the Democracy Commission, which reviews and evaluates proposals at least once per year. The Embassy will also be in touch with other donor institutions and countries that provide financial support for the projects promoting democratic institutions.

Project proposals are evaluated according to the topic of the project, clearly formulated goals and target groups, project sustainability and the ability of the applying organization to carry out the project aims.

Project proposals that meet the basic criteria outlined above will be considered at meetings of the Democracy Commission. If your proposal meets the criteria of the Democracy Commission and is under consideration, you may be invited for an interview or asked to submit additional information.

Democracy Commission does NOT accept applications throughout the year. All approved projects will be listed on the website up to SIX months after the submission of the project.

In order to submit your application please read detailed instructions: DemCom NOFO FY2022 (PDF 328 KB). All necessary forms and documents are listed and available for download on the right hand side of this page.

Previously Approved Projects

  • Youth Initiative for Human Rights Youth and „Kosovo Knot”
  • Association ASTRA “Peer Support in Schools: Active Against Human Trafficking”
  • National Coalition for Decentralization “Youth Activism Lab – Enhancing Youth Activism through the Popular Democracy Concept”
  • Belgrade Center for Human Rights “Equally Important II: Raising Awareness of Youth about Social (In)Equalities through the Innovative Drama-Based Program”
  • Music Art Project “Music of Hope: Inclusive Diversity-Sensitive Music Curriculum for Marginalized Youth”
  • Center for Education Policy “All of US – Intercultural Program for Multiethnic Secondary Schools in Serbia”
  • Citizen Association MONITOR – “Citizen Oriented Decision-making in Novi Pazar”
  • Belgrade Center for Human Rights “Let’s Talk about Human Rights”
  • Youth Basketball Club PLAY 017 “Basketball as Part of the Community”
  • Association for Affirmation of Culture “Lighthouse of Knowledge 7.0+”
  • Demostat Research and Publishing Center “School for Young Journalists: Half an Hour of Demostat”
  • Association “Da se zna!” – “Boosting Resilience through Countering Inequality – Access to justice for LGBT+ people in Serbia”
  • Association for Affirmation of Culture – “Lighthouse of Knowledge: Alumni Network”
  • Centar E8 – “Changemakers of Serbia – Supporting youth to create positive change in their communities”
  • Civil Rights Defenders – “Europride 2022: Advancing LGBTI+ Equality through Campaigning and Engaging Community”
  • Foundation Jelena Santic – “Illustrating Participatory Democracy”
  • Heartefact Fond – “Demystification of Prejudices and Myths on Kosovo-Serbia Relations”
  • University of Belgrade, Institut for Philosophy and Social Theory (IFDT) – Fostering Civic Participation”
  • Youth Center CK13 – “Courage Is Contagious: Enhancing the Feminist Consciousness and Activism in Novi Sad and Serbia”
  • Center for Girls – “Protection of Youth in Nis Against Human Trafficking”
  • Belgrade Center for Human Rights – “Raising Awareness of Youth About Social (In)Equalities through Innovative Drama Workshops”
  • Uzice Child Rights Center – “Learning and Living Democracy and Human Rights”
  • CRTA – “Your Vote, Your Right”
  • Institute for Contemporary Education – “Education of Future Voters on Decision-making Processes in Democratic Societies through Civic Education”
  • Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia – “Youth Campaigning for Civic Citizenship”
  • Institute for Development and Innovation – IDI – “Write and Report on Public Finances in the Local Community!”
  • Zajecar Initiative – “Youth Democracy Club”
  • Haver Srbija – “Knowledge = Tolerance”
  • Youth Initiative for Human Rights – “Next Generation of Human Rights Defenders in Serbia”
  • Institute for Development and Innovation – “Public Finance Monitoring for Journalists and NGOs”
  • Association for Cultural Affirmation – “Lighthouse of Knowledge 4.0”
  • Association Ethnovision – “Marking 25 Years Since the Srebrenica Genocide: To See, to Know, to Remember”
  • Association for Sexual and Reproductive Health – “Socio- Economic Integration of Victims of Human Trafficking”
  • Institut for Creative Entrepreneurship and Innovation – “Boosting Creative Entrepreneurship in Pomoravlje Region”
  • Committee for Human Rights Nis (CHRIN) – Mobile Legal Support
  • Balkan Center for Migration and Humanitarian Activities – “Right to Home through Social Housing”
  • Innovation Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Serbia – “AgroCeleretor – Developing Startup Culture with Agricultural Students in Serbia”
  • Institute for European Affairs – “Minority Rights Defenders”
  • NGO The World of Words – “Serbian Youth Network Against Corruption”
  • The Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade – “Learning about Democratic Participation”
  • Centar for Sustainable Local and Regional Development – “Introduction of the Financial Management and Controls System”
  • Youth Development Centar – “Face to Face with Local Administration”
  • Association CulturPark – “Museum of Violence’s Traveling Public Archive – Promoting Understanding and Equality Towards Different Minorities and Gender Identities”
  • Cultural Centar DamaD – “Learning Democratic Participation”
  • ASTRA – Anti Trafficking Action – “Knowledge Sharing and Strengthening Shared Proactive Response to Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) for the Victim-Centered Approach”
  • Music Opera Theatre Organization MOTO – “Gift of Diversity”
  • ATINA – Citizens’ Association for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and All Forms of Gender-Based Violence – “Raise Your Voice, Make a Difference! – Survivors Advocacy Initiative in Serbia”
  • Association of Business Women in Serbia – ABW – “Building the Intergenerational and Intercultural Bridge of Economic Prosperity for Women in Raška and Sjenica”
  • Youth Basketball Club PLAY 017 – “Human Rights for All”
  • Association for Affirmation of Culture – “Lighthouse of Knowledge”
  • Club for Moot Court, Debate and Rhetoric Justitia – “Law Students Capacity Building on Implementation of the Criminal Procedure Code from 2011 with Special Emphasis on Cross – Examination of an Adversarial Criminal Procedure Model”
  • Community Development Association Bor – “To be, Means to Participate”
  • Association of Citizens MONITOR – “Hate Crimes Moot Court for Youth Legal Professionals in South Western Serbia”
  • Bureau for Social Research – BIRODI – “IzboriSe.rs”
  • ASTRA Anti Trafficking Action – “Bridging the Gaps and Strengthening Prosecutorial and Law Enforcement Capacities in Combatting TIP (trafficking in persons) in Serbia”
  • Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia – “Local Human Rights Defenders Against Intolerance”
  • Toplica Center for Democracy and Human Rights – “Citizens and Media for Transparency and Anti-Corruption in Local Public Procurements”
  • Green Initiative of Vojvodina – “Documentary TV serial: Green Patrol in Action”
  • NGO Teach me – “Youth Innovation Center”
  • Timok Youth Center – “Pomak: Think Outside the Box”
  • European Youth Center – “Same in Diversity”
  • Uzice Child Rights Center – “Children Debate on Child Rights”
  • Association Center for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy CELAP – “Encouraging the Development of Gender Equality and Democratic Culture in Schools in Serbia”
  • Youth Initiative for Human Rights – “Promotion and Monitoring of the Ombudsman Institution in Serbia”
  • Association Culturpark – “Museum of Violence’s Traveling Public Archive – Creating Youth Network in Preventing Radicalism and Violent Extremism on Local Level”
  • Roma Association Sloga – “Education of Roma and Their Integration into the Legal Economic Flows”
  • Association of Citizens Monitor – “Youth Capacity Building in the Fight Against Hate Speech in Electronic Media and Social Networks in Southwestern Serbia”
  • Weekly Vranjske – Justice in the South – production of bilingual investigative reports on criminal cases in the Region of South Serbia”
  • Artistic Production Group ShockART – “The Lighthouse”
  • Institute for European Affairs – “Minority Rights Defenders”
  • Center for Democratic Activities – Anti-Corruption Coalition Jablanica and Pčinja districts“
  • Forum for Civic Action Forca Pozega – “Development of Agribusiness Cooperatives in Western Serbia (Zlatiborski and Moravicki county)”
  • Citizens’ Association Business Innovation Programs – “Big Ideas for New Businesses – Pre Incubator Support for New Entrepreneurs”
  • Foundation for New Communication “Dokukino” – “Beyond Businesses: Propelling Impact Investment in Serbia”
  • Balkan Center for Migration and Humanitarian Activities – “To Better Understand Each Other”
  • OKK PLAY 017 – “Let’s Be Tolerant”
  • Center E8 – “Engaging Youth in Countering Violent Extremism in Local Communities”
  • Attractive Visions “Titulli” – “Advanced Society in Local Government”
  • Institute for European Affairs – “Minority Rights Defenders”
  • Partners for Democratic Change Serbia – “Mock Trial Competition for Law Students – Sustainable Implementation of the Criminal Procedure Code (SICPC) in Serbia”
  • Centre for Sustainable Local and Regional Development – “The Spending of Local Public Funds”
  • Serbian Venture Network – “Fostering Positive Socio-Economic Change and Developing Entrepreneurship Through Creating of New Generation Social/Impact Entrepreneurs in Serbia”
  • Junior Achievement Serbia – “Transforming the Western Balkans – from Lost Generation to Business Doers”
  • The Balkan Center for the Middle East – “Preventing Radicalization and Terrorist Recruitment of Young Muslims in Serbia Through a Social Media Campaign”
  • Association of Business Women of Serbia – “Free Access to Market for All Through Enhancing Integration of Woman’s Entrepreneurship into the Market Economy in Serbia”
  • Center for Children and Youth in Vrnjacka Banja – “Agro Business Incubator – Decrease of Youth Unemployment”
  • NGO The World of Words – “Youth Against Corruption – Mobilization of Youth People from 10 Municipalities of the Podunavski, Pomoravski, Sumadijski, and Branicevski Region to Combat Corruption”
  • Women’s Government – “A-LISTA” – Women’s Initiative for Connecting, Sharing and Affirmation”
  • Center 9 – “Media and the Religious Other in Serbia: Learning About Each Other”
  • Balkan Center for Migration and Humanitarian Activities – “Legal Info Board as a Means to Increase Public Understanding of Rule of Law”
  • Center for Development of Civil Society – “Citizens as Partners in Local Municipalities”
  • Serbian National Association of Mediators – “Mediation as Effective Conflict Resolution Tool in Serbia”
  • Women of South – “Stop Trafficking of Women”
  • New Media Center LIBER – “Mapping the Hate Road on the Web”
  • Association for the Promotion of Serbian Economy “Timeline” – “Kliker” TV Serial and Video Web Portal”
  • Creative Economy Group – “Economic Empowerment of Rural Creative Industries in the Region of Pirot”
  • Fund B92 – “Click Safely. Safer Internet Center – Serbia’s Educational and Awareness Raising Activities”
  • Civic Initiatives – “Independent Bodies Closer to Citizens”
  • Association for Helping Mentally Challenged Persons (MNRO) – “Socialization of Autistic Children Using MS Kinect Sensor Tool and Running Tape”
  • Humanitarian Law Center – “Exhibition on Judicially Established Facts on Srebrenica Genocide: Marking 20 Years since Srebrenica Genocide”
  • Center for Activism Vranje – “Youth in Action for Transparency Institutions”
  • Institute for European Affairs – “Debating Memberships – EU and NATO”
  • European Movement in Serbia – “Fifth Belgrade Security Forum 2015 – Can Europe Redefine Itself?”
  • European Movement in Serbia (EMinS) – “The Fourth Belgrade Security Forum 2014 – Europe 2014: Closure and/or New Beginning”
  • Open Fund for Football (OFFS) – “Sport + School + Police (SSP) in 27 Districts in Serbia”
  • Policy Center – “Implementation of the Brussels Agreement through Monitoring of Chapter 35”
  • Association Citizens Perspective – “Parents’ Guide for Social Inclusion”
  • News.org – “Freedom for Freedom of Speech”
  • Association of Citizens Amity – “Consistent Respect for Human Rights of Elderly in Serbia”
  • The Heartefact Fund – “The European Task Force – Empowering Advocacy for Safeguarding Democracy, Rule of Law, and Human Rights in Serbia”
  • Red Cross of Serbia – “National Students Competition in International Humanitarian Law – Moot Court re: Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law”
  • Serbian Venture Network – “Web Platform for On-line Entrepreneurship and Startup Education and Promotion of Entrepreneurial Mindset”
  • Association of Business Women – “Promoting Women’s Entrepreneurship in Southeast Serbia”
  • Ana and Vlade Divac Fund – “Celebrating Diversity”
  • Association of Consumers in Serbia (APOS) – “Consumer Investor in the Market”
  • Development Initiative Network Logosfera – “Think Green – Startup!: Education for Development of Business Ideas and Self-Employment”
  • Association for Entrepreneurship Development – “Entrepreneurs for Better Economic Development”
  • Center for Children and Youth – Vrnjacka Banja – “Connecting Youth with the Market Economy”
  • Women’s Center Uzice (WCU) – “Entrepreneurship Friendly Agenda for Uzice and Zlatibor Region”