IKI Small Grants Program – Empowering Sustainable Initiatives | APPLY NOW

The IKI Small Grants component’s 5th Call for Proposals is currently accepting submissions. The International Climate Initiative (IKI) is offering a great opportunity for eco-friendly organizations and individuals through the IKI Small Grants Call for Proposals.

IKI Small Grants
IKI Small Grants

This article provides insights into the initiative, explaining its purpose, application process, and potential impact on sustainable projects.


Noted, the deadline for the IKI Small Grants is March 13, 2024.

Understanding the IKI Small Grants Program

The IKI Small Grants Program reflects the International Climate Initiative’s dedication to backing innovative projects for climate action and sustainability. This proposal call is focused on empowering local initiatives that align with broader objectives such as environmental protection, climate resilience, and biodiversity conservation.


IKI Small Grants Objectives are as follows:

  • Support: Assist small, local organizations in implementing climate and biodiversity projects.
  • Commissioning: Commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK), in collaboration with the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety, and Consumer Protection (BMUV).
  • Focus: Concentrate on small organizations in ODA-eligible countries at regional, national, and local levels.
  • Funding: Through annual calls for proposals, provide project funding to encourage civil society engagement and effective, locally adapted approaches to climate change and biodiversity impacts.
  • Capacity Building: Support small organizations in enhancing their capacities and networks.
  • Agent of Change: Foster these organizations to become agents of change for climate and biodiversity action on the ground.

 Funding and Duration

IKI Small Grants consider projects with funding ranging from EUR 60,000 to EUR 200,000. Projects should last a minimum of twelve months, up to a maximum of two years. In special circumstances, durations of up to three years may be considered with proper justification. Project commencement is expected in the first quarter of 2025 or later.

Thematic Areas

The call for proposals is open to projects addressing various thematic areas, including but not limited to:

  • Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): Support the implementation or enhancement of NDCs.
  • UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030: Foster on-the-ground actions aligning with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
  • Global Megatrends: Address risks and opportunities tied to global megatrends in the context of climate change and biodiversity loss.
  • Just Transition towards Decarbonization: Back initiatives facilitating a fair social transition during economic decarbonization, especially for vulnerable groups.
  • Network Strengthening: Reinforce networks, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among organizations working on climate change and biodiversity.
  • Climate Smart Technologies: Develop and advocate for the use of climate-smart technologies.
  • Awareness Building and Education: Contribute to awareness building and education regarding climate change and biodiversity.
  • Cross-Sectoral Cooperation: Engage in cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder cooperation, involving local populations.
  • Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework: Support the implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework of the CBD.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for IKI Small Grants, organizations need to meet specific criteria. These requirements are outlined below to help potential applicants assess their eligibility.

Legal Structure:

  • Applicants must be not-for-profit organizations.
  • Private companies are eligible if they strictly pursue non-profit objectives within their proposed project.

Organizational Registration:

  • Organizations must be based and registered in countries fulfilling Official Development Assistance (ODA) criteria defined by the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC).
  • Proposals for projects in countries official or potential EU candidates, excluding Ukraine, are not eligible.

Financial Independence:

  • Applicants must be financially and legally independent entities.
  • Branches of organizations based in non-eligible countries cannot be funded.

Operational Experience:

  • The applicant organization must have been operational for at least three years (36 months by the submission deadline).
  • During the last three years, the organization must have an average annual revenue ranging from EUR 60,000 to EUR 500,000.

Accounting Standards:

  • The applicant organization must have dedicated accounting staff.
  • Accounting principles should ensure internal and external control mechanisms.
  • Employ a software-based accounting system meeting national standards.

Project Implementation:

  • Organizations must implement projects independently.
  • Consortia are not eligible to avoid forwarding project funds between lead organizations and partners.


The ineligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Organizations: Not Supported: Government organizations (e.g., ministries, municipalities, public universities).
  • Not Eligible: Branches of organizations based in non-ODA countries.
  • Not Eligible: Consortia, as it involves forwarding project funds from the lead organization to partners.
  • Prohibited: The forwarding of funds is not permitted.
  • Not Financed: Research projects without a strong implementation component.
  • Ineligible: Basic research projects focusing mainly on data collection, evaluation, and publications.
  • Exception: Projects addressing target group needs with substantial changes in IKI Small Grants’ funding areas can conduct project-related research as a side activity.

Application Process

IKI Small Grants Application in 10 Steps:

  • Review Guidelines: Check the IKI Small Grants guidelines on the official website: [https://iki-small-grants.de].
  • Check Eligibility: Confirm your organization’s eligibility by assessing criteria like legal structure, location, financial standing, and adherence to standards.
  • Develop Project Concept: Create an innovative project proposal in line with IKI Small Grants’ themes. Clearly state goals, methodology, expected outcomes, and community engagement plans.
  • Submit Online Application: Access the IKI Small Grants online portal on the official website: [https://iki-small-grants.de]. Complete the form with accurate details as per specified requirements.
  • Attach Documents: Upload necessary documents: project proposal, budget, timeline, and organizational information. Include supporting materials like letters of support, if applicable.
  • Follow Guidelines: Stick to program guidelines throughout the application process. Ensure all documentation aligns with the criteria for a stronger proposal.
  • Submit on Time: Compile all information and submit your application within the deadline. Late submissions may not be considered.
  • Await Communication: Regularly check communication channels for updates from IKI Small Grants administrators. Result timelines may vary.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Stay vigilant for updates on your application status or requests for additional information.
  • Post-Submission Engagement: Respond promptly to inquiries or requests for additional information to facilitate a smooth application process.

Evaluation Criteria:

Proposals will be evaluated based on their alignment with IKI’s objectives, innovation, potential impact, and feasibility. Strong emphasis will be placed on the project’s contribution to sustainable development and climate resilience.

The Significance of IKI Small Grants

The IKI Small Grants Program holds immense significance in fostering grassroots initiatives that often form the bedrock of sustainable development. By providing financial support to a diverse array of projects, IKI aims to catalyze positive change at the local level, contributing to the global fight against climate change.

Tips for Crafting a Successful Proposal

  • Alignment with IKI Objectives: Ensure your project aligns closely with the thematic areas outlined in the IKI Small Grants Program and contributes to the broader objectives of climate action and sustainability.
  • Innovation and Creativity: Emphasize innovative approaches within your proposal, showcasing how your project brings fresh ideas and solutions to the challenges at hand.
  • Feasibility and Impact: Clearly articulate the feasibility of your project and its potential impact on the environment and local communities. Demonstrate a realistic timeline and measurable outcomes.
  • Community Engagement: Highlight the involvement of local communities in the planning and implementation of your project. Community engagement is a key criterion for evaluating proposals.


Embark on a journey of environmental impact with the IKI Small Grants Program. Seize this opportunity to combat climate change and contribute to a resilient future. Submit innovative proposals aligned with IKI’s vision, becoming catalysts for lasting positive change. It’s not just an invitation; it’s empowerment for those ready to build a greener, more sustainable world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible for international organizations to submit applications for IKI Small Grants?

Eligibility criteria may differ. Consult the guidelines to ascertain the eligibility of international organizations.

How are project proposals assessed?

Proposals undergo evaluation based on their alignment with IKI objectives, level of innovation, potential impact, and feasibility. Comprehensive evaluation criteria are provided in the program guidelines.

Can consortia participate in the application process for IKI Small Grants?

No, consortia are ineligible. Projects must be independently implemented by the applying organizations.



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