Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Democracy Grants Program

Program Overview

The Democracy Grants Program in Moldova was initiated in 1996 to support projects that foster the development and education of civil society in Moldova.

The Democracy Grants Program provides seed money for projects that help develop the capacity and sustainability of non-governmental organizations in Moldova. This includes, but is not limited to, projects targeting the development of open, democratic processes at the local level, stimulation of citizens’ participation in decision making, promoting civic education and strengthening democratic institutions and independent media in Moldova.


Grants can only be awarded to registered Moldovan non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs, CSOs, Think-Tanks) and Independent mass media organizations (radio, television, newspapers, or internet portals, which are free from government or corporate influence). The organizations without Moldovan registration can apply only as partners via an eligible organization.

The program cannot fund:

  • Organizations with affiliation to elected officials, political parties or religious groups
  • American or other third-country organizations
  • Organizations that performed poorly in previous grants


General Competition Project Themes

Grants must support initiatives such as: promotion of civil society; free flow of information (including support for independent media); transparency in government; public education and advocacy; association building; rule of law and legal reform; conflict resolution; human rights; civic education; environment; market economy*; anti-corruption awareness campaigns and training; and ethnic, minority and women’s equality.

*grants under market economy theme may focus on developing business associations or public education on the workings of a market economy. Grants should not include requests intended to support actual business start-up costs or materials.

Proposals that reach the broadest number of people, involve networking with other organizations and/or cooperation with local governmental agencies or business entities, and which include funding from other sources will have a strong advantage.

Grants are made on a one-time basis. An organization may re-apply after the successful completion of the previous grant preferably with a different project idea.

The Democracy Grants Program cannot fund:

  • Humanitarian or charitable activities
  • Fundraising campaigns;
  • Personal career development
  • Political or partisan activities
  • Scientific research;
  • Conferences and/or individual trips abroad
  • Trade activities
  • Health projects
  • Projects aimed at primary institutional development of the organization
  • Direct social services to populations.


Geographic Areas:

The Democracy Grants Program welcomes projects from all regions of Moldova, and encourages projects with activities outside of larger cities.

Eligible time period:

The time frame for the project should not exceed 12 months.

Eligible size of grants:


Level I: $1,000-$5,000

  • No previous grant experience is expected from candidates
  • Newly created NGOs are welcome to apply

Level II: $5,000-$15,000

  • Applicant should complete successfully one Level I grant under Democracy Grants Program
  • Applicant should submit the Annual Activity and Financial Report for the previous year.
  • Applicant should have an updated Website

Level III: $15,000-24,000

  • Applicant should complete successfully one level II grant under Democracy Grants Program.
  • Applicant should have a publicly available Annual Activity and Financial Report (on website) for the most recent year
  • Applicant should have an updated Website
  • Have an established working Board
  • Have a Strategic Plan


The committee reserves the right to modify eligibility determinations at its discretion.


Application Process

Applicants must read carefully the instructions provided on the website before filling out and submitting the application. Applications that do not follow the instructions will not be reviewed.


Normally, the Democracy Commission reviews applications once every three months. The deadline for a particular round can be confirmed by checking our website and/or press releases.

The complete grant process (from the time a project proposal is submitted to the Democracy Commission to the time the funds are available for use) takes approximately four months.

Selection Process

Selection of projects is based on the applicant's ability to demonstrate concrete achievements which can show an impact in a given field or community.

The Democracy Commission, which is made up of senior officials of the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau, examines the project proposals and recommends selected projects for funding. The U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. confirms the decision. Project proposals are selected on the basis of an open competition four times a year.

Project selection is competitive. Proposals are judged on the following criteria:

  • Social importance of the project
  • Sustainability and opportunities for continued development
  • Clearly formulated goals and target audiences
  • Specific objectives to be achieved and concrete results
  • Overall feasibility

The full proposal should be prepared with great care as a poorly prepared proposal lack the content to describe the project's objectives.

The Democracy Grants Program will fund the proposals that best address the Commission's themes and reflect the values of the United States and the mandate of the Embassy and the Democracy Grants Program. Successful proposals will contain accurate and well-developed implementation plans and clear explanations of how the project goals will be achieved.

The decisions of the Democracy Grants Program are final.


Notification of Applicant

Throughout the process, applicants will receive several email notifications.

Project proposal receipt:

The applicant will receive an e-mail notification when the project proposal is received and entered into the system.

Applicants are discouraged from calling and checking if the application was received.


The results will be communicated electronically once the application is reviewed. Semifinalists will be contacted and informed about further actions.

Additional Information:

The Program staff will contact the applicant if there are questions. Therefore, it is very important that you provide accurate contact information. Applications for which we are unable to obtain additional information in a timely manner will be refused.