EL*C Grants 2023: Your Questions Answered!

Explore the Q&A guide for the EL*C Grants Call for Proposals 2023.

This document aims to address common queries about the application process, eligibility criteria, project activities, costs & budget, project implementation and reporting. Dive in to gain a comprehensive understanding of this year’s exciting opportunities and if you have more question, please register for our last Info Session on the 30 Oct at 14:00 or send us an email at grants@lesbiangenius.org.

[ DOWNLOAD Q&A EL*C Grants 2023 ]


Application Process

Q: How many applications can an applicant submit?


Q: Can you provide us with an example application?

We provided an example for the budget in the application form. Other questions are rather straightforward. However, if you have any questions regarding the application form, please send us an email to grants@lesbiangenius.org

Q: Is this a one-off opportunity to apply for grants or do you plan to continue with such regranting programs in the future?

This is not a one-off opportunity. We plan to continue with similar regranting programs. The EU’s CERV programme which is co-funding this program, is spanning several years, and we are also working on securing further resources.

Q: We understand that English is the preferred language of application. Can we apply in other languages as well?

Yes, you can apply in other languages as well. We added application forms in several languages to our grants webpage (French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish), however you may also submit your application in any other language of the EU.

Q: Is the info session being recorded?

No. Instead, we will take your questions and add them to the Q&A document so that everybody can read them.

Q: Can you share the presentation (that you showed in the info session) online?

There is nothing confidential in the presentation as it summarizes key points from the Call for Proposals, however, we would prefer not to share it as it may create confusion if some people believe it contains new information. For instance, the presentation lists exactly the same eligible activities that the call for proposal also lists, however for someone thinking that the presentation is new, it will take 15 minutes to double-check if the activities are the same in the two documents.



Q: Does the project have to be a new project, or can it be the continuation of an earlier project/ activity?

It does not have to be a completely new project. You may decide to continue an earlier project or activity.

Q: It is clear that only EL*C members from the EU are eligible to apply. But I have a question on associate membership and the legal registration status. We have a legally registered entity which is also an EL*C member; and this entity has an LBQ subgroup which is not legally registered and is an associate member of EL*C. Can the latter apply? If not, can the main organization apply saying that the project is for its LBQ subgroup?

Only the main organizations can apply as the applicant has to be legally registered and it also has to have full EL*C membership. Having said that, it may apply saying that the project is for its LBQ subgroup.

Q: If we are not yet an EL*C member, how can we apply for this grants program?

You first need to apply for full membership, which is a completely separate process. There is guidance on the EL*C website on how to apply for full membership. https://lesbiangenius.org/membership/ Please note that full membership is only available for lesbian*-led and lesbian*-focused groups. You will need to go through several steps in order to become a full member. First, you need to fill in an online application request. This will be followed by a conversation with an EL*C staff member. Lastly, EL*C’s board will make a decision about approval. Once there is a formally confirmed approval about membership, you can then submit the application to the grants program. Please note that the application process takes some time thus we encourage you to start the membership application process as soon as possible.

Q: Is it true that EL*C member organizations have to pay 5 EUR every month for membership?

No. EL*C members do not have to pay a membership fee.

Q: We are a feminist collective. We are not legally registered as an NGO, but we are in the process of becoming a cultural organization. Are we eligible to apply?

No. You would need to be legally registered first. Then you would need to go through the EL*C membership application process. When both of these processes are completed, you would be able to apply for EL*C grants.


Project Activities

Q: In the application form there are two footnotes specifying the objectives and the activities that can be included in the project. Do we need to use these very expressions, or can we use our own words when describing objectives and activities?

It would be very helpful if you could use the objectives and activities included in those footnotes, as this would help the reviewers identify if your planned objectives and activities can be funded under this call for proposals. Having said that, if you prefer to use your own words, we will do our best in deciding if these are aligned with the listed objectives and activities.

Q: A lot of what we do is related to empowerment and community building with our lesbian* community. We do not engage in advocacy or monitoring activities. Can we still apply under this call for proposal? I am asking because we did not see empowerment as an objective/ activity among the listed items.

While empowerment as a word is not mentioned in the call for proposals, there are objectives and activities closely related with your work. Strengthening NGO capacity in order to protect and promote rights, for instance, could be a relevant objective for your work. In terms of activities, community building and also provision of services for community members, as well as organizing trainings, events, workshops etc. could all be strongly connected to your work. Lastly, you may also consider launching any new activity that you did not do this far with the help of this potential grant.

Q: Can we combine very different activities in the same project application? For instance, we may want to do some workshops for members of our community. At the same time, we also want to focus on our own NGO, that is, we would like to reorganize internally and also want to do some training sessions and meetings for our staff. Could all of these be included in the same project?

Yes, you can include very different activities in the same project, as long as they serve the project’s objectives. In the above-mentioned example, you may want to suggest an activity focusing on community building – and it may include one or more workshops depending on your objectives. You may add another activity that focuses on organizational development, here you could include rethinking of your NGO’s structure or processes on your own or with the help of a consultant. Lastly, you may include a third activity focusing on professional development for your staff where you can provide training, coaching or other forms of skill-building, for instance.

Q: Is there a maximum on how many activities we should include in the project? Do you have a recommended number of activities?

There is neither a maximum, nor a recommended number of activities. In the budget template we included four activities, but you may include less or more, depending on your needs.

Q: How detailed should be our explanation of activities? If there are several very different activities serving the same objective, do we need to explain how those very different activities are contributing to the objective?

Brief explanations are sufficient. If you state your objectives clearly and the activities clearly this should suffice.

Q: Let us say that we have some funding to cover the cost of psychological counselling for our community members, but it is not enough for the whole year, maybe just for six months. Can we include in the project the cost of the other six months of psychological counselling?


Q: We understand that if our project receives funding, it has to start in December. Is it enough to plan for just doing something small in December, for instance, a kick-off meeting with the people who will take part in the project?

Yes, a first meeting is enough. It is even enough if you just start the planning for the project. It is clear that most work will take place in 2024, thus it is enough if you just start with something small like the first steps for planning.

Q: We would like to do an art exhibition for and by the LBTI community. It will be a public exhibition. Could this qualify under the objective of raising awareness, raising visibility?


Q: I am wondering what sort of services can be included in the project activities. Can you give us some examples?

Direct services provided by the organization for members of the community can be included. For instance, legal aid and psychological support services can be included since these are typically provided by and through the applicant. If you are in doubt about including a specific service, please send us an email to grants@lesbiangenius.org


Cost & Budget

Q: Can we include staff costs in the budget?

Yes, these should be included under “personnel costs”.

Q: Can we include core operational costs, such as rent, electricity, maintenance?

Yes, you may include such costs as long as these are reasonable and can be related to the activities and objectives. Please see our example for this in the “other costs” section of activity one in the budget example within the application form.

Q: We are working in partnership with African lesbians. Can we include activities and costs in the project that are incurred by these partners in Africa, for instance, for their Zoom subscriptions in Africa and for their possible travel costs to Europe?

Unfortunately, not. The project activities have to serve objectives of actors/ communities within the EU, they have to take place within the European Union and the costs also have to be incurred within the EU.

Q: Do we have a better chance for getting the requested funding if we ask for a lower amount, and not the maximum of 20,000 EUR?

No. The requested amount does not influence your chances of getting the funding. In fact, we encourage you to make sure that you are requesting sufficient funding for your planned activities as lesbian* groups have a tendency to work for free.


Project Implementation & Reporting

Q: You mentioned that if our project gets approved, payment of the grant will happen in December. Does that mean that this grant will be income/ revenue for 2023? This could be an issue for some NGOs, especially if they have no costs in 2023.

Yes, the payments must be done in 2023. We understand that this can be an issue for some applicants. Starting the project in December could produce some costs for 2023, although we recognize that most costs will only emerge in 2024.

Q: What happens if we cannot spend all the money by the end of the grant period?

In that case you would need to pay the remaining funds back. Thus, we would suggest that instead of paying it back, you plan your expenditures well and spend it along the project’s objectives and activities. If you need to change the budget during the grant period, you are welcome to reach out to us requesting the change. As long as the project’s objectives are still valid, we will be supportive of changes in the budget. Having said that, you will need to reach out to us requesting the approval of the budget adjustment as soon as you realize that a change is needed.

Q: What happens if we are delayed with some activities?

We request that once you see that you are being delayed you reach out to us immediately so that we can try to find a solution on a case-by-case basis.

Q: How will reporting look like?

Formal reporting will take place after the end of the grant period: you will have 30 days to send us the final report. The reporting template is simple, it consists of a couple of simple questions about the project, and in addition you will need to submit the budget about the actual spending. We will ask you to use the same budget you included in the application, indicating both the planned and the actual spending.

Q: So, prior to the final report we will not be in touch?

In addition to the above-mentioned formal reporting, during the project implementation we will be in touch with you on a regular basis including calls or even potentially visits in order to provide support or assistance as needed. You may reach out to us any time during the grant period, and we will also contact you.

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