IKI Small Grants

The implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) requires the effective participation of all social groups. With the IKI Small Grants scheme, the Federal Ministry for Environment (BMU) specifically commits itself to strength-en small organisations worldwide. IKI Small Grants has been supporting small projects as well as funding institutions in developing and newly industrialising countries since 2019 and promotes their capacity development. IKI Small Grants is implemented by the Deutsche Ge-sellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and comprises the two funding lines ‘Funding Institutions’ and ‘International Calls’.

Funding line ‘Funding Institutions’

The funding line ‘Funding Institutions’ aims to support both, national and regional funding institutions, in developing their institutional capacities. Funding institutions have to be based in an ODA country. In the fields of climate and biodiversity protection, they are able to efficiently absorb financial means from (inter)national donors and to implement their own call for proposals. GIZ advises the funding institutions on these calls and implements targeted capacity development measures. In addition, funding of around 500,000 euros is distributed, which in part will be used to finance local projects selected by the funding institutions in the context of the call for proposals.

Funding line ‘International Calls’

The funding line ‘International Calls’ regularly conducts international calls for proposals which are announced on this website and via the IKI newsletter. In a one-stage selection procedure, small sub-national, national and regional organisations based in an ODA country can apply directly for funding for the implementation of local or regional climate and biodiversity projects. 

The 2nd IKI Small Grants call for proposals has ended 9 February 2021.

All project outlines received in full by the deadline will be evaluated. Funding of up to 200,000 euros can be received under certain circumstances.

IKI Small Grants further promotes the capacity development of the selected applicants by financing self-organised training measures and by providing support and advice through local GIZ offices in the partner countries. IKI Small Grants offers:

  • Methodological support for networking and advocacy work and through access to networks in the respective countries.
  • Tailor-made support and advice for the applicant through jointly developed capacity development measures. Additional funds are made available for these measures and, where possible, accompanied by GIZ in the project countries.
  • Possibilities of integration into the GIZ networks in the partner countries and international networks by enabling participation in workshops, training courses and events.
  • Supporting the inclusion of the small-scale projects in the political strategies of the respective partner countries. 

IKI Small Grants ‘International Calls’ is aiming to fund more than 100 projects by 2025 with up to 100,000 euros each (up to 200,000 euros for mitigation and, in special cases, adaptation measures). After the first selection round, IKI Small Grants is providing three million euros for 38 selected small projects in 27 countries.

Current selection procedure

The 2nd IKI Small Grants call for proposals 2021 is closed.

We would like to thank all applicants for their great interest in IKI Small Grants!

All project outlines received in full by the deadline will now be evaluated. Applicants will be informed by email about the further procedure after an internal review based on established criteria.

Due to the high number of project outlines received and the corresponding processing effort, we ask all applicants to refrain from enquiries regarding the status of the selection process.

Further information and news about the next selection procedure will be published on this website, in the IKI newsletter and via Twitter.

Selection process

The calls for project proposals, the selection process and the disbursement of funds are handled by GIZ and in accordance with its procedures.

After successfully submitting a proposal, applicants will receive a confirmation email with an individual project number. Please reference this project number in all future communication with the IKI Small Grants team.

Once the call is closed, all applications are subjected to a detailed technical and legal-financial evaluation by the GIZ’s IKI Small Grants team. Proposals are selected in mutual agreement with BMU. All applicants will be informed about the decision on their proposal by the end of the selection process.


Applicants must be based and registered in countries that fulfil the criteria for Official Development Assistance (ODA) defined by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The proposed projects must be non-profit. Projects with a global focus are not eligible. For detailed information on the eligibility criteria please refer to the IKI Small Grants funding information and the application guidelines.


The IKI Small Grants safeguard system is a tool to avoid or mitigate harm to people and the environment during the implementation of a project. Applicants have to assess whether the implementation of a project carries the risk to cause negative impacts. For further details please refer to the IKI Small Grants application guidelines.

Standard indicators

The IKI Small Grants standard indicators are an important tool for overall project monitoring but are not part of the project application process. The standard indicators will be determined together with the selected project applicants before the signing of the grant agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQs only present a quick overview. For further details on the funding criteria please carefully read the IKI Small Grants funding information and the application guidelines provided on this website. Also, our recorded IKI Small Grants Launch Event may offer further interesting insights. Go to the video ... 

A: Which organisations are eligible for funding?

IKI Small Grants exclusively supports:

  • non-profit organisations: IKI Small Grants classifies a non-profit organisation (NPO, generally also known as a not for profit organisation, charitable institution, or non-business entity) as an organisation dedicated to the promotion of a particular social cause. Economically, it is an organisation which uses the surplus of its income to promote its objective, rather than distributing its income to the shareholders, managers or members of the organisation.
  • for profit non-government organisations: For profit organisations may apply for project funding. However, they are excluded from receiving support for capacity development. Additionally, for profit organisations must clearly demonstrate that the proposed project pursues strictly non-profit objectives and does not generate any income.

Further, these organisations have to fulfil the following criteria:

  • based in an ODA country
  • officially registered for at least three years
  • an average annual revenue/turnover (of the last three years) between 60.000 euros and 500.000 euros

In the current call for proposals IKI Small Grants does not support:

  • government organisations (e.g. ministries, municipalities, public universities)
  • branches of organisations based in a non-ODA country
  • consortia: Consortia are not eligible as this would imply the forwarding of project funds from the lead organisation to partners in the consortia. The forwarding of funds is not permitted.

B: Which projects are eligible for funding?

Funding will only be granted to projects:

  • implemented in an ODA country
  • if they clearly focus on solving challenges related to climate change or nature conservation which means, that they clearly address one of the four IKI funding areas
  1. Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions,
  2. Adapting to the impacts of climate change,
  3. Conserving natural carbon sinks/forestry,
  4. Conserving biodiversity. 
  • if the project pursues not-for-profit activities: This means that the project should not generate any income or pursue commercial interests. If any kind of profit is made, this income may only be used within the project and not for other activities or purchases.

Research projects will not be financed unless they have a strong implementation component. This means that basic research projects concentrating mainly on data collection, evaluation, and publications are not eligible as such. However, a project that has its main focus in addressing the needs of target groups and through this achieving substantial changes in our funding areas, is welcome to carry out project related research as a side activity. 

C: What amount of funding can organisations apply for?

  • The overall IKI Small Grants financed part of the project budget must lie between 60,000 euros and 100,000 euros, with the following exception: Projects in the areas of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions or adapting to the impacts of climate change may apply for up to 200,000 euros, but only if the construction of specific mitigation or adaptation facilities is an integral part of the project concept (e.g. solar panels, wind energy turbines, irrigation systems) and requires a higher financial input. 
  • The funding volume shall not exceed the applicant’s average annual revenue/turnover of the last three years.
  • Expenditures/Measures to support the organisation’s capacity development (only applicable for non-profit organisations) are to be budgeted separately and are additional to the project budget.
  • Own or third-party funds are not required but are greatly appreciated and encouraged.
  • The forwarding of funds is not permitted.