Democracy Commission Small Grants Program

Program Purpose

The purpose of this program is to award small grants to the Kazakhstani non-governmental, non-commercial organizations for specific projects that support the development of democratic institutions in Kazakhstan. Proposals are evaluated according to the topic of the project, clearly formulated goals and target groups, and the ability of the applying organization to carry out the project aims.

The program is interested in projects relating to the following:

  • building democratic institutions (support for creation of NGO resource centers in areas such as civic education, transparency in government, volunteer training, etc.);
  • fostering a strong and independent media (grants for creation and development of independent electronic and print media);
  • support of civic education (promotion of civil society development, as well as training of future leaders);
  • respect for the rule of law (support for advocacy groups, law clinics, legal services, etc.);
  • human rights (rights and freedoms of Kazakhstani citizens, rights of ethnic minorities, including monitoring of human rights violations, etc.)
  • women’s political rights (non-partisan voter education for women, etc.)
  • support for market reforms (pension reform, fiscal reform, etc.);

Projects not eligible for funding:

  • projects, requested by non-Kazakhstani organizations;
  • projects from individuals;
  • projects relating to partisan political activity, charitable activity and humanitarian aid,
  • fund-raising campaigns;
  • commercial projects;
  • projects that duplicate existing projects.


Although the maximum funding available for a single grant is $24,000, the average amount of awarded grants is between $5,000 and $10,000.


The U.S. Embassy normally accepts applications from March 1 through March 31 and from October 1 through October 31. However, the 2013 spring deadline has been extended to April 14.

Please send your applications IN ENGLISH to the following e-mail address:

Application includes:

  • Grant Summary Form (maximum 1 page);
  • Application Form (maximum 5 pages), which includes project budget in MS Excel;
  • Registration Certificate of the organization (copy);
  • Resumes for key project participants, including their responsibilities in the project;

If your application meets the criteria of the Democracy Commission and is under consideration, you may be asked to submit additional information.
Procedural Information:

Proposed projects that meet the program criteria will be considered at a meeting of the U.S. Embassy Astana Democracy Commission, which takes place two months after the application deadline. You will be notified within three days after the meeting of the Democracy Commission as to the status of your application. Please note that if your project proposal is approved, funds from the Democracy Commission may not be available until 4-6 weeks after the date of approval.

If you receive funding from the Democracy Commission, you will be required to submit a detailed program and financial report on the outcomes of the project.

Application Form (PDF, 50KB)
Summary Form (PDF, 73KB)
Guidelines (PDF, 80KB)