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Guidelines for Nordic LGBTI Fund

The guidelines for the Nordic LGBTI Fund were established and agreed by the Nordic Council of Ministers for Equality and LGBTI (MR-JÄM) on 26 November 2020. These guidelines describe what the Nordic Council of Ministers is looking for in applicant projects and organisations.

The Nordic LGBTI Fund is managed and administered by MR-JÄM’s co-operation body Nordic Information on Gender (NIKK).

Purpose and criteria

The Fund aims to stimulate Nordic co-operation in the LGBTI area within the framework of the Nordic Co-operation Programme on Gender Equality, including its supplement Equal rights, treatment and opportunities for LGBTI people in the Nordic region, which applies for the remainder of the mandate period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2024.

Through the Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Gender Equality and LGBTI (EK-JÄM), MR-JÄM can decide each year on a specific priority theme for the aid scheme.

Funding is granted to projects that constitute Nordic synergy as well as contributions to work for equal rights, treatment and opportunities for LGBTI people in the Nordic countries. All applications to the Fund must state whether they have included the following perspectives:

  • Sustainable development
  • Gender equality
  • Children and youth perspectives.

See the Nordic Council of Ministers’ policy on integrating sustainable development, gender equality and a children and youth perspective.

The Nordic LGBTI Fund finances activities initiated in the same year as the funding is granted and which are concluded within two years of the contract signing. Activities commenced before the application deadline are not eligible for funding.

All applications must state and will be assessed on the basis of how well they meet the following requirements and aims:

a) Nordic benefit

Nordic benefit means the extent to which the project:

  • Generates significant positive effects through Nordic cooperation, compared to the project having been implemented at the national/bilateral or other transnational level
  • Manifests and develops Nordic cohesion, both within and outside the region
  • Contributes to infrastructure that strengthens Nordic co-operation for equal rights, treatment and opportunities for LGBTI people in the Nordic countries
  • Responds in a constructive way to the challenges of Nordic co-operation such as national barriers and differences.

Here, the assessment will be based on how well the application:

  • Justifies why the project should be implemented as Nordic co-operation
  • Describes the added value and the challenges that the co-operating parties perceive in working together across country borders.

b) Contribution to the work to ensure equal rights, treatment and opportunities for LGBTI people in the Nordic countries.

This means the degree to which the project:

  • Aims to confront the problems and obstacles that are limiting equal rights, treatment and opportunities for LGBTI people in the Nordic countries
  • Contributes to new/changes in, and/or sharing of experience concerning knowledge, working methods and models about/for equal rights, treatment and opportunities for LGBTI people in the Nordic countries
  • Helps to respond to the challenges identified in the strategic supplement to the Nordic Co-Operation Programme on Gender Equality.

Here, the assessment will be based on how well the application:

  • Describes the challenges in relation to equal rights, treatment and opportunities for LGBTI people identified by the co-operating parties and which the project intends to confront
  • Shows how well the co-operating parties understand these problems based on theoretical knowledge and/or tried and tested experience
  • Demonstrates an awareness of previous work, knowledge and/or research concerning the problems that the co-operating parties intend to respond to and, based on this awareness, describes how the project will contribute to change and add new knowledge.

c) Sustainability/long-term view

Sustainability/long-term view means the degree to which:

  • The project design provides scope for others to draw conclusions and learn from the project’s successes and setbacks
  • The project results and efforts are expected to have long-term effects through infrastructure and products which persist after the end of the project such as networks, websites, reports, etc., and how these have been designed to reach relevant target groups.

Here, the assessment will be based on how well the application:

  • Describes how and with which target groups the co-operating parties plan to communicate the project and its results, and how they will ensure that these results will be available even after the end of the project.

d) Implementation

Implementation means here:

  • How likely it is, in light of the applicant’s skills and experience, that the project will be implemented in the manner described by the applicants
  • What bases do the applicants have for working together, for example that they contribute different skills, perspectives and experience which means that they can complement each other.

Here, the assessment will be based on how well the application:

  • describes how the cooperating parties plan to go about responding to the identified problems, and the justification they have provided for their choice of approach with regard to the feasibility of achieving the results and drawing conclusions from these results
  • describes what the main applicant and each of the partner organisations will contribute to the project, the roles of the organisations, as well as their previous experience of similar collaborations.

e) Economic viability

Organisations applying for grants need to be able to contribute at least 20 per cent themselves and/or have other sources of funding. The size of this investment should be at least 20%. The organisation’s own contribution and/or other sources of funding could come from sponsorship or other financial contributions, voluntary work, participant fees, or indirect costs for example.

The amount applied for should be between DKK 50,000 and DKK 500,000.

The application must be accompanied by a budget containing all items specified in DKK, and include the total amount. Self-funding and total funding must be made apparent in the budget. The budget should explicitly state what the funding amount applied for is intended to cover in the total budget.

Travel expenses are only funded for representatives of NGOs, non-profit organisations and invited speakers. No aid is provided for auditing or indirect costs. Indirect costs include, for example, rent for premises and costs for accounting departments.

Successful applicants may be granted a lower total amount of funding than they have applied for in all or in parts of their applications. Receiving funding in that case assumes that there is a revised project plan including budget.

Requirements on activities and beneficiaries

The following activities may be funded:

  • Staging of Nordic gatherings/meetings
  • Knowledge production
  • Network-building
  • Business development
  • The participation of volunteer organisations in Nordic or international conferences/courses/meetings/gatherings.

The Nordic LGBTI Fund addresses a broad target group and calls for proposals are open to a variety of activities and organisations including:

  • Voluntary, not-for-profit or stakeholder organisation
  • Networks
  • Government agencies and other public sector activities
  • researchers and research groups
  • Other non-commercial actors
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Each project must involve at least the three Nordic countries, where the Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Aaland Islands may constitute one of these. In addition, funding may be granted to activities involving co-operation in the neighbouring regions, i.e. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and north-west Russia*, where at least two Nordic countries are participating. The principal applicant should come from a Nordic country or the Faroe Islands, Greenland or the Aaland Islands.

*Cooperation with independent organisations in Russia (and Belarus) are now made possible, as long as the activities are located outside of Russia and the independence of the organisation is confirmed in a specific vetting procedure defined by the Nordic Council of Ministers.


Funding will not be granted for:

  • Activities already financed wholly or partly by the Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality and LGBTI or the other sectors of the Nordic Council of Ministers
  • Activities that submit a budget in a currency other than DKK
  • Applications submitted after the deadline
  • Activities that submit an incomplete application (all mandatory fields not filled in or applications without the requisite attached documentation)
  • Political party organisations
  • Private individuals
  • Activities whose purpose is to generate a profit or equivalent for the funding beneficiary.

Application and time limits

Applications are to be made in one of the three Scandinavian languages or English on a form specifically for this purpose available on NIKK’s website ( The application form will be available to download from approximately one month before the deadline for applications.

Grant applications are to be accompanied by a timetable and budget for the planned activity. In the application, one of the applicant parties is to be designated as the principal applicant.

Decisions, contracts and reporting

All project applications are assessed by NIKK’s assessment team, which consists of people with a variety of skills and backgrounds. The assessment team processes each application on the basis of the above criteria and makes a decision. Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Gender Equality (EK-JÄM) then have the option to veto a decision. The decision cannot be appealed. If necessary, the assessment team may ask for clarification from the applicant during the assessment process.

NIKK will communicate its decision via e-mail to each applicant after the decision has been made and the Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Gender Equality (EK-JÄM) has been afforded the opportunity to veto the decision.

Activities granted funding are required to draw up a contract with NIKK in accordance with specific procedures. After the contract is signed, payment can be made. The applicant should take into account that funds will be paid to them at the earliest one month after requisitioning the funds.

Standard procedure is that 85 per cent of the activity’s total funding amount is paid based on a requisition at the start of the project, with the remaining 15 per cent being paid after approval of the final report.

The principal party responsible for the project is responsible for submitting the final report (self-evaluation) and financial accounts to NIKK no later than two months after the end of the project. Any unused funds are to be repaid to NIKK.

The final report is to include the following:

  • What Nordic synergies has the activity had?
    • How has the activity contributed to the work to ensure equal rights, treatment and opportunities for LGBTI people in the Nordic countries?
    • What results (such as products, knowledge, processes, procedures) has the activity produced?
    • How has information about and knowledge from the activity been communicated (how many individuals/countries has the activity reached, which target groups, which channels)?
    • How will (the results from) the activity continue to be spread/used within the applicants’ organisations?
    • The most important lessons learned from the activity.

Administration of the Fund

The Nordic LGBTI Fund is managed and administered by MR-JÄM’s co-operation body Nordic Information on Gender (NIKK).

MR-JÄM decides annually on the size of the fund in connection with the approval of MR-JÄM’s budget. The Fund’s budget is established through a decision by the Nordic Council of Ministers on the overall budget. Money for the Fund constitutes a special annual grant to NIKK under the annual decision on the budget by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The Secretariat to the Nordic Council of Ministers (NMRS) monitors the administration of the Fund through dialogue with NIKK. NMRS is responsible for preparing meetings and drafting decisions about the Fund for MR-JÄM and EK-JÄM.

NIKK ought to continually assess whether the guidelines need to be specified in more detail or revised in order to fulfil the objective of the Fund in the best possible way and is to propose any changes deemed necessary to the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The above guidelines have been approved by the Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality and LGBTI (MR-JÄM) to apply from the time of the call for proposals for the Fund in 2021.