20 Ways for You to engage with the United Nations: Grants, Conferences and Networking Opportunities

The United Nations (UN) refers to NGOs and the civil society as the ‘third sector’ after government and the private business. It has always given high importance to NGOs in research, policy-making and execution of programs worldwide. The UN believes in building partnerships with NGOs and supporting them in terms of grant opportunities, networking, conferences and capacity building.

UN offers a range of opportunities for NGOs to collaborate and address sustainable development challenges worldwide. One of its most important programs on civil society collaboration is the ECOSOC that offers you an opportunity to enter into its database of NGO partners and attain a consultative status. With this opportunity, you will also be able to attend various international conferences and events of the UN.

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Funding opportunities for NGOs at the UN are available every now on then. Some of the best funding programs are the UN Democracy Fund, UN Women grants, UN GEF Small Grants and UN-HABITAT Youth Grant. These opportunities are announced annually during different times of the year and there is a strong focus on funding small and medium-sized organizations in developing countries to address issues related to democracy, youth, good governance, environment, climate change and women empowerment.

Fellowship opportunities for NGO professionals are also announced from time to time. The OHCHR fellowships not only introduce selected fellows to human rights knowledge but they also provide an excellent understanding of the UN system and its approach towards sustainable development.

Apart from the above funding and fellowship opportunities, there are also dedicated channels opened up by the UN for NGOs to enter into partnerships. The United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service and the United Nations Youth Delegate Programme are some of these programs that enable selected NGOs to participate in various conferences and events and ensure long-term benefits of capacity bulding and networking.

In this guide, we look at various channels, including funding and networking opportunities that offer NGOs the prospects of partnering with the UN for better delivery and sustainability. Please note that some of these programs are now closed and they are no longer accepting new applications until further notice. Nevertheless, we have listed them here so that you can prepare early as they open up for the next year. Also you will find out information about two upcoming conferences where NGOs are invited to attend them.

Click on ‘Next’ below to start learning about the UN opportunities.

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The Chrysalis Trust Grant: Supporting UK Registered Charities

Bureau of NEA Assistance Coordination: Local Civil Society Capacity Building Initiative

Darwin Initiative: Inviting Applicants for Main Project Funding

SANDEE: Economics of Natural Resource Use and Environmental Change Program in South Asia

Souter Charitable Trust: Supporting Projects Engaged in the Relief of Human Suffering in United Kingdom

Righteous Persons Foundations: Seeking LOIs to Support Jewish Community in United States

Applications Open for Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund 2018!

JWH Initiative: Inviting Young People in the Environmental Sector from Developing Countries

GFDRR Call for Proposals: Challenge Fund Round 3

Tiara Special Grant 2018-19: Inviting Indian Citizens

USAID-Pretoria: Community-Based Violence Prevention and Linkages to Response in South Africa

Submit Proposals for Voice’s Laos Empowerment Grants!

Unitaid Call for Proposals: Preventing Deaths from Cervical Cancer in LMICs

Call for Proposals: Increasing Women’s Political Empowerment and Leadership through Community Sensitization mainland

Call for Concept Notes: Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund Phase III

U.S. Mission to Rwanda: Promoting the Dignity of Every Human Life

DHHS-ACL: Innovations in Nutrition Programs and Services

UN-PRAC: Inviting Civil Society Organizations for Social Accountability Grants Programme 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration: Seeking Applications for “YouthBuild” Grants

Request for Proposals: Making the Connection between Child Marriage and SGBV, HIV/AIDS and Education

Call for Proposals: Rural Youth Groups in Agriculture and Agribusiness Related Enterprises

Future2 Make the Difference Grants: Addressing the Needs of Disadvantaged Young Australians

Third Wave Fund: Inviting Applicants for Mobilize Power Fund

UN Women Uganda: Women’s Economic Empowerment under the Leadership Empowerment Access and Protection Program in Uganda’s South Sudanese Refugee Crisis