We increase the resilience of civil society organizations and their networks, strengthen their social capital and embed them in the communities and societies in which they operate.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) play a number of key roles in society and stimulate people's active participation in public life. At the same time, they themselves need public support to maintain legitimacy, financial stability and to be effective in their work. Stronger ties between CSOs and the people around them are essential, especially at a time when in Central Europe the CSOs face repeated attempts to delegitimize their work and limit the space in which they operate.
The more diverse the opinions, experiences and worldviews that CSOs represent, the more resilient they also become, while at the same time bringing together groups in society that are at odds and distrust each other. For these reasons, the Stronger Roots Program was created.
- civil society organisations in social base building
- networks of civil society organisations to strengthen their ties with social groups, institutions and people with different views (transversal collaboration)
- internal development and transformation of CSOs and their networks through comprehensive financial, professional and partnership support
Since 2019, we have been developing the concept of transversal collaboration, which we then help networks of CSOs to put into practice. Networks systematically establish contacts and develop collaboration with social groups with which they previously had little or no collaboration. These can be CSOs with different ideological worldviews or from more distant geographical locations, or private businesses, state institutions and local governments.
As a result, networks have become stronger. Their relationships as well as their internal functioning and competences improve. Networks undergo a certain self-reflection. But most importantly, new or more effective solutions to societal challenges put forward by networks and their partners are generated thanks to the collaboration that is initiated.
How We Work
We provide a combination of financial, expert and peer support to CSOs and their networks.
- The grant supports organisations that are building a social base or transversal collaboration for 1.5 to 2 years with €10,000-35,000.
- The expert support program offers a flexible package tailored to the needs of each organisation. It includes individual consultancy provided by experts as well as group training and workshops.
- Peer support consists of networking meetings, joint evaluation and sharing of experiences, good practices and failures.
Based on the experience of the program, we developed a guide on How to Engage with Divergent Stakeholders. It contains mainly practical tips and recommendations, but also a theoretical perspective on engagement with divergent stakeholders towards collaboration.
Results of the Program's First Cycle (2019-2022)
Program in numbers
- We supported projects of 9 networks of civil society organisations from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.
- In the first round of the program we provided financial support in the amount of 142 thousand euros.
- We dedicated an average of 30 hours to each network for development and training.
- We developed our own concept and methodology of Network Transversal Collaboration, including program support, evaluation and learning