Throughout its history, Ökotárs has managed a number of re-granting programs provided by private, governmental and institutional donors – most recently and notably the NGO Programme of the EEA/Norway Grants and Swiss-Hungarian NGO Block Grant and Scholarship Fund (leading a consortium of 4 independent Hungarian foundations). Since about 2000, Ökotárs has gradually extended its mission and scope to cover not only the environmental NGO movement, but civil society development in general, focusing on the legal-political environment of the sector. As result of this, the foundation launched the Civil-Partner program in 2003, aimed at improving the legal and fiscal environment of civil society in Hungary. Since 2011, it has used this experience to compile the Hungary chapter of the annual USAID CSO Sustainability Index.

The foundation also realized early on that financial aid has little effect without methods, opportunities and systems for organization and community building, therefore it initiated and managed several programs which had strong components of building and mobilizing communities, e.g. the Integrated Organizational Development Program in the nineties g. In 2016 it launched a pilot community organizing program aimed at strengthening local community groups in 15 micro-regions in Hungary using a combination of adapting good practices, training and mentoring local leaders, organizing communities along self-defined issues, and small-scale financial support (seed grants). Besides, with corporate support it operates a small grant program "Green Belt" to support the creation and development of community green areas in voluntary, community effort and organizes the annual Tree of the Year competition. 
 
During the past decades Ökotárs become one of the leading foundations in Hungary, and it built broad knowledge and overview of civil society, accumulated through giving grants and providing technical assistance to more than 2000 CSOs and communities. While it is primarily a re-granting organization, the foundation also provides intensive non-financial assistance to build the capacity of – mainly – local CSOs and community groups from the grassroots, the bottom-up. 

Ökotárs is governed by a 5-member Board of Trustees, and has a capable staff team of 7. It operates from its fully-equipped own office located in downtown Budapest. During the past few years it had an annual turnover between 300,000-400,000 €, mainly from international private donors (foundations), intergovermental organizations and corporate funding from Hungary

 

Contact information

Ökotárs Alapítvány
tel: 0036 1 411 3500
e-mail: info@okotars.hu
www.okotars.hu