General project funding
The main funding programme of the Fonds Soziokultur (Sociocultural Fund) is dedicated to general project funding.
Its guiding principle is ‘Competition among the best project ideas’.
The Fonds Soziokultur (Sociocultural Fund) only provides grants to projects which are limited in time and deal with specific thematic areas. When doing so, the board of trustees places great value on the active participation of laypeople/non-artists and working with a cultural medium. We are not looking for projects which are “about” you, but instead are “with” you.
The choice of a socio-political theme/exploration of social issues also plays a key role in the selection of projects deemed worthy of funding.
The applicant’s ongoing work (e.g. regular programme of courses, series of events, ongoing costs, etc.) cannot be funded.
Initiatives, clubs, individuals, private companies, non-profit limited liability companies under German law, private corporate enterprises, private foundations and also public institutions.
In this regard, independent organisers of cultural activities will be given priority over public sector applicants.
The deadlines for submission of applications for each year are 2 May and 2 November.
The application form is made available on the “Antragstellung” online portal four weeks in advance of these deadlines and automatically closed at midnight on each date.
A minimum of EUR 3 000, a maximum of EUR 30 000, however not more than 80 % of the total budget for the project for which the application is being made.
Projects (incl. cost-relevant preparatory work) cannot begin before the fund’s board of trustees has held its meetings to allocate grants.
Where the deadline for applications is 2 May: Projects cannot begin until mid-July of that year at the earliest
Where the deadline for applications is 2 November: Projects cannot begin until the end of January of the following year
It is not necessary for the project to be completed in the current year; the Fonds Soziokultur (Sociocultural Fund) can grant funding for a period which covers more than one year.
Projects cannot run for more than 3 years.
At the beginning of the consultation we will use a PowerPoint presentation and a split screen to provide general information on the funding programme; the selection process used by the board of trustees; the costs and financial plan and tips on how to make an application.
Following this you will have the opportunity to ask questions in break-out rooms. Experience shows that there are generally 20 participants in each break-out room, so it is impossible to go into individual concepts in detail.
Where the deadline for applications is 2 May: End of June / Beginning of July of that year
Where the deadline for applications is 2 November: Early / February of the following year
There is no fixed percentage stipulation regarding the proportion of own and third-party funding.
It is thus possible to submit an application which relates solely to funding by the Fonds Soziokultur (Sociocultural Fund) and funding which has been applied for from other funding agencies.
The Fonds Soziokultur cannot provide 100% funding.
Planned third-party funding does not have to have been granted at the time the application is submitted.
The funding application includes questions about a costs and financial plan (CFP).
A CFP can be submitted following approval of an application. Click here to see an example of such a plan: Sample costs plan (Excel spreadsheet – only available in German).
- The costs and financial plan should cover all project costs.
- The costs plan should only cover costs for which there will be a subsequent verifiable flow of money (i.e. no so-called contributions in kind such as voluntary work, free provision of own equipment, free use of premises, donations in kind, etc.).
- The only contributions in kind which can be included are sums of money which will be made available later as cash to pay for costs (= flow of money).
- Costs should be summarised into categories which cover related items. Please, however, always supplement your basis for calculation with information in brackets (e.g. in the case of fees, number of people, fee rates, number of hours calculated or similar).
As a matter of principle, all cash costs incurred within the scope of the project (excluding investments) are eligible for funding. Such costs could be:
- Costs incurred for fees
- Proportional sum of personnel costs for permanent members of staff
- A breakdown must be provided of the number of hours which staff will work on the project or it must be stated whether the scope of employment contracts will be increased for the duration of the project
- The applicant must state in their application whether they are receiving institutional funding for these staff members. Where personnel costs are already (partially) financed via mainstream funding, such funding must be stated on the income list as third-party funding, including the comment “Mainstream funding”
- Lump sums for voluntary work (if they are actually paid out)
- Rent for premises
- Advertising, printing of posters/flyers, set construction, etc.
- Rental of technical equipment
- Travel costs / Accommodation expenses
- Purchase of small items (purchase price less than EUR 800 net per single purchase)
- Gema performers’ fees, KSK artists’ social insurance, other charges
- Investment expenditure: The Fonds Soziokultur is not permitted to fund investment expenditure. This includes all purchases where the purchase price exceeds EUR 800 net per single purchase. Should, however, the costs plan only comprise purchases of small items (less than EUR 800) and other expenditure (e.g. fees), then the entire application must be classed as an investment application and is thus not eligible for funding.
- Lump sums for administrative costs: Lump sums for office or administrative expenditure cannot be accepted. All expenditure must be subsequently documented via individual receipts (all postage, purchase of printer cartridges, telephone bill, etc.).
- Lump sums for travel: Travel costs must be reimbursed as per the provisions of the German Federal Travel Costs Act (Bundesreisekostengesetz). Lump sum reimbursements are not eligible for funding.
- Contributions in kind, provision of services/equipment: Costs for which there will be no subsequent flow of money (voluntary work, fee waiver, free use of premises or technical equipment).
- Fees for loss of rental income: Should the applicant have their own premises which will be used for the project, then they cannot assert any claim for possible loss of income which would have been earned by renting out these premises.
Our website includes a dedicated menu item Antragstellung (Applications – only available in German). This item includes options which allow you to work on your application form online; save it; come back to it later and submit it to the Fonds Soziokultur (Sociocultural Fund) when it has been completed.
The application form can be accessed in the following periods:
1st half of a year - 1 April to 2 May (midnight)
2nd half of a year - 1 October to 2 November (midnight)
- Use the advice service
- Read the fund’s website
- Ask someone who doesn’t know the project to read the application
- Tipps für Antragsteller*innen (Tips for applicants)
- Article "Wie schreibe ich einen guten Antrag"(How do I write a good application - only available in German)
What do we fund?
Der Fonds Soziokultur (Sociocultural Fund) funds projects which are limited in time and designed to experiment with new forms of offering and action. The projects should have a model character and serve as examples for other sociocultural operators and institutions. This allows the fund to stimulate nationwide competition to find Germany’s best project ideas. Whether new forms of public participation or artistic impulses in urban districts; engagement with own history or integration issues; theatre, media, pop or punk; interculture and inclusion, ecology or economy, there are no limits to applicants’ sociocultural imagination.
Larger projects whose concept and scope involve a longer-term (several years’) time horizon can also be supported. In this context, the fund provides grants which are not limited to the implementation stage of the project but can also include the concept development phase. The requirement for such funding is that the projects meet special quality criteria and are suitable vehicles to highlight the importance of socioculture for cultural life in the wider public context.
Applications for project grants can be submitted to the Fonds Soziokultur (Sociocultural Fund) twice a year:
This date is intended for projects which are planned to begin in the 2nd half of the current year.
Project begin: Not before 15 July.
It is not necessary for projects to be completed by 31 December of the year; they can also continue into the following year.
This date is intended for projects which are planned to begin in the 1st half of the following year.
Project begin: Not before the end of January of the following year.
The date on which the application is submitted digitally (= by email or via the online portal) is definitive for compliance with the deadline.
The (precisely completed) application form is a key factor in the board of trustees’ selection process. It is not necessary to attach any other information documents (image flyer, detailed project concepts, etc.) to the application. More detailed costs and financial plans can, however, be submitted subsequently by email and will be viewed as useful supplementary material to the digital application.
Should you have any questions, please call Mechthild Eickhoff and Andrea Weiss, who will be happy to help you. Contact