The Reconciliation Fund awards grants to organisations working to build better relations within and between traditions in Northern Ireland, between North and South, and between Ireland and Britain.
The Reconciliation Fund Strategy 2014-2017 was launched on 9th June 2014. The strategy outlines the priorities for the Reconciliation Fund, ensuring that the Fund supports our vision of a reconciled Ireland and remains relevant, effective, and efficient in the coming years. The Department is currently in the final stages of producing an updated strategy for publication as early as possible in spring 2021.
The Reconciliation Fund operates two funding rounds each year (in spring and autumn).
Next funding round
We are currently finalising preparations for the launch of our spring 2021 funding round and hope that it will open in March. As soon as the date is confirmed, we will post details to this webpage and also communicate it via the twitter account of the Department of the Foreign Affairs. Full guidance on the application process will also be updated on the How To Apply tab below.
Covid-19 and future Reconciliation Fund grant applications
The Department of Foreign Affairs appreciates that the organisations we support through the Reconciliation Fund have been facing many new challenges as a result of Covid-19 and that their capacity to deliver certain projects and events may be adversely affected by the public health restrictions and guidance required to manage the pandemic.
We will therefore welcome, in the upcoming funding round, innovative approaches that allow for delivery of projects in a manner that is effective but also protects the health and safety of all involved in line with any public health restrictions/guidance that apply in the relevant jurisdiction at that time.
It is important, when applying for a new grant, that organisations clearly and explicitly incorporate the impact of Covid-19 restrictions into their applications. It will be necessary to demonstrate in all relevant parts of an application that you have considered the implications of the pandemic in drawing up your project plans and budget proposals. If you have contingency plans in place for your project to allow for potential further “lockdowns”, these should be clearly outlined in the application, along with any relevant financial implications.
Where the required general background information is being provided on the organisation (its wider objectives, activities, strategy, funding sources, financial status/sustainability etc.), details of any ongoing or potential impacts of Covid-19 should also be clearly set out.
Covid-19 and existing Reconciliation Fund grants/projects
We continue to try to be as flexible as possible with organisations in relation to previously issued grants - including, where appropriate, in relation to extension of project timelines, completion of a project via alternative delivery methods and reallocation of unspent funds towards Covid-19 response initiatives in the community or core operational costs of the organisation.
We ask organisations (whether funded in our most recent autumn 2020 round or earlier) to keep us updated in relation to the impact of Covid-19 on those ongoing projects. If you find that it will not be possible to deliver some or all planned project activities as originally proposed and within the normal 12-month period from initial receipt of the grant, you should email the Reconciliation Fund team. We will consider all reasonable requests for project timeline extensions, alternative methods of project delivery and related readjustments to approved budget lines. We remain committed to supporting organisations to allow them to deliver their projects in a timely and safe manner.
We will be monitoring developments and updating this information when necessary, so please continue to check this webpage.
Any queries/requests in relation to the Reconciliation Fund may be submitted by email through the link at the bottom of this page or by calling the Department of Foreign Affairs’ switchboard on 00353 (1) 4082000 and asking for Reconciliation section in the IUKA Division.
- What we do
- Am I eligible?
- How to apply
- Previous grants
What we do
We give funding to non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community groups, and voluntary organisations to support reconciliation and to create better understanding between people and traditions on the island of Ireland and between Ireland and Britain.
All applications to the Reconciliation Fund are assessed using the criteria laid out in the Reconciliation Fund’s Strategy. It is important when considering your eligibility for the fund that you look at this document and reflect on whether your project meets the aims laid out in it. The Reconciliation Fund supports many unique, diverse and important projects which all have a unifying thread – they all aim to play a part in creating a better relationship and understanding between traditions on the island of Ireland and between Ireland and Britain. The Reconciliation Fund can support many aspects of proposed projects, including core costs (see further information under How to Apply tab).
Background of the Reconciliation Fund
The Reconciliation Fund has been running since 1982, and was increased significantly in 1998, following the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
The Department of Foreign Affairs operated an Anti-Sectarianism Fund in addition to the Reconciliation Fund in the period 2008-2014. Since 2014, in accordance with the Reconciliation Fund Strategy, the two funds have been merged into a single Reconciliation Fund. Anti-sectarianism is now mainstreamed throughout the entire programme and is one of a number of priority areas to be addressed by the Fund.
The annual budget for the Reconciliation Fund was €3.7 million in 2019 increasing from €2.7 million in 2018. In its commitments under (Annex B of) the January 2020 “New Decade, New Approach” agreement which facilitated the restoration of devolved Government in Northern Ireland, the Irish Government renewed its commitment to maintaining this increased level of funding for the Reconciliation Fund.
Am I eligible?
Criteria for the Reconciliation Fund
While we receive hundreds of applications every year from worthy projects it is extremely important that organisations keep the aims of the Reconciliation Fund at the forefront of their mind when considering applying to the fund. In order to assess applications in the fairest way possible consideration for funding from the Reconciliation Fund will be based on the extent to which the proposed programme has the potential to contribute to:
- Reconciliation through education, dialogue, culture and commemoration;
- Promotion of tolerance and respect;
- Challenging stereotypes of one’s own and other communities/identities;
- Development and strengthening of meaningful and lasting cross-border links;
- Academic research where the primary purpose relates to promoting reconciliation.
These areas of work will remain deliberately broad to remain accessible to a wide range of organisations and projects. However applications must clearly lay out what impact their project has on these areas.
When assessing applications the Fund focuses on two major areas of work:
- Repairing – focusing on issues which lead to division, conflict, and presented barriers to a deeply reconciled and peaceful society;
- Building - a strong civil society that encompasses all communities, through the continued implementation of the Agreements and promoting a rights-based society, political stability and respect for all.
We will support organisation whose projects and applications focus on the following priority themes:
General factors which will be used in assessing applications include:
- Geographical location of activity, with the aim of ensuring a suitable spread of funding;
- Value for money of the project;
- The organisation’s financial management capacity and sustainability;
- The funding environment for the particular sector.
How to apply
We provide grants on a once-off basis, but organisations may apply for funding in successive years or funding rounds.
Funding is generally awarded for project activities, but a contribution towards core operational costs (salaries and overheads) and capital costs will also be considered, where they are directly attributable to the project or programme for which funding is sought. Where such costs are not directly related to particular projects, a contribution may still be considered, if it is clearly demonstrated in the application form that the primary focus of the organisation’s work and of the expenditure in question is to further the work of peacebuilding and reconciliation, in line with the objectives of the Reconciliation Fund.
We do not generally give grants for events/activities that have already taken place, or travel off the island of Ireland. In certain exceptional circumstances, consideration may be given to supporting the cost of travel to and from Britain, where such travel is deemed essential for the successful implementation of the project.
Next funding round
We are currently finalising preparations for the launch of our spring 2021 funding round and hope that it will open in March. As soon as the date is confirmed, we will post details to this webpage and also communicate it via the twitter account of the Department of the Foreign Affairs.
Online application system
For those considering applying in upcoming funding rounds, a user guide is available to assist with using our online application system. This guide includes (in its appendix) details of the questions which applicants are required to complete during the registration and application stages of the process.
Applicants are recommended to consult the user guide before starting to use the online system and to have it to hand as they complete the online application process, step by step.
A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is also available to assist applicants.
A link to the online system will be posted to this webpage to coincide with the opening of the next funding round. The system will not be accepting applications until the round is formally opened.
If you have any questions about the online applications process, please consult the user guide and the Frequently Asked Questions documents first. If they do not provide an answer, please feel free to contact a member of our team by email through the link at the bottom of this page or by calling the Department of Foreign Affairs switchboard on 00353 (1) 4082000 and asking for Reconciliation section in the IUKA Division.
Additional Documentation required with online applications:
Please note that certain documents must be submitted along with the online application, as follows:
Applicant organisation's Most Recent Accounts
All applicants are required to provide a copy of their organisation’s most recent annual final accounts/financial statements, or (if your organisation is newly formed), a declaration of no income/expenditure signed by the Treasurer and another Board or Committee member (on headed official paper if available), along with evidence of a bank account, e.g. copies of a bank statement.
Tax Clearance Certificate for the organisation
If you are applying for a grant of €10,000 or more (or if your request, combined with any Reconciliation Fund grants already approved for your organisation within the current calendar year, amount to €10,000 or more) you are required to provide a valid Tax Clearance Certificate. A Tax Clearance Certificate is issued by the Irish Revenue Commissioners and is required to process a payment from any Irish Government Department, regardless of where in the world the payee is located. Obtaining a resident or non-resident tax clearance certificate is a very straightforward process which can be completed by email. Details on how to obtain a Tax Clearance Certificate can be found online through the Revenue Commissioners’ website: http://www.revenue.ie/en/business/running/tax-clearance.html. The Revenue Commissioners will issue a tax clearance certificate, and it is this certificate which should be submitted with your online funding application.
Application Check List
Before beginning your application to the Reconciliation Fund, it is important to check that you have the following (where applicable) to hand:
The organisation’s most recent annual accounts (for further information, see above).
If you are applying for a grant of €10,000 or more, a Tax clearance certificate (for further information see above).
The names and job titles of members of the organisation’s board.
Details in relation to your organisation – its aims, objectives, governance arrangements, the background of those who participate in and avail of its programmes, financial information including a strategy for financial sustainability.
A well laid out and detailed project plan that meets the aims set out in the Reconciliation Fund Strategy document and explicitly states how it will fulfil these aims.
A detailed Project Budget that accounts for all money requested in the application, is in line with the details laid out in the Project Activities section of the application and demonstrates clearly how and on what that money will be spent.
Information on the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on the organisation and on the particular project for which funding is being sought (see Covid-19 related guidance on Reconciliation Fund homepage above).
Any queries in relation to the Reconciliation Fund may be submitted by email through the link at the bottom of this page or by calling the Department of Foreign Affairs switchboard on 00353 (1) 4082000 and asking for Reconciliation section in the IUKA Division.
You must submit a report to us once the project has been completed or within 12 months of the date of receipt of the grant (whichever is the earlier date).
Reports should be submitted by email directly to the Reconciliation Fund team through your regular point of contact or via email@example.com.
You should use our reporting template when preparing reports. Please note that some applicants have reported difficulties opening the template directly from our link (see below). This problem arises when particular internet browsers are used on an applicant's computer/device and it can easily be solved by following the simple instructions below.
Right click on this link to the reporting template and save a copy of the file to your computer (usually by clicking "Save Target As" or similar). When you open this file directly from your computer, it should open automatically with Adobe Acrobat and you should not have any further problems
You are required to submit along with the final project report, the annual final accounts for the organisation. The relevant accounts are those for the financial year in which you received payment of the grant from the Reconcilation Fund. Our grant must be clearly listed as a separate entry in those accounts, labelled as: Department of Foreign Affairs– Reconciliation Fund.
If the grant is over €12,500, the organisation’s accounts must be externally audited.
Failure to submit reports and accounts in a timely manner may impede your organisation’s ability to receive future support from the Reconciliation Fund.
Download the full list of grants awarded in 2020 under Tranche 1 of the Reconciliation Fund 2020.
Download the full list of grants awarded in 2016 under Tranche 1 of the Reconciliation Fund and Tranche 2 of the Reconciliation Fund. Also available is the press release accompanying the Minister’s announcement of this Tranche 1 of funding.
Download the full list of grants awarded in 2015 under Tranche 1 and under the Strategic Partnership scheme of the Reconciliation Fund, and under Tranche 2 of the Reconciliation Fund.
Ireland, United Kingdom and Americas Division,
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
80 St. Stephen’s Green,
Email: Submit your query here
Reconciliation Fund Documents
Reconciliation Networking Forum
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade hosts an annual Reconciliation Networking Forum which brings together a wide variety of community and voluntary groups who work in the field of reconciliation.