ENCC UP Grants (an initiative within the frame of the Seeds of Sustainability-SOS Programme)
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The goal of the initiative is to promote the mainstreaming of sustainability in socio-cultural organisations' development agendas, to support initiatives helping to re-imagine the way they operate on multiple levels (rethinking mobility, digitalisation, overall sustainability of cultural organisations/networks) and to collect a database of practices aiming to inspire ENCC members and other socio-cultural organisations, making them aware of challenges, but also of possible alternatives and solutions.

Description of the tool

This scheme aims to support sustainability initiatives already in place, in order to boost them, provide visibility and inspire others. ENCC UP Grants are a dynamic combination of a classic award and a microgrant, as ENCC would like not only to reward existing best practices, but also to give them the possibility and a push for further development. The awards will prioritise sustainable initiatives engaging the local community, citizens and organisations working in other sectors, as well as actions that value inclusion and diversity as part of sustainability, and can prove their impact through the use of proper quantitative and qualitative indicators. Initiatives must fit one of the 5 topical strands: 1. Sustainable mobility; 2. Ethic digitalization/reduction of digital carbon footprint; 3. Lifecycle/recycle/circular economy; 4. Social sustainability; 5. Environmental sustainability. Winning projects will receive a grant of 3.000 euros (5 grants in total will be awarded, as one prize per strand and the amount will be distributed). They will be showcased on the ENCC website and other ENCC communication channels. All candidate projects will be included in a database and get visibility at national and international level. They will also have the opportunity of attending free webinars on sustainability. Winners will be selected combining the evaluation of a jury of experts and the results of public online voting.

Steps of application

This microgrant scheme aims to support sustainability initiatives already in place, in order to boost them. Participants are requested to explain how they will use the microgrant for further developing their project (enlarging it, promoting and giving it more visibility, adding new elements, etc.). Each participating organisation is allowed to submit several proposals. However, only one grant will be awarded per organisation. Steps: 1. Submission of applications (from the 10th of December 2020 till the 10th of February 2021.) Note: A team composed by ENCC representatives will check the eligibility of submitted applications. All eligible proposals will participate in the competition. 2. Publications of projects on ENCC website and voting platform (from 31/01 till 28/02). 3. Voting time (From 15/02 to 28/02). Winners will be selected combining the evaluation of a jury of experts and the results of public online voting. One grant per strand will be awarded. 4. Communication of results (beginning of March 2021). 5. Implementation period (from March to June 2021): Winning projects will be asked to implement their follow up plan and use the money provided. 6. Reporting time. A short report on actions implemented with the microgrant, including an invoice and pictures, or other supportive materials, is expected by the end of July 2021. All initiatives will be included in the ENCC website.


After reflecting with ENCC members and with the board on upcoming needs and challenges for cultural centres and the wider cultural sector, ENCC decided to add in 2020-21 a new focus on the sustainability of their practices, in the light of the current climate crisis and the new COVID context. ENCC will tackle sustainability at multiple levels: social, environmental, economic, digital sustainability, through the promotion of different initiatives. The UP Grants are one of these new actions, focusing primarily on environmental sustainability and community work. ENCC UP Grants are a combination of a classic award and a micro grant, as the organizer of the grants competition would like not only to prize the best practices in place, but also to give them the possibility and the push for further development - a dynamic initiative in a changing context. ENCC UP Grants are a pilot initiative and ENCC hopes it will be possible to further develop this grant system in the coming period as to further support socio-cultural organizations working on sustainability aspects. In order to do so, ENCC is in contact with different potential donors (public and private), who could further support the initiative.

Context of origin

Visual representation


Interviews, full call for applications documenthttps://encc.eu/sites/default/files/2020-12/upgrants_full_call_for_applications.pdf



European Network of Cultural Centreshttps://encc.eu/activities/projects/seeds-sustainability-sos-cultural-centres-tackle-climate-crisis