The March 8 Fund

The GRÓ GEST March 8 Fund finances projects promoting gender equality and social justice, led by GEST alumni. Through the fund, GEST issues calls for proposals that focus on advancing gender equality and promoting gender transformative approaches to achieve social change.

The last deadline for submissions is on Monday, 29 April 2024. Proposal and budget must be sent to, CC to and


Project Proposal Template | Budget Template

Eligibility criteria
To be eligible for funding, the project in question must:

  1. Be initiated and managed by alumni of the GEST programme, who must function as main applicants and those ultimately responsible for implementing the project.
  2. Be carried out in a country that features on the last updated DAC List of ODA Recipients. Priority is given to projects carried out in least developed, low income and lower middle income countries.
  3. Have a primary focus on advancing gender equality and promoting gender transformative approaches to achieve social change, with these priorities clearly reflected in its activities and strategies.
  4. Be initiated at the latest in the latter half of 2024.
  5. Be co-funded by the applicant's home organisation or partner organisation by at least 30%. 

Funding will not be granted for:

  • Projects financed wholly or in part by the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
  • Projects that are not co-funded in any way by the applicant's home organisation or partner organisation.
  • Activities that submit a budget in a currency other than Euros.
  • Proposals submitted at any point after the deadline.
  • Incomplete proposals (all mandatory fields not filled in or proposals without the requisite attached documentation).
  • Political party organizations.
  • Private individuals.
  • Activities whose purpose is to generate a profit or equivalent for the funding beneficiary.

GEST Priorities
The GEST Programme relates to key UN instruments relevant to gender equality and the protection of women’s rights and fundamental freedoms, most notably the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, 1979) and the Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000). Our work feeds directly into:

  • SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; pertains to all targets;
  • SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries, targets 10.2; 10.3; 10.4; 10.6 and 10B in particular; and
  • SDG 16 - Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies, targets 16.2; 16.3; 16.7; 16.8; 16A and 16B in particular.

The work of the GEST programme is founded on the principles of integrity, ethical and respectful engagement, accountability, dialogue and mutual learning, and innovation in the field of social change.

How are applications assessed?
Assessment will be based on how well a proposal:

  • describes the problems of gender inequality that the applicants have identified and which the project intends to respond to;
  • shows how well the applicants understand these problems based on theoretical knowledge and tried and tested experience;
  • demonstrates an awareness of previous work, knowledge and/or research concerning the problems that the cooperating parties intend to respond to and, based on this awareness, describes how the project will contribute to change.
  • demonstrates feasibility and a realistic timeline.

Moreover, the applicant’s history of integrity, ethical and respectful engagement, accountability, and work ethic during their time in the GEST Programme, as well as the applicant’s history of engagement in the GEST Alumni Network, will be taken into consideration.

How much can I apply for?
The call comprises of maximum of around €10.000 and can be divided across several projects. The amount of funding applied for and demonstrated in the budget proposal should therefore be between €1.000-10.000 per project. This means that we also welcome relatively small projects.

Former GEST fellows applying for grants need to be able to demonstrate that their organizations or partner organizations will contribute at least 30% of the full cost of the project. The project’s own contribution (i.e. external funding) and/or other sources of funding could come from sponsorship or other financial contributions, voluntary work, salaries or participant fees. This must be demonstrated in the budget.

Funding cannot be used for audits, travel between countries, or for running costs such as rent, electricity, IT, etc. Successful applicants may be granted a lower total amount of funding than they have applied for in all or in parts of their applications.

Funding recipients must hand in a short interim report half-way through the project in addition to a final project report + budget detailing actual expenses at the latest two months after the end of the project. Receipts and other documentation must be produced upon request.