Funding options for international
education partnerships and projects

1. Collecting donations

Events & festivals

It is possible to present the partnership and/or the planned activities during events and festivals. For example, regular school events such as a Christmas fair or an open day can offer an opportunity to set up a stand or organise an activity related to the project. A town festival could also be an appropriate occasion, or you could organise your own events, for example with a specific theme based on the project work where you could offer activities or materials connected to the topic.

Fundraising & Sponsoring

Fundraising is about finding people who are willing to give money to the partnership or project (on a regular basis). These are usually private individuals or companies who are looking to support charitable goals in the long term and who are perhaps happy to tell others about their own involvement or simply to do good. These individuals should be regularly informed about how “their” money is contributing to the achievement of the project goals.

In contrast to fundraising, the main reason why sponsors will support a project is to promote themselves. For example, companies may want to reach new target groups, or they may want to be perceived as being highly responsible. In the case of sponsoring, a contract is often drawn up between the two parties, which specifies the exact nature of the support (money or other material support), how it is to be used and the publicity measures that the project team will undertake to draw attention to the project and the sponsors. Possible contacts for sponsorship could be local savings banks or companies, for example.


Internet portals allow you to register your project in order to raise funds. These include Betterplace from Germany and international platforms such as Globalgiving or Kickstarter. You should also check whether the portal is operated by non-profit or commercial providers. For crowdfunding, it is important to present yourself in a convincing and professional manner, for example by means of an appealing video about the project.



2. Securing financing from foundations, associations, funding institutions and churches Examples from Germany


In Germany, there are many foundations that use their assets to pursue a specific cause stipulated by the founder. You can search for these directly on the website of the Association of German Foundations, which represents the interests of more than 20,000 charitable foundations. You can search by keyword, location, state, or specifically by the field of activity a foundation should have in order to qualify as a potential supporter.



Lotteries and their foundations

Many state lotteries use their profits to support charitable, international or environmental projects. One example in Germany is “Aktion Mensch”, which supports social projects. Other lotteries only support projects in certain states, such as the Lower Saxony Bingo Foundation for Environmental and Development Cooperation, which supports environmental and nature conservation projects as well as development cooperation and monument preservation projects. It is funded through the gambling levy, which is largely financed by income from “Bingo-Die Umweltlotterie”.




Churches can also provide (financial) support for a partnership or project. You can present your project to the local church community and ask for support. In addition, some churches also have agencies where you can officially apply for financial support, for example “Brot für die Welt”, the development agency of the German Protestant church. These organisations promote both development education and encounters in the field of development work. Another option is the Catholic Fund, which also offers funding for development education and public relations work.



Engagement Global –
advice and support for involvement in development work

Engagement Global operates on behalf of the German government and is financed by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Its services include information, counselling, further training, financial support and networking. As far as financial support is concerned, it offers various options ranging from funding for smaller projects up to €2,000 to multi-year project financing.



3. Programmes for promoting exchange visits and encounters

Engagement Global‘s programme for school exchanges in the field of development work

The programme supports new and existing school partnerships between Germany and Africa, Asia, Latin America and Southeast Europe – financially, but also by providing educational support and advice.



School partnership programme of the Pedagogical Exchange Service of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs

Within the framework of the initiative “Schools: Partners for the Future” (PASCH), the Pedagogical Exchange Service offers grants for German and foreign student groups and their teachers. The standard application form can be used to apply for grants to cover travel and programme costs for student groups, while funding for project costs is available via the supplementary application.



Erasmus+ promotes European partnerships and projects

Erasmus+ is the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. It provides various types of funding, for example to finance youth or professional training exchanges. However, only European partnerships and projects are eligible for funding.