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Unlocking the Potential of Finland's Development Efforts: A Guide for NGOs

Updated: Jan 19, 2023

Unlocking the Power of Finland's Development Funding

As an institutional fundraiser for an NGO, it's important to be aware of the range of institutional funders as well as their priorities and partners. One of the leading nations in institutional funding is Finland, the 9th largest donor of international official development assistance (ODA), with a total of $1.4 billion provided in 2021, with roughly 90% in the form of grants. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at Finland's approach to development and the role of Finnida, the Finnish International Development Agency, in implementing this approach.

Understanding Finland's Sustainable Development Approach

At the core of Finland's development policy is to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality, and achieve sustainable development. This aligns with the worldwide goal of sustainable poverty reduction and the realization of fundamental rights, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations. An essential aspect of Finland's development policy is the emphasis on gender equality, non-discrimination, and climate-resilient and low-emission development, as well as environmental protection.

Harnessing Finnida's Strategy for Your NGO

Finnida, the Finnish International Development Agency, is the Finnish government agency responsible for providing development aid and cooperation to developing countries. By understanding Finnida's strategy to promote sustainable development, democracy, human rights, and good governance, your NGO can align its operations in developing countries with Finnida's priorities and potentially benefit from the agency's funding and partnerships. The agency engages in development cooperation with developing countries, the UN, and civil society organizations through organizations like the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (FORMIN) and Finnida.

Navigating Finnida's Diverse Funding Programs

Finnida has several different funding programs, including Development Cooperation for Water and Sanitation, Development Cooperation for Environmental Protection, Development Cooperation for Education, and more. These programs are tailored to support specific sectors and development goals. It is important to carefully review the guidelines for the specific program to which your NGO is applying before submitting a proposal. Here is the list:

  • Development Cooperation for Water and Sanitation

  • Development Cooperation for Environmental Protection

  • Development Cooperation for Education

  • Development Cooperation for Health and Welfare

  • Development Cooperation for Economic Development and Employment

  • Development Cooperation for Human Rights and Good Governance

  • Development Cooperation for Crisis Management and Peacebuilding

Building Partnerships with Finland's Development Ecosystem

Finland has a wide range of development partners, including NGOs, foundations, and other organizations working in various sectors and development areas. By building partnerships with these organizations, your NGO can leverage the strengths and resources of multiple organizations to achieve common goals and make a greater impact than it would be able to alone. Additionally, working with Finland's development partners can also provide access to potential funding opportunities and support from Finnida and other institutional funders. Here is a shortlist of partners:

Staying Up-to-Date on Funding Opportunities with Finnida

In conclusion, Finland is a leading nation in international development, with a strong commitment to sustainable development and poverty reduction. Organizations like FINNIDA and FORMIN play a crucial role in implementing Finland's development policy and providing funding for NGOs and civil society organizations. Business development professionals in NGOs can stay informed about these policies and trends by visiting the websites of FINNIDA at and FORMIN at and by exploring the work of Finland's development partners. It is also important to keep an eye on Finnida's social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook for the latest information.


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