Base-line Funding
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The state has been supporting the activities of national culture associations since the early 1990s. Until 2008 their activities were supported directly.

Since 2007 the operations of national minority cultural associations have been financed via the Integration and Migration Foundation.

Since 2008 the Integration Foundation-coordinated funding of national culture associations has taken place via umbrella organisations. This decision was adopted in order to enable the directors of national culture associations to focus more on preserving their cultures, developing their activities and promoting them to the public, leaving administrative tasks (primarily related to reporting) to the umbrella organisations.  

A national minority cultural association umbrella organisation is a group which brings together at least five national minority cultural associations, which is to say member organisations. The main aims of its activities are to ensure the efficient and consistent operating of its member organisations, to preserve national cultures and to promote its activities to the broader public.

In previous years, support was allocated in order for associations to preserve their languages and cultures and to promote their cultural heritage in Estonia. This represents baseline funding with which associations can cover their ongoing operating costs and (in part) organise events.

The focus of support shifted in 2015 to the development of umbrella organisations and their members. Key issues and arguments in granting baseline funding are the involvement of young people in the activities of organisations, prospects in terms of finding additional sources of financing, growth in the administrative capabilities of umbrella organisations and development of cooperation with Estonian cultural associations.

New application rounds enable funding to be obtained for a period of three years. This requires umbrella organisations to set longer-term goals for their activities which they hope to achieve within the given period.

The umbrella organisations in Estonia with the largest number of members include the Alliance of Nationalities of Estonia, which was established in 1988, and Lüüra (the International Union of Associations of National Minorities), which has been operating since 1992. The Union of Russian Educational and Charity Associations in Estonia, a non-profit organisation founded in 1923, relaunched its operations in 1992 after Estonia had regained independence. The Ida-Viru County Integration Centre has been operating since 2001, while the Kirill & Meffodi Cultural Association was founded in 2008.

A list of the umbrella organisations to which baseline funding was granted for the period from 2015-2017 can be found here.

Further information:

Kristina Pirgop

Head of Partnership Relations
Integration and Migration Foundation
Telephone: +372 659 9024