Frequently Asked Questions
What is it?
It is a co-working space. It has been providing opportunities in the form of mentorship, trainings, workshops, office space, study visits as well as horizontal learning environments to provide support to the institutional development of non-profit, grassroots civic initiatives as well as civil society organizations specifically working on right based issues.
Who founded it?
It was founded under the Center for Civil Society Studies of Istanbul Bilgi University in late 2014. The Center for Civil Society Studies is an autonomous institution under the University that serves as an umbrella organization also for the NGO Research and Training Unit, Youth Studies Unit, the MA Program of Civil Society and the Children Studies Unit. The Center engages with outside stakeholders active in civil society.
For a brief summary of what the Center has been doing since its foundation, please download the activity report from here. For the web site of the center, please see here.
Who can benefit?
Grassroots non-profit CSOs/initiaitives/charitis working on right based issues in Istanbul. However, there are several other mobility and exchange programs that we also provide for applicants outside of Istanbul. For an example of such a program, please see the Civil Society Exchange Program.
How does it work?
Around every 6 months, generally one in spring and one in autmn an open call is distributed for CSOs and civic initiatives. 8 – 10 applicants are selected to work with. Through an analysis of each applicant, an individual need assesment is made. According to the organizational needs of the applicants, a strategic plan is drafted which provides the basis of our work with that entity.
Additionally the Center is a co-working space for other CSOs and citizen initiatives. It organizes open workshops for activists and staff for non-profit entities. It is also used as an office by several CSOs. These initiatives and CSOs apply to benefit from these opportunities.
How do you fund your programs?
Since its start, we have been funded by the Open Society Foundation, Swedish Counsulate and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. A mobility project that targets CSOs outside of Istanbul was funded by Stiftung Mercator. A thematic program that is for technological innovation in CSOs was funded by Techsoup Europe. Starting with the 2nd half of 2016, our main program is being funded by our own resources of the Center for Civil Society Studies.
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