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Program of Cooperation

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On September 6, 1995 accepted as Gdynia City Council resolution


The dynamic activity of NGOs is an essential ch aracteristic of a democratic society, an
element encouraging and activating a local community. NGOs are an incubator for active
people, a place of training for leaders. The ex perience exchange between organizations as
well as the cooperation between nongovernmental and public sectors are very important In
their everyday work.

The priority of Gdynia au thorities is to meet the needs of citizens in the most efficient way
within the funds they have at their disposal. We believe that an active policy of cooperation
among civic organizations is one of the elements of effective city management. At the base of
the cooperation programme with NGOs there is city authorities’ belief in its profits:
• strengthening the sense of responsibility for oneself, one’s surrounding and local
• creating civic society by ac tivating local community,
• carrying out innovative and more effective activities thanks to good recognition of
• supplementing municipal activities with t hose not covered by its responsibilities,
• assisting public sector in the realization of some tasks.

Within the programme we wish to create clear and eligible, comprehensible solutions
introducing NGOs into a real system of lo cal democracy. This programme constitutes a
proposition to all NGOs willing to participate in activities for the cities as well as its

We hope that Gdynia experiences and solutions will assist other cities in realizing similar

1. Institutions realizing the cooperation programme.

Among the responsible for the programme real ization (in compliance with the programme
assumptions) there are:
a. City Council with its Commissions – in charge of setting social and financial policies in
the city, initiating branch coopera tion with various organizations
b. City Board – responsible for policy realization, decision ma king in the field of activity
priorities for the cooperation with NGOs , managing budget funds, grant allocation and
other forms of assistance to particular organizations
c. District Councils – responsible for consulting of the initiatives planned to occur within
their area
d. City Hall Departments – in charge of co-operation with NGOs
e. City Hall Spokesperson – in charge of publishing information on NGOs in Ratusz (a
municipal informative board)

f. Consulting Commission chaired by the Mayor and consisting of 5 members from City
Council and Board and 5 elected by NGOs – re sponsible for giving opinions about grant
applications and proposing new forms of cooperation
g. Mayor’s of Gdynia Plenipotentiary on NGOs – in charge of contacts between local
government and nongovernmental sector, gi ving opinions on NGOs’ applications,
advising to city authoritie s in the field of NGOs

A unit which co-ordinates the cooperat ion with NGOs is the Mayor’s Office.

2. Forms of co-operation between NGOs and city authorities

2.1. Tools of cooperation

Apart from the realization of statutory targets, an NGO should take part in the construction of
local democracy. Being institutions set up by ci tizens, NGOs which function to meet their
needs should be guaranteed not only the possibility of creating local comm unity but also that
of contributing into the work of local government as well as its bodies, such as City Council,
City Board and City Hall. In order to reali ze the above, Mayor’s of Gdynia Plenipotentiary on
NGOs have been appointed whose role is to facilitate contacts between NGOs and local
government. One of the tools supposed to simp lify the cooperation will be Gdynia Bank of
Information on NGOs, which contains basic data about organizations in Gdynia. The data will
serve to assess achievements of organizations as well as their potential and interest in the
content-related cooperation with Gdynia authorities.

2.2. City Council

Representatives of NGOs interested in various domains have the opportunity to obtain current
information on content-related work of Counc il Commissions as well as to share their
conclusions and opinions with them. City C ouncil Office assists in finding information and
making arrangements with Commission representatives.

2.3. City Hall

At least twice a year NGOs will meet with representatives of the following City Hall

a. Mayor’s Office
b. Culture, Sport and Recreation Department
c. Education Department
d. Health and Social Care Department
e. Environment Protection and Agriculture department
f. Architecture and Constructi on Supervision Department
g. Foreign Relations Department (with regard to international contacts).

The organizations which declared their interests in Gdynia Bank of Information on NGOs will
be notified of the meeting arrangements. Within the meetings the organizations will have the
opportunity to put forward their ideas, sugges tions and information which may improve the
functioning of particular City Hall departments. In order to supply City Hall officers with
content-related knowledge beforehand, NGOs may submit to the Mayor’s Plenipotentiary on
NGOs their proposals of issues to be touc hed upon or answered at the meeting.

2.4. City Board

Organizations may also put forward their proposals directly to the City Board when they are
too complex and thus exceed the competences of a particular department or if an organization
claims that its ideas have not been given enough consideration. The suggestions should be
presented in writing to Mayo r’s Plenipotentiary on NGOs.

3. Forms of support offered to NGOs by Gdynia authorities

Within the cooperation programme organizations may gain the following forms of support for
their activities:

a. financial support in the form of grants
b. assistance in obtaining office sp ace on preferential conditions
c. offering the office space for meetings
d. cooperation in the fundraising from other sources
e. consultation, technical assistance and training
f. promotion of activities in media
g. assistance in initiating international contacts

3.1. Grants

Twice a year (for date specifica tion see point 5) organizations ma y apply for grants to realize
projects within statutory goals. The applied amount cannot exceed 70% of total costs of the
initiative. Organizations a pplying for the grant should submit in time the following
a. activity report for the previous year (n /a to newly established organizations)
b. financial report for the previous year (n/a to newly established organizations)
c. description of the project to be financed incl. preliminary budget (see the attached
d. documents specifying legal status – current re gister copy and statute (n/a to informal
e. in the case of informal gr oups – declaration of an orga nization with legal personality
to take responsibility for the implementation.
f. a completed questionnaire from Gdyni a Bank of Information on NGOs or its

The completed application forms should be submitted to Gdynia NGO Centre.

As regards funds to finance summer and wint er holidays for children and youth, organizations
may use a simplified procedure, as specified by Gdynia City Board with reference to
education institutions. Dates and mode of application assessing are the same like to other
grant applications.

In emergency organizations may request City Bo ard to allocate extra grants beyond the dates
specified in point 5. Such possibi lity is however limited to situations when the applied amount
does not exceed 800 PLN ($200) and only supplements the total budget (up to 20 %), not

being one of the main factors. In the a/m situation grants are allocated by City Board and are
consulted with a representative of a department in charge of this issue as well as Mayor’s
Plenipotentiary on NGOs. The applications along with project description and preliminary
budget should be submitted to Mayor’s Plen ipotentiary on NGOs with 60-day notice.

3.2. Office space

Organizations which need space for their activ ity may apply to rent it from the city at
preferential rates. The space will be distribute d according to the possibilities. The space may
be offered for programme activity, there is no possibility of using the space only for
administrative purposes. Only organizations with legal personality may apply for the space.
Within the application form an organization de termines its general requirements regarding the
space as well as the scope of its use. It is al so possible to suggest its location. Organizations
applying for the office space should submit the following documents:
a. activity report for the previous year (n /a to newly established organizations)
b. financial report for the previous year (n/a to newly established organizations)
c. description of projects to be implemented in the office space
d. documents specifying legal status – current re gister copy and statute (n/a to informal
e. personal data of a person in charge of the office space
f. a completed questionnaire from Gdyni a Bank of Information on NGOs or its

The application forms should be submitte d to Mayor’s Plenipotentiary on NGOs.

3.3. Meeting space

Gdynia Authorities enable NGOs which have not their own space to use the premises of
Gdynia NGO Centre, in 3 Maja 27/31. The conditions of using the Centre have been specified
in the Regulations accepted by City Board.

3.4. Fundraising form other sources

Difficulties resulting from the municipality’s new responsibilities makes the city budget
unable to ensure financial support to all valuab le projects and organizations. Thus, the City
Authorities rely on organizations’ efficiency in obtaining funds from other sources. Thanks to
this co-operation, Gdynia may receive funds for the realization of projects which are
important and useful for its inhabitants. Th e support of the authorities in this domain
a. assessing grant and donation applications
b. promoting interesting projects which ma y be financed from other sources
c. financing consultations a nd trainings on fundraising

Organizations willing to profit from this possibility should contact Mayor’s Plenipotentiary
on NGOs.

3.5. Consultation, technical assistance and training

In order to increase the professi onalism of activities carried out by NGOs, the City Authorities
will introduce the financing of consultation a nd training for them. The benefit budget may be

included into the application for project financing or may constitute a separate application. It
is necessary that programme of training/scope of consultation as well as objective description
and specification of institution offering its serv ices should be attached to the preliminary
budget. It is expected that twi ce a year general trainings (finan ced from city budget) addressed
to all organizations are held. Information on dates and conditions of participation may be
obtained at the latest one month before the training.

3.6. Media

The publication which easily accessible to all NGOs is “Ratusz” (“City Hall”) – City Council
and Board Bulletin. Organizations willing to publish their information or announcements
should address the City Hall Spoke sperson. If organizations are interested in extending the
cooperation, it is possible to introduce to the bulletin a separate section or an insert giving
information on NGOs in Gdynia.

3.7. International contacts

Organizations may address Foreign Relations Depart ment to assist them in initiating contacts
with similar partners abroad. In the future a sp ecial data base will be created, being available
to NGOs interested in intern ational cooperation. The funds to continue the cooperation may
be gained within grant procedure.

4. Description of the programme’s unit

4.1 Territorial range

Co-operation programme is fi nanced from the budget of the City of Gdynia, programme’s
costs are covered by taxpayers – city inhabitants. In this connection the activity for the city
and its inhabitants is the basic criterion deci ding if the municipal authorities support the
organisation. Only the organisations whose activity (or part of the activity that is subsidised)
is realised for the Gdynia residents can apply for the funds within the programme.

4.2 Legal status

The following organisations can partic ipate in the co-operation programme:
a. foundations or their local branches
b. associations or their local branches
c. student organisation
d. church organisations
e. parents’ councils at the schools
f. informal groups

Units with no legal personality can receive fi nancial assistance from the municipality on
condition that they obtain the patronage of the institution with legal personality.

4.3. Formal and organisational conditions

Organisation applying for a grant within the co-operation programme has to fulfil the
following conditions:

a. assignment of a person responsible for the implementation and financial issues of the
the program.
b. possession of the bank account (own one or, if the given organisation has no legal
personality, account made available to this organisation by other institution)
c. registration of the organisation at the Gdynia Data Bank on NGOs.

4.4. Content-related categories

Within the co-operation programme, the organi sations can apply for financial support of
activities in the all fields, which local government is responsible for, this include:
a. education, upbringing,
b. recreation, tourism,
c. sustainable development, environment protection,
d. healthcare, rehabilitation,
e. social welfare, self-help,
f. art, culture
g. regional and local development, maritime issues,
h. territorial self-govern ment, local democracy,
i. civil society empowerment.

Funds allocated for the co-operation programme cannot be used for:
a. construction, purchase and renovations of the buildings, purchase of land,
b. economic activity,
c. covering the maintenance costs of the organi sation’s office (unless it is the essential
element of the project’s realisation)
d. programmes co-financed from ot her municipal target funds,
e. political and religious activity

5. Time-limits

Within the year two sessions of allocating the grants are held. The first session: the deadline
of submitting the applications: 1 st of April, date of making a decision: 1 st of June, the second
session: the deadline of submitting the applications: 1 st of October, date of making a decision:
1 st of December.

Organisations can apply for other forms of aid in any other dates according to procedures
described in the point 3.

6. Criteria of decision-making

City Board makes decisions concerning the support of the particular programmes or
organisations basing on the following criteria:
a. costs of the programme,
b. prospects of the programme’s follow-up a nd potential resources of its financing,
c. character and practical aspect of the organisation’s activity,
d. achievements of the organisation,
e. previous co-operation with the local government and its branches,
f. co-operation with other public institutions,

It is necessary to stress that any of the above mentioned criteria will not be used separately as
a deciding one. While making a decision, the City Board will take into account all the above
mentioned factors. These criteria allow to assess comprehensively the submitted applications
and to choose the ones that meet current needs in the best way.

6.1. Costs of the programme

Criterion of grant making is the minimisation of the city budget costs and ensure efficient
usage of the funds. While alloca ting the financial support, these programmes will be preferred
that apply for smaller grants but at the same time guarantee the broadest scope of services or
the biggest effect. The own c ontribution of the organisation a nd involvement of other funding
sources will constitute the element of th e assessment. The organisation’s finances
management and structure of the expenses will al so be taken into account as one of the factors
influencing the decisions.

6.2. Prospects of the programme’s follo w-up and sources of its financing

Far-reaching programmes will be treated as particularly interesting ones. While referring to
far-reaching programmes there are meant here th e programmes that will be continued after the
period of their co-financing by the city authorities although the involvement of the budget
means will be reduced. Finally these programmes will become independent and function on
basis of own funds.

6.3 Character and practical aspect of the organisation’s activity

The idea of the functioning of the co-operation programme is to support the civil society
activities. This is why the criteria used by the city authorities cannot be limited only to the
economic categories and the organi sational aspects of the provided services. The character of
the organisation and practical aspect of its daily activity will also influence the decisions. The
organisations basing on the work of volunteers, acting at the local community level (housing
estates, schools, neighbourly groups) will be preferred.

6.4 Achievements of the organisation

While making a decision it is very helpful to receive the information on previous
organisation’s achievements, successes and long-t erm effects of work. This information will
be taken from the Gdynia Data Bank on NGOs as well as from the people co-operating with
the organisations – City Council representatives, departments of the City Hall and members of
the Consultative Committee.

6.5. Previous co-operation with the local government and its branches

The previous experiences in work with the organisations constitute a significant category
from the City Board’s point of view. Bearing in mind the priority of expanding the list of
co-operation units, the previous co-operation of the organisations with the City Council,
District Councils, City Board and departments of the City Hall will also be taken into

6.6. Co-operation with other public institutions

Co-operation of the organisations with the regional public inst itutions (hospitals, schools,
universities) will be taken into account while assessing th e programmes applying for support
within the co-ope ration programme.

7. Decision-making process

City Board makes a decision on allocating gr ants. Before the decision is taken, the
Consultative Committee gives an opinion con cerning each programme applying for a grant.
The Consultative Committee consists of the repr esentatives of the City Council, City Board
and Non-governmental Organisations. Decisions are made on consensus basis. The decision is
announced to the organisations by mail. Apart fr om it the complete list of the approved and
rejected applications is displayed in the City Hall an d the Gdynia Centre of the Non-
governmental Organisations. This list comprises also amounts of the allocated grants and the
content-related, formal and financial reas ons of rejecting particular programmes.
On the end of the each year the complete list of supported NGOs and projects granted is
published with the city annual budget report.

8. Financial issues

Forms and dates of transferring funds to the or ganisations will be determined in the grant
agreement signed between the orga nisation and the City Board.

9. Reports

Organisations that received financial support within the co-operation programme are obliged
to submit the following documents after finishing the programme:
a. the complete clearing of accounts (it concerns not only the funds obtained from the City
b. content-related report, evaluation of the project’s effects and description of the possibilities
of the project’s follow-up.
Current financial and content-related reports should be submitted at least every 6 months.
Organisations that use the municipal premises by the preferential rules have to submit the
half-yearly reports informing the city aut horities about the usage of the premises.

10. Information flow

Information concerning the conditions, dead-lines and procedures of allocating grants by City
Board is made available to all interested organisations:
a. by mail – sending of information on possib ilities of obtaining the support to the
organisation registered in the Gdynia Data Bank on NGOs
b. through the “City Hall” – Bulletin of the City Council and City Board,
c. through the Mayor’s Plenipotentiary on NGOs,
d. through the Office of the Gdynia Centre of NGOs.

11. Evaluation

Every year the co-operation programme will be evaluated in the content-related,
organisational and financial resp ect. Conclusions resulted from th e evaluation will be used by
the authorities of Gdyni a to analyse the programme’s effect s. Organisations will use these
conclusions to improve their activity, especially in the field of relations with the local

government. Conclusions will also constitute the basis for making necessary changes in the
co-operation programme in order to increase its effectiveness.