There are lots of different funding agencies and sponsors. They all belong to one or two categories : either they are public funding agencies, in one way or another connected to local, regional or national government or international intergovernmental structures ; or they are private. Private sponsors may be companies or foundations/charities. Or a mixture.
Whether you seek public or private funding will depend on various aspects : availability is the first one – different countries have very different funding traditions. Criteria and stipulations are another one – would a private sponsor ask you to sell your (organisation’s) soul for some financial support ? The kind and content of your project is one, too – perhaps a « tailor-made » funder exists somewhere for exactly this project ? Or, the other way round, nobody else migt be able to support it. Etc.
In terms of kind of support there are again two major categories : project grants and administration grants. The latter are harder to find than former (wich does not mean that project money is always easy to find). Administrative grants would cover the basic running costs of an organization, whereas project grants would be intended for covering specific costs related to and stemming from a particular project.
As a general rule you can assume that private funders are even less likely than public ones to support administrative costs and it is probably more difficult to find administrative grants on European than on local level. This is why many international non-governmental youth organisations ask rather substantial membership fees from their national branches.
Many funders and sponsors make it particularly difficult to obtain a first grant. Once you have succeeded and have presented an acceptable report, and once you know the procedure well, it may be easier.
In following pages you find some hints on how to overcome the obstacles wich present themselves to you.
Resources Files - European Youth Center - Council of Europe