Looking for a project partner?

Partnership projects between organisations in the donor states and beneficiary states are encouraged. How do you best approach a potential partner organisation in order to start exploring the opportunity of implementing an EEA Grants project together?

Before you start, consider the following points:  
  • Why do you need a partner? 
  • What kind of partner you are looking for? 
  • How you foresee the partner's role and contribution to the project?
  • What will the partner gain from joining your project?
Online partner search
If you are searching the database for partners, consider the following points before sending your requests:
  • Start searching for a partner early and well in advance for deadlines. You may risk not having time to develop the proposal and partnership if you send out requests very close to the deadline. Requests that are sent just before the deadline are often not deemed serious.
  • Rather than trying to send out the request to as many as possible, we advise to target only the most relevant ones.
  • Try to get in touch with the relevant staff within an organisation rather than sending your request to a generic email address.
  • Make sure your emails are concrete and to the point. 
  • Ensure that you have a well thought-through project idea with a genuine interest in partnership. 
  • Include information on your own organisation and ensure that the organisation that you contact have aims and activities that match your own. Prior research on the organisation in advance gives a good impression!
  • Generally, many Norwegian NGOs have small secretariat with only a few paid staff so they have to prioritise. Therefore, be as specific as possible in your search!
  • Ensure that as many documents as possible are available in English.
  • Many organisations have profiles in English. If not, use Google Translate to translate whole websites.
 SK0037 pupils 4 - Kopi
Found a potential partner? 
  • Arrange a phone conversation or a Skype meeting as early as possible to discuss expectations. Be willing to discuss aims, objectives and activities of the project.
  • Apply for bilateral funding to be able to meet before the project application deadline in order to work out the application together.
  • If you are planning a study trip or visit to Norway, check out the list of travel and living expenses. The list is prepared by the Arts Council of Norway.
Still no luck? 
  • If the organisation you were in touch with cannot enter into a partnership, try to ask them for recommendations on whom to contact.
  • Use your network and professional contacts to try to identify relevant partners.
  • If you did not find a suitable partner in the database, enter your own profile so that others can find you! 
Need inspiration?
Check out examples of previous partnership projects and success stories here!  
Further information: Step-by-step overview of partnership projects
The FMO has published an article on their new website outlining the process of finding a project partner and developing a project partnership. The steps include how to search for a partner, finacial support, legal obstacles and how to submit the proposal. It also includes sections on how to define your own interest, how to prepare for the partnership and what kind of agreement to enter. The full article is available here.

Article published on 10 May 2011
This article has been last modifed on 15 November 2013