Eligible costs

Q: What is considered as “outsourcing project activities and administration” in chapter 4.5 of the Grant Guidelines?

A: Outsourcing project management and overall administration to external organizations, companies, or individuals is allowed only exceptionally, with the Fund’s PRIOR approval. This means that the preparatory and administrative duties connected to the contracted outputs like event organization, logistics or general project management should be performed by the contracted entity itself or by the contracted partner(s).

Q: Should we follow any public procurement processes in our project supported by the Fund?

A: Legal obligations applicable to the organization under national legislation are to be complied with. The Fund does not have any specific rules regarding procurement and does not require any additional measures beyond what the grantee is legally bound to by legislation.

Q: How can I pay an invoice issued in a foreign currency? What exchange rate should I use for calculating the amount to transfer?

A: The Fund does not regulate this. To calculate the exact amount to transfer in the currency of your bank account, follow the standard accounting rules and procedures applicable to your organization, or make a foreign transfer.

Q: Our project starts in a few weeks. Can we book accommodation already?

A: Accommodation and any other services can be booked in advance BUT be aware of payment dates. All payments, including reservation fees and advance payments for services, MUST be made within the project’s implementation period specified in the contract. Payments made before the start and after the end of the implementation period will not be accepted. The only exception is the cost of the audit, which can be paid after the project’s implementation period has ended.

Q: Can audit costs be paid after the project’s implementation period has ended?

A: Yes, they can. This is the only cost that can be paid after the implementation period.

Q: Will the Fund reimburse VAT?

A: If your organization is a registered VAT payer, you are obliged to request the VAT reimbursement from your local tax authorities. The
Fund only reimburses VAT amounts to those grantees that are not registered as VAT payers. Exceptions can only be made upon the approval of the Fund.

When filling out the Interim Financial Settlement or (Final) Financial Settlement, you are also asked to indicate whether your organization is a registered VAT payer on the top of the main sheet.

Q: Can we buy computers, cameras or other electronic devices from the grant?

A: The Fund allows the purchase of office equipment needed for web-based communication and overall digitalization in the category of “Office supplies and consumption materials”, in limited numbers, up to 1000 €. Such purchases, however, must be well justified and consulted with the assigned project manager in advance.

Q: Can we pay expert fees to our employees for project management duties, general organizational tasks or bookkeeping?

A: No, you cannot. Such fees can only be reimbursed in the Overheads category, even if they are based on a service contract.

Q: How can I pay out expert fees?

A: The easiest way is for the expert to issue an invoice for the services (as a private entrepreneur, legal entity or company). Alternatively, the grantee can sign a service contract with the expert, specifying the tasks to be carried out and the offered remuneration. Please note that contracts based on the labor code of the respective country (e.g. employment contracts) cannot be used to pay out expert fees. Salaries and wages originating from a work contract can only be reimbursed in the Overheads category.

EXCEPTION applicable to state-funded academic and research institutions: Financial remuneration under the category of expert fees of employees of state-funded research and higher education institutions (or any expenses related to employment based on the labor code, including daily allowances, part-time work, etc.) can be compensated if the Grantee is obliged under the national legislation to pay their own employees only under the labor code.  

Q: Can we use our company car to travel to our project partners?

A: Company cars and their related costs cannot be reimbursed in the category “Transportation and delivery”, only in Overheads.

Q: Our colleagues have travelled to a project event by car and presented a fuel bill. Can we put the cost into the Financial Statement?

A: Fuel bills cannot be reimbursed in the category “Transportation and delivery”, only in Overheads. For more information about travel cost reimbursements, see above.

Q: Are we allowed to pay per diems to our participants to cover their travel and catering costs?

A: No, you are not. Lump sums, pocket money, daily allowances or per diems can only be reimbursed in the Overheads (up to the given limit set in your contract). Accommodation and catering costs will be reimbursed based on real invoices only if the payment was made by the grantee via bank card or transfer. Travel costs can be reimbursed to individuals if they provide the original documents to the grantee (see above).

Q: How can I cover travel expenses?

A: If the grantee purchases transportation tickets with the organization’s bank card (or through bank transfer from the grantee’s account), these costs must be put directly into the Financial Settlement with proper description.

If tickets are purchased by individuals (experts, project participants), they must submit the original documents (invoices, bills, e-tickets, etc.) to the grantee, who then reimburses the travelers via bank transfer after issuing a confirmation to them. Grantees with a project cost of over 10.000 EUR can use their internal document for this purpose, in compliance with their bookkeeping rules.

Grantees with a project cost of under 10.000 EUR are obliged to present the filled-out Transportation Costs Reimbursement Sheets together with copies of the original tickets/invoices attached to the Financial Settlement.

If participants have travelled by private car, reimbursement can only be provided according to the official rates of the respective country based on the vehicle’s consumption and official reimbursement per 1 km (this information can be usually found on the website of the national taxation offices.) Grantees with a project cost of over 10.000 EUR can use their internal procedures for such reimbursements, in compliance with their bookkeeping rules.

Grantees with a project cost of under 10.000 EUR are obliged to present the filled-out Transportation Costs Reimbursement Sheets together with copies of the car registration document.

Fuel bills cannot be reimbursed in the category of “Transportation and delivery”.

For more information on travel cost reimbursement, please read Annex 2 of the Grant Guidelines. For the list of eligible costs in the category “Transportation and delivery” check Annex 1 of the Grant Guidelines.

Q: What kind of costs can I cover from the grant?

A: The Fund has identified 11 cost categories that are eligible for reimbursement:

  1. Printing and publishing
  2. Rent and related technical services
  3. Expert fees/fees for authors or artists
  4. Accommodation and board
  5. Transportation and delivery
  6. Translation and interpreting costs
  7. Awards and prizes
  8. Office supplies and consumption materials
  9. Promotional costs
  10. Copyright, licenses and fees
  11. Overheads

For a detailed list of specific cost items within each category, check Annex 1 of the Grant Guidelines.

Events and project timeline

Q: Can we extend the implementation period of our project?

A: The Fund will only agree with the extension of the implementation if the successful financial and administrative conclusion of the project is seriously endangered by unexpected and unforeseeable events. Such an extension must be consulted with the Fund beforehand and requested in our online system, under the tab "Change requests > Implementation period change" by clicking on the button "+ ADD NEW CHANGE REQUEST". The request must include a detailed reasoning and the specific date by which the implementation period should be prolonged. Once the request has been submitted, your assigned project manager will forward it to our Deputy Executive Director for approval. You will be informed about the decision via e-mail.

Due to our new procedure, we do not require official letters any longer.

 

Q: Can we add new events?

A: Adding a new event is considered a substantial change to the project which requires the prior approval of the Fund. You have to submit an official written request (a scan of an original letter signed by the statutory representative of the grantee) with a thorough justification of the requested change. The letter should be sent by email to the Fund’s project manager assigned to your project. It will be evaluated by the Fund’s representatives within 7 working days, after which you will be informed about the decision by email.

Q: When and how do we confirm events?

A: According to your contract, all events must be confirmed in the calendar 7 working days (10 calendar days) before their planned date. If this is not done, you will receive an automatic reminder from our online system. In case you wish to modify the date of the given event at this point, you can do so up to 3 calendar days before its originally planned date.

Unconfirmed events and any connected costs will not be accepted by the Fund.

Example: an event in the calendar is scheduled on 25 January 2021. If you do not confirm it by 15 January 2021, the system will notify you via e-mail. In case you wish to postpone the event for a later date, you can make the modification by 22 January 2021. After this day the event cannot be modified.

Changes in the budget

Q: I need to submit a budget change request through the MyVisegrad online system. How should I fill it out?

A: The budget change request within the online system has 4 columns. The first two columns are filled out automatically; this is the original budget divided into cost categories, as displayed in the Grant Contract. In the Requested change columns, fill out only those lines (cost categories) where you need to request a change; unchanged lines can be left blank or you can write the contracted sum there. In the Requested column, enter the final amount you wish to get approved in the respective budget categories. In the Reasoning column, provide a brief but thorough justification for the requested change. Example: If the original budget allocated to the Accommodation and Board category was €2,000, and you wish to increase this amount to €3,500, please write 3,500 in the Requested column.  Once you complete filling out the sums, please double-check if the total amount is equal to the contracted grant amount.

Please note that budget changes not exceeding the limits specified in the Grant Guidelines do not require the Fund’s prior approval and should not be requested through the online system. See the Grant Guidelines for more information.

Q: Some of our project costs have been spent after the end of the project’s implementation period. Will the Fund accept these payments?

A: No. The Fund will only reimburse expenses carried out within the contracted implementation period. Should you have any issues with payments, contact your assigned project manager in advance. Retrospective or unannounced payments will not be considered.

Q: We paid a small amount of our expenses in cash. Will the Fund accept these payments?

A: No. The Fund will only reimburse expenses carried out by bank transfer or card payment, initiated by the grantee. If one of the partners needed to pay some bills in cash, the same rule applies as in case of every other spending on the side of the partners: the amount needs to be reimbursed by the grantee via bank transfer.

Q: My partners have expenses connected to the project. Can I send them an advance payment?

A: No. The Fund signs the contract only with the main applicant (grantee), who bears all responsibility for the received grant. If your partners must pay certain costs related to project outputs or events, two options are possible:

  • The grantee can settle the invoice directly. (Example: The partner made a hotel reservation, but the invoice will be issued by the hotel directly to the grantee. The grantee then pays the bill to the hotel via bank transfer.) or
  • The partner settles the bill and later issues an invoice to the grantee/signs a contract with the grantee, covering the real costs of the partner. (Example: The partner has paid a restaurant bill for project participants. The partner will issue an invoice to the grantee with the exact sum they paid in the restaurant, providing the original bill to the grantee. The grantee then pays the amount to the partner via bank transfer).

If the partner’s legal status does not allow them to issue invoices, a contract must be signed with the grantee in which the parties specify those costs that the grantee is willing to reimburse.

Q: Can we change the experts?

A: Yes, the experts can be changed during the implementation period. You can also involve more experts than stated in the application.

Q: How can we add a new output or cancel the previously planned output?

A: Adding or cancelling an output is considered a substantial change to the project which has to be consulted with your assigned project manager and requires the prior approval of the Fund. You have to submit an official written request (a scan of an original letter signed by the statutory representative of the grantee) with a thorough justification of the requested change. The letter should be sent by email to the Fund’s project manager assigned to your project. It will be evaluated by the Fund’s representatives within 7 working days, after which you will be informed about the decision by email.

Please note that cancelling outputs or significantly modifying the project’s structure without the Fund’s prior knowledge might result in a contractual penalty.

Q: Can we increase the overheads?

A: Overheads cover administrative costs connected with the project implementation. They cannot exceed 15% of the grant. You can transfer up to 1000 EUR to overheads from other budget categories, but the final amount of the overheads cannot exceed 15%.

Q: Can we create a new budget category?

A: A new budget category can be created only upon agreement with your project manager. Such changes can be requested under the "Change requests > Budget change" tab in our online system by clicking on "+ADD NEW CHANGE REQUEST". You should justify why the new budget category is essential for a smooth project implementation. Once the request has been submitted, you will receive an automated e-mail on the decision within 7 working days.

Q: What kind of changes can we introduce to the budget?

A: If your project was supported in 2023 or before, you can change up to €1,000.00 between individual budget categories (e.g. between “Transportation and delivery” and “Promotional Costs”). For changes higher than €1,000.00 per category, you must file an official request. 

If your project was supported in 2024 or after, a budget change request must be submitted only if changes exceed the limits listed below: 

  1. For a grant below or equal to €10,000.00, you can reallocate up to €500.00 per budget category.  
  2. For a grant above €10,000.00 and below or equal to €30,000.00, you can reallocate up to €1,000.00 per budget category. 
  3. For a grant above €30,000.00 and below or equal to €50,000.00, you can reallocate up to €1,500.00 per budget category. 
  4. For a grant above €50,000.00, you can reallocate up to €2,000.00 per budget category. 

 

Official budget change requests must be submitted in our online system under the tab "Change requests > Budget change" by clicking on "+ADD NEW CHANGE REQUEST". The request must include a justification and a summary of the new budget based on the individual budget categories under the "Requested change" column. Once the request has been submitted, you will receive an automated e-mail on the decision within 7 working days. The Fund no longer requires official letters for budget change requests. 

Budget changes not exceeding the listed sums and minor (non-substantial) changes in the project do not require the Fund’s approval. Nonetheless, it is recommended to inform the assigned project manager about them via email. 

Visibility

Q: What are the Fund’s expectations in terms of visibility?

A: As a donor organization, the Fund expects to be publicly acknowledged throughout the project’s entire duration. For all requirements regarding promotion and visibility read Article 7.4 of your contract and the Logo And Acknowledgement Manual (Annex 3 of the Grant Guidelines).

Failing to comply with these requirements might result in paying a contractual penalty.

Q: Our organization changed its registered address, statutory representative, official name, VAT status, or other official data. Should we notify the Fund about it? How should we proceed?

A: Yes, you are obliged to inform the Fund about any changes in the official information of your organization (the grantee) within 10 calendar days (please see the grant contract for reference). The notification of such changes should be sent to the project manager assigned to your project by email. Please attach electronic copies of the documentation related to the change to the email.