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As a resident, you may also want to organize an event for your neighbours or other people in the neighbourhood. Residents’ initiatives usually aim to make the neighbourhood or street a better place to live for you and for your neighbours, but they may also look to solve a problem or challenging issue.

As a resident, you are free to take action and set up an initiative. You may quickly find there are many people in your neighbourhood who want to join in, but are then faced with the next big challenge: how to find funding. Ideally, the project should be able to fund itself, but this is rarely the case. This guide will provide information for residents who want to organize an event or activity independently – ‘a residents’ initiative’

10 tips

Tip 1: Look for supporters

See whether the idea you have is important to people in the neighbourhood. After all, the success of a residents’ initiative depends on the residents themselves. All of them, or at least a majority, need to support the initiative or have a positive opinion of it. You need each other’s help if your residents’ initiative is going to bring about change in your neighbourhood.

Tip 2: Talk with others

In order to boost support for the residents’ initiative, you should start talking to the people in your neighbourhood, including those who are against your initiative.  You or your working group may be able to convince them of the benefits of the initiative. Make sure you have credible arguments and can provide clear information on why you think your initiative should go ahead and what you want to achieve with it.

Tip 3: Have a clear vision

Provide clear information on what you want to achieve with your project or activity and how the activities you want to organize will help achieve your goals. This is different from simply saying what you want to do, which is usually already obvious. The activity or project you want to organize is also inspired by a goal. You want to achieve something. Whatever that may be, every goal is just as valid and important as the next. A project that creates a meeting point for residents may look to combat loneliness in the neighbourhood or bring people together and make them aware of the need to care for others.

Tip 4: Budget

If you ask a third party to contribute to the costs of your project or activity, they will want to see a budget with a breakdown of the costs. The budget must be easy to understand for both those involved in the project and those who have little knowledge of it. See whether someone in your neighbourhood with experience in accounting or administration is willing to help you with budgeting.

Tip 5: See who wants to provide funding

You could have many sources of funding, but the main source will be the people taking part in the activity. See whether these people would be willing to provide funding and turn the activity into a reality. Crowdfunding is the modern way of organizing funding: it raises money from people who each contribute an amount, typically via the Internet. In some cases, part of the project budget may be subsidized.

The second way of funding your project is sponsors. These could be companies or large institutions whose philosophies tie in with the objective of your project or activity. Many organizations provide grants for social and community activities, so you should carry out some research to find out the most suitable grant provider for you. Remember that you can request a grant from several institutions. If so, each request you send needs to provide information on the funding you have already applied for (stating the source) and the status of this funding.

Tip 6: Consider working with a volunteer organization

A residents’ initiative can be set up and implemented by residents themselves, with no help from third parties. However, the old adage of ‘two brains are better than one’ still applies. For instance, it can be helpful to join forces with a local volunteer organization, as these organizations usually have an established network of volunteers. If you do decide to accept a grant, you may want to ask a volunteer organization to take care of the financial and administrative tasks, instead of having an individual person take on this responsibility.

Tip 7: Ask when and how to apply for a grant

Each grant provider has its own application deadline and terms and conditions. You must research when and how you can submit an application. Find out whether the institution has fixed application deadlines and standard application forms, or whether it accepts applications by post, in person, or digitally.

Tip 8: Find out whether you need a permit

Some activities may take place in a public space, which could affect the people using this space. You may also want to organize some catering. If so, you must ask the municipality whether you require a special permit.

Tip 9: For benefit claimants: check the consequences for your benefits payments

Although your participation in a residents’ initiative will mostly have no effect on your benefits payments, you should always double-check. For instance, your benefits agency may start to ask questions if you start receiving a grant.

Tip 10: Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Indeed, most grant providers would prefer if you asked five questions and made sure your project was of a good quality. You don’t want your application to be rejected immediately because it’s incomplete. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of the grant providers, your neighbourhood network (or the neighbourhood network where the activity will take place), or workers at the Trajekt foundation.

Who can help?

If you need help, you can get in touch with several organizations and contact people:

  • Neighbourhood network: Most neighbourhoods in Maastricht have an active neighbourhood network. These volunteer organizations are set up by residents who want to improve the quality of life in their neighbourhood by bringing together other residents, institutions, and organizations and encouraging social participation.
  • Trajekt is a welfare organizations that supports residents in developing and implementing volunteering activities. Alongside providing help with drafting a project plan or with your grant application, the workers at Trajekt would also be happy to provide their input on your idea. Contact Trajekt by calling one of the numbers below.
    • Noordoost [‘north east’] (Amby, Beatrixhaven, Borgharen, Itteren, Limmel, Nazareth, Scharn-Noord, Wyckerpoort, Wittevrouwenveld). Tel.: +31 (0)43 763 00 10.
    • Zuidoost [‘south east’] (Céramique, De Heeg, Eyldergaard, Heer, Heugem, Heugemerveld, ‘Molukse wijk’ [Moluccan neighbourhood], Randwyck, Scharn-Zuid, Sint Maartenspoort, Wyck). Tel.: +31 (0)43 763 00 20.
    • Noordwest [‘north west’] (Belvédère, Bosscherpoort, Bosscherveld, Brusselsepoort-West, Caberg, Lanakerveld, Malberg, Malpertuis, Oud-Caberg, Pottenberg). Tel.: +31 (0)43 763 00 30.
    • Zuidwest [‘south west’] (Belfort, Biesland, Brusselsepoort-Oost, Campagne, City, Daalhof, Dousberg, Hazendans, Jekerdal, Mariaberg, Sint Pieter, Villapark, Wolder). Tel.: +31 (0)43 763 00 40.
  • The Municipality of Maastricht
    • Municipal coordination officers (regiefunctionaris): These officers work in Maastricht’s four neighbourhoods. They’re your go-to contact person if you’re involved in volunteer work or are taking part in or organizing neighbourhood activities. They will also accept grant applications under the Regeling Bewonersinitiatiefgelden (Dutch funding scheme for residents’ initiatives). Each neighbourhood has its own contact person:
      • Albert Alberts (Caberg, Malberg, Malpertuis, Pottenberg, Brusselsepoort, Belfort, Daalhof, Hazendans, Oud-Caberg, Biesland, Wolder, and Campagne). Tel.: +31 (0)6 52497972. E-mail:;
        • Pieter van der Waa (city centre, Kommelkwartier, Statenkwartier, Boschstraatkwartier, Wyckerpoort, Wittevrouwenveld, Mariaberg, Céramique, Wyck, Sint Maartenspoort, and Heugemerveld), Tel.: +31 (0)6 21 88 41 56. E-mail:;
      • Rieneke Soumete (Borgharen, Itteren, Boschpoort, Bosscherveld, Scharn, Heer, Amby, De Heeg, and Vroendaal). : +31 (0)6 21 12 88 07. E-mail:;
      • Mariëlle Munnecom (Limmel, Nazareth, Sint Pieter, Jekerdal, Villapark, Jekerkwartier, Heugem, and Randwyck). Tel.: +31 (0)6 52 75 87 6. E-mail:
    • Municipal policy officers: our municipal policy officers would be happy to answer any questions you have or put you in contact with other volunteer organizations or initiatives in the city. Telephone number: 14 043.

Grants and funding

You want to start something new. But alongside what form of organization you want to create, you need to think about money. This is where grants and funding come in. Read on to find out more about the various options.

Municipality of Maastricht

The Municipality of Maastricht provides grants to residents’ initiatives under the Regeling Bewonersinitiatiefgelden (Dutch funding scheme for residents’ initiatives). As part of this scheme, you may apply for a maximum of €3,000 in grant to fund a residents’ initiative, provided this initiative helps to improve the quality of life in the neighbourhood.

The Municipality of Maastricht also offers two other grants for volunteering activities in health and welfare.

  • The first is the ‘basic grant’. This is an annual grant for volunteer organizations to cover your fixed costs and permanent activities. You can apply for the grant in October. You are only eligible for the annual grant if you meet certain . The exact application deadline is published on
  • The second is the ‘flexible grant’. This is a project grant that can be applied for at various times in the year. The grant relates to one specific theme that is established each year. You must meet a number of conditions to be eligible for the grant. The application deadlines and themes are published on

Other institutions and organizations

There are countless other institutions and organizations that provide grants for community and social activities. Below are some of them:

  • Oranjefonds Nederland: a national fund that provides grants for a huge range of social initiatives, including small-scale, local initiatives.
  • VSB Fonds: The national ‘VSB Fonds’ (VSB Fund) supports initiatives that encourage inclusive, active participation in society, social mobility, and personal development.
  • Elisabeth Strouven Fonds: this foundation supports social initiatives in Maastricht. All sizes of volunteer organizations can apply for funding.