The National Foundation for Civil Society Development was founded by a special Act (NN 173/03) by the Croatian Parliament on 16 October 2003, as a public foundation with the basic purpose of promoting and developing the civil society in the Republic of Croatia.

In order to fulfill its basic purpose, the National Foundation offers expert and financial support to programs which encourage the sustainability of the not-for-profit sector, inter-sector cooperation, civil initiatives, philanthropy, voluntary work and the improvement of the democratic institutions of society.

The National Foundation is financed from state budget funds provided in a separate position for the NGO Office, from part of the income from games of chance and competitions and from the founding capital, donations and other income pursuant to Article 16 of the Act on Foundations and Funds.

The Government of the Republic of Croatia, in its ruling of 13 November 2003 (NN 182/03), appointed members of the management board and the director of the National Foundation. The management board has 9 members of which 3 are representatives of bodies of state administration (The Ministry of Finance, the Ministry for European Integration and the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport), one representative of units of local and regional self-government and five representative of organizations and experts in the development of the civil society.

The mission of the National Foundation is to promote and support civil society development in Croatia.

Through its activities the National Foundation strives to achieve active citizenship in the development of a modern, democratic and inclusive society in the Republic of Croatia.