Foundation Center – Charting the scope of human rights grantmaking

Each year foundations around the world fund efforts to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights. Advancing Human Rights: The state of global foundation grantmaking, a new research report produced by the Foundation Center and the International Human Rights Funders Group (IHRFG), provides the first-ever analysis of the scope and landscape of global human rights grantmaking. The research shows that over 12,000 human rights grants supported more than 6,800 organizations worldwide, amounting to $1.2 billion in 2010.

Additionally, Advancing Human Rights confirms that human rights philanthropy is a global phenomenon: the 703 funders included in the analysis represent 29 countries across seven major world regions.

The Ford Foundation ranked as the largest human rights funder in 2010 by grant dollars ($159.5 million), while the Open Society Foundations ranked second and reported the largest number of grants (1,248). The research, based on data analysis and interviews with funders, shows that human rights grantmaking seeks long-term change and has a special focus on supporting the efforts and livelihood of marginalized populations. The findings highlight human rights grantmaking in 10 overarching areas of activity, including access to justice and equality before the law, sexual and reproductive rights, and freedom from violence.

Advancing Human Rights
is part of a suite of knowledge tools for human rights funders that will help them identify gaps, improve coordination between donors, and facilitate more strategic grantmaking. Other resources include an infographic charting global grantmaking data, commentary from grantmakers, and a collection of videos – all of which are available online for free alongside the research report and key findings.

This multi-year partnership between the Foundation Center and IHRFG is enriched by collaboration with Ariadne (European Human Rights Funders Network) and the International Network of Women’s Funds.

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