Human Rights Grants

The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations.


Robert F, Kennedy Human Rights Award

Do you know someone who has dedicated his or her life to bringing justice and human rights to the people who need them most? If so, please nominate your own human rights champion for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. The winner will be in partnership with the RFK Center, which will provide legal, programmatic, and technical assistance. They will also help increase public awareness of the winners work, and generate domestic and international political support. Nominate someone for the 2012 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award here.


National Endowment for Democracy

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit organization created in 1983 to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. The NED supports projects that promote political and economic freedom, a strong civil society, independent media, human rights, and the rule of law. The Endowment's flexible and efficient grants program is able to assist democratic activists in diverse situations, such as transitional countries where the goal is democratic consolidation, authoritarian countries where the goals are liberalization, and the protection of human rights. Click here for further information.


The Public Welfare Foundation

The Public Welfare Foundation has an upcoming grant proposal deadline for civil society organizations looking for support of their activities in the areas of criminal and juvenile justice, health reform and worker's rights in the U.S. For further details about how to apply for their grants and for more information about the Public Welfare Foundation, click here.

The Open Society Institute - The Human Rights and Governance Grants Program

The Open Society Institute works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. The Human Rights and Governance Grants Program of the Institute supports national and international advocacy organizations promoting political and civil rights at local, national and regional levels. Priority is given to projects that address the needs of vulnerable and marginalized groups, and those that have strong monitoring and legal advocacy components.

The Bromley Trust

The Bromley Trust makes grants to UK charities working in Human Rights, Prison Reform, and Conservation and Sustainability. Currently, the Trust supports charities that fall within the area of Human Rights: Charities campaigning for Human Rights under the Universal Declaration for Human Rights and those working to abate the consequence of the acute violation of these rights. These include charities working with individuals and communities that have experienced genocide, torture, rape, false imprisonment, oppression and abuse. Current areas of focus are: Slavery and Trafficking, False Imprisonment (including detention without trial or due process) Torture. Cruel and Unreasonable Punishment (including Isolated, bereaved,abused, mentally ill offenders).


Commonwealth Foundation - Civil Society Responsive Grants Programme

The Commonwealth Foundation is an inter-governmental organization, resourced by and reporting to Commonwealth governments, that exists to promote and strengthen civil society's role in sustainable development, democracy and intercultural learning in the Commonwealth. The Foundation's grant works to fulfill its mission and objectives is by making grants to civil society organizations in Commonwealth Foundation member countries. The grants are intended to promote co-operationand sharing of skills, knowledge and ideas between developing Commonwealth countries. Grants are given for participationin activities such as training courses, workshops, seminars, conferences,cultural festivals, exchanges and study visits. Preference is given to support regional level activities as opposed to international ones. Application deadlines are late March and late September.

Information about the grant and for information about how to apply, click here!

The Disability Rights Fund


The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) seeks to strengthen the participation of disabled persons' organisations in the advancement of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at country level in the Global South and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union. The "Moving Rights Forward" grant cycle consists of two grant-making rounds. See the DRF website for more information.


The Global Disability Rights Library

The Global Disability Rights Library calls out for organizations to apply to receive a free digital Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL). Applications are open to disabled people's organizations, universities, and agencies in developing countries. The goal of the GDRL project is to improve the lives of persons with disabilities in developing countries. The project uses an innovative off-line digital storage technology to deliver digital resources to people beyond the reach of the internet. Click here to apply.

UN-HABITAT's Opportunities Fund for Urban Youth-led Development

A funding opportunity under UN-HABITAT's Opportunities Fund for Urban Youth-led Development is available for NGOs and non-profit organizations with a focus on youth. Small grants of up to $5,000 and large grants of up to $25,000 are available. Non-governmental or community-based non-profit organizations led by young people aged 15-32 years can apply for the fund. The organizations must be based in cities or towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants, have been registered for at least one year and have a valid bank account. 


Support for Human Rights Defenders

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is the main financing instrument of the European Union for the promotion of democracy and human rights around the world. In this context, its "Support for Human Rights Defenders" Grant scheme aims at assisting civil society organizations to protect and promote human rights and democracy through the support of human rights defenders. Check out the grant guidelines in English, Spanish and French here.


The Finnish NGO Foundation for HumanRights (KIOS)

The Finnish NGO Foundation for Human Rights (KIOS) is an independent, non-political, non-religious  and non-governmental foundation. The overall goal of KIOS is to promote human rights in developing countries, as human rights are defined in the treaties and instruments of the United Nations, and in regional human rights instruments. KIOS provides financial support to local civil society organisations in developing countries that work to promote or protect human rights. In Finland KIOS aims at increasing the knowledge of Finnish civil society on the human rights situation in developing countries.

The Fund for Global Human Rights

The Fund for Global Human Rights seeks to increase the flow of financial resources to locally-based human rights organizations to strengthen human rights movements in countries around the world. Grants are awarded through a competitive grant process. The Fund for Global Human Rights operates and accepts proposals in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Thai. For more information click here!

The Libra Foundation

The Libra Foundation believes that all people are born with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms and have a right to live in a healthy environment and in peaceful, just and equitable societies. Promoting these human rights is the highest purpose envisioned for the grant-making of The Libra Foundation. The Foundation has two grant cycles per year and accepts invited proposals. Please note that the Foundation only accepts invited proposals. However, if your organization, project or program is aligned with the Foundation's guidelines, brief letters of inquiry (LOI) will be accepted on a rolling basis.


Marek Nowicki Small Grants Fund

The Marek Nowicki Small Grants Fund supports nongovernmental organizations from the Commonwealth of Independent States and is aimed at empowering democracy, the rule of law, and human rights observance. For more information about the fund, eligibility criteria, and application forms click here.


May 18 Memorial Foundation

The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights is awarded yearly by the May 18 Memorial Foundation.The award goes to one individual or organisation who has contributed to the promotion and advancement of human rights, democracy and peace in their work. Candidates must be nominated by other individuals or organisations by 1 March. More information is available on their website.

MacArthur Foundation - Grants for Human Rights and International Justice

This MacArthur Foundation grant aims to expand and strengthen the network of human rights organisations in Nigeria, Mexico, and Russia that provide the basic infrastructure for a national human rights culture based on the rule of law. Grants are awarded only to organisations that define clear objectives for their work and measures of progress toward those objectives. The foundation provides multi-year support. Proposals must fit clearly within the geographic and thematic priorities of the Human Rights and International Justice Programme.

  • Deadline for Applications: Rolling deadline

The Norwegian Human Rights Fund (NHRF)

The Norwegian Human Rights Fund was established in 1988 by Norwegian non-governmental organisations to protect and promote human rights internationally. Through The Norwegian Human Rights Fund, the owner organisations want to give financial support to projects in low- and middle income countries where the human rights situation is particularly difficult, either in general or for specific groups of the population. The Fund provides financial support to organisations that are not covered by other Norwegian governmental or non-governmental support schemes. For more information click here.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and United Nations Development Programme - ACT Project

Established in 1998 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ACT (Assisting Communities Together) Project has supported individuals, institutions and NGOs that undertake human rights activities in local communities by providing micro-grants of up to USD$3,000. The Project was launched by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and is implemented in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The ACT Project reinforces the role of civil society in protecting human rights by encouraging people at the grassroots level to promote human rights. At the same time, the Project strengthens partnerships between the United Nations and local human rights constituencies.


The Overbrook Foundation

The Overbrook Foundation strives to improve the lives of people by supporting projects that protect human and civil rights, advance the self-sufficiency and well-being of individuals and their communities, and conserve the natural environment. The Foundation's Human Rights Program joins together the Foundation's commitment to international and domestic human rights to support human rights work inside and outside of the United States. It recognizes that all the work the Foundation has traditionally supported is joined together by a commitment to the values expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - political, economic and social.

The Sigrid Rausing Trust

The Sigrid Rausing Trust is a grant-giving foundation based in London. It was founded in 1995 by Sigrid Rausing to support the international human rights movement. The Trust run fours programmes: Civil and Political Rights, Women's Rights, Minority Rights and Social and Environmental Justice. The trust gives two key types of grants: Main Grants currently vary in size between £15,000 and £850,000. The trustees make decisions about main grants at their meetings three times a year, usually in February, June and October. Small Grants are grants of up to £15,000. They are awarded throughout the year and are intended for small organisations, who find it difficult to fundraise from international funding agencies. Several of our small grantees have gone on to receive main grants. Applications for a small grant must come with a recommendation from an existing grantee or another funding agency.

The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy - International Grants Program

The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy is the first national democracy assistance foundation to be established in Asia, and is devoted to strengthening democracy and human rights in Taiwan and abroad. The TFD's international grants program is designed to assist organizations based outside of Taiwan to carry out projects to promote democracy and human rights. International non-governmental organizations, academic institutions or think tanks, and other related organizations are eligible to apply. Geographically, the program places a priority on support for projects that address the Asian region, but projects in other regions occasionally receive funding.

The U.S. Human Rights Fund

Although social justice organizations are increasingly using human rights to strengthen their advocacy and organizing work, the domestic human rights movement still faces challenges with respect to capacity, coordination and communications. The U.S. Human Rights Fund seeks to address these gaps by supporting the growth and development of organizations actively engaged in human rights framing, documentation, organizing and advocacy. Within its Human Rights Training & Education docket, the USHRF has supported a rrange of diverse training activities. Grants in this area aim to increase the quality and effectiveness of U.S. human rights organizing and advocacy work.


The Women's World Summit Foundation

The Women's World Summit Foundation, WWSF - an international, non-profit, humanitarian NGO, serving the implementation of women's and children's rights and the UN development agenda - honours women and women's groups around the world exhibiting exceptional creativity, courage and commitment for the improvement of the quality of life in rural communities through their Women's Creativity in Rural Life Award. The Prize aims to draw international attention to laureates' contributions to sustainable development, household food security and peace, thus generating recognition and support for their projects. Read more about the grants here and fill out the application.

The Wallace Global Fund

  The mission of the Wallace Global Fund is to promote an informed and engaged citizenry, to fight injustice, and to protect the diversity of nature and the natural systems upon which all life depends.The Fund supports initiatives related to environmental resource depletion and system collapse, corporate abuses and the concentration of corporate power, planetary carrying capacity, sustainable human population, women’s human rights, with an emphasis on ending female genital mutilation, civic engagement, civil liberties, equal justice, independent media, and media policy.

European Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights (EIDHR)

  Launched in 2006, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) replaces and builds upon the European Initiative (2000-2006). Its aim is to provide support for the promotion of democracy and human rights in non-EU countries. The EIDHR instrument can grant aid where no established development cooperation exists, and can intervene without the agreement of the governments of third countries . It can support groups or individuals within civil society defending democracy as well as intergovernmental organisations that implement the international mechanisms for the protection of human rights.

For the period 2007-2013 the EIDHR has a budget of €1.104 billion Assistance may take the following forms:

  • projects and programmes
  • grants to finance projects submitted by civil society and/or international/intergovernmental organizations
  • small grants to human rights defenders
  • grants to support operating costs of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democreatisation (EIUC)
  • human and material resources for EU election observation missons
  • public contracts

  Click here to check the latest call for propsals in the area of Human Rights and Democracy.

Brazil Human Rights Fund

The Brazil Human Rights Fund is a Brazilian private foundation that aims to contribute to human rights advocacy in Brazil. Based on an innovative proposal, the Fund supports the activities of individuals and small non-governmental organizations focused on the protection and defense of human rights in the country, creating sustainable grant mechanisms. The Fund's commitment is to especially strengthen those that are able to make the difference and to put creative proposals into practice, with great potential for local impact in the fight against discrimination.

The Brazil Human Rights Fund aims to foster the autonomy and sustainability of work by human rights organizations and advocates nationwide, in addition to raising society's awareness and increasing the credibility and public support for work in this field.

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation supports visionary leaders and organizations on the frontlines of social change worldwide.We focus on securing equal rights and opportunity for all. We support efforts to help vulnerable populations gain access to the social, political and cultural institutions that govern their rights.Our work concentrates on the world's most marginalized groups, which are among the poorest and most vulnerable in every society, and which face some of the severest forms of discrimination:

  • Women
  • Racial and ethnic minorities
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Immigrant communities
  • People living with HIV/AIDS

The King Baudouin Foundation 

   The King Baudouin Foundation supports projects and citizens who are committed to create a better  society. In this way they can make a lasting contribution towards greater justice, democracy and respect for diversity.The Foundation works on an independent and pluralistic basis. This is also guaranteed by the diverse backgrounds of their Board of Governors and 60 staff members. They respect diversity and strive towards quality, transparency and integrity.

  The Foundation focuses on specific themes and is based in Brussels, but also supports projects far beyond the borders of Belgium and Europe. By working together with a range of different organisations they aim to harmonise their own mission as effectively as possible with the efforts made by others.

Various Grants Databases/Directories/Links

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