At the Fund for Global Human Rights, we’re often asked why we focus on identifying and providing resources to grassroots activists. The answer? Like you, we want to maximize our return on investments. And we know, with so many competing demands on your generosity, it can be challenging to find the most effective destination for your charitable giving.
Here are three reasons why the Fund believes supporting grassroots activism is the most effective means of helping communities across the world—plus two ways you can join us.
Grassroots activists create Long-Term Change
There is no shortcut to a fairer world. Reforming laws, taking on precedent-setting legal cases, and changing harmful behaviors takes time. Grassroots activism focuses on creating change that will last generations—and goes far beyond the temporary and costly “fixes” of traditional charities.
For example, In India, grassroots activists (pictured above) were instrumental in overturning a ban on same-sex relations that had been used to harass and threaten LGBTQ people for years. Learn how donors to grassroots activists made this long-lasting victory possible.
Local activists = Critical expertise
The days of charity workers from the Global North parachuting into foreign countries to “save lives” are over. To address the critical issues of our time we must support local organizations that are from the communities they serve. They understand the challenges their communities face and are best placed to build the ways and means to overcome them.
For example, Annette (above)—a survivor of domestic violence—was part of an initiative in Uganda that reduced incidents of abuse in her local community by nearly 50 percent. Watch her story of courageous community activism.
On-the-ground efforts bring lower costs, bigger impacts
By supporting grassroots organizations, more of your money gets where it’s needed, faster. Local groups are lean, agile, and operate with few overheads. They’re also based in the communities they serve, and can therefore respond quickly to changing events and shifting needs.
For example, with just $10,000 a year in funding, activists in Honduras (above) secured a landmark legal victory for Indigenous peoples’ land from an exploitative development project. Learn more about the impact of this precedent-setting case.
How can you support HEROIC local activists?
We understand that you want to make the most impact with your charitable giving, but you may not have the time or right channels to find and reach the most effective local groups. That’s where the Fund comes in.
To date we have invested over $124 million in donations to over 900 grassroots organizations in more than 50 countries. These activists have gone on to win precedent setting legal cases, replace harmful laws with more just ones, and educate communities on advocating for their rights. Here are two powerful ways to join us.