Our Approach

“The Fund’s approach is driven by its professionalism and its staff members’ deep understanding of the difficulties that human rights defenders face in undemocratic countries.”
Mamadou Boussouriou Diallo, Youth Coalition for the Defense of the Rights of Victims of Violence in Guinea

Putting the Needs of Frontline Activists First

The Fund was established by a group of donors who recognized that grassroots activism is critical to achieving lasting human rights change. Since 2002, we have delivered nearly $84 million in support to over 680 organizations worldwide. Today, we provide over $9 million in annual support to over 300 groups in more than 25 countries.

Instead of imposing our own solutions on grantees, we respect their local expertise and ask them how best to address the problems facing their communities. Then we ask how we can help. We prioritize organizations that focus on the most marginalized segments of their societies and are led by members of the communities they serve.

To help local groups achieve their goals, the Fund provides financial support to sustain them, technical assistance to build their skills, and emergency grants to keep them safe when their security is threatened. We organize convenings where defenders exchange knowledge and brainstorm solutions to common challenges faced across regions. And we help raise the visibility of activists in international fora by facilitating media interviews, supporting their participation in key summits, and promoting their voices with our community of supporters.