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Advancing Human Rights: The State of Global Foundation Grantmaking

Publication date: 
July, 2014

An ongoing partnership between Foundation Center and the International Human Rights Funders Group (IHRFG) has produced two new resources designed to advance knowledge and facilitate strategic decision making in the field of human rights philanthropy. According to Advancing Human Rights: Update on Global Foundation Grantmaking, 745 foundations in 34 countries made over 17,000 grants totaling $1.7 billion in human rights funding in 2011, the latest year for which data is available. These statistics are brought to life in a new interactive website that enables funders, activists, researchers, academics, and others interested in human rights funding to explore giving by issue focus, population focus, and region.

"Nonprofits and foundations need accessible, in-depth knowledge to be effective," said Steven Lawrence, director of research at Foundation Center. "These two new resources deliver insights that unlock the what, where, and why of human rights funding."

The new website is the most comprehensive publicly available resource of its kind and will serve as a destination for annual updates on the field of global human rights philanthropy. In addition to showcasing funding flows by issue, region, and population group, the website lists top funders in the field. Sample grants and case studies are highlighted throughout the site, enriching knowledge about achievements in the field and strategies that have led to success.

The accompanying report, which builds on a groundbreaking study released last year by Foundation Center and IHRFG, provides an important snapshot of the field using the most recent data available. Over time, this annual series of analyses will illuminate trends in human rights grantmaking and serve as a valuable collection of knowledge.