Advancing Human Rights is the single most comprehensive analysis of human rights grantmaking around the world. For over a decade, we have mapped the scale and scope of philanthropic support for human rights across issues, regions, and movements. The research is led by HRFN and Candid, in collaboration with Ariadne–European Funders for Social Change and Human Rights and Prospera–International Network of Women’s Funds.
We offer a variety of tools to help you engage with the findings.
- Use our interactive research hub to explore funding over time by regions, issues, populations, and strategies.
- Dive into the grants database and mapping platform to see grant-level details and find peers.
- Follow our blog series where we showcase diverse perspectives to contextualize the numbers.
- Learn from our additional reports and analyses of the field of human rights funding.
- Join conversations to discuss the findings and their implications.
To share data, provide feedback, or discuss how to apply this research in your work, please contact us at AHR@hrfn.org.
What are human rights grants?
Human rights grants promote structural change to ensure the protection and enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent human rights treaties. We include any grant that meets this definition in our research, regardless of whether the funder considers their work to be human rights focused.
What elements do we track?
We review individual grants to understand facets like where the recipient is based and the location the funding is meant to benefit. Because marginalized groups often face additional barriers to accessing their rights, we explicitly track funding for nine populations to offer insights on funding trends for those communities.
We assign each grant to one of 27 human rights categories, grouped into 13 overarching issues. We also look at the strategies that each grant supports, like grassroots organizing or litigation, to better understand the approaches donors prioritize and fund.
How are people using the findings?
Our research helps funders and activists to better understand the funding landscape and influence the quality and size of resources focused on advancing human rights. We surveyed funders who have used our research and they told us the findings have helped them to:
- Increase their knowledge of the funding landscape (91%)
- Build their awareness about emerging or underfunded human rights issues (72%)
- Identify other funders working on their regions, issues, populations, or strategies (66%)
- Inform the strategic direction of their project, program, or organization (50%)
- Identify funding gaps and increase funding to those areas (42%)
- Find new partners or grantees in the field (41%)
Where do we get our grants data?
Our research aims to incorporate all human rights grants in a given year. To do so as comprehensively as possible, we collect grants lists from three networks of global human rights donors – HRFN, Ariadne, and Prospera – and review individual grants housed by Candid, a leading source of information about foundation funding. For 2019, the most current available year, we identified 761 foundations in 51 countries that gave $4.1 billion for human rights.
How can I contribute grants data?
Foundations can submit grants data using this template and should anonymize any identifying details that are too sensitive to be made public and could place grantees or communities at risk. If you use software from any of these providers to manage your grants, you can simply export your data to the template. Please email your most recent fiscal year grant details by June 30 each year to AHR@hrfn.org.