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Our Vision

We envision a peaceful future where rights are protected and upheld, the planet is cared for, and all people can live and love with dignity.

We believe in co-creating an ethical resourcing community that innovates with heart and shifts power and money in support of human rights.

We commit to transforming systems of oppression by uplifting voices from the Global South and East and those leading social change; centering racial justice; and celebrating all forms of justice, including at the intersections of race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, disability, climate, digital security, economic and migrant rights, and beyond.

Our Mission

We are a network of funders from the Global South, East, and North dedicated to resourcing human rights action around the world. We use research, community building, advocacy, and communications to advance open philanthropy, in which funding is abundant, justice-centered, open in knowledge and power, and informed by movements. We strive to create a field of funding that is accountable to progressive movements, unequivocally anti-racist, and responsive to intersecting forms of injustice.

Our Values

  1. Accountability: We believe funders must be accountable to one another, to movements, and to the planet. Our network is a place for mutual accountability, learning, and unlearning.
  2. Power Sharing: We promote new forms of decision-making in philanthropy and build collaborations based on trust. We strategize to move money and power to those leading social change.
  3. Movement Centering: We model and promote a funding field that meaningfully centers and uplifts organizers and their movements, particularly Black, Indigenous, and other historically oppressed communities.
  4. Open Knowledge: Open information, data, and knowledge are essential for innovation, participation, and impact. Philanthropy has operated behind closed doors for too long. It is time for substantial transformation.
  5. Racial Justice and Intersectionality: We strive to be justice-oriented, decolonial, and anti-racist, working at the intersections of multiple marginalized identities, as well as other living beings and nature.
  6. Collective Care: Care and wellness are political and matters of justice. We practice and uplift holistic protection, digital security, and the full range of care required to live with dignity.

HRFN STRATEGY: open philanthropy

Since our founding in 1994, HRFN has been a place for funders to take risks, debate, and push the field of philanthropy. In the wake of a global pandemic and world-wide uprisings, we’ve been called on to ask: What role can and should HRFN play to meet the moment? What is most needed to advance resourcing and support human rights globally?

Out of a year-long process, we crafted HRFN’s Strategy 2021-2025: Toward Open Philanthropy.

This strategy honors HRFN’s legacy while also embracing a future-looking approach. It crafts an HRFN that holds a sense of radical possibility at our core and works with joy and love.

Our new mission and vision reflect the input of members, advisors, and movements. Our strategic framework, open philanthropy, is an offering and a hope. Our work continues to bring hard-hitting analysis to inform and guide the field. And our priority areas hone our work, even as we ardently support all areas of human rights.

our STORY

For nearly 30 years, Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN) has brought funders together to collaborate, strategize, and advance the field of human rights grantmaking. Formerly known as the International Human Rights Funders Group (IHRFG), HRFN was founded in 1994 by a small group of human rights grantmakers who wanted to share their strategies and what they were learning, discuss field-wide trends, and collaborate.

Since our inception, our community has grown into a global network of almost 450 institutions across 70 countries committed to advancing human rights through open philanthropy. Our membership includes more than 1,800 staff, consultants, and trustees of private, corporate, and public foundations, community giving programs, women’s funds, and philanthropic advocacy and support organizations.

We are grateful for the leadership and dedication of those who have shaped HRFN’s vision and work, including coordinators, Anna Nygaard-Yelk, Mona Younis, and Andrew Park, and past executive directors:

  • Michael Hirschorn
  • Catherine Hyde Townsend
  • Mona Chun
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