New Website Captures the Global Human Rights Funding Landscape

New York, NY -- July 17, 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.

"Grantmakers, advocates, and others working to advance human rights need to understand and learn from existing funding flows, especially in light of limited resources and the immense challenges we face," said Christen Dobson, program director for research and policy at the International Human Rights Funders Group. "Better data on the state of human rights funding can facilitate strategic and coordinated grantmaking, help activists and NGOs leverage additional support to sustain their work, and ensure that those new to the field have an accessible introduction to the funding landscape."

The partnership between Foundation Center and IHRFG is the first-ever effort to track and analyze the evolving state of global human rights philanthropy. The multi-year initiative is strengthened by collaboration with Ariadne - European Funders for Social Change and Human Rights and the International Network of Women's Funds. Such efforts align with Foundation Center's stated priorities to empower donors with the knowledge tools they need to be strategic and to communicate philanthropy's contribution to making a better world. This initiative is supported by the Ford Foundation, Humanity United, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Oak Foundation, and the Levi Strauss Foundation.

The Advancing Human Rights: Update on Global Foundation Grantmaking report and the interactive website can be accessed for free at:


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About Foundation Center
Established in 1956, Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants -- a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit Foundation Center's web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 470 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit or call (212) 620-4230.

About the International Human Rights Funders Group
The International Human Rights Funders Group (IHRFG) is a global network of donors and grantmakers committed to advancing human rights around the world through effective philanthropy. IHRFG's overarching goal is to assist funders in strengthening the impact and strategic effectiveness of their human rights grantmaking. To achieve this goal, IHRFG aims to: cultivate thought leadership on strategic human rights grantmaking and future directions for the human rights movement; build stronger and expanded learning, peer education, and community among funders; develop a funder network more truly global in participation, perspective and linkages; broaden opportunities for IHRFG members to engage in key efforts to shape relevant public policies; widen understanding of human rights in the philanthropic community and, ultimately; and expand overall funding for human rights. For more information, please visit or call (646) 381-7581.

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