Funding for human rights

Photo: allstars/Shutterstock (All rights reserved)

How do human rights groups worldwide mobilize the resources they need? 

Human rights work depends on the voluntary efforts and goodwill of activists, concerned citizens, and government personnel. Big transformative ideas, however, also need an organizational infrastructure, and that infrastructure requires resources to thrive. How do human rights groups around the world mobilize the money and other inputs they need? What impacts do these methods have on the work of human rights organizations, and on their relations with governments, the general public, and others?

Read our related articles on:

New business models for human rights & Local funding for Human Rights

 

 

 

 

 

Building communities to boost local fundraising

July 27, 2017
BY: Sadhana Shrestha
EspañolनेपालीFrançais

Fundraising should never just be about money—it must also be about raising ...

A levy in the African Union could be a step towards independence

June 14, 2017
BY: Amandine Rushenguziminega
Français

A new levy in the African Union could lead to more financial independence—but ...

Exploring new possibilities beyond foreign funding in Brazil

May 30, 2017
BY: Amanda Fazano
EspañolFrançaisPortuguês

Brazil has a potentially large philanthropy market, and social media may ...

Monetizing the human rights “brand”

May 4, 2017
BY: David Crow, José Kaire, James Ron
Español

Marketing research can help Mexican rights groups monetize their “brand” ...

Ordinary people will pay for rights. We asked them

February 15, 2017
BY: James Ron, José Kaire, David Crow
Español

New research suggests that if human rights organizations use evidence-based ...

From funding projects to funding struggles: Reimagining the role of donors

January 17, 2017
BY: Maina Kiai
Español

While donors partner with civil society to counter shrinking civic space, ...

Should funding agencies also share in the sacrifice of social change?

December 5, 2016
BY: Michael Edwards
EspañolFrançaisPortuguês

What standards of behavior should we expect from the leaders of foundations, ...

To preserve human rights, organizational models must change

November 28, 2016
BY: Edwin Rekosh
EspañolFrançais

The current human rights business model is not keeping up with trends ...

Fast and flexible support: ingredients to enrich LGBTI campaigning

November 4, 2016
BY: Laura Piazza

There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to campaigning for today’s LGBTI ...

Small grants can make big impacts

October 4, 2016
BY: Maria Amália Souza 
Português

Building a culture of philanthropy in the global South is a herculean ...

Fighting misconceptions and logistics to raise funds in Brazil

August 31, 2016
BY: Ana Valéria Araújo, Maíra Junqueira 
PortuguêsEspañol

Logistical issues and lack of awareness among Brazilians have created ...

The end of the grant era

August 24, 2016
BY: Ellen Sprenger
Español

Asking donors for money and then implementing programs is an old model ...

New approach to refugee protection must prioritize self-sufficiency

August 15, 2016
BY: Mallory Mroz

A new approach to refugee protection needs to draw on the principles of ...

Local funding is not always the answer

June 27, 2016
BY: Hussein Baoumi
Françaisالعربية

In some countries, relying on local funding gives human rights defenders ...

Cross-movement organizing in Mexico leads to new resources

June 21, 2016
BY: Jenny Barry
Español

Feminists and environmentalists are coming together in Mexico to form ...

Local funding is not just an option anymore—it’s an imperative

May 10, 2016
BY: Jenny Hodgson

As local rights groups seek alternative funding sources, the closing space ...

Old dogs and new tricks: rethinking human rights business models

May 3, 2016
BY: Edwin Rekosh

In this climate of closing space, we have an imperative to rethink the ...

For Amnesty’s India office, raising local funds is all about membership

April 28, 2016
BY: Aakar Patel
Españolالعربية

Amnesty International’s India hub focuses most of its fundraising efforts ...

Building community around women’s rights: feminist philanthropy in Serbia

March 11, 2016
BY: Zoe Gudovic
Español

Becoming agents of change for women’s rights in Serbian society requires ...

The duty to rescue: a new paradigm for refugee protection

March 7, 2016
BY: Jean-François Durieux
FrançaisEspañol

The refugee protection regime needs reform, but this requires new international ...

Rethinking progressive NGO funding in Israel

February 5, 2016
BY: Hillel Ben-Sasson
Español

Marked as traitors by the dominant Right for relying on foreign aid, Israeli ...

Sustainability through direct dialogue: a Latin American success story

February 3, 2016
BY: Mariela Puga, Luz Aquilante, Natalia Eberbach
Español

Building a culture of giving in Latin America takes creativity, persistence ...

Getting creative with local resource mobilization in Hong Kong

January 20, 2016
BY: Linda To
Français

To get funding amidst intense non-profit competition in Hong Kong, human ...

Insisting and resisting: women’s funds lead the way for local philanthropy

January 7, 2016
BY: Lucía Carrasco Scherer, Christen Dobson
EspañolFrançais

Women’s funds are gaining increasing recognition at the local and international ...

Mongolia’s economic crisis: an end to corporate social responsibility?

December 3, 2015
BY: Bolor Legjeem

Despite an economic crisis, some Mongolian companies still respond to ...

Can celebrities and fashion magazines in Mexico really influence social change?

November 25, 2015
BY: Jenny Barry
Español

Partnering with celebrities and seeking visibility is key to mobilizing ...

Can rights organizations use low-burden self-reflection for evaluation?

July 22, 2015
BY: Brian Root 
EspañolFrançaisالعربية

Human Rights Watch generally avoids burdensome evaluations; instead, we’re ...

Crushing dissent: NGOs under threat in India

July 15, 2015
BY: Seema Guha

Can NGOs and India’s political opposition stop Modi’s civil society clampdown?

When evaluating human rights progress, focus also on the journey

June 3, 2015
BY: Emma Naughton, Kevin Kelpin
EspañolFrançaisالعربية

Yes, human rights work must be measured, but we need to focus on the small ...

Government repression and bureaucratic hoops spell gloom for rights groups in Bangladesh

May 19, 2015
BY: Mubin S. Khan
বাংলা

Amidst tighter donor budgets for human rights, NGOs in Bangladesh are ...

Do-It-Yourself-Aid: alternative funding sources for rights work?

April 21, 2015
BY: Anne Meike Fetcher
Español

Is “Do-It-Yourself-Aid” the answer to funding rights work? Anne-Meike ...

Human rights and results-based management: adopting from a different world

April 7, 2015
BY: Vincent Ploton
EspañolFrançais

Human rights groups are understandably reluctant to use “results-based ...

Disputes over foreign funding in Israel mask much deeper issues

March 31, 2015
BY: Dimi Reider
العربيةעברית

If Israeli human rights groups are labeled fronts for foreign interests ...

Modi government cracks down on green NGOs

February 17, 2015
BY: Prafu Bidwai

India’s new Modi government trains its guns on environmental activists.

Beyond foreign funding – selling human rights in Africa

December 2, 2014
BY: Charles Kojo Vandyck 
EspañolFrançais

Human rights groups can survive in the current funding climate if they ...

Focusing on women and transgenders in LGBT rights

October 29, 2014
BY: Nicola Desouza

Nepal is the most open country in South Asia for LGBT rights, but even ...

A tax on texting? Getting creative with funding human rights in Africa

September 4, 2014
BY: Selemani Kinyunyu
Français

For too long, the African Union and its human rights bodies have depended ...

American Jews, money and the Israel-Palestine conflict

September 4, 2014
BY: Benjy Cannon
العربيةעברית

Although the American Jewish community spends relatively little on human ...

Pure hypocrisy: India’s fear of foreign funding for NGOs

August 29, 2014
BY: Medha Patkar

The Indian state aggressively promotes foreign investment in all sectors ...

In India, a pervasive paranoia blocks progress on human rights

June 29, 2014
BY: Lenin Raghuvanshi

NGOs working with untouchables and bonded labour face hostility from upper ...

As the world’s eyes turn to Brazil, local rights groups must seize the day

May 29, 2014
BY: Patricia Mendoca
Português

The world is watching as Brazil prepares for the World Cup and Olympics. ...

Turkey, the EU, and civil society: An incomplete revolution

March 25, 2014
BY: H. Selen Akçali Uzunhasan
Türkçe

Turkey’s campaign for EU membership has revolutionized funding for its ...

Funding for human rights: the BRAC experience

March 17, 2014
BY: Ian Smillie

Over four decades, BRAC has become one of the largest and most effective ...

In for a bumpy ride: international aid and the closing space for domestic NGOs

March 11, 2014
BY: Saskia Brechenmacher, Thomas Carothers
EspañolFrançaisالعربية

The global pushback against domestic NGOs has arrived. International donors ...

Kenyan rights groups under fire: are officials abusing the “Beijing Consensus”?

March 4, 2014
BY: Melaku Mulualem

Kenyan officials under International Criminal Court indictment seek caps ...

An alternative to international aid

February 25, 2014
BY: Nora Lester Murad
Españolעבריתالعربية

Nora Lester Murad describes a new alternative to international aid and ...

Exploring local possibilities for local rights

February 20, 2014
BY: Okeoma Ibe
Français

Designing and planning solutions to human rights problems from thousands ...

Brazil needs new public mechanisms and laws to fund human rights domestically

February 19, 2014
BY: Eduardo Pannunzio
Português

Human rights groups in the global South are dependent on international ...