How does the trends methodology differ from our annual analyses?

We have analyzed what foundations have funded each year for 2010 to 2015. Having multiple years of data under our belt has allowed us to produce our first analysis of human rights funding trends over time to gain insights into shifts in the field. Our methodology for the trends analysis differs from our annual analyses in important ways.

Our annual analyses of funding for 2011 through 2015 included data from 1,193 funders. However, many of these funders did not participate in the research for each individual year. Consequently, the figures in our 2011-2015 trends analysis represent funding from a subset of funders: the 561 foundations that reported at least one human rights grant each year. The funding totals for the trends analysis are therefore less than the total you'd get if you add all five years of human rights funding together, since the figures for each individual year reflect the data from all funders for that year.

We have also tweaked our search criteria over the course of the project, in an ongoing effort to improve accuracy and reflect learning in the field. The criteria used to identify human rights grants has therefore varied slightly from year to year. In the trends analysis, to ensure consistency, we applied the most current criteria to each year of data from 2011 to 2015.