How do we track human rights funding from foundations?

We track human rights funding from foundations by collecting and analyzing their grants data. Each year we ask foundations in the HRFN, Ariadne, and Prospera networks to share their grants lists with us using this template as a guide, especially these details:

• grantee name and location
• grant total and time frame
• geographic area served (including countries and cities where possible)
• grant description (including the issues addressed, populations served, and funding strategies used)
• whether the grant is unrestricted support or project funding

Using coding and key words, we map the grants data that meet our definition of human rights grantmaking to the human rights issues, populations, and funding strategies we track. Much of the coding is done through an automated process, which we then review for accuracy. Some funders prefer to code their grants data themselves based on our research taxonomy – which we always appreciate!

Beyond our networks, the research also includes grants data collected by Candid from a set of the 1000 largest U.S. private and community foundations. Many of these funders may not consider themselves human rights grantmakers but funded one or more grants that meets our definition. This helps us build a more comprehensive picture of the human rights funding landscape.