Building community capacity to achieve the human rights of all persons with disabilities


Guide to Funding Sources for Women’s NGOs

Guide entitled “2007 Second Fundher Report: Financial Sustainability for Women’s Movement’s Worldwide” advises non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on where and how they can seek funding to promote women’s rights and to support women’s rights organizations. Not specific to disability organizations, but some funders may offer funding to projects or NGOs focused on the rights of women with disabilities. By Johanna Kerr, published by Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID).

Fund for Global Human Rights

Funds non-governmental organizations promoting human rights, including women’s rights and the rights of indigenous peoples. Focuses on organizations in South Asia, West Africa, African Great Lakes, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

World Bank’s Development Marketplace

Administered by the World Bank, the Development Marketplace (DM) is a competitive grant program for projects likely to have a strong impact on development with annual themes. A wide range of themes have been covered in past competitions including supporting innovations of and for people with disabilities.

Urgent Action Fund (UAF)—Africa

Provides small amounts of money in time-urgent situations to women’s rights groups throughout Africa. See sister fund Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights for more information.

Urgent Action Fund (UAF) for Women’s Human Rights

Provides time-sensitive funds to organizations in which women are the key decision makers. Makes grants to projects that respond to armed conflict, escalating violence, or politically volatile environments; promote potentially precedent-setting legal or legislative actions, or actions meant to protect a precedent that already has been set; or protects the security of women human rights defenders.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

USAID makes grants for projects promoting development in developing countries and typically works with large organizations. Organizations should contact the mission office in their country to inquire about small grants scheme, sometime under the US Ambassador or US Embassy. (See USAID Mission Directory to find country office.) It is usually easier to obtain USAID grants if your organization already has prior history working with USAID or can cooperate with an organization that has prior experience with USAID.

United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF)

This annual funding competition, usually held in November and December each year, seeks proposals for projects meant to strengthen the voice of civil society in various democratic processes.

Open Society Institute’s (OSI) Disability Rights Initiative (DRI)

Provides funding support for projects meant to promote ratification and implementation of the CRPD. Prioritizes efforts to promote the rights of people with intellectual and psycho-social disabilities but may consider other programs as well.

International Human Rights Funders Group (IHRFG)

This website is targeted at both funders and grant seekers in the field of human rights. Grant seekers can use the site to look for funding sources that will support human rights activities, under both the Funders’ Directory and the list of links. The Funders’ Directory may be used to search for likely funders by issue, geography, types of support, etc. Please carefully review the information before contacting prospective funders. Also offers links to various publications on a wide range of topics related to human rights, and links to reports on human rights abuses around the world.

Inter-American Foundation (IAF)

The IAF is an independent agency of the US government. It provides grants to non-governmental and community-based organizations in Latin America and Caribbean for innovative, sustainable, and participatory self-help programs. Its focus is on funding partnerships among grassroots organizations, businesses, and local governments meant to improve the quality of life for poor people.

Global Giving

Global Giving is a non-profit organization that helps connect grassroots projects in developing countries with individual small donors in other countries who wish to support them. Projects usually need to be sponsored by a Global Giving partner organization to be eligible. However, Global Giving also sometimes holds competitions in which anyone can submit projects to be considered.

Global Fund for Women (GFW)

Provides grants to women’s organizations, particularly those outside the United States committed to human rights. Their website is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Arabic.

Foundation Center

The US-based Foundation Center maintains a database on US grantmakers and online resources. Free and paid online training courses provides insights on fundraising planning, proposal budgeting basics, and proposal writing short course. The proposal writing short course describes how to prepare a funding proposal and is available in English, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP)

Offers funding support for advanced education for students who will use their training to become leaders and promote development and greater economic and social justice worldwide. The program actively seeks candidates from social groups and communities that lack systematic access to higher education. Many past fellows have had disabilities. Targeted countries include Ghana, India, Mexico, Peru, Uganda, and others.

Ford Foundation

Makes grants to support projects that reduce poverty and injustice and promote democratic values, international cooperation and human achievement.

Grantee Spotlight