Freedom House: Grants for Human Rights

OVERVIEW: Freedom House offers emergency assistance to frontline human rights defenders, activists, civil society organizations, survivors of religious persecution, and defenders of religious freedom.

IP TAKE: Grantseekers may apply for a Freedom House grant at any time.

PROFILE: Founded in 1941, Freedom House is “an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world,” and was “the first American organization to champion the advancement of freedom globally.”

Freedom House advocates for the collaboration of like-minded global leaders opposing dictatorships, totalitarian regimes, and oppression. In addition, this funder supports human rights defenders and civic activists facing work-related persecution. While Freedom House operates programs of its own, it also offers emergency funding programs aimed at assisting frontline human rights defenders, activists, civil society organizations, and survivors of religious persecution in more than 100 countries and territories around the world.

Freedom House offers emergency financial assistance to civil society organizations (CSOs) that are being threatened or attacked. Grants are awarded through its Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund, Frontline Activists program, and Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance program.

Grants typically range from $50,000 to $150,000. Freedom House does not individually list the names of its emergency assistance grantees. This is common practice to protect the identities of human rights defenders and preserve the safety of its grantees and their organizations. Examples of non-emergency grantees are the International Refugee Rights Initiative and CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation.

Freedom House accepts unsolicited emergency assistance grant applications and requests for funding. Grantseekers should direct their inquiries to


  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)