Sparkplug Foundation: Grants for Human Rights

OVERVIEW: The Sparkplug Foundation funds an array of human rights groups in the United States, Israel and Palestine.

IP TAKE: This is an approachable funder that offers modest grants, making it a strong resource for smaller organizations that can accomplish much with little. 

PROFILE: The Sparkplug Foundation is a family organization that “funds start-up organizations and new projects of established organizations. The foundation seeks to "support the development of emerging democratic movements and communities working on issues of local democracy, justice and sustainable energy in the rebuilding of the U.S. and global economies."

Sparkplug's human rights grantmaking tends to support a broad range of projects led by organizations located in the United States, Israel and Palestine. Grants range from $2,500 to $15,000, and may be available for multiple years to rights groups Past grantees include 7amleh, which received funding for its training workshops in Israel and occupied Palestinian territories involving social media and collectively addressing human rights abuses. The New York-based organization Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice is also a past grantee, which received funding for its work assessing the needs of the Nepali community in the United States.

Sparkplug's grants may cover organization-building materials, training/recruiting expenses, long-lasting items "that you only need to buy once, but that can really advance your work," and operating expenses. To get a broader sense of the types of organizations Sparkplug supports and at what level, explore its grants database

As an aside, the foundation offers emergency funding of up to $5,000 for past grantees or at the board’s invitation. Emergency grants are available for education and community organizing.

Sparkplug accepts unsolicited grant applications and runs two grant cycles each year, one in spring and one in fall. For the spring cycle, letters of intent must be submitted by April 17 and completed applications by May 5. Deadlines for the fall cycle are posted later in the year, typically around the first week of June.

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