Baring Foundation: Grants for Human Rights

OVERVIEW: The Baring Foundation centers its human rights grantmaking on advocacy for rights of LGBTI communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

IP TAKE: Baring is big on strengthening and building the capacity of civil society organizations. This funder may be best suited for local and grassroots LGBTI rights groups rather than large international organizations.

PROFILE: The UK-based Baring Foundation has been around since 1969, operating as the philanthropic arm of Barings Bank. In 1995, the bank collapsed and the foundation became an independent entity through the use of an endowment. Baring has focuses its grantmaking through three main programs: Arts, International Development and Strengthening the Voluntary Sector. Human rights grants, however, are awarded through its International Development program. In 2015 the foundation launched a new subprogram to “[a]ddress discrimination and disadvantage based on gender, sexual orientation or gender identity in sub-Saharan Africa.” Overall, Baring takes a big-picture approach to discrimination, noting that not only does the act violate basic human rights, but it also works against broader global development goals. 

Baring grants range from £3,500 to about £170,000. With the exception of its inaugural grants to UHAI and the Other Foundation, Baring’s International Development program grants tend to be more modest, from £1,000 to £5,000.

The foundation does not accept unsolicited requests for funding or grant applications. Occasionally, the foundation holds an open call for applications. Grantseekers should keep an eye on the foundation’s website for announcements on open calls.


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