David and Elaine Potter Foundation: Grants for Human Rights

OVERVIEW: The David and Elaine Potter Foundation focuses human rights grantmaking on increased transparency, accountability, combatting corruption and promotion of good governance.

IP TAKE: Potter makes grants by invitation only, but will read email introductions from grantseekers. A word of caution: there are number of big-name rights groups that make its grants roster each year, so smaller or lesser known outfits may have a difficult time attracting the foundation's grantmaking attentions. 

OVERVIEW: Since 1999, U.K.-based David and Elaine Potter Foundation awards grants to organizations that support "[e]conomic development and well-being in a plural, rational and tolerant society." In the human rights space, the foundation funds groups that address “[q]uestions of power, inequality and lack of voice.”

The foundation’s Civil Society program focuses on increased transparency, accountability, combating corruption and the promotion of good governance. The foundation also has what it refers to as a “secondary focus” on “[c]ivil society organizations exploring new approaches in Africa.”

Potter also awards grants related to investigative journalism, citizenship and equality. The foundation does not specify particular equality issues, but tends to funds organizations working on a variety of rights matters. Although the foundation is not a traditional human rights funder, it does support several rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Global Witness, and Anti-Slavery International.

Awards through the Civil Society program grants range from about $10,000 to $50,000. The majority of rights-related grants are awarded to larger international groups, as demonstrated above. To get a broader understanding of the types of groups receiving Potter support, explore its grant recipients webpage. It does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding.


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