General Service Foundation: Grants for Human Rights

OVERVIEW: The General Service Foundation’s international rights grantmaking is squarely focused on Mexico.

IP TAKE: The General Service Foundation likes to invest in emerging organizations fighting for human rights and social justice in Mexico.

PROFILE: Since its inception in 1946 by Clifton and Margaret Musser, the General Service Foundation (GSF) has sought to help the world transform into one that is more “just and sustainable.” Initially, the foundation focused on the pervasive social problems of the times. In the 1960s, the foundation decided to include reproductive rights, environmental concerns, and peace to its grantmaking priorities.

GSF concentrates its international rights grantmaking on Mexico. Grants are awarded through its Human Rights & Economic Justice program, which also supports U.S.-based rights groups. Although Mexico is not amongst the countries with the worst human rights violations, the U.N. High Commission has said, “The amount of misery is impossible to comprehend.” 

GSF does not award many grants that human rights work in Mexico, but seeks "[n]ational organizations that are deeply rooted in grassroots communities and local action.” Therefore, the foundation prioritizes grassroots organizations.

The foundation accepts letters of inquiry until August 1; fall proposals are due October 1, and spring proposals due March 1. Recipients are notified in November for fall proposals, and in May for spring proposals.Grant amounts can be relatively substantial, generally ranging from $15,000 to $70,000.


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