Isabel Allende Foundation: Grants for Human Rights

OVERVIEW: The Isabel Allende Foundation is a relatively small funder that supports organizations fighting for women’s reproductive rights, health, education, and protection from violence. Internationally, grants are restricted to Chile; however, the foundation occasionally funds projects outside its stated geographic priorities.

IP TAKE: While this foundation awards grants to large international rights organizations, it leans toward smaller, grassroots outfits.

PROFILE: Novelist Isabel Allende established her foundation in 1996 to memorialize her daughter Paula, who dedicated herself to human rights during her lifetime.  Based in Sausalito, California, the Isabel Allende Foundation is guided by Allende’s vision of “a world in which women have achieved social and economic justice.”

The foundation awards grants to organizations working in reproductive rights, healthcare and education through its Esperenza program. Nationally, the foundation limits its grantmaking to Californian organizations, while internationally, the foundation focuses its efforts on Chile. However, on occasion, the foundation supports grants beyond its stated geographic priorities.

According to the foundation, grants typically range from $1,000 to $10,000. However, tax filings reveal grantmaking in the $5,000 to $50,000 range, with occasional grants in the $60,000 to $80,000 range. Allende seeks both large international rights and local grassroots organizations. Larger organizations tend to receive larger awards. 

The foundation does not accept unsolicited grant requests or proposals, opting instead to seek compatible organizations whose work aligns with its mission.  

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