Libra Foundation: Grants for Human Rights

OVERVIEW: The Libra Foundation supports human rights work that fosters systemic change, often backing efforts that involve policy reform, coalition building, and legal strategies.

IP TAKE: Libra is a proactive grantmaker that seeks new grantseekers just entering human rights philanthropy. 

PROFILE: Established in 2002, the Libra Foundation is “[c]ommitted to enhancing the human rights movement by supporting innovative and effective work that will lead to real social change.” The foundation names three related funding priorities, including women’s rights, environmental justice and social justice and drug reform policy. In 2003, the foundation adopted a new strategy intended to broaden the traditional "[d]efinition of human rights to include U.S. social justice work." Understanding and recognizing the “[v]alue of learning from our global partners,” Libra concentrates about half of its grantmaking in the states of California and Illinois, while the other half is dedicated to U.S.-based organizations working internationally. Grantmaking programs include Social Justice and Drug Policy, Environmental Justice, Women’s Rights, and Funding Change Agents.

According to its site, Libra's grantees range from organizations "[w]ith deep experience in human rights, such as Amnesty International, [...] to organizations just beginning to integrate a human rights framework, such as the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs and the Rex Foundation." 

Libra grants range from $30,000 to $200,000. To gain a more in-depth grasp of Libra's grantmaking, refer to its comprehensive list of grantees, which includes information on both the foundation's general and board directed grants. Libra does not accept unsolicited proposals or letters of inquiry.


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