Trellis Charitable Fund: Grants for Human Rights

OVERVIEW: Trellis appears to favor large national and international organizations mounting widespread rights campaigns.

IP TAKE: With its preference for awarding general operating rather than project-specific grants, Trellis may be a good funder for rights groups to get to know.

PROFILE: Established in 1998, the D.C.-based Trellis Charitable Fund “[g]ives voice to the voiceless, exposes injustices, and advocates for change both here and abroad.” The fund seeks organizations that address some of the world's most complex human rights problems.

While its website does not distinguish which complex societal problems the foundation intends to address, recent tax filings reveal that the foundation tends to favor larger organizations that oversee widespread global rights campaigns. There seems to be a focus on women’s rights here, but the foundation does not name women as a specific beneficiary group in its grantmaking. In the past, Trellis has backed groups such as the Global Justice Center, the International Center for Research on Women, and the Center for Civilians in Conflict.

Trellis does not grant many awards per year, typically around 10; however, they are sizable and range from $25,000 and $100,000. The fund also prefers to award general operating support rather than project or program-specific grants. The fund does not have a formal, paid staff, nor does it accept unsolicited applications, letters of inquiry or requests for funding. This may make it a bit difficult for new grantseekers.


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