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Urgent Response Funding for Human Rights Defenders: 2023

Are you a human rights defender or activist looking for urgent protection or rapid response funding? Most nonprofit grants out there take at least 6–12 months from application to receipt of funding, and many donors won’t fund the types of costs that are essential for protecting and sustaining the people, communities and organisations who are at the forefront of defending human rights.

Here are some rapid response grants that are open on a rolling basis (no deadline).

CIVICUS Crisis Response Fund welcomes applications from formal or informal civil society actors and consortia, including social movements. Grants must be for a 3–6 month period. Amount: US$10,000 — US$20,000 for Advocacy Grants or Resiliency Grants.

The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund offers Emergency Assistance, Advocacy Grants and Resiliency Grants to CSOs under threat or who are responding to broader threats against civic space. Lifeline supports a variety of human rights CSOs, including human rights organizations, journalist associations, student groups, labor unions, think tanks, and others.

Front Line Defenders offers Protection Grants to improve the security and protection of human rights defenders and their organisations including medical, legal, physical/digital security, and family assistance. Amount: Max. €7,500.

The Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund provides rapid, flexible funding and direct logistical support to women human rights defenders from/working in crisis and conflict-affected areas, working at community, national, regional and/or international levels. For individuals they have an Advocacy Support Stream and a Safety Net Stream. supports organisations, human rights groups, or communities defending rights through small grants to develop innovative projects, strengthen your capacities, or to ensure your financial survival. Apply for grants for emergency support, temporary relocation, and human rights groups.

Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights’ Rapid Response Grants offer quick, flexible funding to respond to security threats or unexpected advocacy opportunities experienced by women, transgender, or gender non-conforming, activists and human rights defenders. Max. $8,000 for up to 3 months.

Dignity for All LGBTI Assistance Program provides human rights defenders and civil society organizations, who are facing threats due to LGBTQI+ human rights work, with small, short-term emergency financial support to address urgent needs. Send application inquiries to

Civil Rights Defenders’ Emergency Fund provides rapid assistance to human rights defenders in danger, including legal aid, living/housing support, temporary relocation, and security training or solutions. Contact

Know of any others? Please share them in the comments below or on the post on LinkedIn.

I am not affiliated with these funders and suggest you check the eligibility criteria and guidelines before applying.


This post was originally featured on Medium here. Victoria, one of our JBA alumni, accompanies and supports leaders of community-based organisations, movements, and NGOs to resource and deliver disruptive and power-shifting ideas.

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