International Human Rights Funders Group

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The International Human Rights Funders Group (IHRFG) "is an association of grantmakers devoted to supporting efforts to achieve the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the treaties and laws it has generated so that all people may enjoy a truly and fully human existence.

"The IHRFG began in 1994 as a group of U.S. foundations with "International Human Rights" programs that addressed human rights issues in other parts of the world. Reflecting important advances in the field of human rights, the Group no longer treats human rights as a matter "out there" but rather recognizes the value of human rights work even in the U.S. Now it is IHRFG itself that is international, with members in Canada, Europe and the global South." [1]

"At its January 2001 meeting, the International Human Rights Funders Group, a philanthropic association (affinity group) representing over eighty foundations and donors, created a committee to address the urgent need for resources for small human rights organizations worldwide. The committee developed a concept for the creation of an intermediary that would link funders with organizations in need of support. The concept was overwhelmingly endorsed by IHRFG at its July 2001 meeting and led to the creation of the Fund for Global Human Rights in 2002 with $1.6 million in initial seed money from Oak Foundation, Ruben and Elisabeth Rausing Trust, Moriah Fund, Ford Foundation, Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, The Philanthropic Collaborative, Anonymous, Open Society Institute, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Diamondston Foundation, and Global Greengrants, and two individuals.

"By establishing the Fund for Global Human Rights, they sought to create opportunities for new funding and the exchange of ideas, strategies and mutual support among otherwise isolated human rights groups. Since grantmaking began in 2003, the Fund has disbursed over $4 million to over 140 human rights organizations in five regions of the world, $2 million of which was disbursed in 2005." [2]

"In 2005, IHRFG relocated to the offices of Wellspring Advisors in New York City. Andrew Park, a Program Director at Wellspring, assumed the role of IHRFG coordinator. In 2009, as the organization expanded to a staff of five, Michael Hirschhorn assumed the position of Executive Director of IHRFG. In his capacity as board chair of IHRFG-member The Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, Michael has served on IHRFG’s steering committee since 2002. In late 2009, IHRFG moved to its current location, within the offices of its fiscal sponsor, Public Interest Projects in New York." [1]

International Human Rights Funders Group: Funders Directory



Steering Committee


Resources and articles

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  1. History, IHRFG, accessed December 9, 2010.