In the year since we launched the first Peace and Security Funding Index, elections around the world brought authoritarian populist leaders and governments to power, the United States and Europe saw an increase in hate crimes, and violent conflict continued to affect civilians across the globe. Within this dynamic global context, we see both new threats to peace and security emerging and long-term challenges persisting, like the protracted conflicts in Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Yet, people all over the globe continue to work to move towards a more peaceful world. In Colombia, a long-negotiated peace accord was signed with the potential to bring decades of conflict to an end. Around the world, even in countries with contentious elections, we saw the smooth and nonviolent transition of power that is the hallmark of functioning democracies. The hard work of peace goes on, and while it may take years to see progress, what we do know is that peace and security funders continue to support it. In 2014, the latest year complete data is available, 290 foundations supported over 1,800 organizations with $357 million.
The hundreds of millions of dollars granted every year in this sector are helping to prevent and mitigate conflict and build stable, resilient societies across the globe. Both in the report and on peaceandsecurityindex.org, we once again showcase stories of the incredible work peace and security funders support across a wide range of strategies, issues, and contexts. These stories, as well as the sample grants found throughout the Index, help bring the data to life. They also illustrate the long-term, evolutionary nature of peace and security work: though all of the stories found in the Index directly correspond to grants made in 2014, the work those grants supported remains relevant in 2017 and beyond. With the 2,773 grants they made in 2014, funders built coalitions, trained journalists, empowered grantees to tackle a variety of peace and security issues, and laid the groundwork for more recent funding and progress.
The 2017 Index tracks funding across 23 diverse issue areas, many of which overlap with other sectors, like climate, democracy-building, gender equality, and migration. The existence of peaceful, stable societies is critical to the success of other areas of work: children cannot be educated, health care clinics cannot provide services, and economic development projects will fail if people are experiencing violent conflict in their communities. In other words, peace and security funders are the “ground zero” of the philanthropic community: their work provides a foundation upon which other interventions can blossom and grow.
It is this interconnectedness with other issues that makes peace and security grantmaking ever more important. We hope that foundations, policymakers, and civil society organizations will use the 2017 Index to advocate for increased attention to this fundamental work so we can continue to move towards a more peaceful, secure world for everyone.
Alexandra I. Toma and Rachel LaForgia
Peace and Security Funders Group
The authors would like to thank the PSFG members who made up the Index advisory committee: Theo Kalionzes (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation), Lora Lumpe (Open Society Policy Center), Hope Lyons (Rockefeller Brothers Fund), Dini Merz (Colombe Foundation), and Noelle Pourrat (Carnegie Corporation of New York). We also thank Jen Bokoff, Foundation Center, for her insights and strategic direction on this project.
About the Peace and Security Funders Group
The Peace and Security Funders Group is a network of public, private, and family foundations, and individual philanthropists who make grants or expenditures that contribute to peace and global security. We maintain an informed, engaged and collegial community of funders, whose numbers and investments in the field are steadily increasing. We are dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of philanthropy that’s focused on peace and security issues. To this end, we facilitate the exchange of information and ideas; foster collaboration; and provide educational opportunities for our members. We also encourage new funders to join the field. Learn more at www.peaceandsecurity.org.
About Foundation Center
Established in 1956, Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit Foundation Center’s website each day and are served in its five library/learning centers and at more than 450 Funding Information Network locations nationwide and around the world. Learn more at www.foundationcenter.org.