Peace and security funders are making important contributions to global peace and stability, despite only making up less than 1 percent of total foundation giving.
Peace and security funders have outsized impact: with only $283 million in giving represented (a fraction of the roughly $2 billion foundations provided in 2013 focused on human rights), they are contributing to big changes—from the Iran agreement to building peace in Sierra Leone. We’ve captured some of these stories in the Spotlights found on this website and in the report, but these are just a small sampling of the contributions funders and their grantees are making toward ensuring global peace and security.
Photo Credit: David Guttenfelder
The field of peace and security funding is incredibly diverse, both in terms of areas of focus and types of funders.
Peace and security funders support activities at all stages of the conflict spectrum. They work to prevent, mitigate and resolve conflict, as well as rebuild after conflict. As you can see from the sample grants illustrated in the website and report, the range of activities within this spectrum is incredibly wide. Peace and security funders are supporting everything from the distribution of food to Syrians displaced by the conflict to assessments of new American security partnerships in Asia. In addition to working on a variety of issues, funders in this field vary in type, regional focus, and average grant size.
Grantmaking around conflict prevention accounted for a very small proportion of overall dollars in peace and security.
As a strategy, prevention efforts only comprised 6 percent of peace and security funding. Peace and security funders made $6 million in grants for conflict prevention and only $260,000 on early warning mechanisms.
Photo Credit: Drew Altizer Photography
The Peace and Security Funding Index would be enhanced by more detailed grant descriptions.
Peace and security funders can improve the understanding of their giving by providing more detailed information of a grant’s purpose and objective in their reporting. In the report, a majority of the grants we analyzed were included in one of the five “Other” categories, often due to a lack of specificity in the grant description. For example, included in “Other–Stability” are grants to Seeds of Peace for “peace educator programs” and to the International Peace Institute for “general operating support.” Providing additional detail would benefit the entire field and enable more in-depth analyses in the future.
Photo Credit: Active Stills
Peace and security funders engage in a full range of strategies – from policy advocacy to research and evaluation.
While funders are active at every level of engagement, the majority of funding in the space employs policy work and research as a strategy. Peace and security funders are almost twice as likely than other grantmakers to fund policy and advocacy strategies, suggesting that peace and security funders believe being engaged with the policymaking process is a critical aspect of being effective in this area. Another priority for peace and security grantmakers is amassing the knowledge needed to better understanding how conflict happens in order to end it. Overall, one in five peace and security grant dollars (20 percent) awarded in 2013 funded research.