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 $357 million in giving represented (a fraction of the roughly $2.7 billion foundations provided in 2014 focused on human rights), they are contributing to big changes—from tackling international piracy to building an underground railroad for women escaping ISIS. We’ve again 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: Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montana Tlachinollan
The field of peace and security funding is incredibly diverse, both in terms of areas of focus and types of funders.
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. As illustrated by the sample grants in the website and report, the range of activities within this spectrum is wide—from preventing atrocities to training “citizen reporters” in Burundi to more policy-oriented work, such as a project on U.S. drone policy. In addition to working on a variety of issues, funders in this field vary in type, regional focus, and average grant size.
Photo Credit: Bernard and Sandra Otterman Foundation
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. Nearly one-third of the grants we analyzed were included in one of the three “Other” categories, often due to a lack of specificity in the grant description. Providing additional detail would benefit the entire field and enable more in-depth analyses in the future.
Photo Credit: United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
General support accounts for a modest proportion of peace and security giving, roughly consistent with overall foundation giving.
Peace and security funders provided just 16 percent of their grant dollars through general support, slightly less than the 17 percent provided by U.S. foundations overall. Over one-third (37 percent) of the 290 peace and security funders included in this analysis made at least one general support grant in 2014, roughly the same as in 2013.
Photo Credit: GHR Foundation
Peace and security funders dedicate a high proportion of funding to policy and advocacy, and research and evaluation.
While funders support a full range of strategies, the majority of funding in the space employs policy work and research and evaluation as a strategic approach. Peace and security funders are almost twice as likely than other grantmakers to fund policy and advocacy strategies, which suggests that funders believe policy levers are particularly important for effecting change in this space. Supporting research also remains a top priority. Seventeen percent of grant dollars awarded in 2014 funded research and evaluation, often to bridge the gap between the academic and policy worlds on topics such as cyber-security, applying local knowledge in peacebuilding, and foreign relations.
Photo Credit: Legacies of War