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 do a lot with a little: with only $328 million dedicated to peace and security issues (a fraction of the roughly $2.8 billion foundations provided in 2016 focused on human rights), these funders are contributing to big changes. 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 in support of 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 promoting participatory governance in Burundi to more advocacy-based work, such as a campaign to reduce U.S. military spending. 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 quality of the Peace and Security Funding Index would be enhanced by more detailed grant descriptions.
Ultimately, the quality of the Index directly depends on the quality of the grants data that we’re able to collect. Peace and security funders can help us improve the Index by providing timely, detailed information about a grant’s objective, intended beneficiaries, strategies used, and the areas to which funds are targeted. 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.
Photo Credit: United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
General support accounts for a modest proportion of peace and security giving, and experienced a dip in 2016.
Peace and security funders provided 14 percent of funding in the form of general support, slightly lower than the 16 percent of general support provided by U.S. foundations overall in 2016. Over the five years of data collected for the Peace and Security Index, the proportion of general support funding has ranged from 14–20 percent.
Photo Credit: GHR Foundation
Policy and advocacy, as well as public education, are the leading strategies among peace and security funders.
While funders support a full range of strategies, policy work is the top strategic approach, representing 38 percent of all funding. Peace and security funders are almost twice as likely as other grantmakers to fund policy and advocacy, which suggests that funders believe policy levers are particularly important for effecting change in this space. In 2016, public education surpassed research and evaluation to become the second most-funded strategy. Eighteen percent of grant dollars awarded in 2016 funded public education efforts.
Photo Credit: Legacies of War