National Security and Human Rights Campaign

The Open Society National Security and Human Rights Campaign provides grants to U.S.-based organizations working to promote progressive national security policies that respect human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law. The campaign prioritizes promoting new thinking, engaging new voices and constituencies, and strengthening capacity of and collaboration among organizations engaged in national security issues.

Eligibility Criteria

The National Security and Human Rights Campaign will consider letters of inquiry from 501(c)(3) organizations such as advocacy groups, community groups, and scholarly or research institutions.

The campaign provides funding for projects that address one or more of the above policy goals through at least one of the following strategies:

  • Policy advocacy
  • Grassroots organizing and field building
  • Mobilization of new voices and constituencies
  • Scholarship and research
  • Communications
  • Litigation
Ineligibility Criteria

The campaign does NOT provide funding for:

  • Programs or direct services
  • Lobbying activities
  • Start-up costs or seed monies
  • Annual fundraising drives
  • Projects undertaken by individuals
  • General support (for first-time grantees)
  • Capital costs, including equipment or real estate purchases/renovations
Purpose and Priorities

The campaign’s grantmaking supports efforts to advance the following five policy goals:

  • In the case of terrorism suspects, ending indefinite detention, torture, and extraordinary rendition; ensuring fair trials; and maintaining the availability of Article III courts as a forum for criminal trials;
  • Reforming surveillance policies and practices at the federal, state, and local levels to restore personal privacy; and protecting the right to dissent;
  • Challenging the profiling of and discrimination against, and building the voices of, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian individuals and communities in the United States;
  • In matters of national security, curbing excessive government secrecy and expanding government oversight; and holding government officials and private actors to account for abuses committed in the name of national security; and
  • Promoting national security and counterterrorism policies that respect human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law.
Guidelines

To be considered for funding, applicants who meet the criteria should email a complete letter of inquiry to NSHR.grants@opensocietyfoundations.org.

Letters of inquiry should be 1–3 pages in length (not including project and organizational budgets). Please do not submit supporting materials, such as brochures, press clips, newsletters, or annual reports. Incomplete inquiries and inquiries by telephone, mail, or fax will not be considered.

All letters of inquiry must include:

  • Full contact information for the principal project contact, including mailing address, phone, fax, and email address
  • Description of the organization that will undertake the proposed project
  • Description of the project for which funds are sought, including a specific description of how the project’s goals will be achieved
  • Preliminary project budget and amount requested (there is no minimum or maximum request)
  • Current organizational budget
  • Most recent IRS determination letter

There is no deadline; letters are accepted on a rolling basis.