Investing in a future that is
equal for all.
Protecting and Advancing Human Rights
We are committed to enhancing the human rights movement and broadening it to include U.S. social justice work in the areas of peace and justice, environmental and gender justice. We are interested in supporting innovative and effective work that emphasizes strategies that incorporate the interconnections between issues and lead to real social change.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights still anchors and guides our work.
Our Program Areas
Social Justice & Drug Policy
We fund with an emphasis on:
Government accountability, specifically addressing detention standards, secret criminal proceedings and illegal monitoring, and the concentration of executive branch authority.
Human rights field-building to support the development of a global human rights movement through:
1) the use of a human rights framework to advance specific policy goals and
2) human rights education and training.
Fair Application of the Law will continue to support due process and immigration and economic justice.
Drug policy reform efforts promoting legalization and decriminalization, including addressing racial disparities in arrest and incarceration rates, and promoting research and applications for medical use of Schedule I drugs.
“The Libra Foundation was one of the first funders of The Opportunity Agenda, and has been a stalwart supporter of our human rights, criminal justice, and drug policy work. Along with that commitment, I’ve most valued the opportunity to connect and learn from a diverse community of Libra grantees coming at these and other issues from different perspectives, and offering different solutions.”
Alan Jenkins, Executive Director
“The Libra Foundation has been one of our greatest and most visionary allies for more than a decade. They were ahead of the philanthropic curve in naming drug policy reform as a human rights issue and have played a pivotal role in building our movement into the powerful, innovative, and impactful force for justice that it now is.”
Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, Executive Director
We are helping organizations mitigate the impacts of climate change, while also addressing the human rights and social justice issues that all too often intersect with this cause.
“The Libra Foundation uniquely understands, and shares, our pursuit to challenge corporate power, demand legal accountability and make change at the intersection of human rights and environmental justice. Their support, flexibility, and responsiveness have enabled us to apply innovation and compassion in addressing the local, human face of global threats from such as climate change.”
Katie Redford, Co-Founder and Director
“The Libra Foundation has shown deep commitment to Just Transition by supporting the vision and wisdom of frontline communities most impacted by climate change and their community-led solutions to the climate crisis. We have great respect and appreciation for the leadership the foundation has shown in organizing among their philanthropic peers to acknowledge and take on the challenge of philanthropy’s role and responsibility to participate in the shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy.“
Angela Adrar, Executive Director
We believe in supporting organizations that are led by and for the communities most impacted by gender-based structural oppression, including women and girls, and queer, gender nonconforming, and trans individuals.
We prioritize organizations that use movement-building, organizing, advocacy and culture change at the intersections of multiple forms of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, class, gender identity, sexuality, etc. to achieve gender justice for all.
“Being a grantee of The Libra Foundation positions URGE within an evolving cohort of some of the more progressive organizations in the U.S. It’s validating to have our work recognized as both radical AND effective.”
Kierra Johnson, Executive Director
“The Libra Foundation’s investment in the ACLU of Illinois has substantially increased our capacity to expand access to reproductive health care, fight insidious restrictions to abortion access, and reform our state’s broken, racially discriminatory criminal justice system. It would not be possible to take on such complex, systemic issues without this partnership.”
Colleen Connell, Executive Director
Funding Change Agents
The Foundation seeks to support organizations and programs that are working to incorporate human rights into their work or that provide training, research and technical assistance for other organizations that utilize human rights in their activism.
We are interested in supporting organizations that are engaged in systems change incorporating one or more of the following strategies:
- Public policy reform
- Impact litigation and related legal strategies
- Utilizing new media and communications strategies for social change
The Foundation seeks to support organizations that are engaged in strategic analysis and action. We support organizations that are committed to the following:
- Democratic conditions and practices
- Global partnerships
- Strategic planning
- Understanding power relationships
- Using a gender lens
The Foundation awards grants typically ranging from $30,000 – $300,000, with new grantees falling in the lower range. While The Foundation views its grantees as long-term partners, multi-year funding will be decided on a case-by-case basis as part of the proposal review process.
The Libra Foundation provides the following types of grants:
- General Operating
- Project or Program
- Capacity Building and Technical Assistance
The Libra Foundation does not fund:
- Fundraising events (including tickets to events)
- Campaigns to elect candidates for political office
- Grants to individuals and/or private foundations
- Organizations that are heavily supported by the government (except for specific advocacy or public policy projects of interest)
- Capital fund drives or campaigns
- Debt reduction
- International organizations not registered in the U.S.
- International work that focuses on a single country or small set of countries
- Programs to promote religious activities
- Government agencies
- University/college programs which must contribute a predetermined percentage of each grant to institutional overhead