Equal Rights in Action Fund

Democracy is more likely to develop and endure when all segments of a society are free to participate without suffering discrimination or reprisal. Recognizing the fundamental rights of all citizens, NDI has launched the Equal Rights in Action Fund (ERA Fund) to provide small grants to local organizations around the world who work to promote and defend the human rights of marginalized groups. Assistance provided through the ERA Fund is dedicated to achieving:
  1. Safe and Secure Environments
  2. Political Participation
  3. Empowered & Inclusive Movements & Organizations

These three objectives set the parameters of the Fund and its assistance to organizations led by and for different populations - including people with disabilities; ethnic and religious minorities; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) communities. 

To date, the ERA Fund has supported 58 organizations across 85 countries. In addition to financial resources, NDI provides ongoing technical assistance based on the particular needs and priorities of each grantee. These relationships are structured to ensure open and honest feedback that flows in both directions. 

Organizations may apply to the ERA Fund only by invitation. In order to receive an invitation, organizations must be nominated by staff at local US Embassies or NDI offices. For LGBTI grantmaking, local embassies of countries that participate in the Global Equality Fund may also nominate organizations.

The nominations period for the current round of grantmaking to disabled persons organizations (DPOs) has closed. NDI will be in touch directly with organizations that have been nominated to provide instructions on how to apply. NDI is not able to accept applications from organizations that were not nominated.

NDI will update this page when future rounds of funding are available.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Who is eligible to apply to the ERA Fund?

    • Qualified applicants must be non-U.S or Western Europe. based regional and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or private, non-profit organizations, professional associations, and relevant special interest associations or coalitions, or fiscally sponsored by such. Unaffiliated individuals will not be eligible to receive awards. Applicants should be doing work toward long-term social change by and for marginalized communities. Preference is given to organizations with a yearly budget of less than $500,000. 

  2. What is the average size of the awarded small grants?

    • Awards range in size from $20,000 to $50,000. 

  3. When is the ERA Fund accepting applications?

    • The application period for each round of grantmaking is determined on an annual basis. NDI will update this page to note when an application period is open.

For additional questions about the Equal Rights in Action Fund, please email: [email protected]

Copyright 2021 © - National Democratic Institute - All rights reserved