FoRB 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 Freedom of Religion and Belief in Action Fund (FoRB Action Fund) to provide small grants to local organizations around the world working to promote and defend the human rights of communities persecuted for their religion, belief or non-belief. 

The FoRB Action Fund is dedicated to achieving:

  1. Social Inclusion and Community Resilience

  2. Legal and Policy Reform Implementation

  3. Media Attention to FoRB Issues

These three objectives set the criteria for funding decisions, including the nomination and selection of organizations led by and for communities facing discrimination for their religious belief or non-belief. There is an annual round of funding limited to organizations nominated by US embassies across a chosen geographic region. Grants range from $25,000 to $50,000 and are complemented by technical assistance tailored for each partner. To date, the FoRB Action Fund has supported 13 organizations in nine countries. 

The FoRB Action Fund requires an invitation to apply.  US Embassies nominate groups once specific countries are selected for each annual round of funding. 

NDI is currently accepting nominations of organizations working to promote and defend the human rights of communities persecuted for their religion, belief or non-belief in the following countries: 

Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Gaza, Georgia, Ghana, Hungary, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Philippines, Poland, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Uzbekistan, West Bank

NDI is not accepting nominations from other countries at this time.

Organizations interested in being nominated should contact local embassy staff. Organizations are not able to nominate themselves directly. The deadline for embassies to submit nominations is Friday, December 16, 2022.


Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Who is eligible to apply to the FoRB Action 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. Organizations applying for funds must have 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 FoRB Action 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 Freedom of Religion and Belief in Action Fund, please email: [email protected]

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