ICNL provides up-to-date, freely accessible information about issues shaping the legal environment for civil society, philanthropy, and public participation. To facilitate knowledge sharing in this dynamic field, we maintain a large and diverse collection of resources. Our international staff and network of experts produce innovative research and legal analysis. Additionally, we curate collections of the best resources available on issues affecting civic space worldwide. We publish reports and data on topics relevant to civil society, from our U.S. Protest Law Tracker to our Civic Freedom Monitor. We invite you to explore our full collection of resources below.


Reforms Introduced to Protect the Freedom of Assembly

In the wake of complaints about law enforcement’s response to the George Floyd protests, local, state, and the federal government have proposed reforms to better protect the freedom of assembly. These reforms are not necessarily best practices and in some cases could be further strengthened, but they represent important efforts to better protect assembly rights. Visit our resource page here.

Coronavirus and Civic Space

We’ve analyzed over 300 measures in the COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker. Many of the measures adopted in response to the pandemic restrict fundamental rights. In our new publication, we summarize the top 9 trends affecting civic space. However, many governments have demonstrated that it is possible to safeguard rights while also protecting public health. In this companion piece, we share “good practices” and governmental measures that successfully do both. Learn more about coronavirus and civic space here, and visit our COVID-19 and Civic Freedom Tracker here.

The Law Affecting Civil Society in Asia

Our newly updated report is an overview of the regulatory environment affecting civil society across Asia, focusing on a number of countries and key themes. It highlights regulatory trends impacting civil society throughout the region. Topics include registration, termination, state supervision, legal treatment of foreign organization, and rules related to funding sources, including cross-border philanthropy and economic activities. Read the full report here.

Fundraising Principles

The Fundraising Principles report provides a global overview of current trends in fundraising regulation and self-regulation. The report offers principles and recommendations addressing seven key areas based on international and regional standards and country practices. It aims to support advocacy efforts to create an enabling environment for fundraising around the globe. ECNL and ICNL developed the Fundraising Principles with the support of a group of key experts on fundraising. Learn more on ECNL’s website.

Virtual Currency Donations

This report, assembled by the Blockchain Trust Accelerator at New America with the support of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, assesses opportunities and obstacles in charitable donations of virtual currencies. It aims to bring civil society organizations, virtual currency donors, and policymakers up to speed on emerging trends. The report examines a fundamental question: Can a civil society organization accept donations in virtual currencies—and, if so, how? To answer this, an interdisciplinary team of public policy scholars, nonprofit experts, and attorneys created an international survey of how different jurisdictions are regulating virtual currency donations. The results cover ten countries across five different continents. Read the full report here.

All Resources

Analysis of Counter-Extremism and Anti-Nazism Laws in Belarus

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ICNL analysis of the laws of the Republic of Belarus on countering extremism and prevention ... Read More

Protecting Civic Space for Climate Activists

Young climate activists protesting with sign. Sign text: "There is no planet B" (photo credit:
This briefer ECNL and ICNL briefer presents key findings and recommendations from the UNSR report on ... Read More

Opening Civic Space Through the Open Government Partnership in Kenya

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This ICNL toolkit designed to provide information on the Open Government Partnership (OGP) for civil ... Read More

FATF Standards and Their Misuse in Africa

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania city sky view (photo credit:
This ECNL and ICNL briefer, gives an introduction to FATF, why its standards matter for ... Read More

What Can Donor Countries Do to Expand Civic Space?

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This OECD Recommendation identifies key principles that donor governments should follow to respect, protect, and ... Read More

Assessing Civil Society Engagement in the EITI Process

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ICNL guide for how civil society partners can provide inputs into the Extractives Industries Transparency ... Read More

Resource Collections

Civic Space 2040

How can we proactively shape the trends transforming our future? How can we protect and expand civic space in the process? The Civic Space 2040 initiative helps answer these questions by crafting a positive vision for the future and strategies to make it a reality.

Digital Legal Library

This database of key materials includes domestic and international laws, reports, treaties, and court decisions affecting civil society. It houses nearly 4,000 documents from 200 countries and several autonomous territories, written in more than 60 languages.

Philanthropy Law Reports

These reports provide in-depth information on nine countries, including China, Ethiopia, and India. They serve as practical guides for the philanthropic sector and larger nonprofit world. The reports were written by local experts and ICNL staff and were made possible by the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

U.S. Protest Law Tracker

Since November 2016, thirty-five states have considered one hundred bills that would restrict the right to protest. The U.S. Protest Law Tracker follows initiatives at state and federal levels that restrict the right to protest and freedom of assembly.

Civic Freedom Monitor

The Civic Freedom Monitor provides up-to-date information on civil society law in more than fifty countries and eight multilateral organizations. ICNL works alongside our global network of partners to monitor developments related to civic space.

Global Grantmaking Country Notes

In partnership with the Council on Foundations, ICNL maintains reports on thirty-four countries that help U.S grantmakers undertake equivalency determinations for foreign grantees. The reports in this series describe the legal frameworks for nonprofit organizations and provide translations of relevant legislative provisions.

Global Trends in NGO Law

Global Trends in NGO Law is ICNL’s periodic review of legal trends affecting civil society around the world. Each issue examines key developments and legal and regulatory issues affecting non-governmental organizations.

Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index

The index, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development for twenty years, documents the development of civil society in seventy-one countries of Asia, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, North Africa, and the Middle East. ICNL and FHI 360 work with local partners to produce the index annually.

International Journal of Not-For-Profit Law

IJNL is ICNL’s journal on global civil society, which was published from 1998 to 2017.Each issue has a thematic focus and features contributions from prominent international experts. The articles cover legal issues as well as social, cultural, political, and economic trends affecting the legal environment for civil society. IJNLwas the first publication of its kind to cover the evolving worldwide conversation about civil society.