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.


George Floyd protests in Columbus, Ohio (Photo: Paul Becker/Wikimedia)
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.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth microbiologist Kerry Pollard performs a manual extraction of the coronavirus inside the extraction lab at the Pennsylvania Department of Health Bureau of Laboratories on Friday, March 6, 2020. (Photo: Office of Tom Wolf/Flickr)
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.

UNSR meeting with civil society and human rights defenders on Asia issues in March 2019 (Photo: Jeff Vize)
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.

Hands holding money with a seedling growing - symbolizes a new investment (Photo: 401(K) 2012/Wikipedia)
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.

Pile of cryptocurrency coins including Bitcoin, Monero, ZCash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and Dash. (Photo: QuoteInspector/Flickr)
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

Threats to Artistic Freedom in Uganda

National ballet dancers perform at the Rwanda Uganda Business Forum Dinner - Kigali, 11 October 2013 (Paul Kagame/Flickr)
Uganda's recent Stage Play and Public Entertainment Rules threaten to stifle the creative arts by ... Read More

Digital Fundraising in Kyrgyzstan

Digital Fundraising in Kyrgyzstan
In Kyrgyzstan, civil society organizations have several options for digital fundraising, including websites, SMS, crowdfunding ... Read More

General Comment 37: A Short Guide for Civil Society

Women demonstrate for labor rights in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (photo credit: Jeff Vize)
This tool offers detailed guidance for civil society organizations on using General Comment 37 to ... Read More

Digital Fundraising in Kazakhstan

Assorted coins (photo credit: Steve Johnson/Unsplash)
New technologies and internet resources provide civil society organizations with numerous opportunities for fundraising. In ... Read More

Restricting Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets, and Other Less Lethal Weapons

Police mace demonstrators outside the Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct building in North Minneapolis on November 18, 2015. (Tony Webster/Wikimedia)
In response to nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, ... Read More

Climate of Fear: Hong Kong’s New Security Law

Protesters in Hong Kong getting arrested by police, July 2020. (Photo: Studio Incendo/Wikimedia)
The passage of Hong Kong’s new National Security Law threatens to upend civic freedoms and ... 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.

ICNL's Digital Legal Library - landing page button

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.

ICNL's Philanthropy Law Reports - landing page button

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.

ICNL's U.S. Protest Law Tracker - landing page button

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.