Grants & Fellowships

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law works to build an enabling legal environment for civil society, philanthropy, and public participation around the world. Occasionally, we offer grants to civil society organizations and others working to promote and protect civic freedoms, as well as fellowships and internships at ICNL. See below for our current opportunities.

After gathering data on regulatory barriers to freedom of assembly affecting more than 100 gay pride marches in Brazil, Welton Trindade (second from left) concluded that “the study supported by ICNL shows that the solutions are right here in Brazil.” (Photo credit: ICNL)


The impact of restrictions on the non-profit sector: economic, development, & social harms resulting from closing civic space

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) seeks individuals or organizations to undertake research on specific impacts resulting from authoritarian and restrictive approaches to the non-profit sector, focused on the Indo-Pacific region. The proposed consultancy period is from July 31, 2024 through November 15, 2024. Applications are due July 15, 2024.

Scope of Research

Government restrictions limiting the legitimate activities of non-profit organizations (NPOs) can have broad repercussions, not only on individual organizations or the non-profit sector, but also on a country’s economic and social development. For example, laws that restrict cross-border philanthropy, such as India’s Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), have resulted in mass layoffs, while impeding the flow of humanitarian resources during the pandemic.

Other bureaucratic policies across the region, such as requiring every non-profit project to be approved by government officials, or subjecting non-profits to burdensome reporting and audit requirements, have impeded critical development and humanitarian work. In more extreme cases, restrictive policies (and sometimes targeted harassment) have resulted in NPOs shutting down entirely, with downstream impacts on the communities they serve.

ICNL seeks to document the economic, development, and humanitarian impacts of restrictive approaches to civil society in the Indo-Pacific region, with specific examples (such as those linked above) from multiple countries, to highlight the oft-overlooked development downsides of authoritarian approaches.

Specifically, we seek an individual or organizational researcher to collect robust examples from the Indo-Pacific region that examine the impact of civic space restrictions on areas like employment, philanthropy flows, service provision (particularly in poor/rural areas), public health preparedness, gender outcomes, and other development indicators. Although researchers may employ both quantitative and qualitative techniques such as surveys, data analysis, case studies, interviews/fieldwork, and literature reviews to gather information, there is a preference for specific examples and data in which a link between restrictions and impact can be demonstrated. Results may be written up in a study or short report, depending on capacity. Proposed research methodologies should be included in the proposal, and can be finalized in consultation with ICNL.

Content of Proposal

Interested applicants should submit a proposal, of no more than 4 pages, addressing the following topics:

  • Describe the scope of the research to be undertaken, including all research methodologies to be employed. Please include any revisions to the Scope of Research presented above, the methodology for conducting the research, and the timeline, including interim benchmarks and drafts as well as follow-up activities, recognizing that activities must be completed no later than November 15, 2024.
  • Describe applicant’s experience dealing with policies impacting civil society and working with development indicators.
  • If more than one person will be involved in this project, describe who will undertake different aspects of the project. ICNL reserves the right to approve or reject the use of any personnel.
  • The cost proposal/line-item budget for this consultancy. The pricing for the cost proposal must be in USD and fully itemized. For personnel costs, please list each person to be involved in this project, the proposed day rate(s) and number of days. All other costs, if any, should be listed and explained. The proposed price should be inclusive of all taxes. ICNL expects to issue one Firm Fixed Price contract.
Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the following factors:

  • Compliance with eligibility requirements and application procedures.
  • Demonstrated experience of the applicant in conducting quantitative and qualitative research.
  • Experience in non-profit sector research, and ability to identify and measure economic, development, and humanitarian indicators.
  • Quality of proposed project, including the project’s innovations, the proposed methodology/design, and feasibility of the project (e.g., activities are targeted to achieve stated results, and anticipated results are realistic and attainable).
  • Proposed budget and value for money.
How to Apply

To apply for this consultancy, applicants must submit the following items by July 15, 2024:

  • Proposal of not more than four pages, including line-item budget;
  • Resume or curriculum vitae (cv) for individuals undertaking the research and writing the report; and/or
  • Background information about the applicant organization if relevant (e.g., website links, sample reports, informational materials).

Applications should be sent to, with reference to “NPO Impact Research 2024” in the subject line. All application materials should be submitted in English. Questions related to this consultancy can be emailed to Please note that ICNL is under no obligation to issue a consultancy and that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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ICNL is part of the civil society consortium led by Freedom House implementing The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund.  This fund, which is supported by 19 governments and two foundations, provides support to civil society organizations (CSOs) under threat or attack.  There are three categories of Lifeline assistance:

  1. Through Freedom House and Front Line Defenders, Lifeline provides small, short-term emergency assistance to CSOs threatened because of their human rights work. Emergency assistance grants can address security, medical expenses, legal representation, prison visits, trial monitoring, temporary relocation, equipment replacement, and other urgently needed expenses. ICNL does not administer emergency assistance grants on behalf of Lifeline. To apply for Lifeline emergency assistance, please contact Freedom House or Front Line Defenders as described here.
  2. Lifeline rapid response advocacy grants give local CSOs the resources to push back against restrictions on civic space.  Advocacy grants support short-term initiatives that identify civic space challenges, such as threats to freedom of association, assembly, and expression or attacks on civil society, and target key actors associated with the resolution of these threats.  Lifeline advocacy grants are highly flexible, and can support a wide variety of activities, such as community mobilization, policy and legal analysis, civil society coalition building, strategic litigation, awareness raising campaigns, and advocacy capacity building.
  3. Lifeline resiliency grants are meant to provide support to CSOs at high-risk to avoid or mitigate the threats they face.  Resiliency grant activities may include developing, expanding, and/or bolstering protection networks and local support mechanisms; mapping and/or coordinating civil society access to pro-bono services and support; implementing joint protection strategies, contingency plans, and/or protocols; sharing protection and resiliency strategies nationally, regionally and/or internationally; supporting disrupted CSOs to safely reestablish and reorient their work; boosting at-risk CSO capacity to conduct organizational risk assessments; or providing protection training or legal technical assistance.

ICNL accepts applications for advocacy support and resiliency support on a rolling basis. A preliminary application for Lifeline support may be found here (as a form) or here (as a Word document).

For more information or to submit an application, please contact Please note that applicants will only be contacted regarding applications selected for further consideration.

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Fellowships & Internships

None at this time. Please check back for future listings.