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 International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) is pleased to invite proposals for grants as part of its project to counter COVID-related restrictions on civic freedoms and protect civic space during the pandemic. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until May 31, 2021 or until available funds are depleted. The activity funded by each grant must be completed by August 31, 2021.

For more information and how to apply, click here.

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) is pleased to invite proposals for a grant as part of its program to advance international and regional norms to protect the exercise of the freedoms of association, assembly, and expression online. The project timeframe is from April 2021 – July 2022 (15 months). Applications are due by March 5, 2021.

For more information and how to apply, click here.

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) is pleased to invite proposals for grants as part of its project to promote Internet Freedom (IF) in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Timor-Leste, and advance international and regional norms to protect IF. The activity funded by each grant must be completed by September 30, 2021. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until July 31, 2021, or until available funds are depleted. For more information and how to apply, click here.

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. The 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.

Fellowships & Internships

Are you interested in protecting civil society in the United States? The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) is seeking a U.S. Democracy Fellow.

ICNL’s mission is to advance human rights, digital rights, and philanthropy around the world. ICNL’s U.S. Program works on the legal framework for protests, promotes laws enabling civil society, and undertakes thought leadership to safeguard the rights of social justice activists.

The Fellow will join ICNL’s U.S. Program Team. Illustrative activities include:

  • Researching and writing on contemporary issues affecting civil society
  • Analyzing laws affecting protests
  • Monitoring laws affecting activists, such as through the Protest Law Tracker
  • Assisting with the development and implementation of program activities
  • Participating in and organizing meetings with partners
  • Updating communications materials
  • Assisting the team with operational tasks
  • Other assigned tasks

The fellowship will be for a period of one year from the start date and pay $60,000 plus ICNL’s standard health care benefits. The Fellow must be able to start by April 1st, but the fellowship can begin earlier depending on availability.


  • U.S. law degree
  • Excellent research, analytic, and writing skills
  • Significant experience working on human rights in the U.S.
  • Experience working on the freedom of assembly or association is an advantage.
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently
  • Collegial team player

The Fellow must possess legal authorization to work in the U.S. The Fellow will work remotely at the beginning of the fellowship but will be expected to work from ICNL’s office in Washington DC once it reopens.

To apply for the fellowship, applicants should submit the following items by February 15th:

  • Cover letter, including a description of experience working on domestic human rights issues
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV), including two references
  • A law school transcript if the applicant graduated law school on or after 2017
  • A writing sample

Applications should be emailed to, with reference made to “U.S. Democracy Fellow” in the subject line.

Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and there is only one fellowship available.

Only finalists will be contacted. No phone calls or emails to ICNL staff, please. ICNL is an equal opportunity employer.