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 is pleased to invite applications from Brazilian individuals, civil society organizations (CSOs), and
academic institutions for a grant of up to US$25,000 for activities to address on-going and emerging legal challenges affecting civil society. We anticipate issuing up to two awards. Applicants may apply either singly or in consortia. For more information and application instructions, click here.

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law is announcing a call for proposals to ensure that women human rights defenders can freely operate in online spaces. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to respond to online gender-based violence and smear campaigns against women human rights defenders, including organizations working in defense of women’s rights. ICNL is inviting proposals (1) to raise public awareness about the restricting effect of online gender-based violence on fundamental freedoms and/or (2) to identify collective strategies for developing counter-narratives and mechanisms to protect women human rights defenders against attacks moving forward. Among other topics, we welcome proposals that address these issues in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Successful grant applications may range from $10,000 to $25,000 to applicants from selected countries in the Global South (see full list of eligible countries the full call). For more information and application instructions, click here.

ICNL is pleased to invite proposals for subgrants as part of its “Protecting Civic Space through Civil Society Engagement with FATF” program. ICNL aims to support national-level engagement and innovative information exchange and advocacy by CSOs in four countries – two in anglophone West Africa, and two in francophone West Africa – to promote and protect the fundamental rights of association and assembly at various key stages of the FATF evaluation process. To achieve these program goals, ICNL will provide small grants and technical assistance to grantees as needed. For more information and application instructions, 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

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