Established in 2016, The Funders’ Initiative for Civil Society (FICS) brings together private philanthropy from around the world to help ensure that the space for civil society is free and open, with engaged citizen participation that is free of restriction from governments.
Our aim is to support an enabling environment for civil society in which all civil society actors – including philanthropy – can thrive.
FICS is a collaborative programme funded by 11 international donors, and supported by the funder networks Ariadne: European Funders for Social Change and Human Rights and the Human Rights Funders Network. FICS is housed at Global Dialogue.
Threats to civil society are increasing in both depth and intensity. Democracy and participation have been questioned as concerns about global security are heightened, inequality has increased, and resource scarcity becomes the norm. Populism, nationalism, and trade-offs with societal freedoms, become the reactionary antidote to such threats.
Philanthropy has not escaped the trend. Through learning, innovation in grant-making, and collective action, we aim to build the collective capacity to respond to the closing space trend, and find innovative ways to support a healthy civil society in which we can all thrive – now and in the future.
In July 2017, FICS launched a new, three-year strategy to move beyond diagnosing the problem and coordinate a robust philanthropic response.
If you are engaged in private philanthropy – either as a funder or stakeholder – and want to understand how you could become more actively engaged with FICS and the closing space agenda, contact FICS@global-dialogue.eu
Please note that FICS is not a grant-making programme. Decisions on funding applications are made by individual foundations. Grant seekers should approach foundations separately and consult the funding criteria and guidelines for each foundation.