The Libra Foundation

About The Libra Foundation

Our Mission

We believe that all people are born with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms and have a right to live in a healthy environment and in peaceful, just and equitable societies. Promoting these human rights is the highest purpose we can envision for the grantmaking of The Libra Foundation.

Recognizing the power of human rights to express our values and transform societies, The Foundation joins with other foundations that are working to secure human rights for all people and to develop its application here in the United States. We are committed to enhancing the human rights movement and broadening it to include U.S. social justice work in the areas of peace and justice, environmental justice and women’s rights. We are interested in supporting innovative and effective work that emphasizes strategies that incorporate the interconnections between issues and lead to real social change.

Areas of Interest

The Foundation has a particular interest in concentrating its grantmaking in California and Illinois, although organizations working nationally may apply as well. Recognizing the value of learning from our global partners and participating in the international community, we fund U.S. based organizations and public foundations, collaborative funds and intermediaries working internationally. The Libra Foundation funds social and economic justice organizations that integrate human rights into their work in and across the following priority areas:

  • Women’s Rights, with an emphasis on reproductive rights and the elevation of women’s rights as human rights
  • Environmental Justice, with a focus on human rights, promoting social justice, and mitigating the impacts of climate change
  • Social Justice and Drug Policy Reform, with an emphasis on:
    • Government accountability, specifically addressing detention standards, secret criminal proceedings and illegal monitoring, and the concentration of executive branch authority.
    • Human rights field-building to support the development of a global human rights movement through:  1) the use of a human rights framework to advance specific policy goals and 2) human rights education and training.
    • Fair Application of the Law will continue to support due process and immigration and economic justice.  
    • Drug Policy Reform efforts promoting legalization and decriminalization, medical research and application of illegal drugs, race, arrest and incarceration (including alternatives to incarceration), and U.S. foreign policy reform

Strategies and Organizational Values

The Foundation seeks to support organizations and programs that incorporate (or seek to incorporate) human rights into their work or that provide training, research and technical assistance for other organizations that utilize human rights in their activism.

We are interested in supporting organizations that are engaged in systems change incorporating one or more of the following strategies:

  • Advocacy
  • Public policy reform
  • Coalition-building
  • Impact litigation and related legal strategies
  • Organizing
  • Re-granting
  • Utilizing new media and communications strategies for social change

The Foundation seeks to support organizations that are engaged in strategic analysis and action. We support organizations that are committed to the following: 

  • Accountability
  • Democratic conditions and practices
  • Evaluation
  • Global partnerships
  • Strategic planning
  • Understanding power relationships
  • Using a gender lens


The Foundation awards grants ranging from $30,000 - $200,000, with organizations new to our docket falling in the lower range. While The Foundation views its grantees as long-term partners, multi-year funding will be decided on a case-by-case basis as part of the proposal review process. 

The Libra Foundation provides the following types of grants:

  • General Operating
  • Project or Program
  • Capacity Building and Technical Assistance

The Libra Foundation does not fund:

  • Fundraising events (including tickets to events)
  • Campaigns to elect candidates for political office
  • Grants to individuals and/or private foundations
  • Organizations that are heavily supported by the government (except for specific advocacy or public policy projects of interest)
  • Capital fund drives or campaigns
  • Debt reduction
  • International organizations not registered in the U.S.
  • International work that focuses on a single country or small set of countries
  • Programs to promote religious activities
  • Government agencies
  • University/college programs which must contribute a pre-determined percentage of each grant to institutional overhead
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