Lifeline has supported over 300 CSOs to conduct short-term advocacy initiatives to counter closures of civic space.



"Because of Lifeline’s support,  we were able to find new allies in the church and in academia—using first-hand testimony and videos, we are bringing to their attention the massive campaign against human rights defenders and CSOs."

- Filipino CSO Representative


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Responding to a Global Crackdown

Photo Credit: © Samuel Astorga

Civil society organizations are under increasing threat globally as governments and non-state actors crackdown on dissent and limit freedom of association and assembly. According to Lifeline consortium partner CIVICUS, over one third of the world’s population lives in countries with repressed civic space. Attacks against civil society take many forms and include legal, administrative, judicial harassment; direct violence; arbitrary arrest, detention, and imprisonment; and surveillance intimidation. Governments frequently enact repressive civil society legislation, including prohibitions on foreign funding, restrictive associations laws, and anti-terror laws. These governments also employ smear campaigns to malign the important work of human rights organizations. Together these restrictions have criminalized the important work of civil society and made many CSOs’ operating environments untenable.

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What are Lifeline Advocacy Grants?

Photo Credit: © Paula Gonzalez

Lifeline rapid response advocacy grants give local CSOs the resources to push back against closures of civic space as they arise. 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.

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How to Apply for Advocacy Grants

Photo Credit: © Bianca Josaphat

All Lifeline partners (except Front Line Defenders), provide advocacy grants. Each organization has its own selection criteria and should be contacted directly. The organizations below accept general inquiries/applications.

Advocacy Grant Guidelines


Applications can be made directly to CIVICUS'  Crisis Response Fund


Applications and inquiries can be made to ICNL by mailing [email protected]


Applications and inquiries can be made to Freedom House at [email protected]


Applications and inquiries can be made to SILC by mailing [email protected]