Three leading anti-slavery activists and donors, Humanity United, the Legatum Foundation and Walk Free Foundation announced plans to create an ambitious seven-year effort to raise and deploy $100 million or more to combat modern-day slavery. The Freedom Fund is the world's first private donor fund designed to end modern-day slavery. It is based on the investment approach of its founders and aims to leverage donor funds to significantly increase the impact of existing and new anti-slavery initiatives and enable the scaling up of successful programs globally. The Fund will target specific areas of high prevalence using a ‘Hotspot’ funding model. By coordinating the efforts and resources of actors throughout the sector, the Fund aims to measurably reduce modern slavery by 2020.

What We Do

An estimated 29.8 million people live in a state of modern slavery today.

The Freedom Fund is a new philanthropic initiative designed to bring much-needed financial resources and strategic focus to the fight against modern-day slavery. Our mission is to bring about a measurable reduction in modern day slavery by the year 2020.

The Fund is founded on the premise that current philanthropic and programmatic efforts in the anti-slavery space are fragmented. Individual actors are often working in isolation and missing the opportunity to create scalable and lasting change. Consequently, the Freedom Fund’s founding partners, some of the world’s most innovative philanthropic organisations, have come together to create the first ever global, integrated, anti-slavery donor fund.

The Freedom
Fund will:

Mobilise
Mobilise at least $70 million by 2020 in addition to the founders’ initial contribution of $30 million, for investment into the best of class anti-slavery initiatives.
Research
Research and map anti-slavery efforts around the world to understand the problem in its entirety and develop a framework for coordination.
Invest
Invest and align resources to support interventions in those geographic regions with a very high prevalence of slavery (“hotspots”) and in those industry and thematic sectors (“clusters”) where it will have the greatest impact.
Build Community
Build a community of actors and partners through a collaborative platform for information gathering and sharing, offender tracking and victim support coordination.
Inspire
Inspire a new generation of abolitionists passionately opposed to all forms of human exploitation.
Our Approach:
Partnership
Partnership
  • Advocacy and Policy Initiatives
  • Coordination: Conferences and Coalitions
  • Academic Partnership
  • Corporate Engagement
Prevention
Prevention
  • Promoting Awareness
  • Health
  • Education
  • Economic Empowerment
Protection
Protection
  • Victim Protection
  • Counselling
  • Legal Support
  • Rehabilitation: Health, Education, Economic Empowerment
Prosecution
Prosecution
  • Legal Services (Victims and Prosecutors)
  • Criminal Justice Advocacy
  • Legislative Advocacy

Who We Are

 
Nick Grono

Nick Grono
CEO


Nick started as CEO in December 2013. Prior to this, he was the inaugural CEO of the Walk Free Foundation, a leading international actor in the fight against modern slavery. During his tenure, Walk Free built a global movement with over 5 million supporters, launched the first ever Global Slavery Index, and joined with Humanity United and the Legatum Foundation to establish the Freedom Fund.

Previously, Nick was the Deputy President and Chief Operating Officer of the International Crisis Group (ICG), the world’s leading conflict prevention NGO, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. At ICG he was responsible for the oversight and management of Crisis Group’s programs and operations in some thirty countries around the world. Nick has testified on conflict and human rights issues before the European, UK, Dutch, and Australian Parliaments. He has written widely on international justice, conflict prevention, human rights and modern slavery, with opinion pieces published in the International New York Times, the Guardian, Foreign Policy, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Boston Globe, amongst others.

Nick is a lawyer by background and, prior to starting work for Crisis Group in 2003, he was Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser to the Australian Attorney-General. He has a law degree with first class honours from the University of Sydney and a Master’s in Public Policy from Princeton University.

 
Dan Vexler

Dan Vexler
Director of Programs


Dan Vexler is joining the Freedom Fund as Director of Programs in June. Dan was previously Head of Program Quality and Impact at CARE UK, an international NGO fighting global poverty and injustice. At CARE Dan oversaw programs aimed at increasing political participation and economic opportunities for people living in extreme poverty. Prior to joining CARE, Dan was based in Juba, South Sudan with the National Democratic Institute, where he managed an influential nation-wide public opinion research program. Before this, he was Director of Research at the International Crisis Group. Dan has led research and impact evaluations on a range of complex projects and issues on four continents. He has lived in Kenya, South Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Belgium and the UK.

Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University and a Master’s in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

 
Ginny Baumann

Ginny Baumann
Senior Programs Officer


Ginny Baumann is joining the Freedom Fund as Senior Programs Officer in August 2014. She was previously Associate Director of Programs at Free the Slaves, an NGO that liberates people from slavery around the world, and enables governments, development agencies and businesses to take effective action. As a founding team member of Free the Slaves since 2000, Ginny has developed FTS’ country programs alongside community-based anti-slavery NGOs, especially in India, Nepal, Brazil and Ghana. She helped create its strategy for identifying, articulating and supporting locally-rooted solutions to slavery.

Before that, she worked for UK-based agencies Christian Aid, Shelter, and Quaker Social Action establishing, managing and evaluating programs of community-based development, housing, employment, conflict resolution and human rights. In the Mississippi Delta, she also carried out programs of peer mediation in schools, evaluation of after-school programs, and research on racial discrimination by banks. She taught courses on peacebuilding and on models of international development at University of Surrey, Roehampton, and University of Mississippi.

Our Founding Organisations:
Humanity United

Humanity United is a U.S.-based foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom. At home and in the corners of the globe where these ideals are challenged most, we lead and support efforts to lift up the voices and will of people, ensure good governance and the rule of law, engage markets and business as a force for change, and encourage the exploration of promising ideas and innovations to end conflict and slavery—all with the belief that everyone has the right to a life that is peaceful and free.

The Legatum Foundation

The Legatum Foundation is the development arm of the Legatum Group, a multi-billion dollar investment firm. Drawing on Legatum’s investment heritage, the Foundation allocates capital to projects, people and ideas to help the most disadvantaged in society. For over a decade, the Legatum Foundation has funded thousands of small, community-based organisations across the developing world and impacted over 35 million lives, many of which have been through major anti-trafficking and abolitionist initiatives. The Foundation has a proven track record of catalysing high-impact, large-scale initiatives such as the Freedom Fund and the END Fund.

The Walk Free Foundation

The Walk Free Foundation is a global organisation focused on ending modern slavery in our generation by mobilising a global activist movement, generating the highest quality research, enlisting business and raising unprecedented levels of capital to drive change in those countries and industries bearing the greatest responsibility for slavery today.

Media & Resources

Funding Opportunity

  • Research on the socio-economic benefits of eradication of slavery, Uttar Pradesh, India

    Download

Press Releases

  • Nick Grono appointed as inaugural CEO of the $100 million Freedom Fund

    December 9th, 2013

    View Press Release
  • $100 Million Freedom Fund to Combat Modern-Day Slavery

    September 26th, 2013

    View Press Release

Jobs

No vacancies are currently listed. Please check back at a later point.

FAQs

Vision

Vision

The Fund will:
  1. Mobilize at least $70 million by 2020 in addition to the founders’ initial contribution of $30 million, for investment into the best of class anti-slavery initiatives.
  2. Research and map anti-slavery efforts around the world to understand the problem in its entirety and develop a framework for coordination.
  3. Invest and align resources to support interventions in those geographic regions with a very high prevalence of slavery (“hotspots”) and in those industry and thematic sectors (“clusters”) where it will have the greatest impact.
  4. Build a community of actors and partners through a collaborative platform for information gathering and sharing, offender tracking and victim support coordination.
  5. Inspire a new generation of abolitionists passionately opposed to all forms of human exploitation.
The Fund will support the full range of interventions that meet its strategic objectives, including:
  • Partnership
    • Advocacy and Policy Initiatives
    • Coordination: Conferences and Coalitions
    • Academic Partnership
    • Corporate Engagement
  • Prevention
    • Promoting Awareness
    • Health
    • Education
    • Economic Empowerment
  • Protection (Liberation and Reintegration)
    • Victim Protection
    • Counseling
    • Legal Support
    • Rehabilitation: Health, Education, Economic Empowerment
  • Prosecution
    • Legal Services (Victims and Prosecutors)
    • Criminal Justice Advocacy
    • Legislative Advocacy

The Freedom Fund offers a platform, vision and plan for partners to join in this global effort to combat modern-day slavery. This Fund is about demonstrating that strategic, targeted and measurable giving can help make a very real difference in ending this most horrendous of crimes.

Potential donors will be invited to participate in the Fund’s work in three main ways:

  • LEARN - Participate in convenings, build community, learn and share information and opportunities
  • ALIGN – Coordinate independent funding in alignment with collective impact objectives
  • PARTNER - Contribute to a pooled funding vehicle as a means of supporting a specific hotspot strategy.

The founding organisations are underwriting all of the start-up and initial overhead costs, so all future donor contributions will be spent directly on combating slavery.

The Fund’s key platform will be a ‘hotspot’ intervention model that targets resources to the geographic areas where the incidence of modern-day slavery is highest.
The Freedom Fund’s hotspot model will mean that its work on the ground will focus on those countries and regions with the highest incidence of slavery, such as South Asia and Africa. However the Fund will also be looking at ways to use technology to combat slavery, and how to mobilise a new abolitionist movement, which will necessarily see it active in the U.S. and other developed countries.
The Freedom Fund will be heavily focused on measuring impact. Over the next six months, the Freedom Fund’s board of directors, working with the CEO, will identify and build target metrics – which will include, the number of slaves freed, laws changed, resources mobilised and beyond that, community engagement. The Fund will also use Walk Free’s Global Slavery Index as a guide for identifying areas of most urgent need.
Funding

Funding

Humanity United, the Legatum Foundation and Walk Free Foundation are each committing $10 million to the Fund. This includes funding to rapidly establish the organisation so it can quickly begin directing resources to areas of greatest need.
There is still much work to be done to set up the Fund, but we anticipate that funds will be deployed from mid-2014 onwards.
The Fund will support a range of actors in the non-profit sector. The Fund will be open to making grants to any non-profit organisation or group that works in a ‘hotspot’ and whose work aligns with the Fund’s anti-slavery strategy. This will include support to international non-profits, but we anticipate it will also provide significant resources to grassroots organisations working on frontline prevention, rescue and rehabilitation.
Yes, absolutely. A key objective of this Fund is to mobilise new donors to support efforts to end slavery. We will be soliciting and inviting partners and donors to join our work.
As currently conceived, the Freedom Fund will initially focus on engaging private donors. However, over the long-run bilateral and multilateral funding will be needed to achieve the necessary scale to eradicate modern-day slavery. As a result, the Freedom Fund will actively explore ways to work in a coordinated manner with government donors and will be open to receiving bilateral and government funding.
A key objective of the Freedom Fund is to demonstrate the impact that effective, targeted and measureable giving can have in preventing and reducing modern slavery. We believe that this model will be persuasive to innovative and outcome-focussed donors. The CEO will work closely with the Board to engage with potential donors on this vision.
The founding members are significant anchor investors, but ending modern slavery requires the efforts of many individuals, organisations and businesses. We hope to mobilise others who feel as passionately about this cause as we do, and we hope the Freedom Fund will serve as a convener and a catalyst for those organisations and individuals.
The board of directors will have oversight of spending and, the CEO and staff will use transparent accounting principles as required by U.S. and U.K. accounting and charitable laws.
General

General

Humanity United, the Legatum Foundation and Walk Free Foundation came together because of a shared vision of a fund that will catalyse philanthropic efforts to effectively combat modern day slavery.
The Freedom Fund will have its official launch in the first quarter of 2014.
This is the first coordinated global anti-slavery fund of its size that will deploy significant resources to areas of greatest need and potential impact.
The Freedom Fund will access and build upon available data, including the Global Slavery Index, and the Fund will support more robust data gathering and sharing.
The Fund will focus on all forms of modern-day slavery, including human trafficking, sex trafficking, forced labour, bonded labour and the use and recruitment of child soldiers.
Representatives of Humanity United, the Legatum Foundation and Walk Free Foundation, together with two independent directors.
In the future, organisations that make a significant investment in the Fund could potentially serve on the Board.