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The Freedom Fund’s three founders commit a further $16m to its mission to end modern slavery

Press release
May 9, 2019

London: The Freedom Fund is pleased to announce that five years after its inception, the Fund’s three founders – Minderoo Foundation’s Walk Free initiative, Legatum Foundation and Humanity United – have renewed their commitment to the Freedom Fund’s anti-slavery work.

These three founders have now recommitted a total of $16.2m to the Freedom Fund’s ambitious new strategy to impact 10 million people vulnerable to slavery by 2025.

Since its founding five years ago, the Freedom Fund has invested in the most effective interventions on the frontlines of the fight against slavery in countries with a high prevalence of the crime. To date, the Fund has raised more than $90m to end and prevent the extreme exploitation of the world’s most vulnerable people and is on track to raise $100m by the end of 2020.

Walk Free, Legatum Foundation and Humanity United have made renewed commitments of $6m, $5m and $5.2m, respectively, to carry out the Fund’s mission. Thanks to their support and that of its other funders and investors, the Freedom Fund has already had a direct impact on over 500,000 lives. Equally importantly, working with its frontline partners, the Fund is promoting policies that protect millions of the most vulnerable, holding governments and businesses to account, and changing the underlying systems that allow slavery to persist.

“In a very short time, the Freedom Fund has become a critical authority on how we can end the scourge of modern slavery”, said Alan McCormick, Chair of the Freedom Fund’s Board and Managing Director of Legatum Foundation. “By identifying interventions that work, bring systemic change, and can scale, the Freedom Fund continues to demonstrate a disciplined approach to philanthropy.”

“The Freedom Fund has effectively mobilised resources and targeted its anti-slavery efforts in ways that have had a measurable impact on modern slavery,” said Andrew Hagger, CEO of Minderoo Foundation. “We invite those who share our vision of a world free of slavery to unite and become part of an effort focussed on outcomes.”

“The Freedom Fund is playing a critical and leading role in the global fight against human trafficking,” said Philippe Sion, Managing Director of Humanity United and member of the Freedom Fund’s Board. “We are pleased to support their efforts to create scalable, lasting change for millions of people.”

Supporting over 100 frontline organisations, the Fund’s anti-slavery work has liberated over 20,000 men, women and children from bondage and positively changed the systems that impact millions of people in slavery or at risk of it.

“We are grateful for the generous support from our founders and for their confidence in the Freedom Fund’s strategy,” said Nick Grono, CEO of the Freedom Fund. “This renewed support is a strong endorsement of the work of the Fund and its evidence-based model. We hope that it will encourage other funders to prioritise efforts to combat modern slavery.”

A community of investors has joined the Freedom Fund since its inception, including Stardust Fund, C&A Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation, Comic Relief, British Asian Trust and others. As the Freedom Fund embarks on a new strategic plan, it welcomes other investors to join in the fight to end modern slavery.


The Freedom Fund was established in January 2014 with an initial $30 million investment from the Minderoo Foundation, Legatum Foundation and Humanity United. It set the ambitious goal of raising a total of $100 million by 2020 to measurably reduce the prevalence of modern slavery in slavery hotspots, clustering these for systemic impact, and also by collating and distributing high-quality data and research so that more resources can be aligned to interventions that work. In its new strategic plan, the Freedom Fund has set itself another ambitious target: the transformation of systems affecting 10 million people in slavery hotspots around the world by 2025.

Minderoo Foundation is a modern philanthropic organisation that takes on persistent issues with the potential to drive massive change. Minderoo has over AUD $1.5 billion committed to a range of global initiatives, including ending modern slavery, global cancer research, creating parity for Indigenous Australians, and innovative community development and environmental conservation initiatives. Minderoo’s Walk Free initiative works to end modern slavery through world-class research and direct engagement with some of the world’s most influential government, business and religious leaders. 

The Legatum Foundation is the development arm of the Legatum Group, allocating capital to projects, people and ideas that create sustainable prosperity. The Foundation is inspired by the belief that every life is of infinite value, and for over a decade has identified, tested and then scaled interventions that tackle some of the biggest global challenges including the END Fund, the largest private investment vehicle for eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases, the Freedom Fund, a leader in the global movement to end modern slavery, the Legatum Center at MIT, which empowers entrepreneurs who want to change the world through business, and the Luminos Fund, which provides a second chance at education for out-of-school children.  To date, the Foundation has positively impacted the lives of over 240 million people.

Humanity United is a foundation dedicated to bringing new approaches to global problems that have long been considered intractable. HU builds, leads, and supports efforts to change the systems that contribute to problems like human trafficking, mass atrocities and violent conflict.

Written by
The Freedom Fund