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Movement building

Survivor Leadership Fund

The Survivor Leadership Fund is a groundbreaking new fund that provides unrestricted grants to survivor-led organisations to use as they see fit to build their capacity and grow their impact.

Each grant will be up to $20,000. The grant is meant to support the organisation as a whole and can be used wherever it has decided it needs funding, including programs, staff and office costs. 

We will only require organisations to set outcomes or objectives after receiving the grant or to submit a formal report. We ask that after twelve months, each organisation let us know where the funding went and how it supported their mission.

Organisations with one or more people in a leadership position who have lived experience of exploitation are eligible to apply. Leadership positions can include directors, deputy directors, senior management, and department heads. However, anyone in the organisation can fill out and submit the application – it does not have to be someone who identifies as a survivor. Applicants who meet the grant criteria will be invited for a discussion about their work with a panel of Freedom Fund staff.

For more details, read the application guide in English / Espanol / Português.

Accepting applications

Deadline: 8 April 2024.

Applications are now open for organisations in Bolivia, Brazil and Colombia.


Why it's important

The Freedom Fund believes we have a responsibility to support the leadership of those individuals who have experienced exploitation and oppression. We recognise that initiatives led by those with lived experience play a vital role in meeting the needs of victims and survivors of exploitation. Survivor-led organisations are also ideally placed to provide expertise and leadership in tackling the systems and practices that allow modern slavery to persist.

Yet organisations with survivors of modern slavery in key leadership positions are few and far between. And those organisations often struggle to access the core funding that enables them to become sustainable and impactful. Too often, they are locked out by the demands of traditional donors and denied the space to build and grow.

We set up the Survivor Leadership Fund because we believe survivor-led organisations can – and should – lead the way in the global movement to end modern slavery. Survivors with lived experience of exploitation know what is needed to support people at risk of exploitation, victims and survivors. They have the legitimacy and expertise to advocate for the changes in policy and practice that can bring about an end to modern slavery.

The power of trust-based funding

We had never received major funding before the Survivor Leadership Fund. With the unrestricted nature of Survivor Leadership Fund...we could do anything that supports the organisational development to individual capacity building, as well as community work and survivor leadership movement… we were also able to add other policies such as sexual harassment policies...we did not have electricity connection and we bought solar panels. Therefore, due to the unrestricted nature of the Survivor Leadership Fund, we were able to do quite a lot.

Survivor Leadership Fund grantee

Piloting the Survivor Leadership Fund

Since its inception, the Survivor Leadership Fund has supported dozens of survivor-led organisations in East Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. Two years on, a new report looks back and evaluates the Fund’s impact and identifies its unique opportunities and areas for growth. The report demonstrates the success of the Fund’s trust-based and inclusive funding model in both reaching and supporting survivor-led organisations.

The report, based on an evaluation of the first round of funding in Kenya and Uganda, examines the experience of grantees throughout the grant-making process, and highlights some of the important components of the SLF, as identified by grantees. These include the straightforward and accessible application process, minimal due diligence and reporting processes, and unrestricted funding. Crucially, it also highlights the flexibility, trust and agency that are at the heart of the SLF model.