Crisis Response Fund

“The Crisis Response Fund has helped Pakistani civil society to reduce hostility against civil society organisations and counter imminent threats and challenges they face. With support of the Crisis Response Fund, we were better able to establish linkages, devise strategies and initiate advocacy efforts” – Blue Veins, Pakistan.

CIVICUS invites civil society organisations (CSOs) around the world that are facing restrictions to apply for funding to emergency advocacy actions aimed at addressing the restrictions to freedom of assembly and/or association they face in their countries or regions.

About the Crisis Response Fund:

CSOs around the world are often faced with threats to their work, including violations of freedom of association and assembly. While some threats develop gradually, others materialize swiftly and require an immediate advocacy response. The CIVICUS Crisis Response Fund, established in 2007, serves as a mechanism for mobilizing quick, principled and effective advocacy responses to events that threaten civil society’s fundamental right to associate and assemble freely.

In 2011 CIVICUS joined a coalition of international civil society partners to administer the Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund through its own Crisis Response Fund, which provides emergency advocacy support responding to threats to civil society. The overarching Lifeline Fund receives contributions through an international donor pool of 18 governments and additional independent foundations that support democracy and human rights. These include the governments of Australia, Benin, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, and Uruguay, as well as the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.

Advocacy supported through the Crisis Response Fund:

The Crisis Response Fund will provide small grants of 10,000 USD maximum to primarily national civil society organisations in order to conduct advocacy activities over a course of a maximum of 6 months. These activities, designed by the applying organization, should be relevant and have the largest chance of bringing about positive change. These activities could be, but are not limited to:

  • National workshops with civil society actors to discuss and plan advocacy strategies, such as to repeal restrictive legislation;
  • Advocacy meetings with decision makers at to give recommendations on how to ensure freedom of association and assembly within the given context;
  • Public engagement campaigns conducted via social media, traditional media or alternative advocacy tools;
  • Fact-finding and report publication with the aim of conducting evidence-based advocacy;
  • Regional networking with other civil societies under siege to exchange best practices and share legal expertise;
  • Solidarity visits or missions by international high level bodies and/or celebrities;

How to apply:

  1. Please read the Crisis Response Fund Guidelines and Protocols document to know the criteria for applying
  2. Complete the Crisis Response Fund Application Form
  3. Complete the Crisis Response Fund Budget.
  4. Email the completed Crisis Response Fund Application Form and the Crisis Response Fund Budget to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What to check before submitting

CIVICUS Crisis Response support will be provided in cases that require immediate action – either to forestall imminent threats or to address new restrictions. Note that the normal total processing time of a grant request is around 7-8 weeks but exceptions can occur if there are compelling reasons for prioritising the request.

In addition, the applying civil society organisation must submit their application in adherence to the following conditions:

  1. The request for funding has used the application form provided on this site and all the provisions have duly been completed.
  2. The request for funding clearly states how the planned advocacy activities respond to the restrictions to freedom of association and/or assembly
  3. The request for funding must clearly delineate the planned activities, which should be implemented over a maximum of 6 months. The total amount requested must be shown clearly in the budget template provided, and must not exceed 10 000 USD.
  4. The Crisis Response Fund does not support core operating costs, or excessive administration, equipment or personnel costs.
  5. The request clearly states the contact address, including an active telephone number and email address, for follow-up.

For more information please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.