Our Mission

Channel Foundation promotes women’s human rights by funding intersecting streams of the global movement for gender equality.

Channel: (noun) That through which information, news, trade, or the like passes; a medium of transmission, conveyance, or communication; means agency. (Oxford English Dictionary)


The future is a world in which feminist perspectives are embraced so that all people have the respect, freedom, and opportunity to realize their full human rights and leadership potential.


Core ideals that guide Channel Foundation include the following:

  • Human rights and the fundamental dignity and equality of all human beings
  • Feminism
  • Racial Justice
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

As part of the human rights and social justice funding movements, Channel believes that empowerment of grassroots groups and partnership models of funding are the only truly effective pathways to achieving lasting social change. We believe in and strive to practice the following in our work:

  • Collaboration
  • Bridge-building
  • Risk-taking
  • Systemic change

As the Human Rights Funders Network (HRFN) puts it, “in addition to what foundations fund, an important consideration in human rights philanthropy is also how they fund. Do they recognize the power dynamics at play? Are they funding the communities most affected by injustice and inequality? Are they transparent and accountable in their decision making? In short, do they adhere to the human rights principles their grantmaking seeks to uphold?”

In late 2020, Channel partners Gender Funders CoLab (formerly known as Philanthropy Advancing Women’s Human Rights or PAWHR), the Human Rights Funding Network (HRFN) and Ariadne -European Funders for Social Change and Human Rights, launched a set of Human Rights Grantmaking Principles, which reflect the contributions of approximately 300 human rights contributors including funders and activists from over 40 countries. The six principles they came up with are intended to help funders align their grantmaking practices with human rights values. The principles can help foundations explore their practices internally, catalyze conversations among funders from different institutions, and support funders to share and learn together with others in the human rights field. The principles are available in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish and include the following:

  • Power Sharing and Shifting
  • Accountability
  • Collective Care
  • Community Driven
  • Equity
  • Adaptability and Learning

In addition, we’ve been inspired by the 5 Rs of Indigenous Philanthropy developed by the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP) which include the following:

    • Respect
    • Relationships
    • Responsibility
    • Reciprocity
    • Redistribution

“We have known for decades that the best way for … the world to thrive is to ensure that its women have the freedom, power, and knowledge to make decisions affecting their own lives and those of their families and communities.”

— UN Secretary General Kofi Annan