Strengthening the Voluntary Sector

Supporting the use of the law and human rights based approaches

This programme is open for applications. Please visit our applications page for full details on how to apply.

In 1996, the Baring Foundation launched the Strengthening the Voluntary Sector grants programme. This programme funds organisational development work aimed at supporting organisations to be efficient and effective. The programme has supported over 900 organisations, giving a total of £17 million.

Since 2015 the STVS programme has supported effective use of the law and human rights based approaches by the voluntary sector.

This programme seeks to embed the law and human rights based approaches as tools of social change in the broader voluntary sector. We offer project-based funding to:

  • train and support frontline organisations in using the law and human rights based approaches;
  • encourage the use of these tools in organisations with no history of taking legal action or advocating for rights; and
  • create the link between frontline activity and policy change using these approaches.

When considering applications we will look for projects that demonstrate a clear strategy to:

  • tackle discrimination and disadvantage;
  • use the law or human rights based approaches in novel and innovative ways; and
  • collaborate and share learning.

A background paper that introduces the two pilot funds that were available in 2015 is available here.

The monitoring and evaluation approach to the programme is available here.

A series of working papers relevant to the STVS programme are planned and the first two are available.

  1. A background briefing to the programme is available here.
  2. A  framework on use of the law by voluntary sector organisations is available here.