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Disability Rights Fund Inc.

 89 South Street, Suite 203
 Boston, MA 02111
[P] (617) 261-4593
[F] (617) 261-1977
www.disabilityrightsfund.org
[email protected]
Diana Samarasan
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INCORPORATED: 2012
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 27-5026293

LAST UPDATED: 09/21/2017
Organization DBA DRF
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of the Disability Rights Fund is to support Disabled Persons Organizations in the developing world to take the lead in advocating for the human rights of persons with disabilities at local and national levels, utilizing the mechanism of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). 

Our vision is of a world where persons with disabilities participate fully in society and enjoy equal rights and opportunities. 

Mission Statement

The mission of the Disability Rights Fund is to support Disabled Persons Organizations in the developing world to take the lead in advocating for the human rights of persons with disabilities at local and national levels, utilizing the mechanism of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). 

Our vision is of a world where persons with disabilities participate fully in society and enjoy equal rights and opportunities. 


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015
Projected Income $2,903,710.00
Projected Expense $2,474,032.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Advancing Rights through Advocacy
  • Advancing Rights through Grantmaking
  • Advancing Rights through Technical Assistance
  • Uganda Capacity Fund

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The mission of the Disability Rights Fund is to support Disabled Persons Organizations in the developing world to take the lead in advocating for the human rights of persons with disabilities at local and national levels, utilizing the mechanism of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). 

Our vision is of a world where persons with disabilities participate fully in society and enjoy equal rights and opportunities. 


Background Statement

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) was started as the result of conversations between philanthropic staff and the disability community during the Ad-Hoc Committee meetings leading up to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Subsequent discussions between grantmakers during meetings of the International Human Rights Funders Group disability working group led to the conception of the DRF as a pooled effort of multiple donors. In 2007, a consultant began to develop structures and build relationships with other donors and the disability rights field. After a collaborative process with the international DPO community, a framework for the DRF was finalized in December 2007. DRF started operations as a project of the Tides Center in January 2008. In 2011, DRF obtained independent non-profit status, and in April 2012, began independent operations.

Impact Statement

The Disability Rights Funds' unique structure has placed people with disabilities in powerful roles and establishes DRF as an innovative grantmaking vehicle operating in concert with the disability community’s slogan, “nothing about us without us”

Some of our key achievements include:

  • $10 million in grants for rights advancement to more than 500 grantees in 25 countries across 6 regions of the world;
  • an increase of formal participation by people with disabilities in government rights implementation and monitoring mechanisms in 5 countries (Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Uganda, Ukraine);
  • national legislative changes addressing rights of people with disabilities in 8 countries (Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Uganda and Ukraine);
  • 23% increase in CRPD knowledge among grantee organizations within one year;
  • 84 grants to new organizations representing groups of persons with disabilities not previously active in the public realm;
  •  51% of grants awarded to support marginalized groups within the disability community; specifically, women with disabilities, children with disabilities, people with psychosocial disabilities, people with intellectual disabilities, albinos, little people, Deafblind and other specific impairment groups; 
  • launch of a new Strategic Partnerships funding stream, supporting cross-movement work between the disability rights community and other rights communities; 
  • support of the first expert report on global conditions for Indigenous people with disabilities, formally presented at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and supported the development of a Forum caucus of Indigenous people with disabilities;
  • and, the initiation of a network of African youth with disabilities across 14 countries which addresses policy issues for youth at the regional levels.

 


Needs Statement

There are currently one billion people with disabilities around the world - one in every seventh person.  80% of people with disabilities live in developing countries and there, make up 20% of the poorest of the poor living on less than $1 a day.  Children with disabilities make up the single largest group of out of school children; there is a 3% global literacy rate among persons with disabilities. Despite these numbers, only 3% of all foundation funding - and 3-4% of all development funding - goes to "disability," and much of this funding is addressed to services rather than empowerment.   

The Disability Rights Fund puts money in the hands of people with disabilities themselves, to increase their empowerment and raise their voices at sub-national, national, regional and international levels to ensure that the needs and the rights of people with disabilities will be visible and respected. 

Organizational needs include:
1. $300,000 to add one additional country in Africa or Asia to our grantmaking portfolio
2. $100,000 to add a Program Director to increase coordination of our work between 6 regions 
3. $50,000 to increase hours of our part-time Development Coordinator, to enable leveraging of financial resources for this work. 
 

CEO Statement

Five years after its launch in 2008, the Disability Rights Fund (DRF) and its sister fund, the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF), have given out $10 million for rights advancement by organizations of people with disabilities (DPOs) across the developing world. According to a new report on human rights grantmaking by the Foundation Center and the International Human Rights Funders’ Group, DRF is now one of the top 15 foundations by number of human rights grants and at the top in terms of number of grants to disability rights. 

With the pooled resources of 7 donors, we have been able to fund extraordinary advances for the rights of people with disabilities. In May, a delegation of 12 indigenous leaders with disabilities established a caucus and presented an expert report on conditions for indigenous persons with disabilities at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Across the Pacific, where treaty ratification is poor, governments are signing (and ratifying) the CRPD due to the advocacy of DPOs. In Nicaragua and Peru, new national legislation – placed before government through citizen’s initiatives - protects and promotes the rights of persons with disabilities. Other civil society organizations - like the Bangladesh Legal Aid & Services Trust which is partnering with the National Council of Disabled Women to bring cases of violence against women with disabilities to court - are taking up the cause. The post-2015 development process - with the strong advocacy of people with disabilities – has, finally, incorporated disability.

Nonetheless, inclusion of people with disabilities into human rights and development funding is still marginal.  People with disabilities make up one billion people around the world –one in seven– and yet their efforts receive only 3% of human rights funding. We need your help in continuing to grow this work. 

 


Board Chair Statement

Dear Friends and Supporters, 

As we enter our sixth year  – we reflect on the remarkable growth of the Disability Rights Fund – which parallels the progression of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) – and celebrate the enormous achievements to date.   
 
We applaud the growing coalitions within the DPO community and the budding partnerships between the disability community and other rights communities. A DPO coalition in Peru, which submitted the first DPO-led alternative report to the CRPD Committee, influenced the recommendations to the Peruvian government. A network of women with disabilities in Bangladesh that partnered with a mainstream legal aid organization won important legal precedents addressing violence against women with disabilities. A group of indigenous persons with disabilities addressed the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for the very first time.   

We also look ahead to the years that come and recognize the hard work that we – all of us – have yet to do. People with disabilities remain invisible within the global funding community. Too often, inclusion is seen as noble, but not necessary. Despite growing evidence demonstrating the size and marginalization of people with disabilities, most leaders – whether of governments, human rights NGOs or development organizations – still see people with disabilities as vulnerable recipients of charity, rather than as the powerful agents of change we know them to be. 

We set our goals high and we work hard to demonstrate impact. In 2012, the Fund had its first independent evaluation, which found that “In a little less than four years, DRF has become a recognized donor for disability rights…contributing to the achievement of results for the benefit of persons with disabilities. These results include national and local level changes in legislation, alternative reports on the CRPD submitted to UN mechanisms, a more inclusive disability rights movement in target countries evidenced by grants awarded to marginalized and new DPOs, and increased grantee capacities through the formation of partnerships and growing knowledge on rights of persons with disabilities.” Change of this magnitude requires many hands. We need your support to continue this this momentum. Join us in ensuring that people with disabilities everywhere are empowered to demand full and equal participation in society.

Sincerely,

Catherine Townsend, Co-Chair 

William Rowland, Co-Chair


Geographic Area Served

Internationally

Africa: Ghana, Rwanda (new in 2013), Uganda

Asia: Bangladesh, Indonesia, India (States of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, or the National Capital of Delhi only
Caribbean: Haiti 
Eastern Europe: Ukraine
Latin America: Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru
Middle East: Lebanon
The Pacific: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati,
Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands,
Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu


 

Organization Categories

  1. Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy - Disabled Persons' Rights
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Yes

Programs

Advancing Rights through Advocacy

The DRF advocacy strategy aims to increase visibility, knowledge, and usage of a rights-based approach to disability amongst key stakeholders, including donors, development agencies, grantmakers, and human rights organizations.  DRF Executive Director, Diana Samarasan, leads the majority of DRF's advocacy efforts.  In 2012, DRF commissioned the report "Beyond Charity:  A Donor's Guide to Inclusion:  Disability funding in the era of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" by Lorraine Wapling and Bruce Downie.  

Budget  $64,187.00
Category  Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Disabled Persons' Rights
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success 


  • Increase in the integration of disability into other rights movements, such as those of women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples
  • Increase in regional partnerships among DPOs to strengthen the disability movement
  • Increase in funding going to disability rights as measured through tracking at the Foundation Center
  • Increase in funding or number of grants to DPOs by other grantmakers

 

Program Long-Term Success 
Advancing Rights Through Innovations

A rights-based approach to disability is recognized amongst key stakeholders.

As measured by:

·      Increase in the integration of disability into other rights movements, such as those of women, youth, and Indigenous Peoples

·      Increase in regional partnerships among DPOs to strengthen the disability movement

Advancing Rights through Key Stakeholders 

Broader stakeholder understanding of rights issues of the disability community and greater integration of disability issues into human rights and development programs and funding.

Program Success Monitored By 
DRF grants are searchable on the interactive website, Philanthropy In/Sight.  Philanthropy In/Sight is an interactive mapping tool that demonstrates the impact of philanthropy around the world today. A product of the Foundation Center, In/Sight combines the Center's rich data on grantmakers and their grants with Google maps to tell stories of philanthropy. Users can create maps that reveal patterns of giving and funding relationships to meet a wide range of information needs.
 
Examples of Program Success 
In 2012, the Disability Rights Fund commissioned the publication of a guide to support donor learning about the rights of persons with disabilities.  "Beyond Charity:  A Donor's Guide to Inclusion:  Disability funding in the era of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" by Lorraine Wapling and Bruce Downie.  If you would like us to send you a copy, please let us know.  "Beyond Charity" is also available on our website at http://www.disabilityrightsfund.org/donor/donorguide.html.  
 
Presentations at the UN High Level Meeting on Disability and Development: 
Robinah Alambuya, representing the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, spoke at the UN’s High-level meeting of the General Assembly on Disabililty and Development on September 23, 2013.  She is also a member of DRF’s Ugandan grantee, Heartsounds, and was supported by DRF and the Open Society Foundation to attend the meeting.  Please see her entire speech on our website at http://www.disabilityrightsfund.org/SPEAKOUT .
 
 

Advancing Rights through Grantmaking

DRF awards grants to Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) through National Coalitions, Mid-Level Coalitions (regional collaborations) and Small Grants. Our Program Team has created a detailed logical framework ("log frame") which includes outputs, indicators, short-term milestones and long-term targets.  
Budget  $1,683,324.00
Category  Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking, General/Other Comprehensive Grantmaking
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success 
Short term Milestones (2013-2014): 
  • Accurate data available about the number of persons with disabilities in target countries who are living in poverty. 
  • Accurate data available about the number of persons with disabilities who are employed and/or receiving basic education.
  • 2 target countries with enhanced measures to ensure access to voting for all people with disabilities. 
  • At least in 2 target countries, people with disabilities are concretely included in national and local poverty reduction strategies.  
  • 15 countries have ratified with CRPD (with minimal declarations and reservations) and 10 have ratified the Optional Protocol. 
  • 6 target countries have formal DPO participation in government CRPD mechanisms. 
  • 7 target counties have made national legislative changes.
  • 8 alternative reports reflect the interests of marginalized and grassroots grantees. 
  • 40% partnerships or strategic alliances between grantees and other DPO's and key stakeholders.
Program Long-Term Success 
Persons with Disabilities participate fully in society and enjoy equal rights and opportunities. 
 
Long-Term Targets:
15% reduction in number of persons with disabilities in target countries who are living in poverty.
5 target countries with enhanced measures to ensure access to voting for all people with disabilities.
15% increase in number of persons with disabilities in target countries who are employed and/or receiving basic education.
 
DRF Grant making Program Outputs: 
  • Rights of persons with disabilities, as outlined in the CRPD, are advanced in target counties by the enhanced participation of the disability movement.
  • Legislation, policy and programs in target countries are undergoing harmonization in accordance with the CRPD.
  • Representative organizations of persons with disabilities participate in international and national human rights monitoring processes of target countries.
  • DPO movement in target countries is inclusive reflecting the diverse needs and views of the disability community. 
  • Grantees have capacity to advocate on the rights of persons with disabilities.
 
Program Success Monitored By  Grantee Reports, Grantee Capacity Surveys, DRF Country Research/Reports, Independent Evaluation Report (see our previous report conducted by Universalia on our website), Alternative Reports to CRPD committee, Grantee Self Assessment Tools
Examples of Program Success 
7 target countries have made national legislative changes
6 target countries have formal DPO participation in government CRPD mechanisms 

Advancing Rights through Technical Assistance

In order to ensure that DPOs have sufficient technical support and collaborative partnerships DRF supports technical assistance and capacity building to advance rights.

DRF provides technical assistance in the area of rights advocacy development and movement building, starting from supporting CRPD understanding, and do not focus generally on provision of support for general organization capacity such as managerial, financial or fundraising support.  DRF is able to draw on resources/partnerships to provide technical support to grantees on UN human rights mechanism reporting. 


 

Budget  $180,002.00
Category  Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Disabled Persons' Rights
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success 


To build the capacity of DPOs to do rights advocacy and monitoring, DRF grants currently implement these technical assistance activities:
  • During the review process, program officers spend one–on-one time helping grantees develop sound advocacy proposals;
  • Grantee Convenings and site visits include trainings with thematic experts, opportunities to learn from other grantees and share information, individualized time to review organization progress, and updated information on the CRPD;
  • The DRF website resource section was created to fill some of the gaps DPOs have when designing or implementing their projects;
  •  Collaborations have been facilitated with other relevant national stakeholders;
  •  One-on-one technical aid from the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and other legal experts has been facilitated for reviewing alternative reports and legislative proposals.

 


 

Program Long-Term Success 

The DRF Program Officers have developed technical assistance plans that are catered to and customized for specific grantees and/or countries.  TA plans are adaptable to contextual developments.  TA activities and strategies include:  Implementation of a Self-Assessment of Grantee Capacity; Development of Grantee Expertise on the CRPD and the Social Model; Development of Grantee Expertise in Advocacy; and, Development of Advocacy Strategy Planning.

 
Program Success Monitored By 
Grantee Reports
Grantee Capacity Surveys and Self Assessments
Independent Evaluation
 
Examples of Program Success  Launch of a new Strategic Partnerships funding stream, supporting a global movement of indigenous persons with disabilities and a network of African youth with disabilities across 14 nations, in addition to increased technical assistance for DPOs.

Uganda Capacity Fund

The newly established Uganda Capacity Fund supports Ugandan disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs), which are working to advance the rights of persons with disabilities, with organizational capacity-building grants. This fund has been set up at the request of a donor.
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Budget  120,000
Category  Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Disabled Persons' Rights
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities Africa
Program Short-Term Success 
 
Action for Youth with Disabilities Uganda
To increase and strengthen capacity of Action for Youth with Disabilities Uganda (AYDU) staff and membership to ensure effective coordination and implementation of policy advocacy in realization of the mission of the organization.

National Association of the Deafblind in Uganda
To increase the advocacy capacity of district-based members of the National Association of the Deafblind in Uganda (NADBU) in order to equalize opportunities for the deafblind at district levels.

Spinal Injuries Association
To increase leadership capacity within two district branches of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) (Lira and Kabarole) to carry out rights promotion according to SIA's new strategic plan, including through elections for new board members.

Uganda Albinos Association
To strengthen branch offices of the Uganda Albinos Association (UAA) and develop needed organization-wide policies, including finance and human resource policies.

Program Long-Term Success  Organizational capacity building:  Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, any of the following: financial management, strategic planning, fundraising, communication/marketing, board development, staff development, monitoring and evaluation.
 
Building links to other human rights movements:  This includes, but is not limited to, strengthening working relationships with organizations active in any of the following movements: women’s rights, children’s rights, indigenous rights, environmental rights, land rights, economic rights, or other rights movements as identified by applicant.
 
Travel grants:  Applications to support attendance in specific workshops.
Program Success Monitored By 
Grantee Capacity Surveys
Country Strategy Research
Independent Evaluation
 
Examples of Program Success 

 

Uganda ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on September 25, 2008. It was one of the first countries to be addressed by the Disability Rights Fund. 

Uganda is recognized for its vibrant disability movement, especially for the activities of the Kampala-based, national-level disabled persons organizations. Rural-based organizations, representing the majority of persons with disabilities, often lack management capacity and resources. Certain impairment groups are better organized than others and some have problems being accepted into the disability community. Women with disabilities also face discrimination, a consequence of the gender roles and culture of Ugandan society.

DRF grants prioritize funding of  emergent and grassroots organizations reaching out to the most marginalized sectors of the community to empower them to raise their voices. DRF does not just provide financial assistance, but also strives to strengthen the disability movement in Uganda. 


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Diana Samarasan
CEO Term Start Jan 2007
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Diana Samarasan is the Executive Director of the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, which empower Disabled Persons' Organizations to advance the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, and Eastern Europe/the former Soviet Union.  Diana is the primary liaison to donors to the Fund and oversees grantmaking and strategic development. She is also responsible for promoting the organization’s mission among other grantmakers and donors in the human rights arena. Diana has over fifteen years of experience in disability, international health, and human rights. Previously, Diana directed the Mental Disability Advocacy Center a legal advocacy organization in Budapest, Hungary, which litigates abuses of rights of persons with mental disabilities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She also worked with the American Refugee Committee and Doctors of the World, addressing issues such as access of vulnerable populations to reproductive health services, tuberculosis control, and deinstitutionalization. A graduate of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Diana has advanced degrees in Public Administration and Psychology. Diana is a Board member of the United States International Council on Disability and on the Steering Committee of the International Human Rights Funders' Group.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Yumi Sera Operations Director --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
Council on Foundations - Member 2012
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

International Disability Alliance:  
Consistent with the slogan, “nothing about us without us”, and in furtherance of the CRPD’s mandate for the active participation by people with disabilities in the implementation of the Convention, the Fund’s operational and grantmaking decisions are informed by activists/advisors representing different segments of the disability community in the Global South, Middle East/North Africa and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union, including people with physical, sensory, psychosocial, and intellectual disabilities. These activists are members of DRF’s Global Advisory Panel, and four of them also serve on DRF’s Grantmaking Committee.

In 2007, as DRF was beginning, help was sought from IDA to select individuals for the Global Advisory Panel. The majority of the current 12 members are individuals who were nominated by member organizations of IDA.

As advisor terms end, as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding between IDA and DRF, the Fund looks to IDA to identify new candidates for the Global Advisory Panel.

 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 8
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 0
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 1
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 4
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Catherine Hyde Townsend
Board Chair Company Affiliation Wellspring Advisors, LLC
Board Chair Term Feb 2011 -
Board Co-Chair Mr. William Rowland
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ola Abu Al Ghaib Community Volunteer Voting
Michael Haroz Community Volunteer Voting
Catherine Hyde Townsend Community Volunteer Voting
Emily Martinez Community Volunteer Voting
Vinay Mehra Community Volunteer Voting
William Rowland Community Volunteer Voting
Diana Samarasan Disabilty Rights Fund Exofficio

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 1
Other: 2
Other (if specified): Persons with Disabilities and Middle Eastern
Gender Female: 4
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 50%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Distributions / Grant Making

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

DRF’s unique structure includes a Global Advisory Panel (GAP), the majority of whom are people with disabilities; a Grantmaking Committee, composed of donor representatives and four of the advisors, Board members and the advisors; and, a professional staff of nine, the majority of whom are people with disabilities.  This structure, which has placed people with disabilities in powerful roles within the organization, establishes DRF as an innovative grantmaking vehicle operating in concert with the disability community’s slogan, “nothing about us without us”.  In the "Other Documents" section, please see our impressive Global Advisory Panel list of biographies.  

Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown (%)

No data available

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015
Projected Income $2,903,710.00
Projected Expense $2,474,032.00
Form 990s

2013 Form 990 - DRF

2012 Form 990 - DRF

Audit Documents

2013 Audited Financial Statements 2013

2012 Combined Audited Financial Statements - DRF (covers 9 months; April 1, 2012 - Dec. 31, 2012)

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Total Revenue $4,581,787 $2,470,667 --
Total Expenses $2,060,687 $2,026,973 --

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 --
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $4,557,517 $1,562,606 --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- $908,034 --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- $27 --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $24,270 -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Program Expense $1,680,104 $1,803,324 --
Administration Expense $298,978 $184,660 --
Fundraising Expense $81,605 $38,989 --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 2.22 1.22 --
Program Expense/Total Expenses 82% 89% --
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 2% 2% --

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Total Assets $3,133,068 $541,174 --
Current Assets $1,970,034 $541,174 --
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 --
Current Liabilities $168,274 $97,480 --
Total Net Assets $2,964,794 $443,694 --

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 11.71 5.55 --

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 --
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Financial Statements are for Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, Inc. and Disability Rights Fund, Inc. 

Foundation Comments

The financial summary data in the charts and graphs above, for fiscal year 2012, is per the organization's audited financials. Please note, the 2012 DRF Audit covers a 9 month period. The data covers the Disability Rights Funds, Inc. only, not the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund - the 2012 combined audited financial document is posted above for your reference. Fiscal year 2013 data above is per the FY13 audited financial document and reflects DRF data only. The Other revenue category for fiscal year 2013 includes "gain for foreign exchange rates." Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.
 
Until February 2011, when the Disability Rights Fund, Inc. received its 501(c)(3) status from the IRS (please see the IRS Letter of Determination posted above), it was operating as a program under Tides Center, beginning in January of 2008.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

 

The Disability Rights Fund’s ultimate goal for intended impact is that persons with disabilities participate fully in society and enjoy equal rights and opportunities. The organizations’ “intended outcome”, included within a detailed logical framework document for 2013-2016, identifies that DRF will impact social change with people with disabilities within developing countries. Specifically, the purpose of DRF’s grantmaking is that the rights of persons with disabilities, as outlined in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), are advanced in DRF target countries by the enhanced participation of the disability movement. DRF ensures that people with disabilities are integral to the movement, leading local, national and regional level changes. To date, DRF has targeted 29 developing countries all of these countries are within the bottom 50 countries of the HDI (Human Development Index) and an estimated 80% of people with disabilities within target countries are living in poverty. DRF conducts extensive country research before making target country selection and have four Program Officers, all who have disabilities, who are the point of contact regionally and oversee projects within those target countries.

Specific goals outlined in the logical framework include the following:

Legislation, policy and programs in target countries are undergoing harmonization in accordance with the CRPD through the participation and influence of representative organizations of persons with disabilities.

Representative organizations of persons with disabilities participate in international and national human rights monitoring processes of target countries.

Representative organizations of persons with disabilities participate in international and national human rights monitoring processes of target countries.

 


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

 

 

DRF has robust processes and procedures in place to ensure the effectiveness and due diligence of our grantmaking. These include the:

• Strategic Plan

• Monitoring and Evaluation System, including our logframe and tools

• Analysis of country context, including strategic objectives for each country

• Grantee selection and monitoring process which ensure due diligence for our donors

• Grantee Convenings and site visits

One of the tools is Annual Grantee Capacity Survey, which aims to gauge how grantees self-assess changes in their own capacity in relation to: 1) CRPD knowledge and 2) advocacy skills as a result of DRF support.

DRF tracks progress toward enhancing participation of DPOs in the achievement of rights with several indicators.

The purpose of the annual grantee survey is to measure current grantees’ advocacy capacity, specifically as stated in DRF’s logframe (fshared on our website):

OUTPUT

Grantees have capacity to advocate on the rights of persons with disabilities

INDICATORS

· Ability of grantees to plan, implement, and evaluate advocacy activities

· Proportion of repeat grantees which illustrate growing knowledge of the rights of persons with disabilities (as outlined in the CRPD)

The survey was disseminated in English and Spanish in February 2013. The advantage of the survey methodology is that it enables us to reach all of our grantees by email in a cost-efficient manner, although, because of the language and technical capabilities of our global audience, it does have its limitations. The multiple-choice format provides for quantitative analysis, while open-ended comments provide rich sources of additional information. This year’s questions be used to complement information gleaned from other monitoring tools.

In 2013, we received 69 responses or 67% out of 103 surveys sent. In 2012, we received 73 out of 115 (63%), and in 2011 we received 43 out of 53 (81%). The tables on the next page show the breakdown of the responses by country.

The majority of the respondents (86%) have received more than one grant from DRF, and over half of them (60%) started their DRF-funded project in 2009 or 2010. Nine respondents reported receiving only one grant. The majority (84%) have received a Small Grant, 5.8% have received a National Coalition Grant, and 10% have received both a Small Grant and a National Coalition Grant. Questions on the Grantee Capacity Survey regarding knowledge of the CRPD, Advocacy Capacity, are tracked in detail and average percentage increases are used as the baseline for the logical framework (logframe).

[We] trained 200 activists in the CRPD. They are acting as self- advocates.

We translated the CRPD into the local language to enhance better understanding of the CRPD among persons with disabilities and the local community. We have advocated for the amendment of a local ordinance on disability in accordance with the CRPD.

We have developed a human rights training manual with a chapter on the CRPD. We are using the CRPD in synergy with other national and local legal frameworks on disability to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities.


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

 

Recognizing the potential impact of a human rights framework on the largest minority group in the world – people with physical, sensory, psycho-social and intellectual disabilities who are an estimated one billion people – donor representatives conceptualized the Disability Rights Fund as a response to the window of opportunity opened by the process towards and adoption of the CRPD in December 2006.

In 2007, an anonymous donor initiated DRF with a grant to the Fund for Global Human Rights to hire a consultant to develop structure and build relationships with other donors and the disability rights field. Inspired by the energized constituency of people with disabilities represented by the International Disability Caucus, which played a leading role in negotiations and textual development of the Convention, DRF was constructed as a collaboration between donors and the global disability community. The consultant that was in 2007 to build the fund is Disability Rights Fund’s Founding Executive Director, Diana Samarasan, who has built DRF into the sixth largest supporter of human rights funding specific to the rights of people with disabilities in the world.

DRF’s unique structure includes a Global Advisory Panel (GAP), the majority of whom are people with disabilities; a Grantmaking Committee, composed of donor representatives and four of the advisors, Board members and the advisors; and, a professional staff of nine, the majority of whom are people with disabilities. This structure, which has placed people with disabilities in powerful roles within the organization, establishes DRF as an innovative grantmaking vehicle operating in concert with the disability community’s slogan, “nothing about us without us”. With modest grants, the Disability Rights Fund supports organizations led by and for people with disabilities, referred to as Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs),

According to external evaluators Universalia, “the Fund uses many practices that contribute to its efficiency: the inclusion of persons with disabilities in decision making, clear staff roles and responsibilities, appropriate governance structure, and transparent grantmaking processes. Grantees perceive the Fund as a good financial partner and indicated that grant delivery mechanisms were satisfactory. They noted that they received constructive feedback during the development of their proposals, communications are satisfactory throughout the grant cycle, disbursements are timely, and reporting requirements are fair. Many grantees are dependent on DRF for their survival; because of this, they said they would like grant amounts to be larger and/or funding for a longer period of time.”

DRF has increased its funding base and diversified its sources of funding thanks to the efforts of its Executive Director. Another key element in the evaluation of DRF was the degree of cost-effectiveness and value for money provided by grantmaking activities. “The analysis of the Fund’s value for money was limited by lack of data on the cost per output and on the number of beneficiaries for each grant due to the nature of the Fund’s interventions.” The independent report and summary can be found on DRFs website.


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

 

The Disability Rights Fund works with external evaluator, Universalia, to provide a comprehensive report on progress toward our outcomes and qualitative accomplishments. We have set our goals high and we work hard to demonstrate impact. In 2012, Universalia conducted DRFs first independent evaluation. They found that:

In a little less than four years, DRF has become a recognized donor for disability rights… contributing to the achievement of results for the benefit of persons with disabilities. These results include national and local level changes in legislation, alternative reports on the CRPD submitted to UN mechanisms, a more inclusive disability rights movement in target countries evidenced by grants awarded to marginalized and new DPOs, and increased grantee capcities through the formation of partnerships and growing knowledge on rights of persons with disabilities.

The evaluation found that the design and approach of DRF are relevant to the advancement of the rights of people with disabilities as articulated in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The use of both a rights-based approach and a movement-building approach was described as appropriate to increase the voices and participation of persons with disabilities in claiming their rights. Informants recognised the relevance of a rights-based approach in the Fund’s grantmaking activities and the evaluation found evidence of the application of the five principles of a rights-based approach in all five pilot countries. All grantees based their activities on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which provides evidence of the normativity principle. Principles of non-discrimination and participation were also widely applied since persons with disabilities are included at all levels of the Fund: governance, staff, and grantees themselves. This organisational design and structure was described as lending legitimacy and credibility to the Fund and ensuring that grantmaking is informed by realities on the ground. The principles of accountability and transparency are applied throughout the Fund’s operations. The evaluation also found evidence of the Fund’s efforts to build a social movement, namely through the development of the capacity of rights holders to claim their rights as a group. Grants were awarded in target countries to build a stronger base for DPOs, to do leadership training, to create alliances, and to do direct advocacy.

DRF is also relevant in filling a gap in disability rights funding. While some other donors fund disabled persons organisations, not many focus on funding rights advocacy and charitable funding is still the norm. The Fund is also filling a gap by supporting bilateral donors to channel funding to marginalised and grassroots organisations.

DRF also distributes a Grantee Capacity Survey to all grantee organizations. In 2013, % of grantees filled out the grantee capacity survey, which not only assesses the progress of the grantee toward accomplishing their goals, but assists DRF in our operations, communications and RFP process by asking questions specific to those areas so that we can better meet the needs of our grantees.


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

 

Since our inception, DRF and our sister fund, the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF) have:

  • granted over $13 million for rights advancement by DPOs across the developing world;
  • supported more than 200 projects in 29 countries across 6 regions of the world;
  • averaged a 23% increase in CRPD knowledge and an average of 25% increase in ability to plan, implement, and evaluate advocacy activities by grantee DPOs since one year ago[1].
  • awarded 51% of funding to especially marginalized groups[2] within the disability community; 19% of funding to new organizations representing groups of people with disabilities not previously active in the public realm; and 32% of funding to partnerships among DPOs and between DPOs and other civil society groups;
  • supported national legislative changes addressing rights of people with disabilities in 8 countries (Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Uganda and Ukraine)-- including new Disability Acts in Nicaragua and Peru generated by citizens' initiatives run by DRF grantees;
  • launched a new Strategic Partnerships funding stream, supporting a global movement of indigenous persons with disabilities and a network of African youth with disabilities across 14 nations, in addition to increased technical assistance for DPOs.
  • facilitated site visits and grantee convenings in every target country - bringing grantees together with other key stakeholders to learn and address CRPD implementation issues;
  • built awareness in the area of disability rights with other donors, including publication of a funder’s guide, “Beyond Charity: A Donor’s Guide to Inclusion”; and,
  • published our first organizational report, highlighting rights achievements by the disability movement, “One in Seven: How One Billion People are Redefining the Global Movement for Human Rights”.

The Grantee Capacity Survey asked respondents to rate barriers that are preventing their stakeholders (such as members, government officials, or persons with disabilities in a specific community) from improving their knowledge of the CRPD. This list of barriers is listed in the text box. (Note: for next year’s survey, we may consider revising this list to get more clarity on the responses.)

The lack of resources ranked highest among barriers, with the lack of legal knowledge as a second. Several comments pointed out specific populations to whom the CRPD information and terms are not easily accessible, including people who are illiterate or who cannot speak or write English; rural and grassroots communities or outer districts and islands far from the capital; people with intellectual disabilities; or psychiatric survivors.

Other language and related barriers cited were:

  • Local translations are not translated well... our local language is not a rich language.
  • Funds for local language translation are not now available.
  • Legal jargon of the CRPD.
  • Low level of civic or human rights knowledge [which] makes it difficult to present a human rights issues without appropriate training... and will require a lot of talking and information.
  • Needed terms do not exist in the local language.
  • Lack of materials on the CRPD in indigenous languages.
  • There is no sign language or Braille facility in their country, and many members have limited ability to learn and communicate the concepts.

Barriers

A) Lack of CRPD in local languages (including sign language)

B) Difficult legal language of the CRPD

C) Lack of legal knowledge

D) Lack of available training

E) Lack of good training

F) Lack of accessible training