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Information for grantmakers

Refugee camp

“Open Briefing has the potential to add very considerable value for hard-pressed progressive organisations and individuals at very modest cost.”
John Sloboda, co-founder, Iraq Body Count and Every Casualty

We believe in creating a more resilient civil society that can protect vulnerable communities and a fragile environment within an increasingly restricted civic space.

Our direct contribution to this is to support at-risk organisations and activists around the world by ensuring their physical, digital and psychosocial security or through enhancing their campaigns with intelligence and research support. We do this by providing high-impact capacity-building and technical assistance in the form of:

  • Audits and consultancy
  • Training and capacity building
  • Tools, advice and signposting

We focus our resources on supporting high-risk, low-capacity organisations and campaigners, but have worked extensively with the senior management teams of international donors and NGOs.

By working with us:

  • human rights defenders, humanitarians and others on the frontlines of civil society can properly understand and manage the threats to them and their work; and
  • charities and other NGOs can meet their duty of care and safeguarding obligations to staff, local partners and beneficiaries.

Open Briefing is a groundbreaking not-for-profit social enterprise pursuing charitable objectives. We are a unique international collective of humanitarians, human rights defenders, peacebuilders and environmentalists; military, intelligence, government and law enforcement veterans; and partners in the private and third sectors. We are supported by volunteers and funded by charitable grants and public donations.

Launched in 2011, Open Briefing was the first non-profit to provide professional security, risk and intelligence services to NGOs and other social change agents. With the addition of digital security, safeguarding and psychosocial support to our portfolio of services, we continue to be pioneers in this field.

Our projects and activities are organised over four programmes:

Our safety and security programme focusses on keeping humanitarians and human rights defenders safe from harm.

Our digital security programme focusses on protecting the online communications and digital information assets of organisations and campaigners.

Our staff wellbeing and resilience programme focusses on creating resilient individuals and teams.

Our intelligence and research programme focusses on enhancing organisation’s campaigns through the provision of actionable intelligence and high-quality research.

With a budget of only £100,000 last year, we achieved an impact far beyond what our size would suggest possible.

Last year, Open Briefing…

2017-19 overview
Our programme priorities for 2018-19 are to:

Build new tools to ensure the safety of the most-vulnerable human rights defenders and humanitarians.


Act on requests for support from at-risk and threatened organisations around the world.

We are currently funded by Oak Foundation, the Philamonic Trust, public donations and income from consultancy and training. We have also received core funding from the Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation, the Marmot Charitable Trust and the Network for Social Change in recent years. These intrepid grantmakers have enabled Open Briefing to grow from an innovative idea to what it is today.

We need to raise an additional £65,000 in core funding this year in order to respond to a significant increase in demand for our support and meet the programme priorities set out above.

If you are considering making a grant to Open Briefing, please contact our executive director, Chris Abbott, who will be happy to answer any questions that you might have. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss our work and how it aligns with your funding priorities.

“Open Briefing has proved hugely useful to Crisis Action and our partners time and again. Their high-quality analysis helps us focus our energies on where we can have the greatest impact for the protection of civilians in conflict. The value of that contribution cannot be over-estimated.”
Nick Martlew, UK director, Crisis Action


Open Briefing is a certified social enterprise and a member of
the International NGO Safety and Security Association and CIVICUS