Twenty years ago, activists around the world echoed the need for a fund that poured into the movement during critical threats and unanticipated moments of advocacy. Responding to this call, the first seeds of Urgent Action Fund were sown.



The Urgent Action Sister Funds are a global consortium of feminist funds that provide rapid and responsive support for women, trans, and non-binary  human rights defenders in moments of need, sustaining feminist activism by supporting the resistance and resilience of frontline defenders. Grounded in our Sisterhood Feminist Principles of Philanthropy, we have a political commitment to share power and work together towards our common vision of sustaining feminist movements. Feminist activists around the world seeded Urgent Action Funds to become a nourishing ecosystem that supports the resilience of women and transgender human rights defenders through rapid response grants across the world.

WE ARE collaborative, co-equal and geographically distinct. Beginning in 1997 with UAF-for Feminist Activism (which now covers the Balkans, the Caucuses, Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the U.S., and Canada), the Sisterhood grew out of the priorities of local feminist movements to include three additional and independent UAFs. UAF-Africa formed in 2001, UAF-Latin America & the Caribbean in 2009, and UAF-Asia & Pacific in 2017. Now the Urgent Action Sister Funds (UAFs) are four independent but regional feminist funds that work interdependently at the global level. The UAFs represent the only global consortium of regionally rooted feminist funds that provide rapid response support to women, trans, and non-binary Human Rights Defenders.

We center collective care and protection in our feminist crisis response. Our care practice is that rapid response grants support not only defenders but also dependents and loved ones, recognizing that defenders exist within families, communities, and ecosystems.

With more than 25 years of rapid response grantmaking under our belt we have learned, adapted and evolved our grant making strategies to suit our constituencies. Our model of Rapid Response Grantmaking (RRG) protects and advances the civil, political and social rights of women and LBTI people, and invests in social justice movements including environmental, feminist, anti- corruption, land rights, peace and youth. As the Urgent Action Funds, we are flexible in our grant making processes and accept online, mobile and SMS grant applications to facilitate rapid response grants movement. Combining our holistic approach with our international network, we implement real time grant-making with accompaniment support, knowledge production and activities. This facilitates women’s leadership, improves safety for women’s and LBTIQ+ movements while amplifying the voices and experiences of grassroots movements for equality, peace and justice. Equipped with autonomous models that are designed to consider the requirements of each region, we continue building stronger webs of support for women and transgender rights defenders together, across the world.



With a vision to scale our collective impact, we developed the UAF Sisterhood Working Principles to breathe life into our shared commitment to strengthening coordination with each other. While each of the funds have their own guiding values, these Principles are meant to guide staff in their work and relations with each other, and with partners.

The current version of our Principles is a product of nearly two years of consultation to reflect the insights of UAF’s staff and leadership. They remain work in progress and will evolve as we persistently reflect on our practice and collaborations.


Our sisterhood honors our shared humanity, love, and solidarity. As an embodiment of our principles, we prioritize care and wellness as a political act. Working mindfully commits to tending care to how we work, just as much as the results of our work. We care for and love ourselves and each other.


Our sisterhood was born to respond to urgent needs with resilience, courage and a bold vision. Learning, action, and experimentation are all critical components of our collective practice as we work to change ourselves and the work we do together.


Our sisterhood is designed to celebrate and value our differences — region, language, political and cultural context. Our strength is rooted in these differences and we see them as essential to our work. We value the knowledge and approaches that each sister offers the sisterhood.


We are sisters that work to develop trust, share power, co-create and share responsibility of our sisterhood and our work together. As an interdependent sisterhood, we recognize the importance of both: shared decision-making grounded in our vision and honoring each sister’s power and autonomy.



Check out the resources pages of each sister fund to learn about their work in each region.

You can access resources, publications, and materials here:

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