Who we are
The Digital Freedom Fund (DFF) exists to support the digital rights community in Europe to advance and protect human rights in digital spaces and reduce the negative impact of technology in the world. Since 2017, we have built a strong record of conscientious grantmaking, curated events, and an expanding network of partners and allies, all united in the desire to create systemic change.
What we do
We support Europe’s digital rights litigators and activists, enabling them to become more effective in their work. We do this through grants that support the legal, advocacy, research, and other costs involved in strategic litigation, and through facilitating skills and knowledge-development, and networking events. By equipping digital rights litigators to win more strategic digital rights cases, we seek ultimately to contribute to a society in which technology and digital spaces are used justly and fairly so that all communities and individuals can fully enjoy their human rights.
To date, we have financed over 70 pre-litigation research and litigation projects. These grants have covered issues from gig economy worker protections and promoting free speech online, to challenging bulk surveillance and algorithmic profiling. See more case studies here. We currently support grant applications based on Litigation Track Support and Pre-Litigation Research. Read more about our grantmaking process and criteria.
Our Community Strengthening and Support focuses on facilitating events and convenings as well as developing resources to support organisations and individuals in pursuing litigation on digital rights issues. This area of work includes projects which have their own vision and objectives, while also sharing common goals and adhering to transversal values based on decolonial and anti-oppressive principles.
We also actively engage in a consultative dialogue process with those working to advance digital rights in Europe to learn what our shared priorities in the field are and what we at DFF can do to support them. One important way through which we do this is via our anchor event, the Annual Strategy Meeting, where we bring together a wide group of organisations and individuals working on digital rights topics to jointly strategise, share information and lessons, and co-ordinate work going forward. This also helps us define our grant-making funding priorities and overall strategy going forward. Our next strategy meeting will be held on March 14-16, 2023, in Berlin, Germany. To register, please contact us. Look at a video summary of the last strategy meeting here:
Since 2020 we have co-led and continue to actively participate in an ongoing process toward decolonising the digital rights field in Europe. This strategy anchors itself in the learning brought by this process, as well as by the internal processes put in place, and integrates an anti-oppressive approach. By being committed to a decolonising process, we recognise the undue nature of our power position in a world of power imbalances. We acknowledge the violence, exploitation, displacement, and erasure on which this power position is based and are therefore engaged in participating in the dismantlement of the structures of oppression that lead to unequal access to resources. By structural oppression we mean the intentional production of inequality along racial, cis-hetero-patriarchal, classist, ethnic, ableist, and borderlines.
Here’s more about the Decolonising process and why it’s important for digital rights :
Our history and funders
The plans for DFF were developed with the kind assistance of an Advisory Group consisting of Vera Franz, Morris Lipson, Peter Noorlander, and Rupert Skillbeck. The founder and first Executive Director was Nani Jansen Reventlow.
DFF is currently supported by Open Society Foundations, Adessium Foundation, Luminate, Ford Foundation, Foundation Nicolas Puech, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, Stiftung Mercator, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Limelight Foundation, Internet Society Foundation, and the European Commission.
Follow us on Twitter and Mastodon, LinkedIn or sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date with our events, calls for proposals, and digital rights news in Europe. You can also know more about us by watching our videos here, and make sure to read our blogs.