Launched in January 2015, the SAGE Fund emerged out of three years of research, donor outreach, and strategy development. A mapping study, Advancing Human Rights Accountability for Economic Actors: An Introductory Field Guide for Funders was conducted, identifying key trends and opportunities for greater impact across a range of approaches. The mapping charts progress made by the human rights movement in tackling fundamental challenges created by the global economy. It also highlights how the field has been hampered by a lack of tools, capacity and leverage to respond effectively. The SAGE Fund was created to help address this imbalance by directing resources to invest in the development of new tools and greater field capacity.
The SAGE Fund is designed to strengthen the human rights movement’s ability to address critical gaps in protection by creating a vehicle for:
- Spurring innovation in the development of new tools and approaches for holding all economic actors accountable by investing in pilot projects and experimental strategies.
- Building knowledge, skills and capacity (with a focus the Global South) to analyze key challenges, fashion strategies in response, and mobilize new coalitions and constituencies.
- Creating greater leverage (within the donor and NGO communities) by building consensus and an agenda for the field, identifying priorities, and greatest opportunities for impact.
The SAGE Fund is a collaborative fund designed to complement the focus of direct foundation grant making and seeks to work with donors across fields to increase overall support for human rights in the global economy. It also aims to provide a vehicle for extending the reach of donors to support pilot projects; engage in more labor-intensive grant making that produces multi-tiered project partnerships; direct funds to national level groups working with affected communities; and facilitate field research, convenings and the development of a coordinated field agenda.