The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, NED makes more than 1,000 grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.
Since its founding in 1983, the Endowment has remained on the leading edge of democratic struggles everywhere, while evolving into a multifaceted institution that is a hub of activity, resources and intellectual exchange for activists, practitioners and scholars of democracy the world over.
A Unique Institution
NED is a unique institution. The Endowment’s nongovernmental character gives it a flexibility that makes it possible to work in some of the world’s most difficult circumstances, and to respond quickly when there is an opportunity for political change. NED is dedicated to fostering the growth of a wide range of democratic institutions abroad, including political parties, trade unions, free markets and business organizations, as well as the many elements of a vibrant civil society that ensure human rights, an independent media, and the rule of law.
This well-rounded approach responds to the diverse aspects of democracy and has proved both practical and effective throughout NED’s history. Funded largely by the U.S. Congress, the support NED gives to groups abroad sends an important message of solidarity to many democrats who are working for freedom and human rights, often in obscurity and isolation.
Bipartisan and Transparent
From its beginning, NED has remained steadfastly bipartisan. Created jointly by Republicans and Democrats, NED is governed by a board balanced between both parties and enjoys Congressional support across the political spectrum. NED operates with a high degree of transparency and accountability reflecting our founders’ belief that democracy promotion overseas should be conducted openly.
We post information about all of our grants and activities on this Web site and are subject to multiple layers of oversight by the US Congress, the Department of State, and independent financial audit.
International Forum for Democratic Studies
The International Forum for Democratic Studies was established as a division within the Endowment in April 1994. Since then the Forum has emerged as a leading center for analyzing and discussing the theory and practice of democratic development.
World Movement for Democracy
The World Movement for Democracy is a global network of democrats including activists, practitioners, academics, policy makers, and funders, who have come together to cooperate in the promotion of democracy. All those who are engaged in the advancement of democracy worldwide are welcome to participate.
Journal of Democracy
The Journal is the world’s leading publication on the theory and practice of democracy. Since its first appearance in 1990, it has engaged both activists and intellectuals in critical discussions of the problems of and prospects for democracy around the world. Today, the Journal is at the center of debate on the major social, political, and cultural challenges that confront emerging and established democracies alike.
Center for International Media Assistance
CIMA aims to strengthen the support, raise the visibility, and improve the effectiveness of media assistance programs throughout the world. The Center approaches its mission by providing information, building networks, conducting research, and highlighting the indispensable role independent media play in the creation and development of sustainable democracies around the world.
WHERE WE WORK
Democracy belongs to no single nation, but rather it is the birthright of every person in every nation. That’s why the National Endowment for Democracy works in all corners of the globe, supporting democracy activists on six continents and in 90 countries.
Our work abroad takes the form of grants to local, independent organizations promoting political and economic freedom, a strong civil society, independent media, human rights, and the rule of law. Some of these organizations operate in transitional countries where the goal is consolidating democratic gains, while some operate in authoritarian countries where the goals are liberalization and the protection of human rights.