The Charity & Security Network is a resource and advocacy center for nonprofit organizations to promote and protect their ability to carry out effective programs that support peace and human rights, aid civilians in areas of disaster and armed conflict, and build democratic governance.
Who We Are
Launched in late 2008, the Charity & Security Network is made up of a broad cross-section of nonprofits, including charities working on humanitarian aid, development, peacebuilding, human rights and civil liberties, along with grantmakers, donors and faith-based groups.
We work to increase the operational space for nonprofit programs that address the root causes of poverty and conflict. Specifically, we work to:
Enable peacebuilding organizations to engage in education, training and mediation activities with armed non-state groups in order to prevent, reduce or mitigate armed conflict.
Ensure unfettered civil society access to civilian populations impacted by conflict, disaster and poverty.
Protect civil society and human rights defenders from government infringement on the rights of free speech, assembly and association.
Build an enabling framework for counterterrorism related regulation of nonprofits.
Barriers to Operating Charitable Programs and the Shrinking Space for Civil Society
Current U.S. law is preventing charities and donors from engaging in critical, life-saving work in disaster and conflict areas. Civilian populations, especially women and children, are losing the benefits that U.S. nonprofits could provide. This is because overbroad counterterrorism policies make it difficult or impossible for charities to operate in areas where a terrorist group is present. This isolates populations impacted by conflict and disaster, leaving an open field to terrorist groups that abuse aid for propaganda and recruitment purposes.
Humanitarian Aid is Restricted: U.S. law makes it is a crime to conduct almost any transaction with a terrorist group, including those necessary for humanitarian groups to access civilians or peacebuilding groups to train terrorist groups on how to use nonviolent means to address their grievances.
Over-reaching regulatory environment: An over-reaching regulatory environment based on broad anti-terrorist financing rules, both in the U.S. and abroad, disrupts thework of legitimate civil society groups. Repressive governments have abused these rules to suppress dissent and limit civil society.
What We Do
The Charity & Security Network provides logistical, legal and technical support for stakeholders from across the nonprofit sector to convene and engage in dialogue, analysis and joint efforts that can bring about positive change. It enables its members to pool resources and provide mutual support. Our work includes:
Research and Education: We act as a hub for information sharing among a wide group of civil society professionals in the U.S. and internationally. The project hosts events, monitors and reports on new developments, produces informational publications and publishes research reports documenting the problem and proposing solutions.
Coalition Building and Collaboration: We reach out to a range of civil society groups to get input and provide opportunities for participation and collaboration through working groups, email lists, briefings and more.
Engaging with Policymakers: We regularly engage with executive branch agencies, Congress and international bodies to educate them on the barriers faced by civil society.
Advocacy: We lead and participate in political advocacy campaigns to advance policies and frameworks that protect and enable civil society.