Our work advances issues at the leading edge of democracy and social change.

Advancing justice through human rights, democracy and peace.

Proteus believes that an economically and socially just society depends on three fundamental tenets:

  • Every human being must be treated equally with respect and integrity.
  • Our political system must protect and reinforce these human rights.
  • The environment must be free of violence and oppression so these core values can thrive.

Founded in 1996, Proteus has brought together more than $110 million towards the realization of this vision. Partnering with individual donors and foundations, we design and manage collaborative grant making on a range of leading social change arenas—from curbing the growing influence of money in politics to advancing marriage equality and protecting civil liberties in an age of heightened national security. Our high-impact initiatives combine targeted grants and technical assistance, informed by rigorous policy analysis and research, as well as expert input from the field. Each program is structured around a strategy that is refined yearly, and when appropriate, incorporates a rapid response grant making function and support for lobbying activity.

Collaborative Grant Making: Efficacy. Efficiency. Innovation.

Proteus leads on some of the cutting edge issues of our time. Each initiative is uniquely structured, focused to achieve the goals of its funding partners, and led by experienced program staff. Proteus Fund works to connect our programs to other social movements and resources while providing a full complement of services including partnership development, grants and financial management and administrative support.

Central to Proteus is the belief that when funders pool resources and draw on collective ideas and energy, the resulting process allows participants to maximize their investment dollar and have a much broader impact than each donor partner might do individually. For this reason, Proteus integrates a collaborative approach in our major initiative work. The result:

  • Greater impact as part of a coordinated, comprehensive and sophisticated strategy born of a large vision;
  • Capacity for in-depth due diligence and thoughtful oversight of grant making.
  • Incubation of new ideas and bold action.
  • Ability to respond quickly to dynamic situations on the ground.
  • Dissemination of best practices and a vehicle for collegial learning environment for funders and the field.
  • Leverage of investments to have greater influence on strategic results.