The Freedom Fund was conceived by our three founders, Humanity United, Legatum Foundation and Minderoo Foundation in mid-2013. As the three major private funders in the anti-slavery space at that time, they saw the need for a private donor fund to mobilise greater funding for the sector; drive an ambitious research agenda that would identify interventions that could be replicated and scaled; and unify a fragmented field. The Freedom Fund was officially announced by President Bill Clinton on September 26, 2013 at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. A video of the announcement is here.
Nick Grono was appointed as CEO in January 2014, and commenced working in London in January 2014 from Legatum’s offices. The Freedom Fund held its first Board meeting in San Francisco on January 27, 2014. The first hotspot, in Northern India, commenced in March 2014. The Freedom Fund moved into its own offices in New York and London in mid-2014. The formal launch of the organisation took place on September 24, 2014 in New York. The launch video is here.
On 19 December, the Fund announced it was to receive a $6 million investment from the Stardust Fund, as a new anchor donor. Stardust’s donor adviser, the artist and human rights activist Molly Gochman, joined the Freedom Fund board in January 2015. An overview of the Freedom Fund’s work in 2014 can be found here.
In March 2015, C&A Foundation invested EUR 2.4 million as part of a new two-year partnership focused on the eradication of forced and bonded labour in the textile industry in Tamil Nadu, southern India.
In July 2015 we announced a partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) which saw Michael Anderson, CEO of CIFF join the Freedom Fund board. The British philanthropy granted the Freedom Fund $10 million over five years to scale its anti-slavery work around the world, with a particular focus on tackling the exploitation of children.