National Endowment for Democracy

$170 million*

Minimum Requirement for American Leadership

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) supports the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions – political parties, trade unions, and business organizations and civil society.

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Justification for Funding

  • The NED supports democracy and rights work in some of the world’s most difficult environments, both through its four core institutions and with direct funding to local
  • For 35 years, the NED has advanced democracy efforts by supporting freedom-seekers in their pursuit of good governance, strong democracy, and the dignity afforded by human rights. NED enables civil society by supporting U.S., international, and foreign nonprofit organizations and their far-reaching networks of local citizens who advocate to governments for greater accountability and more personal freedom.

Cost of Cuts Below $170 Million

President and Congress Budget Comparison

       Congressional Budget   

       President's Budget Request (Base + OCO)

  • The NED makes more than 1,700 grants every year to support the projects of
    non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries. The U.S. government’s political and financial support of the NED is critical to maintain positive change across the globe. NED-supported programming supports a vibrant civil society that ensures human rights, an independent media, and the rule of law.


$170 million

Opportunity to Catalyze American Leadership


Justification for Full Funding

At 24, Ji Seong-ho escaped North Korea in a perilous journey through China, Laos, and Thailand to South Korea and became a human rights activist and founder of NED grantee organization Now, Action & Unity for Human Rights. President Trump recognized Seong-ho’s efforts during the 2018 State of the Union Address.

Impact of Full Funding

  • With the emergence of actors, such as Russia, who aim to destabilize democracies and electoral processes, the need to support all aspects of civil society has never been more paramount. NED, through its grant partnerships, seeks to support freedom of information, rule of law, political processes, civic education, freedom of association, the strengthening of institutions, human rights, and developing market economies. The NED, given its operating independence from the U.S. government, provides for support to partners with programming for all aspects of society, while maintaining respect for sovereignty in local communities.

*Enacted FY18 Omnibus Appropriation

For more information, please contact: Brian Wanko,

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