Catalytic Capital | April 15, 2019

Luminate injects $4 million in anti-corruption organization Global Witness

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, April 15 – U.S. and Europe-based Global Witness undertakes investigations in transnational corruption, covering abuses in everything from oil and mineral extraction to forest lands. Citizen engagement funder Luminate, an Omidyar Network spinoff, is backing the 26-year-old organization with $4 million in core funding to expand its investigation capacity. The grant is a follow-on to Luminate’s $4.8 million commitment to Global Witness three years ago.

“Many countries are blessed with a natural inheritance that can, under the right circumstances, be a motor for sustainable economic and social development. But time and again, this is not the case,” Luminate wrote in the Global Witness funding announcement. Global Witness’s “hard-hitting investigations,” it says, provide transparency and often lead to litigation, policy action and regulatory reform. 

Luminate provides a mix of investments and grants to organizations addressing civic empowerment, data and digital rights and financial transparency, as well as independent media groups. The organization was founded last year when Omidyar Network spun-off its governance and citizen engagement initiative as part of a strategy to independently launch its long-standing investment groups. Luminate was the second spin-off from Omidyar Network, following the formation of Spero from its emerging tech group. (It has since spun-off a third, forming Flourish from its its financial inclusion group.)

Luminate’s current portfolio includes 131 organizations. Overall, it has supported 236 organizations with $306 million in funding.