Launching our new Build & Breakthrough initiatives to meet the AI challenge

The European AI & Society Fund is launching Build & Breakthrough, two new initiatives to empower public interest advocates across Europe to drive the agenda on AI. Bringing an additional €10m into the field over the next 18 months, we aim to scale philanthropy’s response to ensure rapid developments in AI serve people and society, now and into the future.


Our Build Initiative will deepen our commitment to supporting a diverse and resilient civil society ecosystem working on AI in Europe with renewed funding for 18 of our current grantees.

Our Breakthrough Initiative will seize the current window of strategic opportunities to fight for AI that upholds our shared democratic values. With four new grantmaking programmes we will support bold work to use European regulation to challenge the harmful impacts of AI, work collectively towards global governance grounded in human rights, build a new political agenda for AI in the public interest and write new narratives that centre people – not the tech industry.

Over the next 18 months, we aim to bring at least €10 million more into the field through the Breakthrough Initiative, in addition to our existing funding. We have already received pledges of over €4m from both new and existing partners and will roll out grantmaking as funding is secured. To succeed we need funders from across philanthropy to join this mission and shape this work with us.

We invite all funders who share our vision of AI that promotes fair, inclusive and sustainable societies to participate and support this work.

Continue reading to learn more.

To seize this moment, the European AI & Society Fund will pool resources to create strong, sustainable and strategic networks of experts and advocates with the skills and capacity to turn the tide of AI towards the public interest.

The Breakthrough Initiative will bring at least €10m more into the field across four new programmes of grantmaking designed to leverage immediate opportunities for impact. They will support bold, adventurous work and attract new, savvy practitioners with diverse expertise into the field

Making Regulation Work

The programme will challenge the harmful impacts of AI on society and secure accountability for AI use by supporting the effective implementation and enforcement of legislation in Europe

Establishing Global Governance

The programme will put human rights at the heart of how AI is governed globally by building capacity and networks to leverage collective civil society power

New Political Thinking

The programme will promote fair, inclusive and sustainable societies by generating a   proactive policy agenda around AI and communicating it persuasively to decisionmakers.

Writing New Narratives

The programme will develop new narratives rooted in humanity, care, wellbeing and dignity to counter the dominance of the tech industry agenda.

We are building these programmes in dialogue with the field and will begin rolling out grantmaking as soon as sufficient funds are secured. The new programmes will sustain our commitment to bringing together social justice and digital rights expertise as well as introducing new actors to the field with complementary skills and perspectives. Throughout we will continue to uphold our organisational values and approach to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion.

Alongside this our Build Initiative is dedicated to continuing building core capacity for a diverse and resilient civil society ecosystem across Europe. Over the past three years our funding has allowed us to support a nearly 40-organisation strong community, with both social justice and digital rights expertise. They’ve significantly strengthened accountability and people’s rights in the recently adopted European AI regulation, advocated for improved conditions for gig workers and AI accessibility for people with disabilities.  You can read more about how our ecosystem has grown in our Impact Report and Annual Report 2023.

From July 2024 - December 2025 we will extend funding totaling €1,890,000 to 18 grantees within our existing community so that a core civil society infrastructure has sustained capacity and expertise to engage in shaping AI across a wide range of contexts and approaches.




Read our updated strategy here.

For AI to serve people and society, philanthropy needs to act now

To provide capacity for public interest advocates to seize the opportunities this moment presents, we are fundraising at least €10m for the Breakthrough Initiative.

In recent months, our existing and new partners have already pledged more than €4m towards our target, which will allow us to start strategic grantmaking under the new programmes quickly. However, we urgently need to secure the remaining funding.

The renewed strategy is a deep commitment to the field and communities we serve and a bold move to address the growing challenges our societies face. We see increasing awareness among funders that AI has impacts across a wide range of issues they work on and a readiness to ensure that they address the way it is shaping the lives of the people and communities they care about.

We invite funders from across different areas of work to join this opportunity to be part of a concerted and collective philanthropic effort to harness technological transformation for the public good.



Recent articles
Announcing €2m further grantmaking to support work on AI & Society  

We are pleased to be able to support 21 organisations within our community with further funding until December 2025. This commitment totals over €2 million and will ensure that diverse public interest organisations have the capacity to shape Artificial Intelligence. 

What we learned from our renewals process

This year we renewed funding for 21 of our policy and advocacy grantees. In this blog we share our reflections and learnings from the process, in the hope it will help other grantmakers that face similar questions.