The primary goal of CLARIAH is to develop an infrastructure that allows researchers from the humanities to do their research. Humanity scholars are found primarily in universities and KNAW research institutes. Hence, these institutions are the "natural partners" in the CLARIAH programme. But except for these traditional institutions, the CLARIAH project is also crucial to the 'users' of the humanities research: heritage institutions and public institutions such as parliament or university libraries.

Finally, also SMB-companies are actively involved in CLARIAH because of the potential to create new products and/or services that profit from the innovation in the infrastructure. By being involved from the beginning, companies are more aware of the latest developments, standards, tools and resources.