International LGBTI Inclusive Funders List

Created by Arcus Foundation, 2016
with additional resources from Human Rights First.


International LGBTI Inclusive Funders

Non-Government Donors

AlertAlert is an independent fund that supports progressive projects by and for youth, all over the world, with small-scale subsidies (euro 250-1500).

American Jewish World ServiceAJWS supports advocates who defend human rights and work to advance civil and political rights at all levels of society, from local communities to national courts. Together, they are demanding safety for human rights activists and building powerful social movements to usher in equal rights, justice and peace.

AmplifyChange – A fund which aims to empower young people, men and women to realise their sexual and reproductive rights. AmplifyChange’s vision is to help to secure universal recognition of sexual and reproductive health and rights as human rights, enabling women, men and young people to realise their full potential in safe and supportive environments.

Arcus Foundation –  The Arcus Foundation is a leading global foundation dedicated to the idea that people can live in harmony with one another and the natural world. Arcus believes that respect for diversity among peoples and in nature is essential to a positive future for our planet and all its inhabitants. They work with experts and advocates for change to ensure that LGBT people and our fellow apes thrive in a world where social and environmental justice are a reality.

Astraea FoundationAstraea supports lesbian, trans, intersex and LGBTQI groups that promote racial, economic and gender justice and mobilize communities to challenge oppression and claim rights. They fund groups in the United States, primarily led by LGBTQI people of color, and groups across the globe. They strengthen LGBTQI groups by providing flexible general support grants ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 per year in two funding cycles.

The Baring Foundation The purpose of The Baring Foundation is to improve the quality of life of people experiencing disadvantage and discrimination. They aim to achieve this through making grants to voluntary and other civil society organisations and by adding value through promoting knowledge and influencing others.

DreilindenDreilinden supports social acceptance of gender and sexual diversity by means of grants to existing organizations and project grants, as well as by social investments, and networking. Applications are accepted by invitation only.

Ford FoundationThe Ford Foundations works to enhance public understanding of inequality based on gender, race, and ethnicity, our work supports new kinds of organizing, networks, collaboration, and strategies that include and go beyond the gains made through legal and policy advocacy. They engage groups that are testing new strategies and alliances and that are expanding tactics beyond shifting rules to advancing cultural change.

Foundation for a Just SocietyFoundation for a Just Society envisions a world without discrimination — where people are equally valued regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, economic status, or sexual orientation. It understands that gender-based discrimination intersects with other aspects of a person’s identities and circumstances and partners with organizations whose visions of realizing women’s and LGBTI rights cut across multiple issues. FJS provides grants to strengthen movements that advance the human rights of women, girls, and LGBTI people globally — with particular attention given to work in Central America, Francophone West Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and the US Southeast. Through direct grantmaking, capacity building, strategic communications, and leadership in philanthropy, FJS encourages braver strategies and bolder leadership in global movements for women’s and LGBTI rights. It makes 1, 2, and 3-year general operating grants ranging from $25,000 to $500,000/year to local, national, regional, and global organizations. Applications are accepted by invitation only.

Fund for Global Human RightsThe Fund makes grants to local, national, and regional non-profit, human rights organizations based in the countries where we have grant programs. Programs are currently in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Burundi, Thailand, the Philippines, and Burma. The Fund defines human rights activities as those that seek to challenge the structures of power so that they defend, protect, and promote human rights. The Fund does not have thematic restrictions and supports organizations working to address a wide range of human rights problems.

Global Fund for WomenGFW gives “core” funding that helps provide for fundamental things: rent, salaries, computers, travel, training, security, and electricity. They then help women’s groups connect to other local, national, or regional groups to share, learn, and rally together to drive change.

Hirschfeld Eddy FoundationThe Hirschfeld-Eddy-Foundation provides concrete assistance, through international networking and cooperation with partner organizations in the global South and Eastern Europe, for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexual (LGBTI) people under threat.

Hivos InternationalHivos cooperates with defenders of equal rights in Africa, Asia, Central America and South America.

Human Rights Watch – Hellman Hammett GrantsHuman Rights Watch administers the Hellman/Hammett grant program for writers all around the world who have been victims of political persecution and are in financial need ($10,000 grants).

International Gay and Lesbian Association of the European Region (ILGA – Europe)ILGA-Europe does not provide recurring funding to LGBTI organizations, but small grants, usually in the context of capacity development and advocacy opportunities in Europe. ILGA-Europe also works to increase funding available in Europe and to ensure that the needs of the LGBTI movement in Europe are understood by funders.

Mama CashMama Cash awards grants to groups, organizations and networks led by and working for the human rights of women, girls and trans people. They provide core grants that support entire organizations as opposed to isolated projects or events.

Open Society FoundationsThe Open Society Foundations award grants, scholarships, and fellowships to organization and individuals who are working to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens.

The Other FoundationThe Other Foundation is an African trust that gathers support for those who are working to protect and advance the rights, wellbeing and social inclusion of homosexual and bisexual women and men as well as transgender and intersex people in Southern Africa.

PlanetRomeo Foundation – The Foundation funds new, emerging LGBTI projects and initiatives that do not have access (yet) to other mainstream sources of funding, in countries and regions where LGBTI rights are most severely infringed. Projects focus on three funding themes: Community Organizing, Shelter, and Sports & Culture. The Foundation provides one-off grants, ranging from 500 Euro to 5,000 Euro. Application deadlines are January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1.

Russia Freedom Fund The Russia Freedom Fund’s core objective is to create a safe environment for LGBT people in Russia by supporting local groups that can be effective at combatting discrimination and violence. The Fund generally supports projects that do not exceed USD 50 000 per year and have clear goals and outcomes.

Sigrid Rausing TrustThe SRT supports organizations working to enhance the legal standing and social acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people. They have a particular interest in the relationship between discriminatory laws, homophobia and violence. Applications are accepted by invitation only.

SundanceThe Sundance Documentary Fund provides strategic financial support to cinematic, feature documentaries from independent filmmakers globally. They provide $1M-$2M in non-recoupable financing annually across all stages of development, production, post-production, and strategic audience engagement.

UHAI EASHRIUHAI – the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative is an indigenous activist fund which provides flexible, accessible resources to support civil society activism around issues of sexuality, health and human rights in the East African region (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi) with a specific focus on the rights of sexual minorities, including sex workers. UHAI EASHRI aims to build a strong, diverse and organized movement for change through grant making, capacity support and convening.

ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action Programme for MSM & Transgender People -ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action Programme for MSM & Transgender People supports community-led efforts to counter HIV and AIDS, promote sexual health & wellbeing and advance socioeconomic justice for men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people. Our small grants programme accepts applications twice each year for projects led by & focused on either MSM or transgender people. We focus on local organisations that are truly grounded in the communities they serve, and prioritise resource-limited settings and environments hostile to the LGBT community.

XminusY XminusY supports social movements, action groups and change makers who are fighting for a fair, democratic, sustainable and tolerant world. Direct action grants with a maximum grant of 3.000 Euro.


Government/ Multilateral Donors

European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR)EIDHR awards grants through competitive calls for proposals listed on their website. These calls for proposals may be launched either by European Union delegations on the ground (“Country-Based Support Schemes”) or by European Commission headquarters in Brussels. Applicants have to follow the instructions given in the “guidelines for applicants” for each call. Grant amounts vary depending on proposal request. (10.000 euro +)

European Endowment for DemocracyEuropean Union Fund for countries bordering the EU (including those in North Africa and Middle East).

Global Equality Fund LGBT International Fund at the United States Department of State, which operates though specific calls for proposals and small grants via US embassies.

National Endowment for Democracy The NED is a nonprofit organization created to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. The Endowment is guided by the belief that freedom is a universal human aspiration that can be realized through the development of democratic institutions, procedures, and values. With its annual US Congress appropriation, it makes hundreds of grants each year to support prodemocracy groups in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The following embassies may also be contacted for inquiries about funding for LGBT causes: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States (ask for the officer in charge of grants and/or civil society/human rights).

U.S. Embassy Small Grants ProgramsMany U.S. Embassies around the world offer small grants programs to support civil society. Please refer to the website for the U. S. Embassy in your country and/or inquire with your contacts at the embassy for more information.


Emergency Funds

Freedom HouseThe Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance Program provides emergency funds, advocacy support, and security assistance to human rights defenders and civil society organizations under threat or attack due to their work for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) human rights.

Front Line DefendersFront Line Defenders Security Grants can pay for organizational and personal provisions to improve the security and protection of human rights defenders and their organizations. Grants can pay to improve physical security of an organization, digital security, communication security, and legal fees for HRDs who are being judicially harassed. They can pay for medical fees for HRDs who have been attacked or who have suffered a medical condition as a result of their peaceful human rights activities. They can also provide family assistance for imprisoned HRDs. Grants are for amounts up to a maximum of €7,500.

Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative – U.S. Department of State and USAID, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) launched the GBV Emergency Response and Protection Initiative to provide urgent assistance to threatened individuals with rapid, targeted, short term assistance. To refer potential emergency cases, contact for review, vetting, and follow up.

International HIV/AIDS AllianceThe Rapid Response Fund provides grants for interventions that respond to new or worsening situations that impact HIV services provided to MSM or the LGBT community. Grants can be provided to civil society organizations that are led by LGBT people or MSM (or have a proven track record of working closely with LGBT people or MSM). Grants of up to $20,000 are available in 29 countries where these communities are at high risk of experiencing human rights violations.

Lifeline: Assistance Fund for Embattled Civil Society Organizations – The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund provides emergency financial assistance to civil society organizations (CSOs) under threat or attack and advocacy support responding to broader threats to civil society.

Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human RightsRapid Response Grants are a funding tool used to support interventions by activists in a strategic and timely manner. Urgent Action Fund accepts requests 365 days per year, in any language, from activists around the world. Each request receives a response within 72 hours and funds can be wired within a week. Requests can be made for up to $5,000 USD.