GPP 2018 Year in Review

Director’s Letter

Matthew Hart

Executive Director

Dear Colleagues,

2018 was a remarkable year for GPP. While LGBTI people and organizations grappled with unprecedented pressures – closing space, state violence, global health financing changes, and more – GPP members stepped up, working more collaboratively and bringing together an ever-expanding network of partners to collectively leverage increased and improved resources for global LGBTI communities and movements.

GPP members include public and private foundations, women’s funds, rapid response funds, indigenous funds focused in-region, global funds with local offices around the world, and more. Our partners this year included government donors, individual donors, networks of those funding sex workers, sexual health and reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS activism, human rights defenders, women’s rights, children and youth, and many more… The complexity of our prismatic perspectives yields remarkable strength and unparalleled resourcefulness. This new ecosystem of resource generation and leveraged power is just beginning to take shape and deliver for our communities.

GPP’s work is led and sustained by our 19 member organizations, their staff and board leadership. We work together through working groups, taskforces, and advisory tables. Collaborating across sectors of philanthropy, GPP convenes to gain consensus and build shared strategy, conducts research to gain new insight and make grantmaking more impactful, and hosts webinars, telebriefings, and other shared spaces to broadcast our learnings and elevate the expertise and opportunities generated by GPP members.

In 2019, we welcome you. Let’s meet the remarkable and complex challenges of LGBTI movements by working more closely and collaboratively. Let’s commit to listen more closely to LGBTI movements’ calls for better coordination and more and better funding. Let’s commit to find the practical and pragmatic ways that we can deliver the critical financial resources our movements need.

Take a look at the work we shared in our 2018 Year In Review and imagine what we can do together.


Coming up in 2019

Events for Grantmakers


In 2018-19, the GPP Executive Committee Co-Chairs are J. Bob Alotta (Astraea Foundation) and Shalini Eddens (Urgent Action Fund). The at-large members are Michael Heflin (OSF), Mukami Marete (UHAI EASHRI), and David Sampson (Baring Foundation).

Also this year, Marina Gonzalez Flores joined GPP as Program Associate and Dave Scamell joined GPP as Senior Liaison for Government Relations. Learn more about GPP Leadership.


Global Resources Report

The 2015-2016 Global Resources Report: Philanthropic and Government Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Communities (GRR) captures data on 12,964 grants awarded by 511 foundations, intermediaries, and corporations and by 15 government and multilateral agencies over the two-year period of 2015-2016. Drawing on the data in this report, as well as the first edition covering calendar years 2013 and 2014, we now have four years of data on global LGBTI funding.

Over the four-year period, global LGBTI funding dollars grew by 23%, or $100 million. The 2015-16 report also documents a 35% increase in number of reported grants compared to 2013-14. This increase in reported grants is in part due to our increased outreach, having invited survey participation from over 1000 grantmakers, more than 60 government donors, and more than 30 multilateral institutions.

The report, developed in partnership by GPP and Funders for LGBTQ Issues, was released in April 2018 and downloaded over 2,300 times in the first six months. We held two well-attended report launch webinars on May 10 (for grantmakers only) and May 14 (for grantmakers and/or civil society representatives, co-hosted by ILGA). A Spanish translation of the full report will be released in early 2019.

ILGA-Europe Donor Pre-Conference Group Photo; Remarks by Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of the Dutch Ministy of Education, Culture and Science; Chart from the European Regional research; GPP Members accounts for 1/3 of all funding outside the US; 2018 statistics re: GPP activity. Click to view larger. 

Research on Children and Youth LGBTI+ Rights

GPP partnered with Elevate Children Funders Group and an advisory committee including representatives of Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, OSF, Arcus, Dreilinden, Astraea, Novo Foundation, and Oak Foundation to coordinate a research consultancy which yielded a new report for our memberships, “Infinite Worlds of Possibilities: Understanding, Supporting, and Financing Programs for LGBTI Children and Youth.” The report is intended to function as a foundational contribution to an emerging set of analyses and approaches among grantmakers and the LGBTI and children/youth movements supported by these resources. The research will help inform future grantmaking strategies of both GPP and ECFG members, and is intended as a tool for those aiming to support LGBTI+ children and youth confront and overcome discrimination and neglect. An early draft of this research informed a convening of key grantmakers and thought leaders in London at the offices of OSF. There, 20 grantmakers met for two days of discussion and engagement, informing the final research.

Funding for LGBTI Activism in Europe and Central Asia

An exciting example of how the Global Resources Report has been used for further analysis in order to bring greater focus to the needs and priorities of LGBTI movements, was the launch of a report by Global Philanthropy Project and ILGA-Europe in October 2018 comparing the key findings from ILGA Europe’s 2018 “Funding for LGBTI Activism in Europe and Central Asia: Priorities and Access to Resources” report with a deeper-dive analysis of European and Central Asian grantmaking data from the 2015-2016 Global Resources Report. This new report, Funding for LGBTI Activism in Europe and Central Asia: Comparing the Priorities of LGBTI Organisations and Funders, provides a compelling challenge to assumptions about the funding landscape in Europe and Central Asia, with new data and recommendations for resourcing LGBTI movements at the forefront of progress and the frontlines of resistance. This research was presented and analyzed during the October 2018 ILGA-Europe Donor Pre-Conference in Brussels, Belgium. The research will also be presented in a wider webinar for grantmakers in February 2019, with joint advocacy between activists and funders to increase resources to the region taking place over 2019.

The opportunity for impact that this joint project has created highlights the potential of similar comparative analysis of the Global Resources Report with data about the needs and priorities of LGBTI movements. In 2019, GPP will be exploring opportunities for expanding this exciting type of research, including confirmed presentations at the Ariadne and European Foundation Center convenings.

By the Numbers


Growing Solidarity & Next Steps

In May 2018, GPP developed a groundbreaking convening called Growing Solidarity: Funding at the Intersection of Faith, Religious Fundamentalism, Human Rights, and Social Justice in Southern Africa, bringing together funders across LGBTI and Feminist issues to build solidarity, strategy, and momentum around resistance to the use of religion to harm or advance discrimination against LGBTI people around the world. Eighty attendees came together for this 2.5 day meeting. Our Advisory Committee for this research and convening include representatives of AJWS, Arcus, African Women’s Development Fund, Ford Foundation, FRI, Global Fund for Women, Hivos, Horizons Foundation Global Faith and Equality Fund, The Other Foundation, Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, UHAI EASHRI, and the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund.

With the advisory committee, GPP developed new research for discussion during the Growing Solidarity convening: “LGBTI Rights, Religious Conservatives, and Faith-Based Resistances: Reflections for Grantmakers.” While this research was intended to be viewed by only a limited audience of key grantmakers and convening attendees, we have since released a public report in English and Spanish which will be presented in English and Spanish language webinars in January 2019. The report was formally launched at the 2018 Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) conference during a plenary session focused on the impacts of the Global Gag Rule, co-sponsored by OSF, AJWS, and GPP. GPP Director Matthew Hart and member Alli Jernow (Wellspring Philanthropic Fund)’s opening letter for the public report serves as a call to action for the philanthropic community – read it here.

Following the Growing Solidarity convening, GPP has held a series of focused post-convening calls to identify next steps, as well as a section of the GPP Annual Member Meeting. These conversations have identified multiple opportunities for GPP leadership in conversations about resisting the harmful impacts of Religious Conservatisms, and one key theme has been grantmaker response to the global emergence of “anti-gender ideology” movements.

In October 2018, GPP co-hosted a donor side-meeting during the Human Rights Funders Network annual meeting in Mexico City. “Building a Shared Response to Anti-Gender Movements“ was co-hosted by OSF and Funders for Reproductive Equity (FRE). During this private gathering for grantmakers, the groups shared new research and a donor mapping, with presentations on current issues facing human rights organizations, specifically LGBTI and reproductive rights groups, at the hands of the “anti-gender” and far-right movements around the world. Participants worked together in small and thematic groups to strategize about collaborative and complementary responses. This meeting brought together about 50 individual grantmakers representing 30 international foundations and 6 funder networks.

Images 1-3, Growing Solidarity Convening. Image 4: FCAA Plenary presentation. Click to view larger. 

2018 GPP Annual Meeting

Our 2018 Annual Member Meeting was held July 19-20 in Amsterdam, with an additional half-day meeting of the Executive Committee on July 18th. 24 individual members attended, representing 15 of 19 GPP member organizations. We also gathered with local grantmaking partners for a dinner reception.

Ariadne Grant Skills Day

GPP sponsored the 2018 Ariadne Grant Skills Day and Networking Dinner on September 24th in London. The day explored how donors can take a more intersectional approach to their work, recognising what the gaps in their current programmes may be and finding ways to be more inclusive. The day opened with a master class in the concept of intersectionality and what it means for donors, led by Dr. Emilia Roig, the Founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Intersectional Justice, a Berlin-based organisation combating intersecting forms of inequality and discrimination in Europe.

Images: GPP Annual Meeting & Reception with Dutch grantmaking partners. Click to view larger.

Donor Organizing

Trans and Intersex Funding Advocacy

In October 2017, American Jewish World Service, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and GATE released The State of Intersex Organizing (2nd edition) and The State of Trans Organizing (2nd Edition). The reports are based on 2016 surveys of more than 50 intersex groups and more than 450 trans groups, working in 107 countries and every region of the world. Their responses provide the most comprehensive data to date on how trans and intersex groups are organized, their current financial status, their funding needs and priorities, their capacity needs and priorities, and the barriers they face accessing and implementing grants. Importantly, both reports highlight the critical funding gaps facing both movements, and are a direct call to funders to take action to address these gaps.

In Fall 2017, AJWS, Astraea, and GATE collaborated with Global Philanthropy Project, the Intersex Human Rights Fund, and the International Trans Fund in advocacy focused on major government and philanthropic funders in Europe. The project partners reconvened in early 2018, presenting to the US State Department LGBTI Taskforce and the Office of Global Programs, USAID’s LGBTI Champions network, and congressional staff of key allies of global LGBTI rights in the US Senate.

The project partners also presented the findings of both reports to GPP member foundations Foundation for a Just Society (FJS), American Jewish World Services (AJWS), and Arcus Foundation, and presented a breakout session at the 2018 Ariadne Policy Briefing. Additionally, the key findings from the intersex report were presented as part of the launch of GPP’s Intersex Working Group, establishing the data as a foundational resource for addressing the lack of intersex-specific funding amongst the GPP membership.

A third phase of this project launched in Summer 2018 with a focused effort to meet with donor government and multilateral representatives attending the Equal Rights Coalition convening.

Images: GPP Annual Meeting & Reception with Dutch grantmaking partners. Click to view larger.

Government and Multilateral Engagements

GPP has engaged Dave Scamell as GPP Senior Liaison for Government Relations to accelerate our work to increase and guarantee government and multilateral funder commitments on LGBTI issues, which includes an emphasis on addressing funding inequities facing trans and intersex activists and movements. Our engagement with government and multilateral donors focuses on:

  • working with the leading government and multilateral funders to increase and diversify their funding;
  • supporting emerging government and multilateral donors to the field;
  • influencing the field as a whole through mechanisms such as the Equal Rights Coalition and by producing leading global LGBTI grantmaking data trends and analysis.

A key focus of this effort was the August 2018 “Leaving No One Behind: The Equal Rights Coalition Global Conference on LGBTI Human Rights and Inclusive Development” in Vancouver, Canada (ERC Conference). GPP and its members engaged in the ERC conference through four main activities: 1) the GPP donor breakfast reception; 2) side meetings with government representatives; 3) planning, facilitation and participation in the donor coordination side event; and, 4) participation on panels in the main conference.

In 2018, a number of governments have made significant calls for proposals or announcements about future funding that will lead to an increase in resources for the global LGBTI movement, including the most recent 10m euro call for proposal from the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), which prioritises LGBTI human rights defenders and explicitly calls for trans and intersex proposals, and a recently-announced increase in human rights funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs which names trans and intersex funding as an explicit priority.

GPP Regional Organizing Development

After broad consultation with member institutions and key stakeholders, GPP staff and leadership have developed clarity about the need for regionally-oriented working groups as a key structure for our work moving forward. In FY 2017-18, we launched a pilot model of this structure, a Regional Study Group focused on grantmakers funding in East Africa, and through our recent work plan development and Annual Member Meeting, the organization has committed to an initial expansion in FY 2018-19 of regional work focused on Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Asia/Pacific region, in addition to continuing work focused on East Africa. These regions have been identified as priorities for FY18-19 due to active GPP member leadership engagement. In the following years, we anticipate development of additional regional tables, pending member prioritization.

Regionally-focused working groups will aim to create a center of gravity and build power with existing grantmakers in the region – from those making one LGBTI grant to those with major investment in the region. While each region will have a different needs/opportunities assessment, we expect the groups’ work may include mapping of grantmaking resources, review of existing analyses about funding in the region, briefing each other on each institution’s strategies and portfolios, sourcing priorities from the regional grantmaking actors, and identifying a strategic plan for the region — which could include research, webinars, convenings, and other ways to make the case for LGBTI investment. Through all of these activities, working group members will identify additional funders to engage in this work.

This new structure is an opportunity to build grantmaking community and unique region specific strategies at the local level, driven by local priorities, local expertise, and locally based or focused grantmaking institutions. As many of our members and partners are oriented towards regional grantmaking, this model increases the likelihood of more authentic institutional partnerships and richer relationships with key local and regional staff throughout GPP member institutions. Moreover, this enables a clearer and more sustained alignment of effort and shared priorities around the urgent matters impacting our communities.

GPP Members

Thank you to GPP’s 19 member organizations for your partnership in 2018 and beyond!  

American Jewish World Service, Arcus Foundation, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Baring Foundation, Dreilinden gGmbH, Ford Foundation, Fund for Global Human Rights, Foundation for a Just Society, Global Fund for Women, Hivos, Horizons Foundation, Mama Cash, Open Society Foundations, The Other Foundation, Sigrid Rausing Trust, UHAI – the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative, Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights – Africa, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund

Image above: GPP Members at the 2018 Annual Member Meeting
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