GPP Year in Review 2019

Letter from GPP Director

Matthew Hart

Executive Director

Dear Colleagues,

As we enter 2020, we ask ourselves and our institutions: what is our role now? How can we make just and right decisions? Who are our allies and collaborators that can help disrupt the violence and terror that so many of our communities experience every day? How can we all be free?

In 2019, the members of the Global Philanthropy Project leaned into these challenges and made bold new commitments, designing strategies that get close to a philanthropic response to these times. Our member-only and public programs of donor preconferences, research, and other offerings have matured with a larger and more diverse set of participants. Together we contribute to conditions that expedite the release of new investments from our donor government partners, GPP members, and other grantmakers. GPP chooses a big tent approach to working across philanthropic, development, aid and other grantmaking sectors; we co-convene shared learning spaces bringing together the often isolated grantmaking areas of Sexual Rights and Health; Children and Youth; Closing Space; Refugee and Asylum issues, and Climate Justice — building spaces for these grantmakers to work together in ways not seen before.

Philanthropy can not solve everything. Together we can build equitable partnerships with our grantees, responsive to urgent needs and opportunities defined by civil society movements. GPP commits to building a well informed, coordinated, and connected philanthropic community.

Together we are building the third iteration of the Global Resources Report, a 2020 Global Rights Summit, and many more convenings, webinars, and other donor events and resources planned across the coming year. The GPP Executive Committee and staff are honored to be in such deep and ongoing partnerships within and beyond the field of LGBTI global human rights.

In 2020, we welcome you to partner with GPP. Let’s meet the extraordinary times and complex challenges of LGBTI movements by working more intentionally and more transformationally. Let’s commit to listening more closely to LGBTI movements’ calls for better coordination and more responsive funding. Let’s commit to finding 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 2019 Year In Review and imagine everything that is possible in 2020 when we recommit to working together.


Coming Up in 2020

Events for Grantmakers

Leadership Updates

In 2019, the GPP Executive Committee Co-Chairs were J. Bob Alotta (Astraea Foundation) and Shalini Eddens (Urgent Action Fund). The at-large members are Michael Heflin (OSF), Mukami Marete (UHAI EASHRI), David Sampson (Baring Foundation) and interim member Kerry-Jo Ford Lyn (Astraea Foundation).

Also this year, GPP promoted Ezra Berkley Nepon as Senior Program Officer for Knowledge and Learning. Olga Rychkova joined GPP as Regional Taskforce Coordinator, and Jay Postic as Research Consultant for the Global Resources Report. Learn more about GPP Leadership.


GPP is committed to cultivating and deepening the knowledge, skills, and capacity of GPP members and other funders in support of global LGBTI issues. GPP and member funds often commission new research exploring and documenting opportunities, challenges, and trends in the field. Learn more.

2017-18 Global Resources Report

The 2017-2018 Global Resources Report: Philanthropic & Government Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Communities is in development and will launch in May 2020. We look forward to sharing data trends over six years of this reporting (2013-2018), and anticipate a significant increase in number of foundations, governments, and multilaterals represented in the report. Thank you to all who have shared grants data with GPP and Funders for LGBTQ Issues, as we partner to develop this global report which provides detailed data on the distribution of LGBTI funding by geography, issue, strategy, and population focus, offering a tool for identifying trends, gaps, and opportunities in the rapidly changing landscape of LGBTI funding.

State of Trans and Intersex Funder Briefings

In September 2019, GPP released two new documents: “Funder Briefing: The State of Trans Funding” and “Funder Briefing: The State of Intersex Funding” with AJWS, Astraea, and GATE. These briefs are based on comparative analysis of intersex and trans grantmaking data from the 2015-16 Global Resources Report and 2016 global surveys of the intersex and trans movements which informed the State of Intersex Organizing and State of Trans Organizing reports, also produced by GATE, AJWS and Astraea. By comparing data from both the needs and priorities of the intersex and trans movements and the grantmaking practices of those who are funding intersex and trans issues, a number of new and important challenges and learning emerged. These briefs can be an important tool in ongoing dialogue about how funders can increase the amount and quality of resources going to the global intersex and trans movements. A report release webinar was held in October 2019.

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 conduct a mapping of grantmaking and programming in relation to the rights of children and young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) and those exploring their sexuality. The private report was released in November 2018.

In Fall 2019, GPP and ECFG have launched a set of public materials developed to share the ideas developed in the “Infinite Worlds” private report. To learn more, join our upcoming Webinar Launch for LGBTI+ Youth Resources for grantmakers on Wednesday, January 22.

GPP By the Numbers


In service of GPP’s goal to cultivate and deepen the knowledge, skills, and capacity of GPP members and other funders, GPP often organizes and hosts a range of donor consultation spaces focused on global LGBTI issues, produced in collaboration with member and partner organizations. GPP regularly organizes Donor Pre-Conferences in advance of regional or global meetings of LGBTI Civil Society. GPP events center funder peer education, and may include civil society representatives as content experts.

The Narrative Imperative: Imagining a Collective Response for Effective Communications

In March 2019, GPP co-organized “The Narrative Imperative: Imagining a Collective Response for Effective Communications” which brought together donors and communications experts in New York City to collaborate on a response to the increasing populist ideologies and accompanying political gains that are undoing decades of human rights and environmental progress around the world.

ILGA World Donor Pre-Conference

GPP’s ILGA World Donor Pre-Conference (DPC) was held in March 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand with over 40 grantmakers participating. An international donor consultation focused on global LGBTI issues, this DPC also included sessions focused on Asia and the Pacific Region.

ILGA World also provided an opportunity for GPP’s Director and Senior Liaison for Government Relations to meet with many foundation and government/multilateral partners. This meeting provided the opportunity for the first in-person meeting of the Asia-Pacific Regional Grantmaker Taskforce and review of an OSF-sponsored regional needs assessment.

FCAA Spring Funder Forum

GPP co-sponsored the FCAA Spring Funder Forum in April 2019, which included a two-part discussion to help contextualize current threats to HIV, health and human rights, health and human rights, with one session focusing on FOSTA-SESTA legislation and the other looking at the rise of religious conservatism.

GPP at Ariadne

GPP and ILGA-Europe co-presented a session, “Philanthropy’s role in increasingly authoritarian and volatile times in Europe and Central Asia” at the 2019 Ariadne Policy Briefing in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The session explored findings from our recent report, Funding for LGBTI Activism in Europe and Central Asia: Comparing the Priorities of LGBTI Organisations and Funders.

GPP at the European Foundation Centre

In May, GPP in collaboration with Oak Foundation, ILGA-Europe, Sigrid Rausing Trust Fund, and Open Society Foundations hosted the first-ever LGBTI-focused workshop at the European Foundation Centre focusing on how funders can successfully contribute to the work of LGBTI movements in Europe while experiencing the threat from growing populism, right-wing ideology, the closing of civil society space, and the scapegoating of LGBTI communities in the region.

Changing Faces, Changing Spaces

Changing Faces, Changing Spaces Conference (CFCS VII) is Africa’s largest convening of the continent’s LGBTI and sex worker movements and donors. CFCS provides a forum for direct and active interaction among activists and funders allowing for mutual learning as part of wider advocacy to narrow the knowledge gap between those that resource African movements and those that do the work. The 2019 Donor Pre-Conference was developed in collaboration with GPP member UHAI and an advisory group of regional funders, and welcomed over 75 grantmakers to learn together.


In September 2019, GPP and Arab Foundation For Freedoms and Equality collaborated to organize programming for grantmakers invested or interested in the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) LGBTI movements during the NEDWA conference. GPP hosted two events a half day donor meeting prior to the conference and a funder’s debrief post conference.

ILGA-Europe 2019 Donor Pre-Conference

In October 2019, GPP and ILGA-Europe are collaborating on a fifth annual Donor Pre-Conference following ILGA-Europe’s annual meeting in Prague. Sessions included focus on LGBTI issues around Forced Migration, Refugees, and Asylum seekers; Children/Youth Rights; European Strategic Communications Initiative; and Defense of Open Space. Over 40 grantmakers participated, with close to half being new participants in GPP programming. At the ILGA-Europe DPC, GPP launched our public materials on Supporting LGBTI+ Youth developed in partnership with ECFG, as well as our funder briefing documents on Trans and Intersex funding.

GPP also continued our work with Donor Governments and Multilateral funding bodies at ILGA-Europe, using focused outreach to bring representatives to the conference, and setting up 1:1 meetings between Government/Multilateral reps and a GPP member delegation, with intention to influence and inform future funding formulas.

Sport Disrupted: Sex_uality Matters Donor Meeting

Dreilinden gGmbH, Discover Football, and GPP co-organized grantmakers to attend a Rainbow Philanthropy conference in Berlin on October 30-31 and a focused Donor Post-Conference meeting on November 1 to discuss the effects of sports gender binary as well as homophobia on the daily lives of amateurs and professionals, the use of sports as tool for empowering LBGTIQ people, lessons to learn from non-binary grassroots sports and LGBTIQ projects, and visions for a non-binary sports world and a fair competition.

ILGALAC Donor’s Breakfast

GPP hosted a donor’s breakfast at ILGALAC in Bogota, Colombia on November 22, 2019 attended by 14 grantmakers. Arcus Foundation presented their LGBTQI movements assessment of the region, Mama Cash presented on LBQ movements in the region, and the International Trans Fund and Intersex Human Rights Funds presented on the trans and intersex movements in the region.

Images above: March 2019 ILGA World DPC, June 2019 CFCS DPC, Septeber 2019 CFCS Donor Events, October 2019 ILGA-Europe DPC, November 2019 Sports Disrupted: Sex_uality Matters DPC, November 2019 ILGALAC Donors Breakfast. Click to view larger.


Each year, GPP holds a number of webinars focused on grantmakers or open to wider civil society audiences, as well as member-only telebriefings.

Global Gag Rule Expansion: What Funders Should Know (April 2019) was co-presented by GPP members AJWS, Global Fund for Women, and OSF with GPP, Funders Concerned about AIDS (FCAA), and Funders for Reproductive Equity (FRE).

Connecting the Dots: LBQTI and Gender Equality at Women Deliver, (May 2019) a Webinar for Funders and Policy Makers, was co-hosted by GPP with Philanthropy Advancing Women’s Human Rights (PAWHR), and Women Deliver.

Funder Briefing Call about Caster Semenya’s Legal Case (July 2019) in collaboration with Equality without Borders.

Post-Global LBQ Conference Grantmakers Webinar (July 2019) following the Global LBQ Conference. You can find more LBQTI-relevant resources here.

Government and Multilateral Taskforce

GPP activities are organized through a number of structures including Working Groups, Advisory Committees, Governance Bodies, and Taskforces. Learn more.

In 2019, the GPP Government and Multilateral Taskforce in partnership with Dave Scamell as GPP Senior Liaison for Government Relations has accelerated our work to increase and guarantee government and multilateral funder commitments on LGBTI issues. 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.

In late 2018-early 2019, 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:

A 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.
An announced increase in human rights funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs which names trans and intersex funding as an explicit priority.
A commitment from Canada to support LGBTQI rights with new funding of $30 million in dedicated funding over five years, followed by $10 million per year to advance human rights and improve socio-economic outcomes for LGBTQI people in developing countries.

In February 2019, the GPP Government/Multilateral Working Group approved a new strategy document setting the path of work to come.

In May 2019, GPP sent a delegation to Ottawa to inform Canadian investment in LGBTI people. The delegation partnered with a large Canadian CSO, Dignity Network, to provide data and research to Canadian government and to participate in a two-day Dignity Network conference. GPP provided actionable recommendation for Global Affairs Canada (GAC)’s new LGBTI funding mechanisms.

Additionally, GPP Director Mathew Hart was invited by the Secretariate of the Netherlands Government’s LGBT Policy Working Group to the European Governmental LGBTI Focal Point Network to present on ILGA-Europe and GPP’s research Funding for LGBTI Activism in Europe and Central Asia: Comparing the Priorities of LGBTI Organisations and Funders. At the meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway also invited GPP to present the GRR data and participate in two days of strategic planning on Norway’s future LGBTI funding in June 2019.

Governments and Multilaterals

In collaboration with ILGA-Europe, GPP supported the 15th Anniversary Reception & Dinner of the European Governmental LGBTI Focal Points Network. There, the governments of Cyprus, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, and Norway pledged financial support for combating discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics. Click here for more information.

Focal Point image

Regional Taskforces

In Spring 2019, Olga Rychkova joined GPP to lead 4 regionally-oriented taskforces for GPP. These taskforces aim to create a center of gravity and build power with existing grantmakers in the regions – from those making one LGBTI grant to those with major regional investments.

The four Regional Taskforces are designed to serve as a platform for grantmakers, donor governments, and others to increase their impact by sharing their regional and issue expertise, to deepen relationships and knowledge, and to engage in shared strategies to increase and improve resources for local movements. The four GPP Taskforces are focused on East Africa, West Africa, Asia & Pacific, and Latin America & The Caribbean, and share three main goals:

  • Creating space for current grantmakers to share information, develop shared strategies around new and emergent issues, and coordinate their efforts and research at the regional level;
  • Unlocking new funding by creating opportunities to engage funders who are already present in the regions, but currently, do not prioritize LGBTQI rights;
  • Helping to shape funding priorities of donor governments and multilateral grantmakers to include LGBTQI rights, with explicit funding commitments.

Working Groups

Trans and Intersex Working Group

Originally two separate working groups, the co-chairs have decided to combine these groups and work on a combined strategy.

Individual Donor Working Group

After a thorough redesign of this Working Group’s strategy and program, this newly expanded and far larger and representative group has set an ambitious new course, focused on the wealth advisory sector of financial services. The working group has identified the core LGBTI industry leadership, how they advise, and how we can impact the field. This newly imagined partnership will allow for more constructive and better evidence-based recommendations to high net wealth individuals.

GPP Members

Thank you to GPP’s 20 member organizations for your partnership in 2019 and beyond!

American Jewish World Service, Arcus Foundation, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Baring Foundation, Dreilinden gGmbH, Ford Foundation, Foundation for a Just Society, Fund for Global Human Rights, Global Fund for Women, Hivos, Horizons Foundation, International Trans Foundation, Mama Cash, Oak Foundation, 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, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund.

Skip to content
Send this to a friend