2021 Year in Review

Director’s Letter

Matthew Hart

Executive Director

Dear Colleagues,

In 2021 we shared another year defined by the global health, environmental, and political crises that reinforced our awareness that we are truly all connected, and that our actions impact each other across borders and oceans. As global LGBTI movements continued their mobilizations to meet humanitarian needs while simultaneously organizing for systemic change, globally-focused LGBTI philanthropy has never been more necessary. At the same time, we and our colleagues and partners around the world have experienced the reverberations of this ongoing crisis in our own lives and homes.

In this context, GPP stayed focused on ways to mobilize and leverage increased and improved funding for LGBTI communities in the global south and east. We adapted and retooled to be more flexible and reached across silos and practices. Our programming, website, and other work were shared by thousands of grantmakers, policymakers, civil society leaders, and government representatives worldwide. We grew our impact, secured new resources for our communities, and found joy in the work with each of you.

We defined gaps in resourcing LGBTI communities and delivered new tools and research to move bigger and better money to LGBTI movements. This year we looked at the vast amount of information generated from our many years of publishing the Global Resources Report. Our Diving Deeper series set out new formulations of this data and provided much-needed trend-tracking and gap analyses. With Elevate Children Funders Groups, we produced the Manufacturing Moral Panic report. Our research enabled, informed, and unleashed extraordinary, responsive philanthropic resources.

We organized and mobilized. We organized a four-month summit bringing together grantmakers and civil society experts across world regions and issue areas to learn and build strategy together around progressive philanthropic responses to the “anti-gender” movement. After that summit, we launched a task force to continue the work. Throughout the year, we curated and recruited LGBTI grantmaker participation in our own webinars, online convenings hosted by our philanthropic and civil society partners, and more.

We deepened and expanded our partnerships to secure new financial commitments to support LGBTI communities. GPP staff and members worked with donor government partners, private and public foundations, and high net wealth advisories to secure new financial commitments.

Together we built a stronger, more diverse, and resilient philanthropic ecosystem. We are more prepared and connected to respond and fund the future of our movements. Through programs, co-funding, partnerships, and more, we reimagined how we partner and collaborate, how we define and manage risk.

Please consider this a personal invitation to join GPP in our work together in 2022.

Shimmering Solidarity: Global Rights Summit

In March-June 2021, Global Philanthropy Project (GPP) and co-sponsoring partners held the Shimmering Solidarity: Global Rights Summit, a virtual series focused on grantmaker responses to the “anti-gender” movement and related global anti-rights agendas. The Global Rights Summit served as an opportunity for grantmakers, philanthropic networks, and aligned colleagues to build shared analysis around anti-rights attacks and strategize towards multi-sectoral progressive philanthropic responses.

The summit included over 50 sessions, with over 380 attendees representing grantmaking organizations, funder networks, and civil society partner organizations. Across these sessions, attendees learned from 58 philanthropic speakers and nearly 150 speakers representing civil society organizations, researchers, and activist networks. A Presidents Panel brought together the top executive leadership of Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundation, and Global Fund for Women to share their responses to the summit discussions and strategies to meet emergent field priorities.


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.

Diving Deeper Briefs

In 2021, for the first time, GPP created a series of “Diving Deeper” briefs to explore a number of new analyses using the 2017-2018 Global Resources Report: Government & Philanthropic Support for LGBTI Communities (GRR) dataset. These briefs focus on: global LBQTI funding, the role of intermediaries and government embassies in global LGBTI funding, and funding for LGBTI sex workers. As we move towards the next Global Resources Report publication in 2022, this series further illuminates the importance of the GRR data in ongoing strategy and advocacy towards impactful resourcing of LGBTI human rights advancement and inclusive development. The “Diving Deeper” briefs are developed to serve as tools for LGBTI movements, funders, and policy makers.

The “Diving Deeper” brief series is developed by the GPP staff, with additional review and feedback from members and other key partners.

DD Series

The 2019-2020 Global Resources Report is now in development, with publication planned for June 2022. We are happy to share that over 160 foundations based outside of the U.S. will be included (a 24% increase from the previous report), with over 70 reporting for the first time!

Manufacturing Moral Panic: Weaponizing Children to Undermine Gender Justice and Human Rights

At Shimmering Solidarity: Global Rights Summit, Global Philanthropy Project and Elevate Children Funders Group launched our report Manufacturing Moral Panic: Weaponizing Children to Undermine Gender Justice and Human Rights. The report was made in collaboration with the research team Sentiido.

The research explores how gender-restrictive groups are using child protection rhetoric to manufacture moral panic and mobilize against human rights, and how this strengthens the illiberal politics currently undermining democracies. The report’s comparative analysis of three country case studies (Bulgaria, Ghana, and Perú) underscores recurring strategies, narratives, and actors and gives insight into how gender-restrictive groups collaborate and engage in coalitional work across the globe. This significant new research includes important findings and recommendations for funders.

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2021 Webinars and Events

GPP hosts webinars to cultivate and deepen the knowledge, skills, and capacity of GPP members and other funders in support of global LGBTI issues. See upcoming events here.

Task Forces

Government and Multilateral Task Force

In 2021 the Government and Multilateral Task Force (GMLTF) continued to strengthen and diversify our strategy for engaging government and multilateral donors and deepened our focus on individual donors by establishing GPP member tables dedicated to a number of leading donor governments. The tables provide an opportunity for GPP staff and members to have more in-depth strategy discussions for engaging specific governments. Each table is advancing a tailored strategy that reflects the political context and opportunity for increased global LGBTI funding from the respective donor. In addition to these tables, this year GPP was engaged by a number of government donors to provide private briefings and presentations on the global LGBTI funding landscape, drawing on our research analysis and member expertise.

GPP continues engaging and influencing the field of government and multilateral donors to provide funding that meets the needs and priorities of the global LGBTI movement. Following the launch of our report, Where are the Global COVID-19 Resources for LGBTI Communities? at the start of the year, GPP commenced an exciting research project mapping rapid response / emergency funders supporting LGBTI communities and the lead funders in the international humanitarian response system.

The project will elicit a more detailed understanding of the current funding landscape addressing global LGBTI humanitarian needs, including barriers to increasing the resources focused on LGBTI communities, and actions needed to overcome these barriers. This report will be launched in the first half of 2022 and is intended to provide our field with critical insights on the funding landscape for addressing the humanitarian needs of LGBTI communities, and importantly, evidence to help the GPP membership identify any specific role for GPP in engaging with and influencing funders in the international humanitarian response system to increase and improve response to LGBTI community needs in humanitarian settings.

Responding to Anti-Gender Ideology Task Force

Following the Shimmering Solidarity: Global Rights Summit, GPP created this task force to strengthen and expand philanthropic support for a robust, coordinated, and well-informed response to “anti-gender ideology” (AGI) forces that transcends and connects across philanthropic sectors. The objectives are to identify and map the progressive philanthropic actors responding to the AGI movement, evaluate the health of that funding ecosystem, and deepen the knowledge, skills, and capacity of progressive philanthropic response through research, public programs, and information-sharing. Finally, the task force aims to activate philanthropic leadership to fund bold and inventive responses.

Trans and Intersex Funding Task Force

The task force on Trans and Intersex Funding continued its regular monthly meetings in 2022. A key goal of those meetings was exploring philanthropic responses to the renewed challenges posed by the war in Ukraine and by the increasing attacks perpetrated by anti-gender movements against trans and intersex activists, communities, and organizations. In the context of that work, the toolkit on Trans-Inclusive Grantmaking was released, and two in-person meetings took place at the ILGA World Conference. Over the second portion of the year, an internal consultation process was carried out with the purpose of identifying the most pressing issues to be addressed in 2023. Thanks to several task force members’ collective effort, it was possible to ensure the forthcoming production of the third research/reports on the State of the Trans and Intersex Movements (to be completed in 2023), and a training program on Trans-Inclusive Grantmaking is being developed. The task force was co-chaired by Félix Endara (FJS) and Viviane Simakawa (ITF) and coordinated by Mauro Cabral Grinspan (GPP).

By the numbers

Working Groups

Individual Donor Working Group

This year, the Individual Donor Working Group (IDWG) deepened our work with wealth advisories in the financial sector. After identifying a new group of leaders in the sector, the IDWG has continued to invite wealth advisors to join calls and virtual convenings, and has provided tailored consultations and in-depth research to capacitate their work to better advise high net wealth clients. Together, the IDWG has begun a process of exploring queer lens investments for our members’ institutions.

Trans and Intersex Funding Working Group

In 2021, the Trans and Intersex Funding Working Group (TIFWG) collaborated with the Government and Multilateral Taskforce to ensure trans and intersex funding was prioritized across donor government advocacy. This year, the TIFWG hosted a webinar for donors and donor governments on the role intermediaries can play in increasing trans and intersex funding, with 102 registrants.

GPP Members

Thank you to GPP’s 2021 Executive Committee for their support and partnership. 

Co-Chairs: Mukami Marete, Co-Executive Director of UHAI-EASHRI; and David Sampson, Deputy Director of the Baring Foundation.

Members: Francisco Buchting, Vice President of Grants, Programs, and Communications at Horizons Foundation; Kerry-Jo Ford Lyn, LGBT Global Development Partnership Director at Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice; Rebecca Fox, Senior Program Officer at Wellspring Philanthropic Fund; and Michael Heflin, Director of Equality Human Rights Initiative at Open Society Foundations.

Thank you to GPP’s 2022 Executive Committee for their support and partnership. 

Co-Chairs: Mukami Marete, Co-Executive Director of UHAI-EASHRI; and David Sampson, Deputy Director of the Baring Foundation.

Members: Francisco Buchting, Vice President of Grants, Programs, and Communications at Horizons Foundation; Rebecca Fox, Vice President of Programs at Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice; and Alli Jernow, Director of SOGIE Program at Wellspring Philanthropic Fund.

Thank you to GPP’s 22 member organizations for your partnership in 2021 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, Initiative Sankofa D’Afrique de L’Ouest, Luminate, 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.

Thank you also to Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors and Wallace Global Fund for program support.

GPP is a fiscally sponsored program of Community Initiatives.

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