In 2021, with new leadership, OSF announced that its work would shift to be concentrated in six regional strategies and one global strategy, all focused on advancing justice, equity, and expression, as well as a commitment to addressing the climate crisis. As the foundation engaged in this transformation process, it made some significant initial changes to its programs and initiatives. Among these was the closing of the Human Rights Initiative (HRI) and the Public Health Program (PHP), two programs with large portfolios of grants supporting LGBTI communities and people living with HIV/AIDS. “Tie-off grants” (those being closed out), and other active grants awarded in 2021-2022 were relocated to a new Reassigned Grants Unit (RGU), whose staff was tasked with continuing to administer grants across a range of program areas, providing capacity assistance, and concluding relationships with grantees whose funding was ending.
Given the size and scope of OSF’s global LGBTI funding, and the potential impact on LGBTI communities and movements were it to be discontinued, GPP initiated a program with the RGU to analyze the gaps in support that would likely result from these changes in order to estimate the impact of a potential decrease in OSF’s LGBTI funding on the broader LGBTI philanthropic ecosystem. Working with colleagues throughout OSF, RGU staff identified LGBTI grants awarded in 2021-mid 2023– almost all in the Global South and East. In June 2023, GPP provided to OSF a detailed gap analysis examining the world regions, sub-regions and populations that could be most impacted. GPP’s biennial Global Resources Report, which has tracked global LGBTI funding flows since 2013, served as the key data comparison source to enable this analysis, with additional data on U.S.-focused OSF grants since 2013 provided by Funders for LGBTQ Issues.
In September 2023, Global Philanthropy Project, in coordination with members of the OSF RGU, hosted four invite-only meetings with grantmakers who fund initiatives in world regions where OSF has played a consequential role in advancing LGBTI human rights movements, and those who are positioned to maintain and increase funding in these areas as OSF orients to new strategic directions. The four areas of emphasis for these sessions were: Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and International/Multi-regional LGBTI organizations. GPP and the RGU team also presented relevant findings at donor convenings throughout 2023. This work will continue into 2024.