Call for Applications from Trans Activists to Join ITF’s Steering Committee

The ITF is seeking applications from committed trans activists to join the Steering Committee:

  • Would you like to support trans activists around the world? 
  • Are you a trans activist with a track record of working beyond your country or region?
  • Are you committed to and invested in the trans movement in your country, your region and or on a global level? 
  • Do you have a passion for advancing trans rights and building a sustainable trans community? 
  • Are you deemed credible and trustworthy in the eyes of your peers and would you like to make decisions on how resources are allocated in our movements?

Trans groups across the globe remain severely under-resourced and operate with limited or no budgets. The State of Trans Organizing, a survey of 455 trans organizations conducted in 2016 by AJWS (American Jewish World Service), GATE (Global Action for Trans Equality) and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, found that two out of five trans groups had zero external funding and only 40% received foundation funding. Over half (56%) of trans organizations operated on a budget of less than USD$10,000 yearly and over three-quarters (78%) had annual budgets of less than USD$50,000. To address this disparity, a group of international trans activists and donors came together to create the ITF.

The ITF is a participatory grantmaking fund that aims to increase the capacity of the trans movement to self-organize and advocate for trans people’s rights, self-determination, and wellbeing.

The purpose of the fund is to:

  1. Build & Sustain the Fund | Build and sustain a mechanism to support trans-led groups of different sizes working on a range of issues at the international, regional, country and local levels, with a particular emphasis on groups with access to fewer resources.
  2. Resource Trans Movements |  Increase resources and enhance access to resources to support trans movements, including:
    • Access to financial resources dedicated to trans-led organizations and groups through grantmaking.
    • Access to non-financial resources for trans organizations, such as skills building, organizational strengthening, leadership development and activist support.
    • Access to other and new donors for trans organizations, beyond the ITF’s direct support.
  3. Educate Philanthropic Community | Educate peers in the philanthropic community on trans issues and influence other funders and strategic allies in trans-related commitments and strategies.

What does “trans” mean to the ITF?
The ITF understands trans as a political term that defines the communities of people that we work with. We use trans to define people whose gender identity or expression differs from their gender assigned at birth. Some of these people identify and present themselves as male or female; others identify with a non-binary gender category. These identities or expressions include trans women, trans men, fa’afafine, leiti, fakafifine, akava’ine, mahu, vakasalewalewa, palopa, Sistergirls, Brotherboys, whakawahine, tangata ira tane, muxhe, omeguid, travesti, two spirit, hijra, bandhu, mangalamukhi, kinnar, thirunangai, thirunambi, khwaja sira, meti, katoey, waria, mak nyah, kua xing nan, trans laki-laki, transpinay, transpinoy, kwaa-sing- bit, and transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, gender non-binary, gender diverse, gender non-conforming, and agender people – to name just a few.

As part of the ITF’s commitment to self-determination and decolonizing bodily oppressions, we are permanently committed and open to recognizing gender identities that emerge and that our communities claim within their socio-political contexts. These arise from the ongoing work of resistance and liberation that involves both the remembering and reimagining of gender identities and expressions. The ITF does not privilege any one gender identity or expression over another, including those communities who do not have specific terms to describe who they are.

ITF’s Grantmaking
The ITF is a participatory grantmaking fund and we take an activist-led approach that engages trans people in our grantmaking process. This means that trans people are actively involved at every stage, from determining funding priorities to reviewing applications and making decisions about which groups get funded. All eligible applications that are submitted to the ITF are reviewed by our Grant Making Panel.

Role of the Steering Committee 
The Steering Committee consists of no less than nine members and no more than 13 members. Trans activists should constitute at least 75% of the Steering Committee membership and funders no more than 25% of the Steering Committee membership.

The role of the Steering Committee is to provide strategic governance and leadership to the ITF, as well as maintain legal and fiscal responsibility for the Fund’s activities. As laid out in the ITF bylaws, the Steering Committee members have the following responsibilities:

  • Ensure the ITF meets its fiscal and legal obligations.
  • Adhere to confidentiality, ethics and conflict of interest principles in and outside of the ITF at all times.
  • Take due part in online discussions, email exchanges as well as participating in the regular annual in-person meeting as well as in at least 75% of online meetings.
  • Elect the Co-chairs of the ITF Steering Committee, as well as a Treasurer from among the activist members of the SC.
  • Develop the ITF strategically.
  • Approve the annual budget and annual report of the ITF.
  • Appoint new SC members.
  • Represent the ITF towards third parties.
  • Support the Secretariat in fundraising for the ITF.
  • Appoint members for the GMP.
  • Ratify the grant docket as approved by the GMP.
  • Determine the ITF’s grantmaking priorities in consultation with the GMP. 
  • Make decisions on any item not delegated to any other body or staff of the ITF.

In practical terms, SC members are expected to contribute to discussions and decision making around strategic planning, priorities and guidelines for the Grant Making Panel and managing conflict of interests. The SC supports the ITF in fundraising, is responsible for employment in the fund and internal policies. The SC members are also required to know and follow all internal policies and bylaws. 

Time Commitment
In order to fulfil this position, Steering Committee members must be able to commit to the following:

  • Participate in 3-5 online meetings each year (please note that SC members are located in countries all over the globe – this means that meetings may be scheduled all hours of day and night). 
  • Attend and actively participate at in-person meeting (5 days) each year.
  • Review materials, participate in discussions and make timely decisions.

Qualification of activist candidates
Candidates need to:

  • Have at least 5 years of direct involvement with trans activism at the regional and/or international level.
  • Be recognized by other trans activists in their region as a trans community activist.
  • Be able to communicate and write in at least one of the ITF’s working languages (English or Spanish).
  • Be able and willing to work in a diverse environment that includes activists and donors.
  • Hold a passport allowing them to travel internationally to attend Steering Committee meetings.
  • Have a strong commitment to fulfill tasks and deadlines.

Conflict of Interest
SC members or their family members cannot be significantly involved in any group that is applying for funding from the ITF. SC members may not benefit financially from the grants assessed or existing ITF grants.

Steering Committee members will be appointed for a three-year term. The expected beginning of the engagement is January 1, 2020, the last meeting within this term will be 2023. Once the term is over an individual can re-apply once for a second term.

Steering Committee members will receive a remuneration of USD$1000 each year of their term. Members also receive travel expenses, including per diem, to attend ITF meetings.

To apply, please send a two page letter that includes the following information:

  1. Describe your history working with trans activism.
  2. What is your motivation for joining the Steering Committee.
  3. Describe any boards or leadership position you have held.
  4. What has been your experience in contributing to strategic thinking and development processes.
  5. What other social movement are you or would you engage with and why.
  6. How do you identify (please include SOGI, race, gender, and country).
  7. Two references (these individuals should not be affiliated with the ITF).

Please send your letter to [email protected] by November 11, 2019. The ITF will contact selected candidates by December 15, 2019.

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)