Call for Board Members

The ITF is seeking applications from committed trans activists to join the Board of Directors:

  • Are you a trans activist with a track record of working beyond your country or region?
  • Are you committed to, and invested in, building trans movements in your country, region and/or on a global level? 
  • Do you have a passion for advancing trans rights and building sustainable trans communities? 
  • 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?
  • Do you have specific technical skills in organizational development and management such as finance, legal, resource mobilization, or HR?

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 trans movements to self-organize and advocate for trans people’s rights, self-determination, and wellbeing. The mission of the ITF is to mobilize and facilitate sustainable resources for strong, trans-led movements and collective action, and to address and eliminate funding gaps impacting trans groups across the globe.

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 the ITF works with. We define trans as individuals whose gender identity or expression differs from the sex 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, kwaasing-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.

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 (GMP).

Role of the Board of Directors
The ITF aims to have a minimum of 9 Directors, but cannot exceed 13 according to our Articles of Incorporation. Trans activists should constitute at least 75% of the Board of Directors and funders no more than 25% of the Board membership. The ITF has existed since 2016 but it became an independent entity in 2021 as a registered non-profit organization in Canada. in Canada. While the ITF is legally incorporated in Canada, Board members do not need to be Canadian citizens or residents of Canada. 

The role of the Board is to provide strategic governance and leadership to the ITF, as well as maintain legal and fiscal responsibility for the Fund’s activities. The Board of Directors has the following responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic oversight and guidance.
  • Ensure that the ITF meets its fiscal and legal obligations to relevant government and statutory bodies to ensure compliance and fulfillment of its fiduciary responsibility.
  • Approve annual financial statements, annual budget, organizational level policies, and the annual report of the ITF.
  • 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 annual in-person meeting as well as in at least 75% of online meetings.
  • Elect the Co-chairs and Treasurer of the ITF Board from among the activist members of the Board.
  • Appoint new Board members.
  • Support the staff in resource mobilization and 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. 
  • Appoint the Executive Director if there is a vacancy.
  • Make decisions on any item not delegated to any other body or staff of the ITF.
  • Volunteer to participate in Board Committees as needed and based on technical skills and experience.
  • Adhere to the ITF bylaws and other governing documents in conducting Board business.
  • Represent the ITF towards third parties when requested.

In practical terms, Board 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 as well as other organizational matters. The Board supports the ITF in fundraising and resource mobilization. Board members are also required to know and follow all internal policies and bylaws. 

Time Commitment
In order to fulfill this position, Board members must be able to commit to the following:

  • Participate in 3-5 online meetings each year (please note that Board members are located in countries all over the globe – this means that meetings may be scheduled all hours of day and night as we strive to ensure time justice). 
  • Attend and actively participate at one 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.
  • Have experience in decision-making bodies (e.g. Board or Steering Committees) composed of diverse stakeholders.
  • Have experience with collective and participatory decision-making processes and be able and willing to work in a diverse environment that includes activists and donors.
  • Have technical expertise and skills related to or applicable to running a non-profit participatory grantmaking fund (e.g. finance, legal, human resources, governance, communications, etc.)
  • Be able to communicate and write in at least one of the ITF’s working languages (English or Spanish).
  • Hold a passport and be able to travel internationally to attend Board meetings.
  • Have a strong commitment to fulfilling tasks and adhering to deadlines.

Conflict of Interest
Board members or their family members cannot be significantly involved in any group that is applying for funding from the ITF. Board members may not benefit financially from the grants assessed or existing ITF grants. The ITF’s Conflict of Interest policy is available here.

Board members will be appointed for a three-year term. The beginning  of the engagement will be determined based on when the recruitment process is completed and when seats become available.

Board members will receive a remuneration of USD$1,000 per each year of their term. Members also receive reimbursement of travel expenses, including per diem, to attend ITF meetings.

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

  1. Describe your history as a trans activist and working within trans movements.
  2. What is your motivation for joining the Board.
  3. Describe any Board or leadership positions you have held.
  4. Any relevant technical expertise or skills that would benefit the ITF.
  5. What your experience has been in contributing to strategic thinking and development processes in similar organizations.
  6. How do you identify (please include SOGI, race, gender, and nationality).
  7. Two references (these individuals should not be affiliated with the ITF).

Please send your letter and CV to [email protected] by August 4, 2023.

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)