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Author: Broden Giambrone

Facing Forward: Presenting the ITF’s Strategic Plan (2021-2025)

The ITF is excited to share our Strategic Plan (2021-2025). You can download it here.

Trans rights are under attack across the globe, from the epidemic of violence against trans women of color, sex workers and immigrants, to the rise of anti-gender ideology that is fueling the backlash against hard fought progress. Trans activists are fighting for rights and justice with grit and grace in unbelievably hostile environments and with very limited resources. There is an urgent need to provide flexible funding to grassroots trans-led groups working on the frontlines. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create new challenges and exacerbate existing inequities in the communities we support, and it has left an indelible mark on the philanthropic community as we all struggle to adapt and respond.

Despite these challenges, the ITF is well placed to direct much-needed resources where they need to go. Our participatory grantmaking model is founded upon trans leadership and decision-making at all levels, and we are deeply committed to embodying the adage of “nothing about us, without us” in every fiber of the organization because we know that our movements are best placed to come up with the strategies and solutions to make real lasting change in their communities. We hold the fundamental belief that there is a transformational potential of philanthropy when it is grounded in intersectionality and responsive and accountable to our movements. This is the ITFʼs first strategic plan and the culmination of an in-depth and engaged process of co-creation. Here are the four goals that will drive and propel our work over the next five years:

  1. Increase and expand the ITFʼs direct grantmaking to trans-led organizations with limited resources that are engaged in movement building activities.
  2. Build and sustain the ITF as an efficient, effective and independent participatory grantmaker.
  3. Increase the capacity of grantee partners to secure additional funds and effectively respond to the needs of their communities.
  4. Catalyze more and better funding for global trans movements through philanthropic advocacy and be acknowledged as the leading expert in international trans funding.

What drives our work is imagining a world where all trans people are safe and free, and can live with dignity and respect. A world where we uplift and celebrate our diverse communities’ unstoppable creativity, joy, defiance and innovation to make change. A world where trans movements are resourced, resilient and robust, working intersectionally to promote liberation and transform inequities. We are building a future where gender diversity is celebrated and where trans people have the power to live as our true, authentic selves in communities across the globe.

Broden Giambrone
Director, International Trans Fund

Terms of Reference for Recruitment Consultant

The International Trans Fund seeks a consultant to design and implement a hiring process with particular attention to addressing underlying bias and structural inequalities for trans people in accessing employment in a global setting and create a written organizational policy that includes findings and recommendations.

Overview of the International Trans Fund 

The International Trans Fund (ITF) is a participatory grantmaking fund. The staff manages the daily operations of the fund and, along with the Steering Committee which is made up of trans activists and donors, leads the strategic development processes of the fund. The Grant Making Panel, composed entirely of trans activists, is in charge of assessing proposals and awarding grants. Currently the ITF is fiscally hosted by Astraea Foundation and plans to become incorporated as an independent entity in the coming years.

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. We strive to be a dynamic, responsive and intersectional organization. Collectively, we come from multiple places, histories, experiences, politics, and identities. We value the diversity of trans movements (including gender identity, gender expression, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, geography, language, age, disability, religion, class/socioeconomic status), and respect each other, acknowledging we have different levels of power and privilege. We work together with integrity and hold ourselves accountable to trans movements. We strive to be transparent in our work. We are aware of the unique role we play as a trans-led funder both in terms of global resource dynamics and in terms of enabling trans movements across the world. 

Background to this Work

In spite of having already disbursed $2.677 million to trans-led groups across the globe since our first grantmaking cycle in 2017, the ITF is still a young organization, deep in the process of learning, forming and institutionalizing. We have a long way to go to become a sustainable funder, including increasing our available resources, staff capacities, internal policies and controls. Our first Strategic Plan (2021-2025) will direct our further development. In our growth we are committed to thoughtful progress and putting our values into practice with each step taken. As our grantmaking and philanthropic advocacy work expands, so will our staff structure. Currently we have four staff members and will soon be opening another position. At this point in time we wish to focus efforts on ensuring that our hiring processes are fit for purpose, sustainable and robust, and that they do not reproduce colonial, racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic power structures present in our societies. With the support of a Consultant, we aim to design a hiring process that operationalizes these principles and allows the ITF to build a solid foundation for future development of staff structures and employment policies.

Role of the Consultant

The consultant(s) will be tasked with:

  • Working with the Executive Director and Co-Chairs to design and develop the recruitment process  for an upcoming Deputy Director job opening, utilizing an intersectional approach and anti-oppressive framework (e.g. support with the development of the job description and application package, support with dissemination and outreach, etc.).
  • Participating in the application review and interview process (including support with designing the interview process and questions).  
  • Developing an organizational policy and actionable recommendations for the ITF on hiring and recruitment processes based on this process and good practice.

The Consultant is expected to act in an advisory capacity, and to utilize their expertise to guide the work. The Executive Director and Co-Chairs will lead on these processes and hold decision-making powers in terms of the recruitment itself. The Steering Committee will be charged with final review and approvals of any policy.

Expected Deliverables

A written organizational policy that includes findings and recommendations to the ITF (March 2021). 

Role Requirements 

The consultant should have working experience in areas described in this Terms of Reference, and in particular should: 

  • Have a proven track record in cooperation with civil society on organizational development, especially in the scope of development of practical policies which support the implementation of organizational objectives and adhere to values.
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply an intersectional lens and anti-oppression framework to employment and human resources, in particular understand the effects that a history of colonialism and imperialism, structural inequalities, power and privilege have on trans and other marginalized communities, and in a global setting.
  • Demonstrate an ability to question and systemically counter (unconscious) bias in the context of human resources. 
  • Be able to carry out the work and communicate in written and spoken English.
  • Track record of working with and knowledge of trans movements would be an advantage.
  • Given that the other stake-holders of this process may be located across up to 20 different time zones, have flexibility of conducting online meetings outside of standard working hours. The times of meetings will be set up with accessibility and justice in mind. 

Timeline and Length of Engagement

The engagement should start towards the end of March 2021 and finish by end of June 2021. The estimated time investment is 7-10 working days.

The consultant will work under ITF’s supervision. The ITF’s management will provide support and guidance as needed throughout the different phases of the consultancy.  

Application Process

Interested parties should submit a 2-3 page proposal to jobs@transfund.org by March 21st, 2021. This proposal should include:

  • Details of the Consultant’s skills and experience relevant to the outlined role and requirements.
  • Detailed description of the envisaged approach and deliverables.
  • Outline of principles and considerations that would guide the Consultant’s work.
  • Financial offer including a daily rate and number of days of work planned.
  • One relevant, recent reference.  

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The ITF intends to make a decision by March 26th, 2021. All candidates will receive a response.

Introducing the ITF’s 4th Cycle Grantee Partners

The ITF made our first grant in 2017 and since then we have disbursed $2.615 million dollars to 105 trans-led groups in 63 countries. Now we would like to introduce you to our 4th cycle grantee partners. These groups were selected by the ITF’s Grant Making Panel, a group of 15 trans and gender non-conforming activists who review each eligible application that we receive to our annual call for applications.

This year we are thrilled to support 52 trans-led organizations in 41 countries. These organizations are doing incredible work on the frontlines, often in very hostile contexts and with limited resources. We are proud to support organizations that are promoting trans leadership and working intersectionally. We invite you to learn more about the ITF’s 4th cycle grantee partners and join us in celebrating and amplifying this powerful movement building work.

How To Apply For ITF Funding Video

The ITF created and hosted funding webinars to support trans-led groups to apply to the 5th grant cycle. For those that could not make one of our webinars, we recorded a video with our Program Officer that you can watch at any time. In the video, we share information about the eligibility criteria, funding priorities, and the grantmaking process. We also give helpful tips on how to write a strong and competitive application.

We suggest that you download the application form and guidelines to review while you follow along with the video (here).

We are accepting applications until 5 pm ET on December 4, 2020.

Statement on the Trans Day of Remembrance

This November 20th, 2020, the International Trans Fund (ITF) remembers and honors the lives of trans and gender-diverse people who have been murdered. The ITF’s mission is to mobilize sustainable resources for strong, trans-led movements and collective action, and to address and eliminate funding gaps impacting trans groups across the globe. The ITF has disbursed $2.615 million US dollars to 105 trans-led groups in 63 countries worldwide over four grantmaking cycles.

According to the Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) TGEU project, 350 trans and gender-diverse people across the world were murdered between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020. These updated results present a 6% increase in reported murders since 2019 and 3664 reported cases in 75 countries and territories worldwide between January 1, 2008 and September 30, 2020. These shocking figures illustrate the extremely high rates of violence that trans and gender-diverse people face every day.

In addition to direct violence, trans people also regularly experience stigmatization, exclusion and discrimination. In many countries, trans people struggle to obtain legal gender recognition and are forced to undergo medical procedures such as sterilization in order to be legally recognized. As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as growing racism and police brutality, the lives of trans and gender-diverse people, especially those most marginalized, are at even greater risk. In order to better understand the impact of COVID-19, the ITF developed a short survey that went to our grantee partners in April 2020. One of the most striking results was that 73% reported mental health challenges and the urgent need for self-care and wellness.

As the only global participatory grantmaker fund exclusively dedicated to supporting trans-led groups in all world regions, the ITF is acutely aware of the many obstacles facing trans and gender-diverse people in accessing basic survival needs. Trans-led groups are also uniquely placed to address and respond to the challenges facing their communities but often lack the resources to do so. As we commemorate the Trans Day of Remembrance and the lives lost, the ITF stands in solidarity with trans people and groups across the world and calls upon:

  1. Civil society to stand up and amplify their voices against all violence directed towards trans and gender-diverse people.
  2. Donors to increase financial support for trans-led organizations, especially for the most marginalized trans communities globally, in recognition of the chronic and pervasive underfunding of trans movements.

Funding Webinars for the 5th Grant Cycle

The ITF will host webinars to support trans-led groups to apply to the 5th grant cycle. During these webinars, we will share information about the eligibility criteria, funding priorities and the grantmaking process. We will give helpful tips on how to write a strong and competitive application. There will also be the opportunity to ask our Program Officers questions.

If your group has never been funded by the ITF, please join us for either a general or region-specific webinar. Please only register for a region-specific webinar if you are from that region. 

If your group has been funded by the ITF in the past and you are interested in applying for a THRIVE grant, please join us for a webinar for previously funded groups.

We suggest that you download the application form and guidelines before you join the webinar (here).

General Webinars

General funding webinars are open to trans-led groups in any region.

General (English)
Nov. 5, 7AM ET (NYC time)
Register here

General (Spanish)
Nov. 5, 11AM ET (NYC time)
Register here

Regional Webinars

Regional webinars are for trans-led groups from specific regions only.

Caribbean (English)
Nov. 9, 11AM ET / 12PM Dominican Republic
Register here  

Mexico & Central America (Spanish)
Nov. 9, 3PM CDMX, México and Costa Rica / 4PM Panamá
Register here

Central Asia (English with Russian interpretation)
Nov. 10, 7AM ET / 6PM Almaty, Kazakhstan
Register here

USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand & Canada (English)
Nov. 10, 3PM ET / 9PM CET / Nov. 11, 9AM Auckland, NZ
Register here

East & Southern Africa (English)
Nov. 11, 7AM ET / 2PM South Africa
Register here

East, South and Southeast Asia and the Pacific (English)
Nov. 12, 7AM ET/ 8PM Beijing, China
Register here 

Previous Grantee Partner Webinars

These webinars are for groups that have been ITF grantee partners during any of the past grant cycles and who are interested in applying for a THRIVE grant (please review the differences between a SEED and THRIVE grant here).

Previous Grantee Partners (English)
Nov. 6, 7AM ET (NYC time)
Register here

Previous Grantee Partners (Spanish)
Nov. 6, 11AM ET (NYC time)
Register here

The ITF’s 5th Grant Cycle is Now Open

The ITF is pleased to announce our 5th grant cycle! We welcome applications from trans-led organizations with budgets below $150,000 USD based in any region of the world. The deadline to apply is December 4, 2020 at 5pm (ET/New York time).

This year the ITF is introducing two grant types:

  • SEED Grant (1-year)
    The SEED grant is a 1-year general support and/or project grant for trans-led organizations that have never been funded by the ITF, or that prefer to apply for this grant instead of the THRIVE Grant. Grants range from $10,000 to $30,000 USD/year.
  • THRIVE Grant (2-year)
    The THRIVE grant is a 2-year general support grant ONLY for trans-led organizations that have been previously funded by the ITF and are in good standing. Grants range from $20,000 to $40,000 USD/year (for a total of $40,000-$80,000 USD).
The application forms and guidelines can be downloaded from our website (here). The forms are available in English, French, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Spanish.

If you have questions, please contact info@transfund.org

Meet the Donor Video

The ITF was thrilled to participate in the Global Philanthropy Project‘s ‘Meet the Donor’ session recorded in October 2020.

Mukasa, an ITF Program Officer, joined a panel of grantmakers to discuss the role they see for their institution within the funding ecosystem, and how they go about their own work as grantmakers and partners.

This video also provides a broad overview of the types of philanthropic institutions and funding flows in the LGBTI community and reviews some background information about philanthropy, fundraising, and the current state of worldwide LGBTI funding based on the 2017-2018 Global Resources Report: Government and Philanthropic Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Communities.

Introducing Anesu!

The ITF is thrilled to announce the appointment of Anesu Nyatanga as Program Associate. Anesu studied Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University’s college of arts and science, and he believes in using an intersectional framework to support marginalized individuals in a variety of capacities.

This past year he worked with the New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Operations and Civic Engagement Commission. Here he coordinated interpretation services for limited-English proficient voters during NYC elections. While at NYU, he served as the Vice-Chair for the Student Senators Council and as a Senator-at-Large for Black and Trans students. He was the inaugural Gender & Sexuality Chair of the Governance Council for Marginalized and Minority Students, which serves to unify and provide a channel of access to institutional bodies between all student organizations and committees in the Global Network. Additionally, he was one of the thought leaders for Shades, a student group for LGBTQ people of color.

On his days off, Anesu loves to weight lift, go to the movies, and argue about pop culture icons with his friends.

You can reach Anesu at anesun@transfund.org.

We are delighted to welcome Anesu to our team!

The ITF Welcomes Viviane!

The ITF is delighted to announce the appointment of Viviane Vergueiro Simakawa as our newest Program Officer. Viviane is a transfeminist activist, researcher and economist based in Brazil. She has 7 years professional experience organizing and participating in initiatives related to SOGIESC issues, specifically within Latin American contexts. She is also a passionate researcher and is currently studying gender identity and expression as a Ph.D. candidate in Women, Gender and Feminist Studies at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA).

Viviane’s involvement with activism and research on trans issues, particularly trans depathologization and initiatives at the local level in Brazil, has significantly influenced her work which is focused on resourcing and supporting trans people in various spheres and contexts. Viviane was previously a member of the ITF’s Steering Committee. She also holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies and a BA in Economics.

Viviane will join our current Program Officer, Mukasa, to directly support our grantee partners and work with broader trans movements on capacity-building initiatives. Viviane is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

We are thrilled to welcome Viviane to our team! She can be reached at vivianes@transfund.org

 

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