Author: Broden Giambrone

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


Come Work with the ITF!

The ITF is a trans activist and funder-led initiative that aims to increase the capacity of trans movements globally to self-organize and advocate for trans people’s rights, self-determination, and wellbeing. We are the only international participatory fund that is led by and for trans people. Our grantmaking is intersectional and we support trans-led groups whose work contributes to social justice, movement building and the liberation of trans people.

We are a small, collaborative and dynamic staff team that is passionate about trans movement building and ensuring funding flows to trans-led groups working across the globe. We are looking to hire a Program Officer and Program Associate to join us.

1. Program Officer (Full-time, remote position)
We are seeking someone who is dedicated, passionate and collaborative to join our team as a Program Officer. This is a full-time, remote position (candidates can be based in any part of the world). The Program Officer manages relationships with grantee partners, provides support and accompaniment, develops capacity-building initiatives, participates in learning and evaluation of ITF’s programs and engages in philanthropic advocacy.

Learn more about what we are looking for here.

The deadline to apply has been extended to July 3, 2020. Please complete the ITF Program Officer Application Pack and submit to jobs@transfund.org (we are not accepting CVs or cover letters for this position).

2. Program Associate (Full-time, based in New York City)
The ITF also seeks a committed, collaborative and organized person to join our team as a Program Associate. This is a full-time position based in the offices of our fiscal host, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, in New York City. US work authorization is required.

The Program Associate supports the overall day-to-day activities of the ITF team. This includes supporting ITF’s annual grantmaking cycle, providing logistical support and ensuring overall smooth operations of the team.

Learn more about what we are looking for here.

The deadline to apply is July 17, 2020. Please send resume/CV and cover letter to jobs@transfund.org


The ITF is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse, collaborative and sustainable work environment. For more information visit www.transfund.org

The ITF is Hiring a Program Associate


Reports to: ITF Director
Location: New York
Closing Date: July 17, 2020

About the Organization
The International Trans Fund (ITF) is a trans activist and funder-led initiative that aims to increase the capacity of trans movements globally to self-organize and advocate for trans people’s rights, self- determination, and wellbeing. The ITF works to mobilize sustainable resources to help build strong, trans-led movements and collective action, and to address and eliminate funding gaps impacting trans groups across the globe. The ITF is hosted at Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.

About the Position
The ITF seeks a committed, collaborative and organized person to join our team as a Program Associate.

The Program Associate is a full-time position that will support the overall day-to-day activities of the ITF team. This includes supporting ITF’s annual grantmaking cycle, providing logistical support and ensuring overall smooth operations of the team. The position is based in Astraea’s office in New York City.

Core Responsibilities

  • Conduct intake of applications, including data entry, file management and communication with applicants.
  • Maintain all grantee application and grant information in our grants database; generate grants documents from the database.
  • Coordinate translation of applications, which will be received in English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Russian.
  • Provide initial screening of applications to determine eligibility for ITF support.
  • Prepare materials for the ITF’s Grant Making Panel, a body of trans activists who review and assess funding applications.
  • Communicate with applicants, including responding to inquiries and sending grant notifications.
  • Prepare award packages for grantee partners.
  • Confirm payment details, manage the dissemination process and work with Astraea’s Fiscal Department to prepare, process, and track grants payments.
  • Coordinate Grant Making Panel and Steering Committee Meetings, including handling logistics (travel, venues, lodging, catering, AV), and producing/organizing meeting materials.
  • Respond to general organizational queries.
  • Provide general administrative support to the Director and Program Officers.
  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned from time-to-time.


  • Minimum two years of programmatic experience in trans, LGBTQI, feminist, human rights and/or social justice movements.
  • Commitment to and knowledge of issues facing global trans movements.
  • Superb organizational and project management skills, with the ability to manage and meet multiple deadlines while maintaining consistent attention to detail.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, with a proven track record in developing creative solutions.
  • High level of proficiency with computers, databases and other technology.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work and communicate with diverse audiences and stakeholders.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a supportive team player.
  • Applicants must be fluent in English. Candidates able to communicate in English and Spanish will be given preference.

Additional Considerations

  • This position is based in Astraea’s office in New York City. US work authorization is required. The ITF is not able to offer visa sponsorship for this position.
  • Trans people are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants born or who originate from a Global South country are encouraged to apply.

The salary range for this position is $55,000 – $60,000 USD/year commensurate with experience.

How to Apply
Please send resume/CV and cover letter to jobs@transfund.org in .pdf, doc, or .docx format by July 17, 2020.

The ITF is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse, collaborative and sustainable work environment. For more information visit www.transfund.org.

ITF Welcomes Cleopatra Kambugu to the Steering Committee

The ITF is delighted to introduce Cleopatra Kambugu as the newest member of our Steering Committee.

Cleo is based in Uganda and is a Director of Programmes at UHAI EASHRI, an indigenous activist fund that resources sex worker, trans, non binary, intersex, gender minorities and LGB sexual minorities and their organising in the seven Eastern African countries of Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, with broader strategic support to Pan African organising. In this position she oversees UHAI’s programmes which revolve around grantmaking, capacity support, knowledge evaluation and learning. She serves on the Advisory activist Board of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the Global Philanthropy Project’s Trans and Intersex working group and TGEU’s TMM and TvT advisory committee to provide an Afrocentric lens to trans funding and organising on the continent.

Cleo is also a protagonist in the world acclaimed documentary and web docu series The Pearl of Africa, which chronicles her journey navigating health as a trans person in East Africa, negotiating shifting family relationships as she transitions and speaking to the universality and affirmation of trans love and their partners.

We invite you to learn more our Steering Committee members here.

Update on the ITF and COVID-19

Dear friend,

We are writing to you in relation to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic which is having devastating effects on many people and communities across the globe. As a result of this pandemic, many trans people are dealing with very difficult circumstances – struggling with illness and healthcare systems that are overburdened and grappling with fear and anxiety. Trans people experience unique risks and challenges in a pandemic related to transphobia, discrimination and economic marginalization, which is often exacerbated by racism, xenophobia, poverty, disability and other intersections. As this public health crisis deepens, the ITF wants to express our support and solidarity with trans movements and our allies across the globe.

We also wanted to share some information about the measures we are taking:

  • The ITF is continuing our work: As we already work remotely, we will continue to issue grant payments and support grantee partners. Our Grant Making Panel (GMP) is in the process of reviewing applications to the 4th grant cycle. We are supporting our staff, Steering Committee, GMP and grantee partners at this difficult time. All ITF travel has been suspended until further notice.
  • The in-person GMP meeting is on hold: The GMP meeting where new grantee partners are selected was scheduled for June. This meeting is now on hold as we cannot in good conscience put the health and safety of our community at risk. While we monitor the situation, we are also looking at creative ways to allocate grants this year. Our intention is to stay on schedule and select grantee partners and disburse grants by August 2020.
  • Flexible funding: As a funder, we understand that COVID-19 may require shifts in our grantee partners work and strategy. We recognize that certain programs, meetings or other grant activities may be cancelled or postponed. We stand ready to find flexibility in our grants to help grantee partners respond to these challenges wherever possible.

The ITF’s work matters now more than ever, and we are deeply committed to supporting trans-led groups in their efforts to build our movements and promote rights, health and wellbeing. Despite the challenges that we are facing, this is also an opportunity for us to reach out and connect with each other and our communities.

On behalf of all of us at the ITF, we send our best wishes for your health and security and stand in solidarity as you continue your crucial work.

Meet ITF’s New Steering Committee Members

The ITF is delighted to introduce our three new Steering Committee members: Alex Rodrigo Castillo Hernández, Sara R. Phillips and Viviane Vergueiro Simakawa.

Alex, Sara and Viviane join the ITF as activist members who have extensive experience working within global trans movements. Alex is from Guatemala and founded Trans-Formation, the first collective of trans men in Central America, and is also President of REDCADHT+ Network. Sara is the Chair of Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) and Founder and Chair of Intersex Ireland. She has been engaged in social justice activism for 40 years. Viviane is from Brazil and is the Project Coordinator at Akahatá. She is also a researcher on gender identity and expression and is currently pursuing a PhD in Women, Gender and Feminist Studies.

We invite you to learn more about Alex, Sara and Viviane (and all our Steering Committee members) here.

Call for applications to the ITF Grant Making Panel

  • Would you like to support trans activists around the world?
  • Do you have a passion for advancing trans rights and building a sustainable trans community?
  • Are you committed to and invested in the trans movement in your country, your region and/or on a global level?
  • Are you an trans activist with a proven track record of working beyond your country or region?
  • Do you identify as trans (as someone whose gender identity or expression differs from your gender assigned at birth)?
  • Are you deemed credible and trustworthy in the eyes of your peers and would you like to help make decisions on how resources are allocated in our movements?

The International Trans Fund (ITF) is seeking applications from committed activists to be members of the Grant Making Panel (GMP). The deadline for submitting your application is January 13, 2020.  Applications can be submitted in either English or Spanish, the two official working languages of the ITF.

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. 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 International Trans Fund (ITF).

The ITF is a participatory grantmaking fund made up of trans activists and donors. The ITF 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 smaller groups and/or 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 the GMP.

Roles and Responsibilities of the GMP
The role of the GMP is to review grant proposals submitted to the ITF and make decisions on these grant applications in line with ITF’s priorities and principles.

GMP members have the following responsibilities:

  1. Participate in online GMP trainings.
  2. Attend one annual in-person meeting which takes approximately 6 days (the meeting location changes each year).
  3. Take active part in online discussions, e-mail exchanges, and at least 75% of online meetings (if necessary).
  4. Lead and conduct grantmaking processes, including:
    • Encourage trans communities to apply for funding.
    • Review applications for funding.
    • Make collective decisions on funding proposals (decisions of the GMP are final pending ratification from the Steering Committee).
    • Recommend grantmaking priorities and provide input on ITF strategy as relevant.
  5. Strictly adhere to ITF’s confidentiality and conflict of interest policies in and outside of the ITF at all times.
  6. Elect GMP Co-Chairs for each two-year cycle.

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

  • Participate in mandatory online training (3 hours) each year.
  • Review 30-50 applications (including scoring and providing feedback) over 6 weeks in each annual grantmaking cycle (approximately 50 hours total each year).
  • Attend and actively participate in-person meeting (6 days) each year.

Qualification of the candidates
Essential qualifications:

  • Identify as trans.
  • 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 GMP meetings.
  • Have a strong commitment to fulfill tasks and deadlines.

Optional qualifications: It would be desirable for candidates to:

  • Be able to communicate and write in one of the other application languages (French, Russian, French, or Chinese).
  • Have direct experience managing and reporting on grants for trans work.

Conflict of Interest
GMP members or their family members cannot be significantly involved in any group that has applied or will apply for funding from the ITF. GMP members may not benefit financially from the grants assessed or existing ITF grants.

GMP members will be appointed by the Steering Committee for a two-year term.

GMP members will receive a remuneration of USD$1000 per one-year grant cycle.  Members also receive travel expenses, including per diem, to attend ITF meetings.

Selection process
The Steering Committee will select 9 activists to serve as GMP members. When selecting candidates, every effort will be made to ensure diversity across regions, gender identities and expressions, and representation from further marginalized groups within trans communities.

Please submit your CV and cover letter to info@transfund.org by January 13, 2020.

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