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Launching our 5-year Impact Evaluation

Over our first five grant cycles, the ITF successfully mobilized and increased access to many resources for strong, trans-led movements and collective action, including awarding US$3.867M to 133 grantee partners in 80 countries. (We are currently accepting applications for the 8th grant cycle. The funds allocated, the number of groups receiving grants, and the range of countries they originate from have all grown substantially). We have advocated within philanthropy to address broader funding gaps impacting trans groups across the globe. Trans movements are now stronger and made up of more defined, sustainable organizations. As a mechanism to support trans-led groups, we have grown into an established, respected, independent organization. The majority of participants who contributed to the Impact Evaluation shared that the ITF is a wonderful thing – they mainly just want more!

Like all organizations, the ITF has growth edges and continues to learn and improve as we strive to respond to the diverse and urgent needs of global trans movements. The work ahead for the ITF is clear: grow and advocate to generate even more sustainable resources for trans movements, so that all trans-led groups who want and need funding and other support can find it from us and other donors.

Join us for a presentation on January 24th at 10 AM ET as we delve into the findings of our Impact Evaluation. Whether you’ve been a part of our story or are curious about our mission, your presence is valued. Let’s explore the progress made and chart the course ahead. Save the date, join us on Zoom, and be a part of the ongoing narrative of empowerment and support for trans-led groups worldwide. To reserve your spot register here.

Message from the ITF Director:

Trans movements across the globe are facing increased challenges and pressures, including the rise of the anti-gender movement, coordinated attacks on our rights and organizations, and the rollback of protections. Funding for trans movements has always been urgently needed, but now more than ever, our survival depends on it and our movements are poised to absorb and utilize funds. Since our formation, the ITF has been a crucial mechanism to move money to the frontlines of trans activism, to fund trans-led organizations doing the work on the ground.

But at the ITF we have also aspired to more – to building an independent, sustainable, and visionary organization that centers trans leadership and decision-making, that provides nuanced wrap-around support, accompaniment and capacity-building to our grantee partners and trans-led groups, and that effectively influences philanthropy to channel more resources to our movements.

At the ITF, we have always engaged in open discussion and reflection at all levels of the organization, resulting in revising our grantmaking, shifting our processes, reassessing our goals, and reimagining our work over the years. This nimbleness and flexibility is embedded in our commitment to accountability, transparency, and participation, but as we look back over the past five years, how are we really doing? In this external impact evaluation, we wanted to examine how our work aligns with our mission and answer the question, are we having the impact that we want and need to have?

This impact evaluation has given us an opportunity to delve deep into how the ITF works, what we are doing well and what we should do better. By engaging a wide variety of stakeholders, this evaluation platforms diverse voices and viewpoints, and we are listening. The resounding message is that the ITF is critical and plays a vital role in supporting and sustaining global trans movements, now more than ever. As one grantee partner vividly states, “If the community are the movers and shakers – ITF is the spine.”

But what is also clear is that there are ways to improve and deepen our work. We are still a young organization, and sometimes we spread ourselves too thin and struggle to balance the competing demands. In the recommendations section, there are concrete suggestions for improvement and the ITF Board and staff are committed to reviewing, learning, and adapting so we can continue to effectively and meaningfully support and resource global trans movements in their critical, life-saving work. I would like to thank everyone who took part in this evaluation through the surveys and interviews. We are grateful for your participation and feedback. I would also like to express my gratitude to Melissa Extein, our external evaluator who designed the evaluation process, interpreted the results, drafted the recommendations, and brings alive the insight you will read in the following pages.

Broden Giambrone
Director

This evaluation was conducted by Melissa Extein, Psy.D. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who participated in this evaluation, including past and present grantee partners, past and present members of our Steering Committee and Board of Directors, Grant Making Panel, staff, donors, and affiliated organizations. Our work would not be possible without the generous support of our funders, who are not only driving critical resources to trans communities but also trusting and investing in trans leadership. Special thanks to Upasana Agarwal (Ayan) for graphic design.

Read the Impact Evaluation

Celebrating ITF’s Year of Achievements

As we bid farewell to another incredible year, we can’t help but reflect on the journey we’ve taken together. The International Trans Fund (ITF) has experienced a year filled with achievements, growth, and memorable moments, and we’re excited to share these highlights with you!

This year, we successfully allocated grants for our 7th grant cycle, supporting initiatives that empower trans communities globally. Your commitment to positive change continues to drive the impactful work of ITF.

We’re thrilled to announce the opening of our 8th grant cycle, providing another opportunity to fund projects that champion the rights and well-being of trans communities. Your innovative ideas and projects inspire us, and we look forward to supporting them in the coming cycle. Learn more here.

To enhance our efficiency and effectiveness, we’ve migrated to a new grantmaking platform. This upgrade ensures a smoother experience for our grant applicants and reviewers, streamlining the process and removing barriers.

We celebrated a significant milestone by hosting our first in-person Grant Making Panel (GMP) meeting since 2019. GMP members convened in Bangkok, Thailand to allocate funding to groups.

In addition to the strides we’ve made in grantmaking and community impact, we are delighted to share another significant development from this year: the expansion of our organization. Welcoming new members to our Grantmaking Panel (GMP) and Board has infused fresh perspectives and expertise into our community.

Here’s a visual journey through the highlights of the year:

ITF Communications Associate Luca Lukina (on the right) and former GMP member Daniyar Orsekov (second from the right) at the Central Asian LGBTQ Rights Convening in Istanbul, Turkey (March)
Capacity Building Webinar on Zoom (April)
GMP Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand (July)
ITF Deputy Director Chivuli Ukwimi (on the left) at the PAI Conference 2023 in Port Louis, Mauritius (August)
Staff Retreat in New York, USA (October)
ITF Program Officer Viviane Simakawa (on the right) at the Trans Rights Convening organized by INCLO in Bogotá, Colombia (September)
Board Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand (November)

Using this opportunity, we would like to share our 5-Year Impact Evaluation and invite you to join us for the Impact Evaluation Launch virtual event on January 24, 2024. This presentation will provide an overview of the impact we’ve collectively achieved in the past 5 years. We look forward to sharing the stories, successes, and transformative outcomes that have shaped our journey. Save the date, and let’s explore the meaningful impact we’ve made together. To reserve your spot register here.

None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the support and active participation of each member of our community. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to you for being an integral part of the ITF.

As we welcome the coming year, let’s continue to learn, grow, and innovate together.

Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

7th Cycle Grantee Partners

The ITF is delighted to announce the stellar lineup of grantee partners selected for the 7th grant cycle. After careful consideration and a rigorous evaluation process, we have chosen a diverse group of organizations that embody our commitment to positive social impact.

General Grant Cycle: In this cycle, we are proud to award $990,000 to 39 trans-led groups across 35 countries. We believe in their potential to bring meaningful change and look forward to supporting their initiatives.

Legal Gender Recognition Project: We are excited to announce the allocation of $450,000 over the next three years to seven organizations in seven countries for the Legal Gender Recognition Project in Latin America and the Caribbean. This initiative is a significant step towards advancing legal rights and recognition in the region.

Our heartfelt congratulations go out to all the grantee partners selected in the 7th grant cycle:

Africa and West Asia
Trans Dynamics (Morocco)
Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA) (South Africa)
Botswana Trans Initiative (Botswana)
Cairo 52 Legal Research Institute (Egypt)
Matasia Trans Capability (Kenya)
Positive Vision (Cameroon)
Transgender Somalia (TransSom) (Somalia)
Anonymous (Africa)
Anonymous (Africa)

East, South, Southeast Asia and the Pacific
Resilient (Bangladesh)
Kolkata Rista (India)
National Transgender Network Trust of Sri Lanka (NTN) (Sri Lanka)
Ruby Social Enterprise (Vietnam)
Transgender Japan (TGJP) (Japan)
Anonymous (East Asia)
Anonymous (East Asia)
Anonymous (Southeast Asia)

Eastern Europe and Central Asia
TransFormA (Macedonia)
Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO (Armenia)
Fundacja Lambda Polska (Lambda Poland Foundation) (Poland)
Global Foundation for the Protection of Trans Rights (Armenia)
Anonymous (Eastern Europe)
Anonymous (Eastern Europe)
Anonymous (Central Asia)

Latin America and the Caribbean
Archivo de la Memoria Trans (Argentina)
Butterfly Trans Barbados (Barbados)
Fundación Féminas Latinas (Chile)
Hombres Trans Panamá (Panama)
Colectivo MOR (Colombia)
Comando Trans Interseccional (Mexico)
Diversidades Trans Masculinas (Peru)
Fundación Dignidad Trans (Colombia)
Sembrando Resistencias (Puerto Rico)

Legal Gender Recognition Project Latin America and the Caribbean
Almas Cautivas (México)
Asociación Silueta X (Ecuador)
Asociación Generación de Hombres Trans de El Salvador (El Salvador)
TransWave Jamaica (Jamaica)
Fundación GAAT (Colombia)
UCTRANS (Regional)
Hombres Trans Panamá (Panamá)

USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada
Casa Kuà / V.I.E. (Germany)
Man.ish Cave (Netherlands)
Rainbow Path Aotearoa (New Zealand)
GenderLens APS (Italy)
Transgender Assistance Program of Virginia – TAP VA (USA)
Trans Limerick Community (TLC) (Ireland)
Trans Women of Color Healing Project (USA)

Learn more about this year’s grantee partners here.

Strategic Synergy: Highlights from the ITF Board Meeting

This week’s ITF Board Meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand, marked a milestone in the organization’s journey. Board members engaged in strategic discussions aimed at fortifying the ITF’s governance structures, ensuring a robust foundation for effective decision-making and long-term sustainability.

The meeting was also a place to discuss operational matters, fostering a collaborative environment where key strategic decisions were made. Integral to the proceedings was the review and approval of the 2024 Budget, demonstrating the Board’s commitment to transparency and fiscal responsibility. The Board also reviewed and approved the Annual Report (which we will publish next week).

Heartfelt congratulations to the newly appointed members of the Executive Board! We are excited to announce Alex Rodrigo Castillo Hernández and Sara R. Phillips as Co-Chairs, Liberty Matthyse as Treasurer, and Mikee Inton-Campbell as the Secretary of the Board. As members of the Executive Board, they will play a pivotal role in shaping and executing the strategic vision. Each of them brings a unique set of skills that will define the success and growth of the ITF for years to come.

We are thrilled to extend a warm welcome to the five amazing activists who have recently joined the Board. Each one brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our organization, stemming from their diverse backgrounds and outstanding contributions as trans activists. The selection process was highly competitive, reflecting our commitment to ensuring that our leadership team represents a broad spectrum of perspectives and skills.

As we usher in this new era, we are confident that the innovative ideas, passion, and dedication these Board Members bring will further the ITF’s mission on a global scale. We look forward to the positive impact their collective wisdom and experience will have on our organization and the communities we serve. To read more about the new Board Members click here.

We also extend our gratitude to the outgoing Board Members for their extraordinary contributions and dedicated service. Alejandra Collette Spinetti Núñez, Barbra Wangare Leone, Chaber, and Zhan Chiam have played instrumental roles in guiding and shaping the ITF for the past several years. Their commitment and passion have left a lasting impact, and we appreciate everything they have accomplished during their tenure on the Board. As they transition to new endeavors, we thank them for their efforts and wish them continued success in their future pursuits.

Funding Webinars

Are you interested in applying to the ITF’s 8th grant cycle and looking for more information? The ITF hosts funding webinars for trans-led groups to provide details on the application process. During these webinars, we will share information about the eligibility criteria, funding priorities, and our new grantmaking portal. 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. The webinars are held in multiple languages. To participate please register via the links below:

Funding Webinar Schedule – General Funding Webinars

General (English with Chinese and French interpretation)
Dec 5, 7am ET / 1pm South Africa / 6pm Bangkok, Thailand

Register here

General (Spanish)
Dec 6, 11am ET / 10am México DF / 1pm Santiago, Chile and Brasília, Brasil

Welcoming a New Era: 8th Grant Cycle Update

Dear ITF Community,

Today I am writing to share an important update about the 8th grant cycle which will launch on December 1, 2023.

The ITF is in the process of transitioning to grants management software. For the first time, organizations that want to apply for funding will do so in our new grantmaking portal. We believe this change will mark a significant step towards enhancing the applicants’ experience, removing barriers to applying and streamlining our grantmaking process.

In our new system, you will be asked to create a profile for your organization. This will allow you to apply for funding opportunities at the ITF. The benefit of this is that you will not have to keep filling out the same information about your organization each time you apply because it will be saved online. You will have the opportunity to work with colleagues on drafts in the system and save them as you go. You will still be able to apply in English, French, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Spanish and you will continue to be able to submit either a written or video application for our SEED and THRIVE grants.

We have been working on this transition for the past 6 months and we are almost ready to launch. We’re committed to making sure the system runs smoothly and that our application process remains accessible and transparent. We know that some organizations may not have experience applying online or may struggle with this transition, please know that the ITF team will be on standby to assist. We will be running informational webinars in December and January to support trans-led organizations to apply.  

Each year we receive hundreds of eligible applications from incredible trans-led groups building their communities in different corners of the world. As a participatory grantmaker, our process is lengthy. With the integration of our new system, we are poised to significantly enhance the efficiency of our grantmaking  processes and provide an improved experience for applicants and grantee partners.

Please stay tuned for the launch on December 1! 

 

In Solidarity,

Broden and the ITF Team

Staff Retreat 2023

Greetings, ITF Community! 

This week, our team embarked on an incredible journey right here in the US, as we gathered for a Staff Retreat. Guided by the insightful Mateo Belen from Trans Equity Consulting, we took a moment to pause, breathe, and reflect.

In a world that constantly moves at a fast pace and challenges us, we recognize the vital importance of slowing down. By creating intentional time and space for reflection, we honor our commitment to community well-being. Throughout this retreat, we delved into meaningful conversations and forged deeper connections improving team cohesion. 

We return from this experience with a lot of enthusiasm, armed with a renewed sense of purpose and a deeper bond as a team. We can’t wait to channel this energy into even more impactful work ahead!

Trans Rights Convening in Bogotá

The ITF celebrates the Trans Rights Convening organized by INCLO in Bogotá!

The International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) convened, with the support of Centro de Estudios Derecho, Justicia y Sociedad (Dejusticia) and Fundación Grupo de Acción y Apoyo a Personas Trans (GAAT), the Third Transgender Rights Convening, from Sep. 26-29, 2023.

The Convening was attended by more than 50 people from about 20 countries, and the ITF had the opportunity to be a part of this critical event for trans organizing. Discussions and activities on resourcing for trans movements, on strategies to counter anti-rights and anti-gender politics, and on work experiences to defend human rights and civic participation that includes trans people were part of the program for this powerful group.

As a funder dedicated to trans-led movements worldwide, the ITF was delighted with the amazing facilitation and movement building promoted by INCLO, Dejusticia and Fundación GAAT — special cheers to Isa Noyola and Alexandra Rodriguez!

We celebrate all the trans power shared at the Trans Rights Convening, including groups that the ITF has supported, like Jinsiangu, Maavarim, Transgarte, and Transvanilla. Trans rights now!

Call for Applications to the Grant making Panel (GMP)

The International Trans Fund (ITF) is seeking applications from committed activists to be members of its Grant Making Panel (GMP). The deadline for submitting your application is Friday November 3rd 2023.

Applications can be submitted in either English or Spanish, the two official working languages of the ITF.

Background
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 supporting 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:

  • To develop 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 emphasis on smaller groups with limited resources.
  • To educate our peers in the philanthropic community on trans issues and influence other funders and strategic allies in trans related commitments and strategies.
  • To increase and enhance access to resources to support trans movements by increasing financial resources dedicated to trans-led organizations and groups; providing access to non-financial resources for trans organizations, such as skills building, organizational strengthening, leadership development and activist support; and improving advocacy in philanthropy to increase access to new donors.

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 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 training.
  2. Attend one annual in-person meeting (the meeting location changes each year) or virtual meeting which takes approximately 6 days
  3. Take active part in online discussions, e-mail exchanges, and at least 75% of online meetings.
  4. Lead and conduct grantmaking processes, including:
    1. Encourage trans communities to apply for funding.
    2. Review applications for funding.
    3. Make collective decisions on funding proposals (decisions of the GMP are final pending ratification from the Board).
    4. 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.

Time Commitment

  • In order to fulfill 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 either an  in-person meeting or virtual meeting each year (6 days).

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 recognised 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 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. Learn more about our Conflict of Interest policy here.

Timeframe 
GMP members will be appointed by the Board for a two-year term.

Compensation
GMP members will receive a remuneration of USD$1,000 per one-year grant cycle.  Members also receive travel expenses, including per diem, to attend ITF meetings.

Selection process
The Board will select eight (8) 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.

Apply
Please submit your CV and cover letter to [email protected] by November 3rd, 2023.

7th Grant Cycle Selection Process Update

We are delighted to share a progress update on the ongoing 7th grant cycle. At the recent Grant Making Panel (GMP) allocation meeting, our GMP members reviewed all applications and successfully selected grantee partners whose projects demonstrate the strongest potential for positive impact on trans movement building worldwide.

As part of our commitment to due diligence and transparency, we thoroughly checked the references of the selected groups to ensure credibility. We are pleased to announce that the Board has officially ratified the list of grantees, affirming our support for their transformative initiatives.

Congratulations to all the selected groups for this well-deserved recognition! We are currently in the process of notifying groups individually and initiating the contract signing to formalize our partnership.

For the groups whose applications were not selected, we extend our sincere appreciation for their efforts and dedication. We anticipate making an official announcement in the following months, celebrating the initiatives that will become our grantee partners.

Thank you for being an integral part of our mission!