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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.

 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 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.

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

Compensation
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.

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

Introducing the ITF’s Third Cycle Grantee Partners

The ITF made our first grant in 2017 and since then we have disbursed $1.815 million dollars to 75 trans-led groups in 51 countries. Now we would like to introduce you to our third cycle grantee partners. These groups were selected by the ITF’s Grant Making Panel, a group of 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 38 trans-led organizations in 32 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 third cycle grantee partners and join us in celebrating and amplifying this powerful movement building work.



Deadline to Apply for a Grant Extended to December 6, 2019

The ITF has extended the deadline to apply for a grant to December 6, 2019 at 5pm (EST/New York time). We welcome applications from trans-led organizations with budgets below $150,000 USD based in any region of the world.

The application form can be downloaded from our website (here). The form is available in English, French, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Spanish. We have also created Application Guidelines (with tips on how to write a strong application), which you will find here.

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

Two Weeks Left to Apply to the ITF’s Fourth Grant Cycle

The ITF welcomes applications from trans-led organizations with budgets below $150,000 USD based in any region of the world. The deadline to apply is December 2, 2019 at 5pm (EST/New York time).

The application form can be downloaded from our website (here). The form is available in English, French, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Spanish. We have also created Application Guidelines (with tips on how to write a strong application), which you will find here.

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

Вебинар по финансированию

МТФ приглашает инициативные группы транс-людей из Центральной Азии присоединиться к вебинару, посвящённому подаче заявок в МТФ в рамках 4-го грантового цикла (на 2020 год). Во время этого вебинара мы поделимся информацией о критериях отбора, приоритетах финансирования и процессе рассмотрения заявок. Мы также дадим полезные советы о том, как написать сильную заявку. После презентации состоится интерактивная дискуссия, с возможностью задать вопросы.

Дата: 8 ноября 2019 г.
Время: 13:00 (ALMT / GMT + 6)

Зарегистрируйтесь здесь

www.transfund.org

The ITF’s Fourth Grant Cycle is Now Open

The ITF is pleased to announce our fourth 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 2, 2019 at 5pm (EST/New York time).

The application form can be downloaded from our website (here). The form is available in English, French, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Spanish. We have also created Application Guidelines (with tips on how to write a strong application), which you will find here.

Want to learn more about the ITF’s grantmaking? Join us for a funding webinar on October 30 at 11am ET. You can learn more and register here.

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

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?

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. 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.

Timeframe
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.

Compensation
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.

Apply
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 info@transfund.org by November 11, 2019. The ITF will contact selected candidates by December 15, 2019.

Funding Webinar: General

The ITF invites trans-led groups to join us for a webinar on How to Apply to the Fourth Grant Cycle 2020. During this webinar, we will share information about the eligibility criteria, funding priorities and the grantmaking process. We will also give helpful tips on how to write a strong and competitive application. After the presentation there will be an interactive discussion and an opportunity to ask questions.

Date: October 30, 2019
Time: 11am (ET/NYC time)

Register in advance for this webinar.

For more information, contact Vaito’a Toelupe: vaitoat@transfund.org

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