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:
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.
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:
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.
In order to fulfil this position, Steering Committee members must be able to commit to the following:
Qualification of activist candidates
Candidates need to:
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.
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.
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.
To apply, please send a two page letter that includes the following information:
Please send your letter to [email protected] by November 11, 2019. The ITF will contact selected candidates by December 15, 2019. For more see https://www.transfund.org/2019/10/call-for-applications-from-trans-activists-to-join-itfs-steering-committee-2/
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