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Session Proposals

The deadline for session proposals passed on November 11, 2016. Thank you to everyone who submitted. The planning committee as well as our staff and board are currently reviewing the proposals. Final decisions will be made in mid-December. 

Funders for LGBTQ Issues is proud to announce that Funding Forward 2017 is coming to Seattle, March 29-31! The annual gathering of grantmakers committed to LGBTQ issues provides an exciting opportunity for funders to connect with one another, learn from each other, coordinate efforts, and maximize impact.

We are currently accepting session ideas from funders and philanthropic organizations who are members of Funders for LGBTQ Issues. Proposals will be reviewed by our planning committee. If your proposal is selected, we will work closely with you to craft a session that fits in with the entire program.

Member foundations and affinity groups are strongly encouraged to partner with one another to pool creativity and expertise and share financial responsibilities of session sponsorship.

Session criteria:

Proposals are your opportunity to suggest a topic, format, and presenters for an engaging session. Priority will be given to ideas that address ways to:

  • Mobilize philanthropy to focus on and improve the lived experience of LGBTQ people.
  • Mobilize philanthropy for local and regional advancement of LGBTQ issues.
  • Advance equity and social justice for all through an intersectional approach to increasing resources.

Topics of interest include, but aren’t limited to, funding for:

  • LGBTQ communities in the Northwest
  • The response to the Pulse massacre in Orlando
  • Policing and criminalization of LGBTQ people of color
  • Bisexual, intersex, and trans communities
  • Programs and models for addressing poverty, housing instability, criminalization, school climate, health disparities, and other lived-experience realities affecting LGBTQ communities
  • HIV and AIDS in LGBTQ communities
  • Cross-issue/intersectional advocacy and movement building
  • Policy advocacy, including nondiscrimination, voting rights and religious exemptions
  • LGBTQ representation in media and arts
  • Capacity building for LGBTQ organizations
  • LGBTQ communities in under-funded regions
  • LGBTQ youth development and organizing

Session Formats:

We have received consistent feedback that Funding Forward attendees would like fewer panels and more interactive sessions. Therefore, we are prioritizing the following session formats.

Plenary Sessions with Audience Participation
Goal: To inform your colleagues, showcase different approaches to supporting issues or communities, and generate creative thinking among participants.
Structure: These 1.5 hour sessions typically start with no more than four dynamic speakers framing the issues, sharing stories of their work, and/or showing multimedia clips. We recommend that the second half consist of creative ways to generate a dialogue among the audience. Please limit non-funder speakers to three people.

Open Discussions and Caucuses
Goal: To share experiences and make peer connections.
Structure: These 1 hour concurrent sessions create space for open, loosely structured discussion on issues, strategies, or challenges identified by participants. We suggest that 1 -2 presenters frame the topic very briefly and pose generative questions to the group. Please limit non-funder speakers to two people.

Hands-On Workshop
Goal: To provide participants with new skills or tools that can be applied to their work.
Structure: These 1 hour concurrent sessions are built around small-group discussions or hands-on exercises involving problem solving, role playing, or simulations. Participants leave with practical skills or tools. Please limit non-funder speakers to two people.

Informational Table Talks
Goal: To share cutting edge information about a topic or specific program, supplemented with additional resources like reports, white papers, research findings, or case studies.
Structure: Multiple 30 minute table talks will happen concurrently and participants will be able to select two to attend. Presenters will repeat their presentations twice. Please limit non-funder speakers to one person.

Tips for a Successful Proposal:

  • Relevant to a broad range of people working in the philanthropic sector, including those new to LGBTQ funding and those who have significant experience in the field.
  • Engaging and interactive, limiting formal presentations and creatively using multimedia.
  • Includes multi-disciplinary perspectives from a mix of presenters who are grantmakers, people working in the field, researchers, and others.
  • Amplifies the voices of people of color, LGBTQ people from the Northwest, and trans, intersex and bisexual people.

Logistics and financial responsibilities:

All members of Funders for LGBTQ Issues are eligible to submit proposals.

In your proposal you must identify the institution(s) that will sponsor the session if selected. Sponsors are responsible for covering the financial costs of the session and for collaborating with Funders for LGBTQ Issues to plan the session. Responsibilities include:

  • Covering expenses and making arrangements related to speakers’ travel and lodging. Note that Funders for LGBT Issues will cover the registration costs of 3 non-funder speakers per plenary, 2 non-funder speakers per discussion or workshop, and 1 non-funder speaker per table talk.
  • Covering all session related expenses (e.g. translation/interpretation services and any printed materials).
  • Inviting and prepping speakers (includes holding at least one conference call with your panel).
  • Informing speakers of Funding Forward non-solicitation policies. [Non-funders who are presenting are welcome to participate in all of Funding Forward as guests of their session sponsor.]

Funders for LGBTQ Issues staff are available to discuss proposal ideas. We encourage you to contact Kristina Wertz at kristina@lgbtfunders.org to talk through your session proposal prior to submission. Once a proposal is accepted, staff and planning committee members will work with you to ensure the session fits well with the entire program. Staff will also participate in prep calls with presenters.

How to submit a proposal:

Please submit your proposal to kristina@lgbtfunders.org using the attached form no later than November 11, 2016. Final selections will be made by mid-December.

Download Session Proposal Form