Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues presented an updated study on international grantmaking to LGBTI issues in the Global South and East at a world conference hosted by the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) in Vienna, Austria and attended by approximately 200 LGBTI activists from more than 80 countries. The conference was held November 4-6.
“Gatherings such as ILGA’s international conference are wonderful opportunities to draw on the wisdom of activists to shape our work, as well as to share with organizers in the field how grantmakers have understood LGBTI issues in their regions,” said Karen Zelermyer, executive director at Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues.
The workshop presented findings from an upcoming FLGI report on LGBTI grantmaking in the Global South and East. The report presents findings on grantmaking to these issues, as well as findings on the character of organizations working with groups in these regions.
Among other findings, the study found that total giving to this sector more than doubled between 2005 and 2007, from $10.5 million in 2005 to $26.2 million in 2007. However, this funding comes from only 40 grantmakers worldwide and more than half of those dollars awarded in 2007 were received in four countries.
For Trevor Cook, executive director at ILGA, these kinds of workshops help bring awareness to funding inequities and can serve to catalyze more funding.
“FLGI’s presence at our international conference helped broaden awareness among activists from more than 80 countries about the ways in which grantmakers fund LGBTI issues globally,” said Cook.
Robert Espinoza, author of the research report and director of research at Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues, believes that the workshop was also a prime opportunity to solicit feedback from groups based in the field about the best ways to collect and present their stories.
“It’s critical that the research methods we use be participatory in nature; activists on the ground possess essential knowledge about the political and cultural context of their areas, as well as the type of local efforts that should be better funded to create change,” said Espinoza.
The final report, A Global Gaze: LGBTI Grantmaking in the Global South and East (Calendar Year 2007), will be released in January 2009 and will include an online version in Spanish.
The mission of Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues is to seek equality and rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals and communities by mobilizing philanthropic resources that advance racial, economic and gender justice. To learn more, please visit http://www.lgbtfunders.org.