European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Creating Opportunities

Since 2015 ILGA-Europe have been implementing the project Creating Opportunities. The project is supported by Arcus Foundation.

Creating Opportunities is an instrument to support the European LGBTI movement’s campaign and mobilisation activities, when significant threats or opportunities arises. Read more about the programme and how you can apply below.

What does Creating Opportunities do?

Creating Opportunities is a central resource for the European LGBTI movement, strengthening organisations’ abilities to respond to opportunities or threats.

In a way, Creating Opportunities is an instrument to support the LGBTI movement where it is facing significant opportunities that affirm or strengthen LGBTI rights. An example may be the discussion on a positive legislative proposal or an opportunity to ensure that such proposal is formulated in a satisfactory manner. The inclusion of LGBTI issues in the political agenda during a campaign for national elections could be another example.

But the programme is also ILGA‐Europe's response to an increasingly organised and strengthened opposition towards the LGBTI movement, which has led to attempts to block positive developments in some countries; and even to approve hostile anti‐LGBTI legislative proposals in other countries.

The purpose of this innovative programme is to support mobilisation and campaigning activities. These activities could help prevent a backlash against pro-equality messages or use opportunities to drive strategic progress for LGBTI communities in Europe. Creating Opportunities allows to identify and make optimal use of the movement’s great wealth of knowledge and skills around campaigning, through documenting and disseminating good practices and encouraging peer to peer learning.

In turn, this experience can leverage the efforts of groups operating on the ground through strategic support in various steps of the campaign planning and implementation. These include goal setting and target audience, research and messaging, identification of tactics and channels, organisational development, testing, monitor and evaluation. The program can also contribute to the resource mobilisation around the campaign, through support of fundraising and crow-funding efforts, but also directly funding individual campaign activities. The production of a video, the work of a social media expert, public opinion polls, message testing, the design and printing of posters, the organisation of an event are just some examples of the activities that can be funded under the programme.

How does Creating Opportunities work?

To serve the European LGBTI movement most effectively, ILGA-Europe issue a set of guidelines that help to identify the most appropriate situations.

Situations that could be supported should fit in the following description:

  • National movements face threat or a significant opportunity to drive progress
  • Members identify weaknesses in the movement that could impair the ability of adequately tackle the threat/opportunity and supranational assistance is required
  • ILGA-Europe targeted intervention is expected to bring strategic impact to existing efforts and capacity of the movement.
  • Half of the programmes supported are located in Eastern Europe.

ILGA-Europe also identifiy certain situations and actions that fallout from the scope of Creating Opportunities programme and that therefore will not be supported in its framework:

  • Advocacy work run by the national movements on a regular basis
  • Support situations in which local movement has access to considerable resources and/or its resources (e.g., knowledge, skills, finances, network) would be sufficient to effectively tackle the threat/opportunity.

ILGA-Europe’s contribution to the identified country situations will mainly consist in building and disseminating knowledge on best practices, supporting members with strategic advice and giving access to networks, improving fundraising and coordination with donors. In this context ILGA-Europe will not act in our role of re-grantor and our role will vary depending on the needs of the implementing LGBTI organisation.

How to benefit from Creating Opportunities?

There are no deadlines or application forms to fill to request support under Creating Opportunities. The programme has been designed to be flexible, to respond to urgent requests and to adapt to a variety of situations and needs. 

We invite you to evaluate whether your case could fit into the Creating Opportunities program.

If the answer to all the questions below is ‘yes’ please contact Laura Piazza, Campaign & Programmes Officer, to explore the possibility of obtaining support.

Please note that only LGBTI groups and organisations, or organisations with proven record of comprehensive work on LGBTI issues, from the European region (Member States of the Council of Europe + Belarus and Kosovo) can benefit from support under Creating Opportunities. A list of eligible countries can be found here.

  1. Is the national movement or LGBTI community in your country under threat or is there a significant opportunity to drive progress?
  1. Is this situation bearing strategic relevance for the national movement?
  1. Does national movement lack access to sufficient resources (e.g., knowledge, finances, network) to effectively tackle the threat/opportunity in terms of mobilisation / communication / constituency engagement?
  1. Would ILGA-Europe’s targeted intervention to support strategic advocacy and/or campaigning bring strategic impact to existing efforts and help strengthen the capacity of the movement?