How we fund the movement

Through various thematic programmes, ILGA-Europe extends re-grants to LGBTI organisations across Europe and Central Asia.

Re-granting means that ILGA-Europe acts as an intermediary — directing, administrating and distributing money we receive from larger funders to LGBTI organisations. Since we began this work in 2006, we have awarded hundreds of grants. Most of our regranting programmes combine funding with skills-building, access to relevant technical expertise and peer learning.

Why does ILGA-Europe re-grant?

To briefly explain, we re-grant for two reasons: to add strategic value — and to enable organisations to access money that otherwise wouldn’t reach the movement.

Adding strategic value:

Re-granting enables ILGA-Europe to create opportunities for peer learning — especially when we combine it with capacity-building and LGBTI advocacy support. We offer funding ranging from 5,000 to 30,000 EUR which allow us to meet a wide variety of needs across an increasingly diverse LGBTI movement. In most cases, we provide both funding and expertise to make the most impact for the LGBTI movement across Europe and Central Asia.

Accessing money that would otherwise not reach the movement:

Intermediaries like ILGA-Europe can help ensure that funding reaches movements and communities on the ground. Part of the reason is that often, larger funding institutions cannot extend grants to smaller initiatives on their own; either the costs are disproportionate, or there’s a lack of in-house expertise. Besides this, a growing number of countries implement restrictive laws — making it difficult for larger funders to support human rights work. In other places, LGBTI groups often don’t have the capacity to meet strenuous funding requirements; as a result, funding goes to mainstream organisations that fit into the mould. This is particularly true when it comes to groups that work around intersectionality within the movement.

In all of these cases, ILGA-Europe can step in as an intermediary by finding creative ways to meet the needs of the LGBTI movement while taking funding restrictions into account. Moreover, we’re committed to reviewing on a regular basis our practices as a grant-maker, with feedback from our grantees to make sure we remain relevant and accessible, and have the impact we seek to achieve

Who do we fund?

  • ILGA-Europe primarily funds LGBTI-led organisations. These can include organisations focusing on the entire LGBTI population or on a specific subgroup — such as trans and intersex people, LBTIQ women or LGBTI BPOC. Within our movement, many groups have been marginalised and underrepresented for too long; in our re-granting, we pay particular attention to supporting these groups.
  • ‘LGBTI-led’ means organisations that work for the LGBTI community. It’s also important that LGBTI people occupy key leadership positions and are responsible for decision-making.
  • Organisations focusing on issues/groups that intersect with the LGBTI movement (such as sex workers, Roma people) but have a primary focus on LGBTI communities can be considered LGBTI-led.
  • In places that lack LGBTI groups, we are open to supporting non-LGBTI local groups — provided that they work towards developing independent, LGBTI-led organisations.
  • We support registered organisations as well as non-registered organisations in places where registration is not feasible. With that said, all groups need to demonstrate accountability.
  • We work with groups of activists and organisations.
  • In our re-granting work, we do not prioritise ILGA members. We treat all LGBTI initiatives equally when it comes to re-granting.
  • ILGA-Europe only works in Europe and Central Asia.

What do we mean when we say our work is needs based?

The spirit of ILGA-Europe’s re-granting work is that funding should enable grantees to come closer to reaching their strategic goals. In other words: our work is needs-based and should help bring about real change for real people. 

However, we know that we do not have the capacity to meet all the needs in the region. With that in mind, ILGA-Europe prioritises supporting work in emerging thematic areas that are relevant for large parts of the LGBTI movement. We also prioritise funding in situations where otherwise, grantees wouldn’t be able to easily access funding to do their work. 

We design our programmes based on input we receive from our members, grantees and partners. Our aim is to empower grantees by providing access to funding — which often also means that we need to help increase their capacity to manage project grants. For example, young initiatives get technical support and access to peer learning to improve their capacity to implement projects — both from financial management and programmatic perspectives.