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Astraea’s Grantmaking Process and Criteria
Astraea’s International Fund supports groups, projects and organizations led by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) communities working for progressive social change and addressing oppression based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
While our International Fund grants range from $7,000 – $20,000, our average grant size is $10,000. Organizations can apply for general support or project support.
Astraea is a public foundation that raises funds every year for grantmaking activities. Given the reality of our funding limitations, Astraea is not able to provide grants to all worthwhile initiatives. We make funding decisions based on our criteria and priorities.
How to apply
Astraea’s International Fund provides grants two times per year.
The current Letter of Interest process is open only to groups based or working in one of the following countries: Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname. This is due to our current funding restrictions. This is the only Letter of Interest process from the period of January to June 2020.
Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice works for social, racial and economic justice in the U.S. and internationally. Our grantmaking and philanthropic advocacy programs help lesbians, transgender people and allied communities challenge oppression and claim their human rights.
Our mission is based on an enduring commitment to feminism, progressive social change, and an end to all forms of exploitation and discrimination. Founded in 1977 by a small group of women to address the lack of funding for women (especially lesbians and women of color), Astraea is now a global foundation providing critical support for LGBTQI groups in the U.S. and around the world.
ASTRAEA’S GRANTMAKING PHILOSOPHY
Astraea’s grantmaking is guided by our understanding of how social change and movements for justice develop. We believe that:
- Social change results from the powerful collective action of groups of people working together.
- Organizations that are committed to addressing the intersections of various oppressions, and demonstrate commitment to social, racial, economic and gender justice, are most likely to help build transformative and liberationist movements for change.
- Art and cultural work are powerful mediums for resistance, cultural change and inspiration – all critical components of lasting justice movements.
- Communities that are most affected by various issues are best positioned to identify effective priorities and strategies for social change in their communities.
- Social justice funding institutions – like Astraea – seek to help redistribute wealth and power in society in order to help finance the sectors of our movements that have the least access to mainstream funding resources.
Astraea prioritizes funding to groups that:
- Are led by and for lesbian/bisexual/queer women
- Are led by and for trans and/or intersex people
- Are led by and for LGBTQI communities that are historically marginalized and under-resourced within LGBTQI communities (e.g. youth, elders, ethnic minorities, migrants/refugees, low-income people, people with disabilities, sex workers, etc.)
- Have active participation and leadership from the communities most affected by issues that the group works on
- Are inclusive and reflect the diversity of the geographic region in which they do their work
- Show an understanding of the connections among different oppressions facing LGBTQI people, and have a commitment to address other forms of oppression based on class, race, ethnicity, age, physical and mental ability, gender, national identity, and religious affiliation
- Develop leadership and build communities’ capacity to achieve social change, particularly through proposals that strengthen an organization’s ability to organize. Organizing may be defined as activities that actively engage people affected by societal problems in the process of identifying and pursuing solutions.
- Works in alliance and/or builds coalition with other social justice organizations (e.g. sex worker rights, human rights, etc.)
- Have organizational structures and practices in place that reflect social justice principles
- Are based in countries/locations that do not yet have significant LGBTQI resources
- Have limited access to traditional sources of funding.
Astraea does not fund:
- Organizations with no leadership of LGBTQI people
- Organizations with no involvement of lesbians or transgender people
- Private business or profit-making efforts (including business development)
- Organizations based in the Global North proposing projects with partners based in Astraea’s funding regions
- Organizations with strong leadership from only 1 individual
- Individual projects (e.g. graduate research, fellowships, etc.)
- Projects that are sponsored by a university, college, or other academic institution
- Groups whose sole purpose is to provide charity to individuals, direct social service projects, research projects, or one-time events that are not linked to ongoing social change organizing strategies
- Efforts that endorse candidates for public office (incl. political parties and election campaigns)
- Capital campaigns, endowments, or deficit financing
- Organizations with budgets of over $500,000 US