Session Proposals

Funding Forward 2016

Session Proposals

Funders for LGBTQ Issues is proud to announce that Funding Forward 2016 is coming to Minneapolis, March 30-April 1! 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. Proposals will be reviewed by our member-based planning committee. If your proposal is selected, we will work closely with you to craft a session that fits in with the entire program.

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 advancement of LGBTQ issues.
  • Advance equity and social justice for all through an intersectional approach to increasing resources to LGBTQ communities.

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

  • LGBTQ communities in the Midwest
  • Trans communities
  • Racial Justice Organizing
  • Immigration
  • 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 the South
  • LGBTQ Youth Development and Organizing
  • Programs and models for addressing health disparities, poverty, criminalization, school climate, and other lived-experience challenges affecting LGBTQ communities

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

Plenary Sessions with Breakout Discussions
Goal: To educate 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 4 dynamic speakers framing the issues and sharing stories of their work, or showing multimedia clips for 45 minutes. We recommend that the second half of the plenary sessions consist of 3-4 breakout discussions on different aspects of the issues presented. These breakout sessions are facilitated by your speakers or other facilitators.

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.

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.

“TED”-style Table Talks
Goal: To share cutting edge information about a topic, supplemented with additional resources likereports, white papers, research findings, or case studies.
Structure: 20 minute dynamic table talks. During the session, participants will have a choice to rotate every 20 minutes to join a new table talk. By the end of the session, participants will have joined three different “TED”-style tables (out of six possible table topics). Presenters will repeat their engaging 20 minute presentation a total of three times. Participants will leave wanting to know more, so bring resources!

Tips for a Successful Proposal:

  • Relevant to a broad range of people working in the philanthropic sector.
  • 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, scholars, etc.
  • Amplifies the voices of people of color, people from the Midwest and trans people.

Logistics and financial responsibilities:
Sponsors/organizers 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.
  • Covering all session related expenses (e.g. translation/interpretation services and 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 if the session’s sponsor covers all costs]

Funders for LGBTQ Issues staff are available to discuss proposal ideas. We encourage you to contact Rebecca Wisotsky at [email protected] to talk through your session proposal prior to submission. Once a proposal is accepted, staff and planning committee members will continue 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 [email protected] using the form below no later than October 23, 2015.

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