Funders for LGBTQ Issues launched Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) in 2018 with the goal of inspiring a philanthropic culture that is inclusive and supportive of trans people through grantmaking and decision-making. As the initiative enters its second year, that goal is coming to life. To date, GUTC has published new research on funding for trans communities, convened funders for a first-of-its-kind funder briefing, and most recently, launched the historic GUTC Pledge campaign. Less than a month since the launch, over 35 institutions representing a range of foundation types have pledged to take concrete actions to make their foundations more inclusive and responsive to trans communities. Complementing those efforts, this month Funders for LGBTQ Issues is pleased to announce the second cohort of Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) leaders Fellows.
Funders for LGBTQ Issues is committed to supporting, diversifying, and ultimately increasing the number of trans people working in philanthropy. The GUTC Leaders Fellowship was designed to address an urgent need for leadership development and support for trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary staff in the field.
Reflecting on the urgency of the leadership development program, Alexander L. Lee, Project Director of Grantmakers United for Trans Communities says, “while our sector has shown very modest increases in employing transgender, gender non-conforming and gender non-binary people, professional development opportunities to help more of us to take the next step into leadership positions still remain lacking.” This unique fellowship program provides ongoing support, peer networking, and professional development to emerging leaders over a 12-month period. The fellowship program works in synergy with the GUTC pledge, which includes a component for funders to commit to improving recruitment and retention of trans, gender non-conforming and non-binary staff and board members.
The inaugural cohort of GUTC fellows brought together six emerging leaders from across the sector. During the fellowship period (March 2018-March 2019), three were promoted or hired into senior leadership roles in philanthropy, enabled in part by the increased visibility and support of the GUTC Fellowship. Kiyomi Fujikawa, Co-Director of the Third Wave Fund and 2018 GUTC fellow shared, “the fellowship was deeply meaningful for my personal and professional growth within philanthropy. It was essential to connect with other trans and gender-non-conforming people working in the field to be able to share and discuss our experiences, hopes, and work together to feel less isolated.”
The experience in the first year of the fellowship only confirmed our belief in the power of connection, community, and mutual support provided by the program, and we are honored to be able to offer the opportunity to a second group of emerging leaders. We will look forward to sharing the inspiring work our newest fellows will accomplish together in the coming year. With great pride, we are pleased to introduce the 2019-2020 Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) Leaders Fellows!