What to Read Before Funding Forward 2018!

What to Read Before Funding Forward 2018!

By: Andrew Wallace on March 7, 2018


Next week we will gather in New Orleans with colleagues from across the philanthropic sector for three days of learning and sharing – challenging ourselves to take our grantmaking to the next level. We’re truly excited that Funding Forward 2018 is shaping up to be one of our most compelling convenings to date, with content emphasizing practical and tactical tools for funders committed to LGBTQ communities. We can’t wait!

As you prepare to join us in New Orleans next week, we want to share a selection of readings and resources highlighting some of the content you can expect to encounter at Funding Forward. The links and articles below were submitted by session organizers and should give you a taste of what we have in store for you.

Be sure to check out the full conference schedule online and learn more about our amazing speakers.


Southern Sensibilities: How Funders Can Better Partner with Southern Communities for LGBTQ Liberation

We’re excited to dive deep into Southern LGBTQ culture next week from our host city of New Orleans. This plenary will engage seasoned funders working in the South –  both Southern and National – to share insights about how grantmakers can practice their craft in a way that honors the unique opportunities and challenges facing Southern LGBTQ communities.

  • Learn about the intersections between critical funding priorities and the lived experience of LGBT Southerners in the third report in our Out in the South report series, Part Three: Opportunities for Funding LGBT Communities in the U.S. South.
  • The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) recently released the latest report in the  As the South Grows  series. This report, Bearing Fruit, highlights Southern movements for racial, LGBTQ, and immigrant justice.
  • Stay tuned for our next infographic on funding for LGBTQ issues in the South! We’re excited to share the latest Southern funding data with you in New Orleans!

Challenging the Criminalization of LGBTQ Lives: Lessons from the South

The issue of mass criminalization impacts nearly every community we support and every issue we work on as grantmakers supporting LGBTQ communities. With that in mind, this plenary will share important information about how criminalization affects LGBTQ people, how movements are responding, and how grantmakers can get involved.

  • We know philanthropy has a role to play in addressing the crisis of criminalization and this recent report from the Barnard Center for Research on Women, Ford, and Wellspring Advisors makes a compelling case for a comprehensive philanthropic response. Read The Crisis of Criminalization: A Call for a Comprehensive Philanthropic Response.
  • For a powerful examination of how criminalization impacts the lives of women, girls, youth, LGBTQ, and Latinx people in New Orleans – our conference host city – take some time with the Challenging Criminalization report from Converge.

We’re excited to launch our latest initiative at Funders for LGBTQ Issues: Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC)! Funding Forward will also feature several in-depth sessions exploring funding for transgender communities and sharing best practices for inclusive and equitable funding for trans issues.

The Value of Investing in Trans Communities

In this session, AIDS United will share lessons learned from the first cohort of its Transgender Leadership Initiative grantees as the basis for a broader discussion of funding in trans communities. Read about some of these best practices in Stepping Up: A Consensus Statement by Trans Leaders.

Moving the Needle: Strategy Session to Expand Funding for Trans Communities

Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) will invite participants to engage in facilitated discussions to identify best practices to expand funding for trans communities. Check out our 2015 report, TRANSformational Impact analyzing the scope and character of foundation funding for trans issues to get ready for these conversations!

Black Gay Men & Transgender Women in the US South: The Epicenter of America’s HIV Epidemic

Nearly 45 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in this country live in the U.S. South and the 10 cities with the highest infection rates are all in the U.S. South. Award-winning journalist Linda Villarosa will moderate this panel examining the disproportionate impact HIV/AIDS is having as it ravages Southern communities and takes it toll on Black gay men and transgender women. Read Villarosa’s New York Times feature America’s Hidden Epidemic for a moving investigation of the issues.

We hope attendees will leave Funding Forward with practical tools to help them improve the lives of LGBTQ poeple with a racial justice lens. To that end, we are pleased to present several sessions that tackle head on some of the challenges facing our sector and offer concrete tools and resources for making lasting change.

Funders Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap

This session will highlight findings from the Building Movement Project’s Race to Lead series, which draws on survey data from more than 4,000 staff of nonprofits, as well as their deeper analysis of the 20% of the national sample who self-identified as LGBTQ. The discussion will explore the particular role that philanthropy can play in supporting the leadership of LGBTQ people of color. Read the full report and prepare to confront the racial leadership gap: Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap

We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Real Talk about Real Change for Achieving Racial Equity

If we are going to make real change within philanthropy, we are going to have to be comfortable in talking to one another about structural racism—sharing our experiences, our successes, and our challenges. This session aims to do just that. The Exit Interview, a report from ABFE, examines why black professionals leave grantmaking Institutions and the Operationalizing Equity report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation looks at one institution’s decades-long journey to promote race equity and inclusion. Both reports are great starting points to help us think about the specific changes we can make in our own institutions.


Image note: Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

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