The GUTC Pledge

There are more than 1 million “out” trans people living all across the United States. They face alarmingly high rates of poverty and homelessness, struggle with considerable health disparities, and confront systemic marginalization.

Despite the urgent needs faced by transgender communities, for every $100 awarded by US foundations, only 3 cents focuses on trans communities.It is a moment of immense need and great opportunity for the transgender movement in the United States. We believe philanthropy can and must do more to improve the wellbeing of transgender communities.

We, the following foundations, pledge to:

1. Participate in trainings and professional development opportunities focused on supporting trans communities;


2. Improve our recruitment and retention of trans and gender non-conforming staff and board members;


3. Increase our grantmaking for trans communities, with a commitment to trans-led organizations; and


4. Publicly express our support for and solidarity with trans communities.

Foundation Signatories

Ford Foundation

PSO Signatories

Hispanics in Philanthropy logo

Detailed components of the pledge:

1. Committing to participate in trainings and professional development opportunities focused on supporting trans communities means learning more about the needs of trans communities, and ways to enhance the quality and effectiveness of your grantmaking to trans communities. To fulfill this pledge component, your foundation would:

Send at least one full-time staff person to a GUTC Funder Forum

And complete at least one of the following:

• Receive a customized training from GUTC and/or other trans-led organizations on improving trans-inclusion.

• Participate in continuous learning around trans issues and trans funding by circulating reports,

attending events (e.g., Funding Forward, Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference, etc), and accessing other resources.

• Identify trans organizations and reach out to learn more about their work.

• Inquire with colleagues at peer institutions about their trans-inclusion processes in their grantmaking, and ask them to share their best practices with you.

2. Committing to improve our recruitment and retention of trans and gender non- conforming staff and board members* means taking a look at your internal policies and procedures. To fulfill this pledge component, your foundation would:
• Conduct an internal review of your human resources policies, benefits, hiring and advancement policies and practices, and trainings provided to new and existing hires to determine how trans-inclusive they are (sample review questions available from GUTC upon request).
And complete at least one of the following:
• Adopt policies that explicitly seek to eliminate bias, harassment, and

against staff and volunteers arising from their gender identity, gender expression, sex characteristics**, and sexual orientation. For example, you could ensure your employee health insurance coverage (both trans-specific health care and related care such as reproductive health care) and other benefits (e.g., medical leave) are fully inclusive of the needs of transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary employees.

• Include a gender identity category in your data collection of board and staff demographics, and the populations served by your grantees. Note that this may require educating your board, staff, and grantees on the importance of tracking such data and

• Incorporate outreach to trans communities in your recruitment strategies for staff positions, your board, and committees. Include explicit language in your job and volunteer postings that trans-identified, gender non-conforming, and non-binary candidates are encouraged to apply.
• Require all potential and current grantees to include gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and sex characteristics in their Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy as well as any other non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.

* For foundations with very few or no staff, recruitment and retention of trans community members may look different. For these entities, making efforts to recruit and retain transgender people as board members, board committee volunteers, consultants, community panel members, or in other roles related to your grantmaking would fulfill this component of the pledge.

**The physical features of the body that typically indicate sex, such as facial hair or body shape.

3. Committing to increase our grantmaking for trans communities, with a commitment to trans-led organizations, means increasing the dollar amount or percentage of your overall grantmaking

awarded to trans communities. To help fulfill this pledge component, your foundation, with would:

Share your request for proposals with eligible trans organizations that align with your grantmaking priorities.

Create or reconfigure your grantmaking processes to reduce the administrative burden on trans organizations to apply for grants, and to report on grants awarded.

Please note, that if increasing the overall amount of funding awarded to support trans issues is not possible, foundations may still meet this pledge by shifting their funding to support more organizations led by trans, gender non-conforming, or gender non-binary people. See Trans Justice Funding Project for more information.

4. Committing to publicly express support for and solidarity with trans communities means being transparent about signing this pledge and using your communications capacity to stand with U.S. trans communities. To fulfill this pledge component, your foundation would:

• Allow Funders for LGBTQ Issues to publicly display your name and logo as a GUTC pledge signatory.

And complete at least one of the following:

• Use your own communications and public relations channels to promote awareness of the pledge, your decision to sign it, and the importance of supporting trans communities to your colleagues, members, donors, and the wider public.

• Issue or sign onto further statements of support for and solidarity with U.S. trans communities.

• Spotlight trans issues and nonprofits at convenings or staff speaking engagements.

• Publish an op-ed piece, blog post, or article advocating for increased trans inclusiveness in the philanthropic sector and beyond.

• Issue public comments on state and federal legislation and administrative actions affecting trans communities.

  • NFG organizes philanthropy to support grassroots power building and move more resources to racial, economic, gender, and climate justice. In our work with funders, we are committed to doing better in support of and in solidarity with trans communities. As part of this commitment, we have signed onto the Grantmakers United for Trans Communities Pledge — alongside more than 40 funders! We at NFG are energized by the GUTC pledge, which will provide us with the accountability and support to uphold our commitment to do better and support trans communities to thrive. I have also committed to increasing my personal giving to trans communities. I’m a donor to the Transgender Law Center because I believe that “an agenda for trans liberation is a blueprint for liberation for all."
    Adriana Rocha
    President at Neighborhood Funders Group

Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC), an initiative of Funders for LGBTQ Issues, aims to inspire a philanthropic culture that is inclusive and supportive of trans people through grantmaking and decision-making. Together with our partnering funders, the initiative will accomplish the following goals to improve the lived experiences of trans people:

  • Increase the scale and scope of philanthropic resources supporting the wellbeing of trans communities.

  • Elevate the dialogue regarding trans funding, by providing information and research to the field of philanthropy, and connecting funders committed to trans issues.

  • Support, increase, and diversify the trans people working in philanthropy.

Funders for LGBTQ Issues and its GUTC Initiative Are Here To Support Your Foundation

Foundations may request and receive training, consultation, and other educational resources customized to their specific organizational needs from GUTC. GUTC can help your foundation conduct personnel policy audits, offer best practices for adopting trans-inclusive personnel policies and practices, and make recommendations to improve your grantmaking whether you are looking to begin, sustain, or increase your funding to trans issues and trans-led organizations. GUTC can also connect you with a peer community of funders who can share best practices, resources, and key learnings.

We invite your foundation to discuss with us how we can be of service to you in meeting the pledge!