Funders United for Democracy & Trans Justice (DTJ)


Funders United for Democracy and Trans Justice is a network designed to foster collaboration between LGBTQ and democracy-focused funders. It is for any donor, philanthropic institution, or donor advisor that sees the relationship between the anti-gender movement and the rise of authoritarianism and would like to be a part of the solution.

We believe that: 

1. Progressive funders must advance a strategy that matches the level of threat anti-trans attacks pose to all progressive causes; and

2. This is a long-haul effort not only to increase resources to trans-led organizations but to shift the culture of social justice philanthropy to be more knowledgeable, capable and connected to continuing making coordinated and intersectional funding interventions for the long haul.


This network is an open forum for funders and advisors to build relationships, develop their analysis and practices, and get support to increase resources around a common cause. Network participants will be able to network and share resources online on our Basecamp platform and we will host periodic gatherings on Zoom focused on field learning, political analysis, and funding strategies. 

Whether you’re brand new to funding work at the intersection of trans justice and democracy or feel you have expertise to offer in this area, we invite you to be a part of this network and invite your colleagues and peers. To get started, please fill out this form and we’ll be in touch with next steps.

TFFC’s primary goal is to educate and inspire institutional funders to increase general operating, low-barrier, multi-year grants directly to transgender-led organizations in regions where the transgender people’s rights are under attack, or to partner with intermediary grantmakers with existing grantee relationships in these regions.


Funders United for Democracy and Trans Justice is a place for participants to start conversations, share resources, advance strategies they’ve developed, and learn with peers. Networks only work when people participate and engage, so we invite and encourage your active involvement. This network will also be a place that:

1. Provides tools and resources to democracy, civic engagement, and community organizing funders to catalyze investment and leverage expertise in the LGBTQ funding sector about the funding landscape of trans organizations and intermediaries, best practices for resourcing trans-organizations, and analysis and frameworks about trans justice, authoritarianism, and the anti-gender movement.

2. Organizes funders who are positioned to meet rapid response and emerging needs in the field with c3 and c4 dollars.

3. Builds new relationships and alliances that will benefit the power-building efforts of trans communities for the long term.

4. Facilitates cross-sector learning to a new audience of individual donors and foundation staff at the intersections of trans justice, human rights, and democracy.

5. Provides direct technical support to funders looking to resource communities at the intersections of democracy and trans funding.


We are witnessing an exponential increase of political attacks against LGBTQ communities, the bulk of which target the transgender community, and trans youth in particular. These attacks are propelled by a radical white nationalist movement and a political arm that consistently undermines our institutions of democracy to accomplish its goals. We believe that protecting trans communities and protecting democracy have become deeply and urgently intertwined. 

Neither LGBTQ nor democracy funders have what they need to take on this dual threat. The current funding and organizational ecosystems that exist were not set up for this kind of highly coordinated policy and communications onslaught of transphobia. Despite a general trend towards increased resources to trans communities over the last decade, the entirety of US-based foundations giving to trans-related work is about the same size as one conservative policy shop. This moment calls for new collaborations and strategies to ensure our movements are resourced to match the scale of the attacks we are facing. 


Funders United for Democracy and Trans Justice is an initiative of Funders for LGBTQ Issues and is co-chaired by Funders’ Committee for Civic Particpation (FCCP). Consultants Rye Young and Ryan Li Dahlstrom coordinate the project with Funders for LGBTQ Issues’ President, Saida Agostini-Bostic and Ashe Helm Hernandez, Funders’ Philanthropic Organizing Project Director. 

Staff Leads: Saida Agostini-Bostic, President and Ashe Helm Hernandez, Funders’ Philanthropic Organizing Project Director.