© Kike Arnal
© Kike Arnal
Strategic Funding Areas:
- Support Positive Religious Leaders and Advocates
Increase diverse pro-LGBT voices within target communities, specifically: the Islamic world, U.S. communities of color, the Global South, and those with influence among UN, regional, and national policy-making bodies. Develop effective faith messages and messengers that impact these communities.
- Fight the Abuse of Religion to Deny Protection to LGBT people
Educate justice movements and the public about the abuse of religious freedoms through “religious exemptions,” and develop religious and legal strategies to hold exemptions in check. Challenge religious opponents of LGBT people in the U.S. and internationally. Develop communications strategies to counter the discrimination and dehumanization of LGBT people by some religious institutions.
- Catalyzing support from other funders and sectors.
- Investment in Global South leadership and voices.
- Intersections with targeted communities in U.S. Social Justice program, and with targeted geographical areas and international bodies in the International Human Rights program.
- Utilizing multiple change levers, including leadership development, alliance-building, policy change, culture change, and resource development.
- Consideration of transgender populations and concerns.
Please note that all Arcus-funded projects must fit clearly within the above stated funding areas. Projects that do not address the targeted communities listed above are not eligible for funding. Information on other funders of work on sexuality and religion may be found on the website of Funders for LGBTQ Issues.
- Policy changes at the national level to counter discrimination and violence and to support rights such as privacy, free expression, health, and legal recognition of gender identity. Where policy changes are unrealistic, projects may seek cultural change with clear, measurable indicators and outcomes. This support is provided through intermediary organizations that have the capacity to work at the country level with targeted populations.
- International and regional organizations’ efforts to document human rights abuses related to sexual orientation and gender identity, and to advocate for improvements before the U.N. (for example, through the Universal Periodic Review process) and regional bodies. Particular attention is paid to ensuring national compliance with human rights obligations.
- Capacity development to better prepare public officials and activists to advocate for respect of human rights and nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Particular attention is paid to gaining support for LGBT rights from countries with regional influence; from mainstream human rights, democracy, women’s, faith, and other movements; and from influential political and social groupings to mobilize others against homophobia and transphobia.
Priorities:Among Arcus’ priorities are supporting the human rights of transgender people, lifting LGBT and pro-LGBT faith voices particularly at the U.N., and increasing the funding available to the LGBT-related work of other foundations, governments, corporations, and individuals. In addition to the Arcus Foundation’s targeted support for international projects, we are proud to be part of a growing network of funders involved in this work. If your project does not fit within the above funding areas, please refer to the lists of funders maintained by our partners below.
Additionally, information regarding emergency funding for human rights defenders and policy change opportunities is available here:
Dignity for All fund of Freedom House (Washington, D.C.)
Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights Defenders (nonprofit organization located in San Francisco, U.S.)
Front Line Defenders (nonprofit organization in Ireland)
European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights’ emergency fund for human rights defenders at risk
Goal 1: Culturally relevant messages and messengers increase LGBT understanding and acceptance among youth and communities of color
Arcus supports communications and messaging in order to increase acceptance of LGBT equality among youth, communities of color and people of faith. There is specific interest in supporting “new narratives” through documentary film and other methods impacting popular culture.
Goal 2: Strengthened leadership among activists working across movements or in alliances where LGBTQ issues are meaningfully integrated. Programs that emphasize action-oriented leadership development approaches will be prioritized.
Arcus supports leadership and alliances that create and replicate effective models of cross-movement organizing and advocacy. Programs must actively be working toward systems or policy change that meaningfully integrates LGBTQ issues. As such, we support the development of new movement leaders by funding their “leadership in action” (as opposed to standalone training programs). Priority is given to organizations “by and for” young people and people of color, or alternatively with credibility within target populations. Such organizations may or may not be LGBT-specific in mission. Non-LGBT organizations must demonstrate authentic partnerships with base constituency and a reputation as a strong ally. This grantmaking aims to: 1) increase diverse constituencies in support of LGBTQ equality, 2) build a connected, cross-issue wing of the LGBTQ movement that reflects the priorities of youth and communities of color; and 3) win organizing and advocacy efforts that result in LGBTQ policy and culture shifts.
Goal 3: Increased social and economic protections for LGBT youth, with an emphasis on LGBT youth of color.
Arcus focuses this area’s grantmaking in two fields: 1) out-of-home youth, specifically LGBTQ youth homelessness; and 2) improving school climate, including the effect of the school-to-prison pipeline and unjust disciplinary policies on LGBTQ youth. Our grants target innovative or “game-changing” research and replicable models that influence concrete systems and policy change.
Please note that all Arcus-funded projects must fit clearly within the above stated funding areas.