call for applications: ‘LGBTI Communications: Learning Journey Grants’

This call for applications closed on October 30, 2022

  • Earlier this year, ILGA-Europe launched a new communications programme to foster stronger and more strategic communications across the movement.
  • As part of this programme, we are bringing together a cohort of organisations that will work on developing their communications capacities with us and with each other.
  • The programme combines grants and learning, which are equally important elements of it.
  • To join the programme, organisations/groups need to apply with a concept and present their initial project ideas along with the learning goals. We will be assessing applications’ fit for this call, project ideas and the potential of the applicants to learn. Grantee partners will have access to various learning opportunities and will be able together with us to develop their thinking and project plans.
  • We will select 8 groups, and each will receive a grant of 10,000 Euro for the duration of the programme (18 months).

Introduction

Earlier this year, ILGA-Europe launched a programme to foster stronger and more strategic communications across the European and Central Asian LGBTI movement and to contribute to collective thinking on shaping public conversations and changing public attitudes.

As part of this programme, ILGA-Europe is opening this call to support LGBTI organisations in strengthening their own communication capacities. The aim of these grants is to support organisations that do work on communications with no or limited resources or capacities (meaning for instance the absence of paid communications staff, developed communications strategy, or secured funding for communications activities), and those that work with/serve underrepresented communities.

Why this call?

Throughout our work, we have seen that an increasing number of LGBTI organisations and groups felt the need to develop their communications. However, the assessment of communications needs launched in 2019 suggested that in the vast majority of LGBTI organisations in Europe and Central Europe day to day communications activities are done not by full-time staff persons but by volunteers, project managers, or directors.  And with this call we aimed to provide some support specifically for groups that work that way and want to do their communications in a more strategic way.

Aim of the call

The aim of the call is to contribute to stronger communications work by LGBTI organisations and groups that do this work with no or limited resources or capacities and/or work with underrepresented communities. We will support projects that combine two elements:

  1. Supporting communications learning within LGBTI organisations and groups. We designed this project as a learning process and we hope that by the end of this programme our grantee partners will get new knowledge and skills necessary to proceed with communications work and will share their experiences with the wider LGBTI movement.
  2. Developing and implementing communications activities, such as campaigns, the development of new narratives, testing, enhancing the organisation’s presence on social media, relationship building with the media, etc.

NB Both communications learning and developing and implementing communications activities are equally important elements of this call for applications.

Who is this call for?

This call is for LGBTI organisations and groups  that:

  • Are LGBTI organisations and groups in Europe or Central Asia1.
  • Propose a communications project with specific focus on organisational learning in communications. We aim to support organisations and groups that will demonstrate how their learning will positively affect their future communications work and their organisational development.
  • Have some experience with communications and can demonstrate it with a track record of communications work. A track record may include previous campaigns, work done to frame and test messages, stably operating groups in the social networks/website or other communication activities. You don’t need to do ‘perfect communications’, but there should be some experience you can base your work within this programme on.
  • Are able to commit to a collective learning and thinking process about LGBTI movements’ communications in Europe and Central Asia. This project involves a significant learning and experience exchange commitment.
  • Have at least one person who is committed to proceed with communications work and willing to improve their skills and start thinking more strategically about communications. We understand that with no or limited resources and capacities different people can be involved in communications work on a day to day basis. Therefore we ask you to think if more than one person can be involved in this programme, and how new skills and practices can be integrated into your communications work in the future.

We encourage applications from organisations and groups that do not have a full-time communications staff and dedicated resources for communications work, serve/ work with less represented groups and organisations working at the  intersections of identities and experiences  (e.g. raciliased LGBTI people and LGBTI people from ethnic minority backgrounds, LGBTI people with disability, LGBTI people experiencing poverty).

This call might NOT be a match for organisations that:

  • Have substantial experience in communications or have strong communications capacity (for instance, full-time communications staff and resources secured for this work).
  • Have the resources or expenses that mean that 10,000 Euro would not bring significant added capability.
  • Have  more than 4 full-time paid staff.
  • Propose communication projects (such as one-off campaigns, or specific actions to develop message frames) without focus on organisational learning. We aim to support organisations and groups that will demonstrate how their learning will positively affect their future communications work and organisational development.

What does the participation entail?

  1. We will bring together a cohort of 8 organisations that will work on developing their communications capacities with us and with each other. We will support these processes with grants: 8 participating organisations/groups will receive 10,000 Euro for up to 18 months for their communications activities. Grants will be awarded in 3 phases (50% in two weeks after the contract signing, 40% after the interim financial report and 10% after the final financial and narrative reports). The first 2 months will provide space for grantee partners together with the invited consultants and other participants of the programme to further develop their projects.
  2. Our grantee partners will receive individual support throughout the process with regular check-ins and coaching sessions with the communication expert. We will work with you to develop your plans and ideas. If necessary, project management support can be provided.
  3. Our grantee partners will participate in joint capacity building activities, such as trainings and workshops  with external experts and peer-learning sessions. Peer-learning will take place in various phases of the development of the project, including initial design of activities. Training sessions will be designed to respond to the needs of the grantee partners.

At the initial phase of the project (the first two months), we will provide a space for our grantee partners to further think about their projects and ideas. There will be several peer-learning and individual coaching sessions to support this process. Later on webinars and other learning activities will be organised, which will be designed to respond to the needs of the partners. This will likely involve several group calls across the 18 months and individual support.

Learning and experience sharing are an integral part of the programme! We expect all grantee partners to commit to this part of the programme and participate in training and learning activities that will be organised.

Preliminary timeline of the project

  • Online session for prospective applicants: on October 10, 12:00 (CET/Brussels time).
  • Deadline for applications:  October 30, 23:59 (CET/Brussels time) .
  • All the applicants are notified about the results of the assessment process by 7 December.
  • The projects are  to start in January 2023 and finish by the end of June 2024.
  • First peer-learning session with the grantee partners: January 11.
  • Individual coaching sessions: January 12 – 28.
  • Second peer-learning session: February 2.
  • Session on project management and creation of the budget: February 6.
  • Submission of final list of activities and budget: February 20. 
  • Administrative work and signing the agreements will take place in March, but our grantee partners will be able to include the expenditures that occur in January and February 2023 as well (if any).
  • Session on project management and reporting: December 2023 (after the submission of interim financial reports).
  • All project activities must be finished by the end of June 2024.
  • Final narrative and financial reports are due by July 15, 2024.
  • Throughout the project: individual and group meetings organised by ILGA-Europe every 1-2 months, depending on the needs.

A few things about activities and costs that we will support

Applicants can include costs for a variety of communications activities, such as (but not limited to):

  • Expert’s fee and other costs to support organisational learnings (coaching, on-line education, training activities for staff and/or volunteers, or other efforts that help nourish skills and capacities including activities to integrate learning happening within the programme itself).
  • Creation of content for diverse communication channels, including podcasts, blogs, websites and/or community portals, opinion articles, media releases or other work with the media, etc.
  • Work to influence narratives through audience insight and research, message development and testing, trialling dissemination methods, etc.
  • Campaigning activities to raise awareness on the realities, needs and rights of LGBTI communities (including for instance to raise awareness on issues or communities that remain unseen by larger audiences).

We understand that part of the budget can be used to cover at least some time of a team member/ team members who are involved in communications work. The grant can also cover corresponding and proportionate (no more than 10% of the total grant) administrative costs such as bank fees, amounts for communications (i.e. payment of a Zoom account) or part of other office costs (i.e. rent or stationary) . 

How will you be working with ILGA-Europe?

Project management and support

ILGA-Europe works hard to make sure that there is efficient communication with grantee partners and that project administrative requirements don’t take up a disproportionate amount of time! Yet, here are the things that you should expect us to ask from you.

  • Once grantee partners are selected, we will work with them to discuss any questions or doubts, look together at the concepts and help to design activities and budget.
  • During the implementation of projects, we are available to support you in case you experience problems or need advice on how to go about aspects of the work.
  • Participation in the learning opportunities provided by ILGA-Europe is expected from grantee partners.
  • During the project’s implementation, we will have regular contacts with grantee partners (every 3 months). We expect our partners to commit to these regular conversations with ILGA-Europe staff to discuss project’s implementation, threats, opportunities, and possible capacity building needs. Conversations will include an update on the progress made and any issues that might be relevant for the continuation of the project (incl. overall national context in which the project is being implemented, and applicant overall strategy for change).
  • You will need to report financially on how the funds are being spent. We will ask for an interim report and a final report. To manage this grant your organisation needs to have an accounting and financial management system in place that allows to track income and expenditures per project/funder and across multiple years. You will be asked to report in Excel and support your expenditures with records: contracts, procurement documents, invoices, timesheets, proof of payment, documentation of exchange rates. For more information, please contact ILGA-Europe. Guidance on reporting financial and administrative requirements is available on the call page and further support will be provided to successful applicants. 2
  • A final narrative report is foreseen after the end of the project.
  • You are also expected to participate in various evaluation and experience-sharing efforts around the project. For example, participants in other programmes have found it valuable to attend peer-learning and sharing meetings online throughout the project, and contribute quotes/examples to written resources to be shared (confidentially) with other members in the movement.

How to apply?

  • To apply please submit your application to svetlana@ilga-europe.org.
  • Proposals should be submitted using the attached application form
  • Proposals should be submitted before October 30, 2022, 23:59 (CET/Brussels time).
  • We will inform all applicants about the results of the review via the email address provided in the application by December 7.
  • We expect the projects to start in January. 

NB The application form assesses the project idea, learning goals and potential of groups and organisations to benefit from the organisational learning and to gain new skills for further communications work rather than finalised plans. It does not require the submission of detailed project activities and budget at this stage. A full proposal will be finalised as part of the project itself, by the end of February 2023, based on exchanges with other partners, consultations with experts and individual coaching sessions.

If you have any questions in the preparation of your project proposal, please contact Svetlana Zakharova, ILGA-Europe’s Senior Programmes Officer (svetlana@ilga-europe.org)



  1. For this call Europe and Central Asia is considered to include the following countries: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Uzbekistan.
  2. We welcome applications from unregistered groups. If your group is not registered, you can partner with a registered organisation that will support you as a fiscal sponsor for this grant.
Source

Photo by Joshua Hibbert on Unsplash

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