LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Creating Opportunities

Since 2015 ILGA-Europe have been implementing the project Creating Opportunities.

The project is supported by Arcus Foundation.

Creating Opportunities is an instrument to support the European&Central Asian LGBTI movement’s campaign and mobilisation activities, when significant threats or opportunities arises. Read more about the programme and how you can apply below.

What does Creating Opportunities do?

Creating Opportunities is a central resource for the European&Central Asian LGBTI movement, strengthening organisations’ abilities to respond to opportunities or threats.

In a way, Creating Opportunities is an instrument to support the LGBTI movement where it is facing significant opportunities that affirm or strengthen LGBTI rights. An example may be the opportunity to ensure that a legislative proposal is formulated in a satisfactory manner, the inclusion of LGBTI issues in the political agenda during a campaign for national elections or an awareness-raising campaign to stop anti-LGBTI hate speech.

But the programme is also ILGA‐Europe's response to an increasingly organised and strengthened opposition towards the LGBTI movement, which has led to attempts to block positive developments in some countries; and even to approve hostile anti‐LGBTI legislative proposals in other countries.

The purpose of this innovative programme is to support mobilisation and campaigning activities. These activities could help prevent a backlash against pro-equality messages or use opportunities to drive strategic progress for LGBTI communities in Europe. Creating Opportunities allows to identify and make optimal use of the movement’s great wealth of knowledge and skills around campaigning, through documenting and disseminating good practices and encouraging peer to peer learning.

In turn, this experience can leverage the efforts of groups operating on the ground through strategic support in various steps of the campaign planning and implementation. These include goal setting and target audience, research and messaging, identification of tactics and channels, message testing; but also aspects of organisational development, alliance building and community engagement which can be crucial to determine the success and impact of the campaign. The program can also contribute to the resource mobilisation around the campaign, through support of fundraising and crow-funding efforts, but also directly funding individual campaign activities. The production of a video, the work of a social media expert, public opinion polls, focus groups, the design and printing of posters, the organisation of an event are just some examples of the activities that can be funded under the programme.

How does Creating Opportunities work?

To serve the European&Central Asian LGBTI movement most effectively, ILGA-Europe issue a set of guidelines that help to identify the most appropriate situations.

Situations that could be supported should fit in the following description:

  • National movements face threat or a significant opportunity to drive progress
  • Members identify weaknesses in the movement that could impair the ability of adequately tackle the threat/opportunity and supranational assistance is required
  • ILGA-Europe targeted intervention is expected to bring strategic impact to existing efforts and capacity of the movement.

Organisations and groups in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, less represented groups and organisations working on the experience of intersectionality (e.g. LGBTI people from ethnic or racial minority backgrounds, LGBTI people with disability, LGBTI people experiencing poverty) are encouraged to apply.

ILGA-Europe also identifiy certain situations and actions that fall out of the scope of Creating Opportunities programme and that therefore will not be supported in its framework:

  • Activities directly targeting decision-makers or supporting/opposing a specific candidate/party in a political campaign.
  • Advocacy and awareness raising activities conducted on a regular basis as part of the core work of the movement and not linked to any specific emerging threat or opportunity.
  • Areas of work where resources (e.g. knowledge, skills, finances, network) are available and sufficient to effectively tackle the threat/opportunity.

ILGA-Europe’s contribution to the identified country situations includes financial support, but mainly consists in building and disseminating knowledge on best practices, supporting members with strategic advice and giving access to networks, improving fundraising and coordination with donors. In the context of this programme ILGA-Europe will not act in the role of re-grantor and our role will vary depending on the needs of the implementing LGBTI organisation.

How to benefit from Creating Opportunities?

There are no deadlines or application forms to fill to request support under Creating Opportunities. The programme has been designed to be flexible, to respond to urgent requests and to adapt to a variety of situations and needs. 

We invite you to evaluate whether your case could fit into the Creating Opportunities program.

If the answer to all the questions below is ‘yes’ please contact Laura Piazza, Senior Campaign & Programmes Officer, to explore the possibility of obtaining support.

Please note that only LGBTI groups and organisations, or organisations with proven record of comprehensive work on LGBTI issues, from the European&Central Asian region (Member States of the Council of Europe + Belarus and Kosovo and Central Asia) can benefit from support under Creating Opportunities. A list of eligible countries can be found here.

  1. Is the national movement or LGBTI community in your country under threat or is there a significant opportunity to drive progress?
  1. Is this situation bearing strategic relevance for the national movement?
  1. Does national movement lack access to sufficient resources (e.g., knowledge, finances, network) to effectively tackle the threat/opportunity in terms of mobilisation / communication / constituency engagement?
  1. Would ILGA-Europe’s targeted intervention to support strategic advocacy and/or campaigning bring strategic impact to existing efforts and help strengthen the capacity of the movement?

Creating Opportunities helps activists create campaigns that have an impact. On 2018, we have already supported 10 campaigns, but due to our limited funds we have to turn down many interesting proposals. Imagine how much faster activists could change hearts and minds if we had more to invest.

Could you be a change-maker and support Creating Opportunities? Make a donation today or get in touch with Laura Piazza, Senior Campaign & Programmes Officer