Secretary’s Global Equality Fund for LGBT Issues

Deadline: 2 May 2013
Open to: non-profit organizations around the world with Eastern European and South American organizations especially encouraged to apply.
Grants: are available for civil society organizations working on LGBT issues around the world from this $3 million fund


The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the United States Department of State announces a Request for Proposals from organizations working to promote and protect the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people. Launched in December 2011, the Secretary’s Global Equality Fund aims to support the work of civil society organizations working on LGBT issues around the world. Programs attributed to the Global Equality Fund are part of DRL’s broader initiative to support and empower marginalized populations, including women, children, persons with disabilities, religious and ethnic minorities, and LGBT persons. This program will focus on providing protection to individuals who experience violence due to their real or perceived gender identity.

DRL seeks to support programs that increase protection of transgender persons who face acute forms of violence and harassment. DRL’s overall goal is to ensure that incidents of violence are documented and investigated and that victims receive appropriate legal redress through domestic, regional, or international human rights mechanisms. DRL seeks proposals that will:

  1. strengthen civil society organizations’ efforts to both document incidents of violence and the investigation process (or lack thereof);
  2. ensure transgender persons have adequate legal representation;
  3. support local civil society organizations to seek redress through regional and international human rights mechanisms;
  4. and where feasible/appropriate, will provide sensitivity training for law enforcement agencies.

Competitive proposals will link documentation, training and legal representation efforts as a means of promoting accountability and combating impunity. Proposals are encouraged to include components that focus activity at the local and/or community level, and should include sub-grants to local transgender organizations. Organizations may also want to consider different forms of inclusive sub-granting, such as advisory committees for grant selections. Proposals may consider, but are not limited to, activities such as documentation of incidents of violence and investigation processes, legal assistance for victims, improving capacity of lawyers and civil society organizations to assist transgender persons, sensitivity training for law enforcement agencies, and support for advocates to utilize domestic, regional, and international human rights mechanisms to promote accountability for human rights violations. Other activities which support the goals noted above may also be considered.

DRL grants generally must be completed in one to three years. DRL supports programs that uphold democratic principles, support and strengthen democratic institutions, promote human rights, and build civil society around the world. Funds are available to support projects that have the potential to have an immediate impact leading to long-term sustainable reforms. Projects should have potential for continued funding beyond DRL resources. Projects must not duplicate or simply add to efforts by other entities.

The $3 million fund is supported by the U.S. government. While providing tangible assistance to LGBT civil society groups around the world, the Fund also serves to underscore the U.S. State Department’s commitment to ensuring LGBT people worldwide are able to exercise their human rights with dignity.


Organizations may submit proposals for any region or country in the world. Proposals for activities in the following regions are strongly encouraged: Eastern Europe and Central and South America.

Organizations should be a U.S. non-profit organization meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 USC 501(c) (3) or a comparable organization headquartered internationally, or an international organization. Applicant organizations should have demonstrated experience administering successful and preferably similar projects.


Applicants must submit proposals using the government grants website HERE by 11:30 p.m., Washington, D.C. time, on May 2, 2013. DRL will not accept proposals submitted via email, fax, the postal system, or delivery companies or couriers. Applicants may submit more than one application; however, each application should be submitted only once.

Proposals should conform to DRL’s posted Proposal Submission Instructions available HERE

Several of the steps in the registration process can take several weeks. Therefore, applicants should check with appropriate staff within their organizations immediately after reviewing this solicitation to confirm or determine their registration status.

Interested organizations using the registration website for the first time should follow the link above and create a new Applicant account as soon as possible because this process must be completed before an application can be submitted. To register with, follow the “Get registered” link. 

Each organization will need to be registered with the Central Contractor Registry, and you will need to have your organization’s DUNS number available to complete this process. For more information regarding the DUNS number, please visit the website HERE or call +1-866-705-5711. After your organization registers with the CCR, you must wait approximately three to five business days before you can obtain a username and password. This may delay your ability to post your proposal.

Therefore, DRL strongly urges applicants to begin this process well in advance of the submission deadline of 2 May 2013. Direct all questions regarding the grants website registration and submission to the customer support at 1-800-518-4726 or by email at  

For programmatic questions related to this opportunity, please contact Once the deadline has passed, State Department officials and staff – both in DRL and at embassies overseas – may not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process is completed.

For more information, please see the official website HERE.

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