Global Equality Fund to Protect LGBT Rights

Deadline: 10 January 2014
Open to: non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations and universities worldwide with relevant experience implementing projects
Grant: $100,000-$500,000


The US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) has issued a Request for Statements of Interest (SOI) for ‘The Global Equality Fund: Programs to Protect the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Persons.

Launched in December 2011, the Global Equality Fund aims to support the work of civil society organizations working to protect and advance the human rights of LGBT persons globally.

This solicitation is the first step in a two-part process. After reviewing SOIs, selected organizations will be invited to expand their ideas into full proposals at a later date. The intention of requesting SOIs first is to provide organizations with time to focus on submitting creative and new ideas to address human rights challenges facing LGBT persons and their advocates.

The Fund invites organizations to submit Statements of Interest (SOIs) outlining program concepts and organizational capacity to manage programs that will protect and advance the human rights of LGBT persons.

Statements of interests could focus on areas including, but not limited to:

  • Strengthening Legal Protection: Objectives may include, but are not limited to, law and/or judicial system reform that enables LGBT persons to exercise their universal human rights; increased legal assistance for LGBT persons; equitable legal gender recognition for transgender persons; and strategic and positive engagement from regional and international human rights mechanisms.
  • Protection from violence, including sexual violence and hate crime, and combating impunity: Objectives may include, but are not limited to, increased capacity to document violence targeting LGBT persons as well as investigation processes (or lack thereof); increased and proactive engagement from national authorities, including police and other law enforcement agencies, to prevent, mitigate, or respond to violence; increased protection, safety and support for LGBT persons and their advocates at-risk of violence or who have experienced violence; and establishment of or support to broad-based advocacy coalitions. Statements that address the specific needs of transgender persons, lesbians, and others who are particularly marginalized by violence are strongly encouraged.
  • Organizational Development and Capacity: Objectives may include, but are not limited to, increased capacity of local or regional organizations to develop and implement strategic plans, work plans, budgets, communication strategies, risk assessments, security plans and increased capacity of organizations to mobilize community members and build constituencies.
  • Combating societal discrimination and negative social attitudes: Objectives may include, but are not limited to, respectful media (new and traditional) reporting to increase awareness of LGBT persons and their human rights; increased acceptance and tolerance of LGBT persons from family members, employers and broader society; and positive action and engagement from faith communities in support of LGBT persons and their human rights.

Organizations are welcome to either submit SOIs that include a range of objectives from those listed above or submit SOIs that focus exclusively on one objective area. As appropriate and relevant, SOIs are encouraged to include provisions on how they will develop institutional responses to security incidents and protection of staff and LGBT community members as activities are implemented.

Please read the entire request for proposals HERE for full details.


SOIs from all geographic regions are welcome. When assessing the geographic and thematic scope of SOIs, organizations are strongly encouraged to consider where they have demonstrated expertise and existing relationships with local partners. SOIs that take advantage of existing opportunities for change in national contexts or respond to acute human rights violations or human rights backsliding are also encouraged.

Organizations submitting SOIs must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a non-profit organization or an international organization; or
  • Be a university or research institution; or
  • Be a for-profit organization or business, although there are restrictions on payment of fees and/or profits to the prime recipient under grants and cooperative agreements.
  • Have demonstrated experience administering successful projects, preferably targeting the requested country and/or region, or a similarly challenging program environment. DRL reserves the right to request additional background information on organizations that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards. These applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.
  • Have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with in-country entities and relevant stakeholders including industry and non-governmental organizations.


Approximately $3 million in funds are available for programs of the Global Equality Fund, pending funding availability. To support direct and indirect costs required for implementation, DRL anticipates making award amounts of $100,000-$500,000.


Applicants must submit SOIs using the registration website HERE or HERE by 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Friday 10 January 2014.

An organization may submit no more than four SOIs of two pages each. SOIs that do not meet the requirements of the announcement may not be considered.

SOIs must include:

  1. Brief description of the organization, including the organization’s mission statement and previous work advancing the human rights of LGBT persons. Due to page limitations, a general organizational history is not recommended. Information should clearly demonstrate an institution’s record and capacity and may include previous grant management experience, whether funded through private or United States Government resources.
  2. Description of how the project supports DRL’s policy priorities and how the project is innovative, sustainable, and does not duplicate current efforts.
  3. Project description, including project duration and objectives. Outputs and outcomes should also be provided. Outputs and outcomes should clearly link to project objectives and include target benchmarks.
  4. Brief statement on the methodology to be used in the project evaluation.
  5. An estimated budget figure. The budget should include intended Primarily Headquarters-Based Costs, Primarily-Field Based Costs, Indirect Costs, and Cost-Share. Please note that while a detailed budget is not requested at this time, organizations invited to submit full proposals must not exceed the estimated SOI budget figure.

For questions related to SOI submissions please contact Jesse Bernstein at 

You can find more information on the official request for proposals HERE and the official website HERE.

For more information, visit this link or search by Funding Opportunity #DRLA-DRLAQM-14-006

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