Arcus Foundation – 2017 International Human Rights Program Request for Proposals

Deadline: May 15, 2017

The Arcus Foundation periodically issues requests for proposals (RFPs) to ensure its program portfolios remain responsive to new and emerging opportunities within the geographic and thematic scope of its strategy. Presentation of this RFP in an open competition aims to attract new partners and ideas, in addition to soliciting proposals from existing partners, and enabling the collection and comparison of proposals at one time.

The vision of the Arcus Foundation’s International Human Rights Program is a viable, effective global movement, with integrated Global South leadership, for the protection of the human rights of LGBT1 people (or people discriminated against based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, also referred to as SOGI). The purpose of this RFP is to solicit proposals from intermediary2 organizations for country-level work in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and/or the Middle East that will contribute to legal/policy and/or socio-cultural changes.

Through this RFP, Arcus can provide grants for a maximum of two years, which can be renewed. The intended changes to be pursued under this RFP fall into three categories: short-term (less than 5 years), medium-term (5-10 years), and long-term (over 10 years).

Arcus intends to award 10 grants for a total of US$3.5 million, seeking to contribute to several countries (to be proposed by applicants) for changes to be realized within the timeframes above. We encourage those intermediaries who apply as regrantors to provide flexible, unrestricted support, and two-years of funding to their sub-grantees. Arcus will support the following three goal areas at the country level:

1. Legal and policy changes for LGBT inclusion:3 systemic changes for the protection of LGBT human rights, such as policies of government bodies or professional associations of, for example, lawyers, psychologists, or physicians. Examples: reduced discrimination and violence; legal gender recognition; challenges to laws that criminalize cross-dressing or consenting same-sex adult relations taking place in private; respect for the rights to privacy, free expression, and association; access to health, education, and other fundamental human rights.

2. Socio-cultural shifts: substantive change in opinions, attitudes, cultural values, and norms for the recognition of human diversity and combating LGBT discrimination. Examples: accurate information within the public sphere; respectful dialogue on SOGI issues, including with LGBT people, in public or private spaces.

3. Capacity strengthening of communities and organizations to advocate for the above two goal areas: improve skills, knowledge, and relationships of people with responsibilities in organizations and communities working towards concrete legal/policy and socio-cultural change.4 Examples: forms of learning and exchange of experience related to concrete advocacy campaigns, communication strategies, appreciation for good institutional governance and good management, increases of organizational membership base, transparency and/or fundraising.

Priorities for this RFP:
a. Proposals based on self-determination: efforts led from within the society or community
they seek to influence, managed by applicants with open consultation of and
accountability towards local LGBT communities.
b. Proposals which include funding for trans-led groups.
c. Proposals which include LGBT alliances with other relevant movements for social justice,
seeking to integrate SOGI-related advocacy in broader campaigns for the success and
safety of SOGI-related activism.
d. A majority of the budget to be distributed to sub-grantees or project partners, as opposed
to being spent on applicant organization costs.

Eligibility Criteria
a. Legal status: applicants need to be registered legal entities with a charitable purpose.
b. Experience: applicants must have at least two years’ experience in the proposed work; those not registered in the US who are applying as intermediaries for regranting are
required to have five years of financial operations.
c. Equal Employment Opportunity Policy: applicants must have a board-approved internal
policy against employment-related discrimination which specifically includes sexual
orientation and gender identity among the nondiscrimination categories.8
d. Budget: Arcus will provide annually a maximum of one-third of the applicant’s total LGBT- related expenditure during its prior fiscal year. For instance, if the applicant’s LGBT- related expenditure in the past fiscal year was $100,000, Arcus can consider a request of
up to $66,000 for a two-year grant (equivalent to $33,000 per year).
e. Institutional governance: applicants should have procedures to avoid actual and apparent conflicts of interest, and to ensure transparency about decision-making and fiduciary
f. Current Arcus grantees may apply. However, Arcus is unable to award a grant through
this initiative while also renewing an existing grant. Please check with program staff,
before submitting a proposal.
g. An organization may apply only once under this RFP, whether on its own or in partnership.
Proposal Content:

Please ensure the following are part of your application:
1. Organization name, date and country of legal registration, contact person and email
2. End date of applicant organization’s fiscal year.
3. Statement confirming that organization’s Equal Employment Opportunity Policy explicitly
includes sexual orientation and gender identity.
4. Organization’s total amount of LGBT-related expenditure in the past fiscal year, including
administrative expenses (total expenditure, in case of a LGBT organization).
5. Proposed total budget for the project.
6. Amount of project budget requested from Arcus.
7. Percentage of total project budget to be regranted or distributed to grantees or partners.
8. Start and end date of the proposed grant and the factors considered in proposing these
9. Description of experience (and that of a partner, where applicable) in the proposed work area, including human resources, number of years engaged in relevant work, and your most important achievements to date.
10. Description of institutional governance structure, including how decisions will be made for regranting or funding of project partners.
11. Proposal’s relevance to RFP priorities of self-determination, funding of trans-led work, and support for alliances with other relevant movements for social justice (if applicable).
12. Country selection: complete the attached country chart for proposed countries and include information about the legal/policy, socio-cultural, and/or capacity strengthening changes to be supported. The chart can be adapted as necessary, provided all the
required information is included.
13. Any other matters for consideration by Arcus.

Questions about this RFP: send any questions in writing to both Adrian Coman ( and Erica Lim ( by May 10.

Apply Here: International Human Rights Program Request for Proposals

Post Author: Opportunity Point

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