Deadline: 27th October, 2017
ISDAO is the first West African Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* and Queer (LGBTQ) Activist-Led Fund dedicated to strengthening and supporting a West African movement for gender diversity and sexual rights by adopting a flexible approach to grant-making, and ultimately building a culture of philanthropy that is committed to equality and social justice. Once established, ISDAO will seek to provide emerging leaders with tools and spaces to build a more effective movement for LGBTQ rights; help foster a more inclusive movement for LGBTQ activism in West Africa; and serve as a much-needed activist-owned platform for social change, especially one that provides international donors with a safe and trusted mechanism to invest strategically in the region and to ensure that their resources are reaching the grassroots with accountability. Beyond grant-making, ISDAO will also aim to serve as a platform for local strategies can be exchanged, and sub-regional strategies can be developed collectively—both proactively, and in response to emerging crises or opportunities
Rationale for ISDAO
Across West Africa, LGBTQ people live in an increasingly hostile environment, and recent surges in homophobic laws, violence, and arrests have focused new attention on the struggles of LGBTQ people in the region. Historically, gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) have been the primary focus of philanthropic attention (particularly in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic), however, more broadly-based LGBTQ organizations are emerging, including those led by lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LGQ) women, trans*-identified, and non-binary persons. These organizations contend with multiple, overlapping challenges in establishing and sustaining their work— particularly in Francophone countries, where civil society infrastructure is comparatively weak and donor investment is limited.
The Interim Governing Body of ISDAO
The Interim Governing Body (IGB) of ISDAO is comprised of seasoned professionals and activists who have experience in philanthropy, activism, participatory grant-making, and/or non-profit management, and are committing their time and expertise towards establishing ISDAO and working toward fulfilling ISDAO’s mission. Convened in 2017, the IGB is the interim operational body working to develop cohesive goals, advance strategic initiatives, and build the strong organizational infrastructure required to ensure that ISDAO is a creative, agile, and vibrant fund. Building on We Exist, an analysis of LGBTQ organizing in West Africa commissioned by ISDAO, as well as outcomes from consultations with LGBTQ activists in the West African region, the IGB is responsible for overseeing ISDAO’s preliminary governance decisions and continued development.
Call for Additional IGB Members
In furtherance of fulfilling ISDAO’s mandate, the IGB is extending a call for additional members to join and contribute towards the development of ISDAO. An ideal IGB candidate is one that can demonstrate a commitment to ISDAO’s vision, mission, and values; create time to attend and participate in meetings (both in-person and virtual); and serve on at least one of the four current and future committees within the IGB: Recruitment Committee (to work with ISDAO staff and consultants), Fiscal Sponsorship and Fundraising Committee (engage with current and potential funders), Planning and External Engagement Committee (meetings, external requests, and communications); and Program Committee (leading the development of ISDAO’s grant-making and other programs). In addition to the above commitment, the IGB is seeking peers who are trust worthy and reliable, and can demonstrate thought leadership. IGB members are expected to possess expertise in at least one of the following areas: foundation board and philanthropic experience; fundraising and resource development; program development; finance and fiscal resource management; law; or, communications and marketing. In view of ISDAO’s mission to actively support diversity and its principle for equitable representation, this additional call will give preference to lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LGQ) women, trans*-identified or non-binary persons, intersex people, and activists within Francophone West Africa, without denying opportunity to other potential candidates.
Application for ISDAO’s Interim Governing Body
To apply, please complete the Application Form English or the Application Form French and rename the document in this format: Your “SURNAME_FirstName”. Attach your completed document along with your CV/Resume (of not more than 3 pages), to an email with the subject “New IGB Member Application” and send to email@example.com on or before 16:00 GMT on Friday the 27th of October 2017. You will receive feedback on your application on or before Friday the 10th of November 2017.