The importance of funding for marginalised LGBT+ communities

On Thursday 3rd February, The LGBT+ Futures: Equity Fund was launched – a two-year partnership between Consortium and The National Lottery Community Fund. It will help community-led and grassroots LGBT+ groups overcome some of the barriers they face accessing funding and support.

A vital £465,000 will be distributed by Consortium in small grants to grassroots and community-led groups on behalf of The National Lottery Community Fund, thanks to National Lottery players.

This partnership will give the power back to communities as the project will be led by the communities affected the most. With a focus on investment, the Equity Fund will enable those small groups to grow with support and guidance from the wrap around services Consortium will provide, such as leadership and organisational development.

How does the Equity Fund work for communities, with communities?

What makes the Equity Fund so special is Consortium and The National Lottery Community Fund have been working with the affected communities from the start of this project, led by their experiences and expertise.

Consortium are working alongside Community Collaborators and Community Panel Members to ensure fair and equitable decisions are made on which groups to fund. This participatory way of working ensures the right voices are heard in all decision making. They bring a wide range of skills and are incredibly passionate about the Equity Fund and the potential it has to transform the lives of marginalised LGBT+ communities.

Jide (he/him), Equity Fund Community Collaborator at Consortium, reflects on why funding is important for LGBT+ communities and groups:

“Funding is extremely important as many LGBTIQ communities are ostracised and with limited access to funding capabilities. For Black and people of colour LGBTIQ communities, many have suffered racism and injustice as they often battle against cultural and religious abuse.

“Funding is vital to support the many associated problems affecting these communities, such as homelessness, gender-based violence, mental health and sexual health, and to fund the personnel and experts is also needed.”

Violet (they/them), Equity Fund Community Panel Member at Consortium, talks about why they applied to be on the Equity Fund Community Panel:

“As a community organiser, I know how big of a boost funding brings to grassroots groups and projects, but also how much extra strain complicated admin puts on the organisations. These people are doing the most with very little. And there’s a terrible burnout culture, especially among activists, community and art workers, so I hope to bring attention to how important it is to fund access and collective care for people doing the work, as well as those benefiting from the projects. I’m also looking forward to seeing all the fantastic ideas LGBTQIA+ folk are putting forward for funding.”

Sakib (he/they), Equity Fund Community Collaborator at Consortium, explains why the Equity Fund is so exciting for LGBT+ communities:

“For a lot of small grassroots organisations, funding can make a huge difference in the ability to deliver essential work within vulnerable and marginalised communities, traditionally funding hasn’t always been easily accessible to them.

“The Consortium’s awareness of this issue when developing this fund, I feel, has sought a way of addressing this through creating a collaborative model of working with these organisations through the Community Panels. I’m excited to be involved with others, as we bring our knowledge to the table to try to create more of the equality which we know is needed, so that organisations can do their essential work.”

Find out more about The LGBT+ Futures: Equity Fund and how to apply: consortium.lgbt/equityfund

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