The Other Foundation is an African trust dedicated to advancing human rights in Southern Africa, with a particular focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. Our primary purpose is to expand resources available to defend and advance the rights and well-being of LGBTI people in the Southern African region. We do this by working both as a grant-maker and a fundraiser.
Read our full mission statement here. The Atlantic Philanthropies has provided a generous start-up grant over a five-year period to cover all operational costs, subject to the Foundation being able to raise additional funds from other sources. More information about how we started can be found here.

The Foundation is pleased to announce the outcomes of its inaugural round of grant making. The Foundation allocated 32 grants, totaling around ZAR3.1 million, for work that will advance the rights and improve the well-being of LGBTI people in Southern Africa. Organisations and individuals were given grants ranging from ZAR10,000 to ZAR500,000.

Click here to see a full list of grants that were allocated.

The Foundation wanted its first grant making initiative to be a truly transparent and participatory process. Rather than consider grant proposals entirely on its own, the foundation’s board asked the public to nominate a panel of peer reviewers to help review and assess grant applications. The 12 peer reviewers chosen formed a diverse group from six countries in southern Africa. They worked in four teams, each facilitated by a board member, to decide which projects to recommend for funding. This gave meaningful expression to the identity of the Other Foundation as an LGBTI community foundation.

Click here to see who the peer reviewers were in the grant making process.

Click here to see a report about the development, implementation, and outcomes of this unique grant making process. The report will be of interest to foundations and philanthropists interested in more accountable and transparent ways of making grants.
The Other Foundation calls for nominations of suitable candidates from across the southern Africa region to be appointed as new trustees. The Foundation intends to appoint between 4 and 6 new trustees for 3-years terms of office. To nominate a candidate, a letter of motivation along with the curriculum vitae of the nominated candidate and the names and contact details of two referees should be emailed to, with NOMINATION OF TRUSTEE written in the email subject line. The letter of motivation should include a confirmation that the nominated candidate has accepted the nomination. Candidates may not nominate themselves. Criteria To avoid conflicts of interest in grant making, nominated candidates should not have any direct association with an individual or organisation that has a grant from the Foundation or that intends to apply for a grant from the Foundation. Nominated candidates must: 
  • Be in good standing in their professional fields and/or in networks focused on sexual orientation. gender identity, and philanthropy in southern Africa;
  • Have a southern Africa regional perspective on human rights, social justice, and philanthropy development;
  • Have strong networks related to the advancement of the rights, wellbeing, and social inclusion of LGBTI people and/or philanthropy;
  • Have a demonstrated track record of leadership in their fields of engagement;
  • Be able to dedicate a substantial amount of time to the governance of the Foundation on a voluntary basis;
  • Be resident in the southern Africa region; and
  • Offer the possibility, through their involvement as trustees, of expanding the Foundation’s human rights, social justice, and funding networks in sectors that have not traditionally been engaged.
The Competencies and Character of the Board of Trustees In making final decisions about the candidates to be appointed as new trustees, the founding board hopes to ensure that the board, taken as a whole:
  • Has a good mix of financial, legal, strategic, and fundraising competencies;
  • Broadly reflects the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities in the region, including heterosexual people;
  • Has members from several different countries in the region;
  • Includes people from different sectors in the public, private, and social fields such as sports, social movements, the arts, business, religion, the media, government, and academies;
  • Brings together an inter-generational mix of trustees; and
  • Positions the Foundation as a dynamic, innovative, leading agency in the field.
The nomination of candidates that enable such a diverse board to be appointed is encouraged. The decisions of the founding board about candidates appointed will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. To ensure continuity amongst the board of trustees over the long term, the appointment of candidates may be staggered over a two year period, beginning in November 2014. Trustees of the Other Foundation are not paid for being trustees. Closing Date & Interviews Nominations will be accepted until 30 September 2014. Nominations received after that date will not be considered. Before making a final decision about candidates to be appointed, the founding board will hold interviews with short listed candidates in the third week of October 2014. Nominated candidates must be willing and available for the interview. The Other Foundation reserves the right not to make any appointments of trustees.   Click here to read the full call for Nominations of Trustees.

The funds for the pilot grant-making initiative have come from personal gifts from 18 individual donors who visited South Africa early this year to find out more about the amazing work that activists are doing to defend and advance the rights of LGBTI people in Southern Africa. The Atlantic Philanthropies matched the funds raised from this donor tour, providing tOF with close to ZAR4 million to give out as small grants to individuals and organisations across Southern Africa.

More information about the Southern African donor tour can be found here.

We will be launching a range of fundraising initiatives in 2014. All funds that are raised will go to programming and grant-making as our operational costs are fully covered by the Atlantic Philanthropies for the next five years.

We would love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments. Answers to some frequently asked questions about the Other Foundation are answered here. Please contact us either by email, phone, or letter. Details of how to do that are on our Contact Us page.