About Us

The Other Foundation is an African trust that advances equality and freedom in southern Africa with a particular focus on sexual orientation and gender identity. It gathers support to defend and advance the human rights and social inclusion of homosexual and bisexual women and men, as well as transgender and intersex people in southern Africa – and it gives support to groups in a smart way that enables them to work effectively for lasting change, recognizing the particular dynamics of race, poverty and inequality, sex, national origin, heritage, and politics in our part of the world. It does this by working both as a fundraiser and a grant maker.

The Atlantic Philanthropies has provided a generous grant over a five-year period to cover all operational costs, subject to The Other Foundation being able to raise additional funds from other sources. In the longer term, we hope to be supported primarily by African-based philanthropy.

It’s an odd name! Why are you called The ‘Other’ Foundation?

We wanted to find a name that reflected our concern for all people who are marginalised; who suffer discrimination and violence; and who are excluded from power and justice.

Across southern Africa, we have a common history of achieving political liberation from colonialism, apartheid and slavery. Yet, discrimination, fear, prejudice, stigma and hatred of difference – of ‘the other’ – continue to fester in all our countries, cities and communities. Currently, LGBTI people are particularly under attack, in the same way as immigrants, foreigners, people who have a different colour, ethnicity and/or religion have been in the past, and in many places continue to be today. Our contention is that we need to assume a united stand against all kinds of violations if we are to achieve meaningful social and political transformation.

What’s the aim of The Other Foundation and where is it located?

Currently, our primary purpose is to expand resources available for defending and advancing the rights of LGBTI people in southern Africa. We do this by working both as a grant-maker and a fundraiser.

As a grant-maker, we support change through others, rather than directly ourselves. So we provide direct support to partners, while facilitating the building and sharing of knowledge.

As a fundraiser, we focus on raising resources from a wide range of potential givers – particularly from within the region. One of the ways we intend to do this is by supporting campaigns to build awareness and reinforce appreciation for LGBTI people to enjoy their rights within a broader human rights framework.

At present, we are located in Johannesburg, South Africa.

So what’s this pilot grant-making initiative about and who is driving it?

The Other Foundation’s grant-making initiative is about providing an opportunity for organisations and individuals in southern Africa to submit their ideas about work that they would like to do to advance the rights and/or well-being of LGBTI people in the region.

This initiative is being directed by the Board of The Other Foundation. All appointed Board members applied to be on the Board through an open and competitive process that was entirely independent of the Atlantic Philanthropies. The process by which the founding Board was selected is described here.

Ok, so who can apply for a grant?

The Other Foundation will consider funding organisations and programmes working to advance the rights and improve the well-being of people who are subjected to discrimination, violence, criminalisation and moral judgement because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and/or expression.

We do not believe that only LGBTI-focused and -led organisations are able to do this kind of work, and we actively encourage organisations that do not fit this criterion to apply if they have ideas about how to advance the aims of The Other Foundation. However, we do believe that people who are closest to the problem understand best what is needed to redress it, and we would look critically at the relationships that have been built between any organisation that is applying for funding and the affected community they intend to work with.

More information about how to apply for a grant can be found here.

But my organisation is not registered. Can I still apply?

Yes! Although registration is a necessity for most donors, the Other Foundation is aware that some organisations may have difficulty registering because of the type of activities they are involved in. If your organisation is not registered, you will need to demonstrate to us that:

  • your group has a name
  • your group has position holders, for example manager, programme officer, treasurer and a board; and
  • your group has a clear mission statement, aim and objectives.

You will also need to provide us with a letter of support/endorsement from a recognised and relevant organisation in the region (such as a human rights, LGBTI, or HIV/AIDS organisation) stating that they are aware of your group, its work and recommend you for funding.

Unregistered groups are not eligible for the largest grant that The Other Foundation awards – the Mosu (umbrella tree) grant.

Can individuals apply as well?

Yes! But only for a particular grant – The Namaqualand Daisy Grant. This category of funding provides up to ZAR10 000 for individuals who are doing creative or scholarly work that will celebrate the beauty and/or challenge myths and misperceptions and/or deepen our knowledge and understanding of LGBTI people and communities in Southern Africa.

If you have an innovative idea as an individual that does not fit into any of those categories, then we strongly urge you to join or collaborate with an existing organisation.

If you are not sure whether you can apply or not, contact The Other Foundation’s support team for more information.

What kind of work will you be funding through this initiative?

Our grant-making initiative looks for proposals for work that will advance the rights and improve the well-being of LGBTI people in southern Africa.

While we will consider all proposals that meet this general requirement, we are especially interested in supporting the following areas of work:

  • Working with progressive faith-based groups to be more welcoming and inclusive of LGBTI people
  • Extending and improving legal and psycho-social aid to LGBTI people
  • Enabling national medical or psychological associations to review available evidence around sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) and to use science as an entry point into national/local debates around SOGI
  • Engaging popular culture to challenge myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and to celebrate our place in our communities and families in Southern Africa
  • Innovative public education around SOGI, especially with specific communities such as teachers, the medical fraternity, members of parliament, police, parents and so on
  • Building alliances, understanding and bridges between those affected by and working on SOGI with those working on other social justice issues
  • Advocacy and organising around improving the lives and well-being of LGBTI people, including challenging discriminatory law and policies, and responding to human rights violations through grants for documentation, strategic litigation and research
  • Strengthening institutions through activities and programmes that build organisational skills and systems, including activist exchange visits and internships.

You should not feel limited to submitting proposals for the activities listed above. Be innovative!

I’ve got some great ideas – but how much can I apply for?

There are four levels of support you can apply for:

  • The Namaqualand Daisy grants are intended for individual activists (including artists and researchers) seeking to complete a piece of work that will document, celebrate, and/or profile the lives and communities of LGBTI people in Southern Africa. The maximum award under this grant is ZAR10 000 for work over a 3-12 month period. We anticipate making between 15 and 20 grants at this level.
  • The Inyosi (honey bee) grants are intended for smaller organisations that are seeking support for a project or for core support. The maximum award under this grant is ZAR50 000 over a 6-12 month period. We anticipate making 10-12 grant awards at this level.
  • The Hungwe (fish eagle) grants are intended for more established organisations that are seeking either core support or project-based support. The maximum award under this grant is ZAR150 000 (over 12 months) or ZAR200 000 (over 24 months). We anticipate making 8-10 grant awards at this level.
  • The Mosu (umbrella tree) grants are for core support to organisations working at a national or regional level. The maximum award under this grant is ZAR500 000 over 24 months. We anticipate making 1-3 grant awards at this level.

You may only apply for one grant.

How are you going to select which ones to fund? How will I know that you have been fair?

There are four levels of support you can apply for:

  • The Namaqualand Daisy grants are intended for individual activists (including artists and researchers) seeking to complete a piece of work that will document, celebrate, and/or profile the lives and communities of LGBTI people in Southern Africa. The maximum award under this grant is ZAR10 000 for work over a 3-12 month period. We anticipate making between 15 and 20 grants at this level.
  • The Inyosi (honey bee) grants are intended for smaller organisations that are seeking support for a project or for core support. The maximum award under this grant is ZAR50 000 over a 6-12 month period. We anticipate making 10-12 grant awards at this level.
  • The Hungwe (fish eagle) grants are intended for more established organisations that are seeking either core support or project-based support. The maximum award under this grant is ZAR150 000 (over 12 months) or ZAR200 000 (over 24 months). We anticipate making 8-10 grant awards at this level.
  • The Mosu (umbrella tree) grants are for core support to organisations working at a national or regional level. The maximum award under this grant is ZAR500 000 over 24 months. We anticipate making 1-3 grant awards at this level.

You may only apply for one grant.

Ok, so who can be a peer-reviewer?

To be eligible as a peer reviewer, you need to:

  • be able to demonstrate that you have a track record of active engagement and interest in human rights and social justice in Southern Africa. We are particular interested in peer reviewers who have experience of working with LGBTI people and communities, or on HIV/AIDS, or gender-related work
  • be a citizen and resident in one of the following countries: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia or Zimbabwe. Your citizenship and place of residence can be different
  • be willing to commit to reviewing at least 20 proposals and be able to attend the decision-making workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • have regular access to the internet and be able to send and receive emails.
If I apply for funding – does that exclude me from being a peer-reviewer?

No! But we will make sure that you do not review your own application, or any of the proposals that you are competing against.

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