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The State of Trans Organizing – 2nd Edition documents

The State of Trans Organizing intends to provoke dialogue between activists and donors to call for increased resources for the global trans movement.

  • Published
  • 30 October 2017
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Understanding the Needs and Priorities of a Growing but Under-Resourced Movement

About the publication

In 2016, American Jewish World Service (AJWS), Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (Astraea) and Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE) surveyed 455 groups from across the globe working on trans issues. The results provide a unique snapshot of the funding and organizational needs and experiences of those at the front line of addressing the significant human rights challenges facing trans people. While funding for trans work has improved over time, there are still serious limitations in the availability of resources. At the same time, trans groups face unique barriers to accessing available funds.

Purpose of the Report

The State of Trans Organizing intends to provoke dialogue between activists and donors, and act as a call for increasing the amount and quality of resources flowing to the growing, dynamic, but under-resourced global trans movement.


  • Support trans groups by continuing to identify new groups to fund, particularly those that are not receiving a grant from another foundation donor or are in regions where a small proportion of trans groups have access to foundation funding
  • Increase the amount of funding available to trans groups, both through giving larger, longer-term grants and generating interest in trans issues among new donors
  • Prioritize increasing access for trans groups to the human rights and development funding provided by government funders, both bilateral donors and national, state or municipal governments
  • Find new donors to support trans groups and encourage them to explicitly state their interest in funding trans work.
  • Lower barriers to trans groups’ access to funding; simplify applications and be flexible in application and reporting processes
  • Support autonomous groups and those with more trans leaders and decision-makers, especially those with leadership that reflects their constituents
  • Support capacity building and training opportunities for trans groups, particularly those related to organizational development and healing, anti-trauma work and/or burnout prevention
  • Invest in activities that trans groups prioritize but cannot do because of lack of funding, particularly those related to securing a sustainable livelihood and advancing struggles for economic justice


This report was written by Erin Howe and Somjen Frazer from Strength in Numbers Consulting Group, and Gitta Zomorodi.

Written input and review provided by Jack Byrne, Mauro Cabral, Namita Chad, Zhan Chiam, Masen Davis, Sarah Gunther, Kim Mukasa, Cianán Russell and David Scamell. Review of translation provided by Karen Bennett, Hiker Chiu, Anna Kirey, Caroline Kouassiaman and Tingting Shen. Survey design and data analysis by Somjen Frazer and Melissa Dumont of Strength in Numbers Consulting Group. Editing by Bosede Cajuste and design by Hope Fitch-Mickiewicz. Leah Kaplan Robbins, Elizabeth Leih and Liesl Theron provided support during the production of the report. The Global Philanthropy Project, the International Trans Fund, and Astraea’s Intersex Human Rights Fund partnered in the dissemination of this report.

We are grateful to the 455 trans groups that took time out from their important work to respond to this survey and share detailed information about that work with us. In particular, we would like to thank those organizations that provided information for the case studies featured in the report. We hope this report will serve and advance their struggles for trans human rights, as well as be a tool to mobilize additional needed resources.

We also thank the donors who provided project support for the production and dissemination of this report: American Jewish World Service and Open Society Foundations.


When referencing this report, we recommend the following citation:

Howe, E, Frazer, S, Dumont, M. and Zomorodi, G. (2017). The State of Trans Organizing (2nd Edition): Understanding the Needs and Priorities of a Growing but Under-Resourced Movement. New York: American Jewish World Service, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Global Action for Trans Equality.


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