OVERVIEW: Astraea’s international grantmaking addresses the oppression of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. The foundation also supports rights organizations that advance racial, economic, and gender-related justice.
IP TAKE: This is an approachable funder that favors smaller organizations that have a more difficult time securing grants. Newer organizations in the LGBTQI space should take note that while Astraea is open to providing support, it does require that new organizations demonstrate longer-term sustainability and impact.
PROFILE: The Astraea Foundation for Lesbian Justice was founded in New York in the late 1970s by a diverse group of women who wanted to address lack of funding for women’s groups—particularly lesbian women of color. Since then, Astraea has grown into an intersectional organization that describes itself as the “only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI human rights around the globe.”
Astraea operates six programmatic grantmaking interests: anti-criminalization and freedom from violence, arts and culture activism, economic justice, racial justice, trans human rights protections, hubs and networks, and anti-discrimination justice. Organizations that pursue work beyond the United States should consider the foundation’s International Fund, which supports work "towards progressive social change... led by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex communities." This funder values giving to projects that combat oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.
Geographically speaking, organizations based in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Eastern Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East are eligible to apply to Astraea’s International Fund program. However, Astraea does not support “organizations based in the Global North proposing projects with partners based in Astraea’s funding regions.”
Grants typically range from $5,000 to $30,000, with priority given to organizations with budgets equivalent to US $500,000 or less. Letters of Inquiry are accepted twice a year, with deadlines generally falling on January 31 and July 31; however, keep abreast of any changes in due dates or criteria.
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