This week, we’ve launched a process to find an organisation to help us develop skills and capacity in the LGBT sector. Our new LGBT Sector and Community Development Scheme will offer up to £600,000 to build capability with LGBT groups and organisations, and to support initiatives that create inclusive spaces for LGBT people, such as Pride events.
What we know
Everyone in this country should feel safe and happy to be who they are, and to love who they love, without judgement or fear. Over the years, GEO have worked with many organisations who are working hard to achieve this and ensure that everyone can reach their full potential, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Despite their dedication, we know many organisations working in the LGBT sector struggle to diversify their funding. This problem poses risks to the sector and its stability when funding environments change. Evidence from the sector supports this challenge; a survey by LGBT Consortium found that 20% of respondents said they faced closure if their income opportunities did not improve. The survey also found that around two-thirds of respondents had seen their income remain static or fall in the preceding financial year. Of those that saw an increase in their funding, only 36% of respondents said that they believed this was a sustainable increase.
We know the important role LGBT organisations and groups play in building a sense of community for LGBT people. We also know that being part of a community is important to many LGBT people. In our national LGBT survey, respondents said that they felt Pride events help to advance LGBT rights and that they have a positive impact by creating a public celebration of LGBT people. We want to help ensure the important work of local community groups – like Pride events – can continue.
What we have done
We know more needs to be done to build a society where everyone can be open about who they are. That is why we launched the LGBT Action Plan which contained over 75 commitments Government is taking forward on LGBT equality.
In it, we committed to support small LGBT charities and organisations looking to diversify their funding. We said we wanted to focus this funding on improving the skills small organisations have to enable them to better support their users. We also said we’d support the development of the LGBT voluntary and charitable sector and support local community and Pride organising groups.
Our aim is to ensure that the sector has the skills and capabilities it needs to grow and develop, so that it is able to continue to do its important work helping LGBT people to live healthy, safe and happy lives.
What we have announced
This week, we launched the LGBT Sector and Community Development Scheme.
The Government is looking for a single organisation to deliver skills and capability training for LGBT organisations directly or with partner organisations, and also distribute funding to local community groups. Up to £200,000 would be put towards delivering the training, with the remaining funds being put towards Pride and local community services and events.
The successful bidder will be responsible for giving grants to small LGBT groups or organisations and therefore will be expected to have a strong knowledge of the sector. The Government is really interested in how the funding could be used to scale up and embed successful initiatives, and to do so in a way that helps the sector and these initiatives become sustainable over time.
The total funding would be up to £600,000 over two financial years with the successful organisation ensuring a wide spread of investment across England. The GEO is looking forward to working with an organisation to deliver this world-leading project.
More information about how to apply for the tender can be found on Contracts Finder.
If you have any questions about applying for this contract, please email us at LGBTgrants.Questions@geo.gov.uk.