About the Fund

The Global Equality Fund provides critical resources and diplomatic support to civil society organizations (CSOs) and human rights defenders working to advance and protect the fundamental principle of human rights for all, including LGBTI persons. These rights include the freedoms of assembly, association, and expression.

Funded by governments, foundations, and corporations, and managed by the Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, the Global Equality Fund provides critical emergency, short-term, and long-term assistance to advance and protect the human rights of LGBTI persons in over 80 countries worldwide.


  • Small Grants: Leveraging the global reach of U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide, local civil society organizations receive direct small grants to support short-term, targeted projects with immediate impact.
  • Emergency Protection: “Dignity for All,” the Fund’s rapid response mechanism, provides emergency and preventive assistance to civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and LGBTI persons under physical threat as well as those that experience extreme harassment.
  • Capacity Building and Technical Assistance: The Fund builds the capacity of local and national civil society organizations dedicated to advancing the human rights of LGBTI persons by providing long-term technical assistance, in partnership with leading global, regional, and national civil society organizations.

Individuals and organizations supported through GEF grants can be found working toward:

  • Protecting persons or groups against the threat of violence
  • Advocating against discriminatory laws that criminalize LGBTI status
  • Ending explicit and implicit forms of discrimination, in the workplace, housing, education, and other public institutions
  • Building community awareness and support for the human rights of LGBTI persons

The Department continues to pursue partnerships with foreign governments, foundations, and corporations in this important effort. Current Partners of the Fund include: Argentina, Australia, Chile, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Uruguay, the Arcus Foundation, the John D. Evans Foundation, FRI: the Norwegian Organization for Sexual and Gender Diversity, the MAC AIDS Fund, Deloitte LLP, Royal Bank of Canada, Hilton Worldwide, Bloomberg L.P., the Human Rights Campaign, Out Leadership, and USAID. Please click here if you are interested in partnering to advance the work of the Fund.

For more information about the Global Equality Fund, see the 2015 Annual Report.