FAQ

Do you have any questions? See if yours is already included below in our Frequently Asked Questions before you contact us.

Q: What is the Red Umbrella Fund?

A: The Red Umbrella Fund is the first global fund guided by and for sex workers. Since its creation in 2012, the Red Umbrella Fund has supported 52 sex worker-led groups in 42 different countries.

The Red Umbrella Fund believes that change will only be achieved through strong, collaborative movements of sex workers advocating for their rights, with the support of allies. Sex workers themselves are the best positioned to know what is needed for them, and best placed to do something about it.

Q: Who Can Apply for a Grant?

A: The Red Umbrella Fund provides funding to sex worker-led organisations and networks that are:

  • based in any country;
  • registered or unregistered;
  • led by women, men and/or trans* sex workers.

*Note: following the practices of trans* organisations such as the Global Action for Trans* Equality and Transgender Europe, the term trans* is used as an open-ended social umbrella term to denote persons whose gender identity is different from the gender they were assigned at birth and those who wish to portray their gender in a way that differs from the gender they were assigned at birth.

Q: What criteria do I need to meet to apply for a grant from the Red Umbrella Fund?

A: If you want to apply, your group, organisation or network must meet the 3 criteria mentioned in the Application Guidelines:

  1. Be led by sex workers for the benefit of sex workers.
  1. Be committed to connect to and strengthen the sex workers’ rights movement.
  1. Agree with all the principles of the Red Umbrella Fund.

Q: Does the Red Umbrella Fund support only women and girls groups?

A: No, the Red Umbrella Fund provides funding to organisations and networks that are led by women, men and/or trans* sex workers.

Q: Does the Red Umbrella Fund fund LGBTI groups?

A: Our grants are for sex worker-led groups and networks engaged in rights based work. This includes LGBTI sex workers and LGBTI rights.

Q: Does the Red Umbrella Fund fund anti-trafficking initiatives?

A: The Red Umbrella Fund funds sex worker-led organisations that support sex work as work. This can include sex worker-led organisations that are part of or lead rights-based anti-trafficking initiatives.

Q:  What does ‘sex worker led’ mean?

A: We are guided by the NSWP definition of sex worker‐led. To be considered sex worker led as organisation or network, the following three criteria must be met :

  1. Decision‐making body: 50% or more of the decision‐making body must be sex workers (former and current ‐ with an aspiration to include current sex workers.
    – If not, what is the mechanism that ensures sex workers are in control of the organisation’s activities and advocacy?
  1. Spokespeople: 50% or more of the spokespeople must be sex workers.
    – If not, what is the mechanism for ensuring it is the voices of sex workers that are heard?
  1. Staff: 33% or more of the staff are sex workers and have the same contracts and working conditions as other staff in the organisation – not only as peer educators or paid in honorariums.

Q: I want to go to a conference. Can I request a scholarship or travel grant?

A: The Red Umbrella Fund provides core funding to groups, which can include scholarship and travel costs, but does not make separate travel or scholarship grants.

Q: My organisation has never had funding before. Are we eligible?

A: The Red Umbrella Fund can support any organisation that meets our criteria.

Q: My organisation is not registered, can we apply for a grant?

A: Yes.

Q: My organisation does not have a bank account, can we apply for a grant?

A: Yes.

Q: There is no sex worker-led organisation in my country but my NGO wants to set one up. Can I ask funding for that?

A: The Red Umbrella Fund does not fund organisations that have a project or programme with or for sex workers if the organisation as a whole has a broader focus.

Q: What type of funding do you provide?

A: The Red Umbrella Fund provides flexible core funding to support the general coordination, functioning and strengthening of a group, organisation or network and its members.

Flexible Core funding can be used to cover expenses such as registration costs, rent, salaries, advocacy, (peer led) capacity building, membership meetings, networking activities, programs or projects.

Our funding is flexible in that it may be adapted to the changing priorities of the grantee during the grant.

Q: How much funding can I ask for?

A: Red Umbrella Fund grants are between 8.000 and 80.000 EURO for two years, based on organizational need, funding experience and available funds.

  • Networks are eligible to receive between 8.000 and 80.000 EURO;
  • Organizations of more than two years old, and who are working at the national level are eligible to receive between 8.000 and 50.000 EURO; and
  • Organizations under two years old and any group working mostly at local level are eligible to receive between 8.000 and 40.000 EURO.

Please note that the final grant amount awarded can differ from the initial grant request.

Q: Where does the funding come from?

A: The Red Umbrella Fund is grateful for the support from individual donors, as well as our institutional donors.

Q: When can I apply for a grant?

A: Each year, the Red Umbrella Fund launches a public Call for Applications, inviting sex worker-led organisations to send in their requests for funding.

When a new call for applications opens, it is announced here on our website here and Facebook and Twitter.

Q: How do I apply for a grant?

 A: Download the 2016 guidelines and application form in English, French, Spanish, Russian.

Q: My group does not have much experience writing applications. Can the Red Umbrella Fund provide feedback to our proposal?

A: Yes. Just send an e-mail requesting feedback to the address provided in the Applications Guidelines.

Q: What if I miss the deadline of sending in the application form?

A: We are unable to accept individual requests for extensions of the deadline. We expect to have another call for applications next year.

Q: We have several projects/programmes. Can we send in more than one proposal?

 A: No, we can only accept one proposal per group or organization.

Q: Can I send in a application in another language than English?

A: Yes, the guidelines and applications are available in English, French, Spanish, and Russian.

Q: What type of references do I need? How will references be contacted?

A: We require two references on your application from people familiar with your organization. One reference must be from a sex worker-led organization, and one can be from any other group or individual that knows your work. This may be, for example, from another funder or NGO. Please note that neither reference may be staff or board member of your organization.

Please inform your references that we may contact them and make sure their contact details are complete and correct on the application form. The Red Umbrella Fund may also reach out to other groups for a reference.

Q: What happens after I submit my application?

A: When you send in the application form you will receive an automatic confirmation by  e-mail.  If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail, we have not received your application. An international sex worker-led committee will review the applications and select the new grants. You will be contacted by e-mail to inform you of the final selection.

More details here and in the Application Guidelines.

Q: Who makes the decision of which groups can get funding?

 A: Red Umbrella Fund grantees are selected through a global peer review process in which sex workers have a large majority. More information can be found here.

Q: When will I receive an answer to my grant proposal?

A: We  aim  to  inform  all  applicants  of  the  final decision concerning their application by 1 November 2016 .

Q: I received a decline and would like more information about why my group was not selected for a grant, how do I do that?

A: Please send a request for more information to the e-mail mentioned in your decline message.

Q: My group already has a grant from Mama Cash. Can we still get a grant from the Red Umbrella Fund as well?

A: Yes. The Red Umbrella Fund is administratively hosted by Mama Cash but makes its own grantmaking decisions.

Q: Our Red Umbrella Fund grant ends this year (2016), can we already apply for a new grant?

A: Yes. If you are selected for another grant, the new funds will be released after your final reports have been approved.

Q: Our Red Umbrella Fund grant ends next year (in 2017), can we already apply for a new grant?

A: No. You can probably apply again next year.

Q: We have had a Red Umbrella Fund grant before, which has ended. Can we apply again for a new grant?

A: Yes.

Q: We have an emergency situation. Can we get money quickly?

A: The Red Umbrella Fund does not provide emergency funding.
To access emergency funding we recommend you to try: