April 2020

The Fund for Resilience, Equity, and Engagement (FREE) is a national three-year $11M initiative supported by the Elton John AIDS Foundation and managed by AIDS United. FREE is prioritizing organizations led by and serving transgender and gender-non-conforming communities as well as Black gay, bisexual, queer and same-gender-loving men. 

TSC is a technical assistance (TA) provider for FREE, assisting grantees that are trans- led organizations. TSC offers grantees capacity building and technical assistance based on their own self determined needs. TSC will provide individual TA around topics such as finance, HR, strategic communications, grant writing, curriculum and training development, and more.


Grant year one started in July 2019, with a grantee convening in August 2019 in Washington, D.C. This allowed all of the grantees an opportunity to meet with TSC staff one-on-one and discuss potential TA needs. Additional TA requests are submitted on a rolling basis. TSC has completed some dynamic and sustainable technical assistance projects in past months. Recent topics have included “How to Best Communicate Your Story to Funders,” and “Options for Diversifying Funding.” Check out our blog post from faculty member CeiliaCecilia Gentili on her work with Alliance of Border Collaboratives.

Additionally, under this initiative TSC is incubating a leadership training program developed by veteran community leader Valerie Spencer, founder of the Holistic Empowerment Institute (HEI). This 8-month program, specifically created for trans women of color, helps leaders around the nation navigate organizational leadership and philanthropy. It includes a service learning component as well as one-on-one mentoring. The Masterclass strengthens skills on topics including:

  • Networking, communications, public speaking

  • Grant-writing and fundraising 

  • Management/admin

  • Self-care and healing

  • Advocacy and campaign development 

  • Intersectional work

  • Integrating racial justice

  • Integrating Meaningful Involvement of People with HIV/AIDS (MIPA)

  • Building confidence

  • Building a vision and planning the path to achievement

  • How to coalesce with other trans/community leaders

  • Honoring individuality while understanding professional culture 


Looking forward, TSC will continue to field TA requests from grantees. 



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