Fund’s Herstory

The idea started when Aleksandra Muzińska met with teachers from the town of Oświęcim and its surroundings. The participants asked why LGBT+ activists from large organizations don’t visit towns like theirs more often. Where are they supposed to get the knowledge, if it is so difficult to talk openly, act, and lead rainbow education in smaller towns and villages? From this and other meetings with local leaders from Rybnik, Hrubieszów, or Kielce, the idea was born of a fund that supports local actions for LGBT+ people. A month later, on June 19th, 2019, Fund for a Change was officially launched.

We support local communities, we build solidarity, and we strengthen LGBT+ and allies movement in the farthest corners of Poland. We belief the change in our country is possible thanks to the hard work happening in small towns and villages, because that’s where majority of Poles live. Money for equality actions rarely reach these places, which is why our Fund provides money, knowledge, and support to organizations and informal groups who wish to act for LGBT+ people’s acceptance.

Inspired by Feminist Fund, we use participatory grant making approach. This means that the selection of successful grants is made jointly with organizations and groups who applied with their projects. We value transparency of the process, the opportunity to learn from each other, get inspired, get to know each other, and our perspectives. We trust that you know best what actions are most needed. In this approach, we see a great chance to build our community.

Funders

Aleksandra Muzińska

I am a lesbian, and a proud LGBT+ community member. Over the last few years I was engaged in marriage equality campaign being a board member and co-president of the Love Does Not Exclude Association.

Coming from Warsaw, and having grown up in a friendly and accepting environment, I benefit from certain privileges. On the other hand, I can’t marry my partner. I feel that our love and mutual commitment are invisible to the society. But my family, friend, and neighborhood communities do a lot to protect me from homophobia every day.

My years of activism and meeting our community members made me realise that as LGBT+ people, we function in different environments and we bring change in diverse communities. I admire everyone who, despite their personal situation, which can often be very difficult, has the courage and enthusiasm to work to increase LGBT+ people’s acceptance. I know money and support is often lacking in this work. Our Fund will change that.

Aleksandra Muzińska

I am a lesbian, and a proud LGBT+ community member. Over the last few years I was engaged in marriage equality campaign being a board member and co-president of the Love Does Not Exclude Association.

Coming from Warsaw, and having grown up in a friendly and accepting environment, I benefit from certain privileges. On the other hand, I can’t marry my partner. I feel that our love and mutual commitment are invisible to the society. But my family, friend, and neighborhood communities do a lot to protect me from homophobia every day.

My years of activism and meeting our community members made me realise that as LGBT+ people, we function in different environments and we bring change in diverse communities. I admire everyone who, despite their personal situation, which can often be very difficult, has the courage and enthusiasm to work to increase LGBT+ people’s acceptance. I know money and support is often lacking in this work. Our Fund will change that.

Małgorzata Maciejewska

I’m a researcher and a lesbian, I come from Warsaw and I live here. I’m a member of the Love Does Not Exclude Association, where I started my LGBT+ activism.

I would like to feel comfortable not only in big cities, but everywhere in Poland. I would like to hold my partner’s hand, and to not have to guess how safe it might be. There are many ways for us, LGBT+ people, to be able to feel proud, safe, and at home. My dream is to create an environment for a supportive community, promoting diversity and meeting varied needs of the local communities.

While working with local initiatives, I have seen and experienced how complex requirements of grant competitions prevent small organizations from implementing their ideas that are most needed in their communities. I want For a Change Fund to strengthen your organizations to deliver what is important to you.

Małgorzata Maciejewska

I’m a researcher and a lesbian, I come from Warsaw and I live here. I’m a member of the Love Does Not Exclude Association, where I started my LGBT+ activism.

I would like to feel comfortable not only in big cities, but everywhere in Poland. I would like to hold my partner’s hand, and to not have to guess how safe it might be. There are many ways for us, LGBT+ people, to be able to feel proud, safe, and at home. My dream is to create an environment for a supportive community, promoting diversity and meeting varied needs of the local communities.

While working with local initiatives, I have seen and experienced how complex requirements of grant competitions prevent small organizations from implementing their ideas that are most needed in their communities. I want For a Change Fund to strengthen your organizations to deliver what is important to you.

Team

Ola Perczyńska

Institutional Fundraising Officer at the Fund and an international aid worker. In Nepal she founded Her Turn – an empowerment program for girls, which today is a local NGO. She works on women’s and girls’ rights and violence prevention. Rabid feminist, she likes dismantling patriarchy in her free time.

Maja Branka

A trainer and a psychotherapist. In the training and therapy rooms she looks for words and language of a story that will reach the recipient and fuel change. She creates organizational communication strategies. In the Fund she comes up with unconventional actions, shortens our texts, and repeats the questions: why, to whom, and how to communicate it simply?

Advisory Group

We care about representation of the community the grants are intended for. That’s why we invited a group of people experienced in local community organizing, LGBT+ activism, and grant giving to collaborate with us. The Advisory Group supports us in setting our funding priorities and strategic reflection on the Fund’s development. Additionally, if in the process of project selection the community’s decisions don’t fully meet our priorities, and initiatives that do meet them are ranked somewhat lower, we – jointly with the Advisory Group – will decide which initiatives receive additional grants.

Marta Rawłuszko

A sociologist and a feminist from Bydgoszcz. In terms of labels, she is closest to a lesbian. She works at the Feminist Fund and Warsaw University. She authored the book “The Feminists in Liaison with the State. A Case Study” on whether the collaboration with public institutions can make emancipatory sense.

Kuba Wiśniowski

A non-binary activist living in Warsaw, with Poznań at heart. A former activist of the Stonewall Group. An initiator of Holidays without Dysphoria action which supports transmen, and a member of a samba group Resistance Rhythms which cheers at Equality Marches. Connected to an intersectional collective Camp for Climate.

dr Anna Strzałkowska

Born in Gdańsk, an academic teacher at Gdansk University, the president of Gdańsk Council for Equal Treatment, and a founder of Tolerado. She lives in Gdańsk with her wife Marta Abramowicz, they have a son and a cat Szurszak.

Kuba Piwowar

I am a Varsovian, but I come from Tarnów. I studied sociology, I work at Google as an analyst. I love Poland and I believe in our ability for openness and goodness. We are waiting with my fiance for a day when we can get married in our country.

Anna Adamowicz

Poznanian by birth and by choice. She finished humanist studies: polish philology and philosophy, but works in IT managing projects and products. She works for LGBT+ rights with the Stonewall Group, where she is a board member, and she founded a group working on widely defined equality education.

Kuba Gawron

I live in Rzeszów, where I co-organized two Equality Marches. I also co-authored Atlas of Hate, where we record official calls for discrimination of LGBTQ people and their allies. My hobby is Excel and public information requests. I believe that small grassroots communities can achieve great things.

Magda Dropek

Born in Żywiec, living in Kraków. Krakow Equality March and Queer May Festival organizer. Activist at rownosc.org.pl Foundation, where she achieves her dream of LGBT actions in smaller towns. Engaged in Robert Biedroń movement, she collaborates with parliament member Maciej Gdula. She provides visibility to the letter B.

Mateusz Sulwiński

An activist, gay. Since 2015 linked with Poznań’s Stonewall Group, which he currently presides. One of Poznań Pride Week and Equality March organizers. A co-creator of Summer Equality Academy. He comes from Błaszki (Łódź voivodship). He has been living in Poznań for 10 years. Born in 1990.

Magda Rakita

Intersex woman, co-funder of Interaction Foundation. Since 2018 she is building a support network for people with varied sexual development at the Campaign Against Homophobia. She lectures and leads workshops. She lives with her partner in Cambridge, UK. In 2018 she co-organized the first intersex people’s group at London Pride.

Grzegorz Stefaniak

I am gay. I was born in Ostrów Wielkopolski, I act in Białystok at an equality organization 9dwunastych. I coordinate social, anti discrimination, and gender projects, and I work in education with youth and adults.

Magda Pocheć

The originator and co-founder of the Feminist Fund. Intercultural psychologist by education, a feminist engaged in participatory philanthropy development in Poland (Femfund) and in Europe (FundAction). In the past she worked with FRIDA. Highly sensitive bisexual queer femme. She comes from Warsaw’s suburbs.

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