PlanetRomeo Foundation hereby presents its 2017 Annual Report. We look back on 2017 with pride, as we funded € 207,383 to 46 LGBTI projects around the world, more than twice as much compared to 2016.
Early 2017, our new Strategic Plan 2017-2020 was released. In this plan, the Management Board sets out its funding policy and strategies for the coming 4 years. Also, we developed and launched a new website. More information on these subjects can be found in our 2017 Activity Overview below.
2017 Project Overview
In 2017, 356 funding proposals were received, which is more than twice the number of proposals we received in 2016. These proposals had the following regional divide:
Out of the 356 requests processed, 222 were rejected because they did not match our funding policy and/or had insufficient quality and/or were deprioritized in favor of other proposals. At the end of 2017, 88 funding requests were still pending. These were reviewed in the first review cycle of 2018. In 2017, a total of 46 projects received grants for a total amount of € 207,383 funded, which is more than double the amount of last year.
With regard to the funding themes, the Management Board decided to discontinue its Education theme. In 2017, a new theme called Community Organizing was introduced. Because these changes came into effect in the course of 2017, some projects were still funded under the Education theme in 2017. Shelter, as well as Sports & Culture were continued as themes.
Chechnya and Azerbaijan
After learning about the atrocities taking place in Chechnya and Azerbaijan, we took action outside of our regular, quarterly funding cycles. Due to the specific horrific nature of the events and the urgency, we made an exception to our by-request-only policy by granting € 5,000 to the Russian LGBT Network, in support of their efforts to deal with the Chechnya crisis.
We also proactively donated € 5,000 to the Azerbaijan Crisis Fund of ILGA Europe. They will re-grant these funds to activists working directly with victims, helping them with temporary accommodation, or covering travel costs to move to safer locations.
2017 Financial Overview
In 2017, the total amount of donations received was € 185,967. PlanetRomeo Foundation received a total of € 65,967 in third party donations from individuals: € 64,462 was donated by the ROMEO community, € 1,505 from other sources. PLANETROMEO BV made a donation of € 120,000.
Release of funding obligations
During 2017, a few payment installments for projects supported in previous years were cancelled, due to projects being finished with less expense than previously budgeted for, or projects that didn’t meet their original project goals. This led to a release of funding obligations over previous years in the amount of € 9,935. This amount was added to the 2017 income and directly made available for funding other projects.
2017 Result and Other Reserve
The negative result for the year 2017 in the amount of € 21,004 was deducted from the other reserve. The other reserve is relating to the total free capital of the Foundation, available for project funding. In the case of discontinuation of the Foundation, the eventual positive balance will be used for purposes in line with our objectives.
Overhead and service agreement
The total amount of operational costs was € 9,523 in 2017. PLANETROMEO BV provides services, like the provision of staff, office space and inventory to PlanetRomeo Foundation. This is set in a so-called service agreement, which has been valued at a cost level of € 38,405. To cover these costs, PLANETROMEO BV donates these services in-kind. This allows PlanetRomeo Foundation to keep its overhead cost at the lowest level possible. It aims at a rate of less than 10% of its annual income. In 2017, this rate was calculated at a level of 5.1%, service agreement excluded.
2017 Activity Overview
Strategic Plan 2017-2020
In preparation for our new Strategic Plan 2017-2020, the Management Board evaluated and further defined the Foundation’s objectives, made new choices for our strategy, funding policy, funding themes, and fundraising goals. We kept the majority of the existing policies in place, as they are functioning well. We only made minor adjustments and some additions were implemented.
Our former website was developed in 2012, therefore it was outdated, both from a design and a technical perspective. Development and design of an entirely new website started early 2017. To make sure the new site also works seamlessly in countries where internet bandwidth is still low, developing a ‘light’ website was a leading principle in the process. Our new website was launched on May 17th, 2017, coinciding with IDAHOT.
2017 was the first full year for our new donate page to be available, which was launched late 2016. This page has been developed according to the latest industry standards, is optimized for mobile devices, and contains all current local payment options.
Our fundraising efforts have focused primarily on the members of ROMEO. With a community of almost 3 million members worldwide, ROMEO members represent crucial fundraising potential. To show their support to other members, ROMEO members have the option of adding a Foundation Supporter Badge on their profile, after donating to the Foundation. With several targeted campaigns communicating the quarterly funding results of PlanetRomeo Foundation, the ROMEO community helped to raise almost € 65,000 in 2017.
With the new donate page, the Foundation is now also equipped to target other potential donor groups. We plan to expand our fundraising efforts to the wider LGBTI community.
In 2017, we continued our presence among other (international) LGBTI funding organizations in order to align efforts and become better known among our peers. Foundation Board members attended an international LGBTI funders meeting in Warsaw, Poland, to connect with representatives of other LGBTI funding organizations.
This has not only confirmed that the Foundation is becoming a household name among other organizations, but also that we continue to play a crucial role. The combination of funding small initiatives and having straightforward and relatively quick procedures, ensures that the Foundation serves as the stepping stone to other sources of funding, which is where we want to be. Our global scope, as well as our choice in priority themes, are appreciated and perceived as filling gaps. This is a confirmation of our distinct position as a ‘small big funder’ within the LGBTI funding landscape.
Report from the Management Board
In 2017, the Management Board maintained a regular frequency of meetings to safeguard the further development of the organizational structure, policy and strategy of the Foundation, and to review and carefully select which projects to fund. The Management Board convened 10 times in 2017.
At the end of 2016, two board members left because their term of appointment ended. Therefore, early 2017 a recruitment procedure was started, resulting in the appointment of 2 new board members: Jackie Breedveld and Juul van Hoof. Jackie is General Counsel and Company Secretary at the real estate fund Vesteda. Juul is Program Manager and Policy Advisor on LGBTI issues at Movisie, the Netherlands Centre for Social Development. Due to professional obligations abroad, Nori Spauwen left the Management Board in the summer of 2017. At the end of 2017, the Management Board consisted of 5 members.
Report from the Supervisory Board
The Supervisory Board convened 3 times in 2017. These meetings were followed by joint meetings with the Management Board. In these meetings, the 2017 budget and the 2016 annual account were adopted, and also relevant policy and strategic developments of the Foundation were discussed. These activities are consistent with the tasks of the Supervisory Board.
In June 2017, Janneke Harting left the Supervisory Board, after having served an impressive total of eight years for PlanetRomeo Foundation, as chair of the Management Board and the Supervisory Board respectively. The Supervisory Board is very grateful for her dedication, enthusiasm and for all the energy she has put into PlanetRomeo Foundation in these past years.
Johan Bos was subsequently appointed as the new Supervisory Board Chair. At the end of 2017, the Supervisory Board consisted of 3 members.
Full 2017 Annual Report
The full 2017 Annual Report is available for download.