2020 was a crisis year nobody likes to talk about. 2021 will hopefully be the year the world beats COVID-19. Meanwhile, our international LGBTIQ community still bears the brunt of the pandemic and even worse: our community is hit in the back while they are at their most vulnerable: arrests, violence, little or no access to government support, and even attempts at new restrictive LGBTIQ legislations on national levels from repressive governments. Due to an overall lack of humanitarian support, large LGBTIQ funders rapidly shifted their already limited funding resources in response to rising humanitarian and community-specific needs.
Recognizing these challenges, we provided our own emergency grants in 2020 as well. This year we decided to embrace the opportunity to radically shift all our 2021 funding towards LGBTIQ COVID-19 relief by launching our PlanetRomeo Foundation Emergency Fund. We always fill gaps in LGBTIQ funding and incorporate our identity values as a flexible, accessible, grassroots, and now dynamic funder by responding to (global) crisis situations.
Early 2021, while installing a new Management Board in lockdown, we realized that serving our community members in crises like these requires a completely new way of working: faster handling and processing of applications, continued access to our funding, and lots of automation to make your application experience as easy and accessible as possible while maintaining quality standards. Our funding mechanism was based on quarterly review cycles with bulks of applications. With our new application process we aim to increase the speed of our grant-making to 3 weeks; from receiving your application to transferring the grant.
This crisis demands other forms of support than our current funding themes provide, so we also established new (interim) funding themes and criteria, thus providing our people the opportunities through which we can serve our community best. This took us slightly longer than expected, but we are now PROUD to announce the launch of our PlanetRomeo Foundation Emergency Fund.
We can only do this if all parties are committed: our Management Board to review applications, our project manager to verify, set up agreements, and prepare transfers, and our applicants to respond and report swiftly.
HAPPY PRIDE SEASON!