How to Apply For The Red Umbrella Fund

With the grant application deadline approaching, the Red Umbrella Fund has published easy ways for organisations to consider while applying for funding.

According to the organisation’s Programme Associate, Dennis van Wanrooij, the hints breakdown the requirements in the application process.

In the past, some sex worker-led organisations have said they did not understand the process.

Among the hints to the applicants is that they should ensure that they clearly explain their work and also choose referees familiar with what they do.

Dennis says although applications are reviewed by sex workers, applicants should not assume they are known to the peer reviewers and sent in incomplete forms.

“Remember that most sex workers reviewing your application are not from your country or region, so you might have to explain things that seem obvious to you,” he says.

He also warns against giving wrong information on the applications.

“Be frank about your challenges and limitations. Sex workers from the Programme Advisory Committee may consider it important to fill in funding gaps and support your group based on your unique needs and challenges,” he advises.

The other hints when applying are:
  • Write the application in one of the four languages that the RUF work with – English, Spanish, Russian or French. Applications in Portuguese will also be considered. If you can’t write in these languages, seek help from your community, allies or simply Google translate.
  • When you select referees, choose people that actually know your group and that will give you a positive feedback. References help Programme Advisory Committee members to evaluate your work and make the best selection, so pick the right ones. Remember to inform your referees about your application and the need of responding to our request.
  • Carefully complete the application form and avoid contradictions. Make sure that the information provided is consistent and relevant for external readers. If it’s only relevant to you and sex workers from your group, explain why.
  • Remember to fill in all fields of the application form and include all the requested details. Groups often fail to explain the nuances of their organisational structures, for instance. Remember that sex workers in the peer review panel don’t expect you to run an NGO with many structures; what they want to know is how you organise your organisation and work and if your group has democratic processes in place.
  • Share your most relevant successes, those that really stand out. The competition is very high and you need to make a case for why those successes are relevant in your context, and how they relate to your vision and future plans.
  • Be clear about describing yourself as a local, national or regional organisation. That helps sex workers reading your application to understand the impact of the work you do. If you claim to be a national or regional organisation, clarify the national and regional scope of your work, membership, etc.

All the information is available on Youtube and in their website and including the application forms and guidelines. There are two application forms available – one for groups, and one for networks.

The deadline for submitting applications was 28 July.

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