10 May 2021 by Jennifer
Announcement of an interesting thing!
From Jennifer, Libby & John:
We’re happy to announce that we’re going to be doing some research over the next six weeks or so, paid by the LGBT Consortium.
It’s about why bi organisations don’t tend to get grant funding – or, often, even apply for grant funding. The idea is that having better info about this would help the Consortium to channel more money in the direction of bi communities.
We all agreed that some of the reasons are obvious to us. Many bi groups are run 90% by one person in their spare time. The effort to set up a bank account and write a funding bid would be a big addition to the efforts they already put in to keep the group ticking over.
But what don’t we know? And what could we figure out which would be useful to tell to potential funders?
We have till the middle of June 2021 to gather stories of bi organising and money – specifically in the UK. Then we’ll write up what we found out.
We also want to make sure the Consortium knows about all the bi(-related) groups that exist, so that you get included when they’re telling people about relevant things.
Questions for people who are bi or a little bit bi
If you’re bi, pan, bi-curious, heteroflexible, multi-spec, bi-romantic, or have an inkling that you’re somehow “under the bi umbrella” (whatever your label), and you’re in the UK… please look out for an anonymised survey coming up soon, about which groups you go to, or did when you first came out.
We’re not only going to ask about bi groups! We know that a lot of people don’t go to bi groups: maybe there isn’t one near you, or maybe being bi isn’t as important to you as some other interests or needs you have. We’re also curious about where else you might have got some kind of support, even if you weren’t out in that space.
So we also want to know about other groups you go to – perhaps a craft, drama or sport group, a choir, a wider LGBT group, a 12-step group, a religious gathering, or a club – and to what extent those groups feel welcoming to bi people.
Questions for people who organise things
If you create resources for bi people, or run groups or events which attract a lot of bi people, or you think you might like to do something for bi people even if you haven’t yet… we’re interested in your experiences with money in that context.
- Do you run your group or project “on a shoestring”?
- Do you chip in for the expenses yourself? Do other group members chip in?
- Does your group have a bank account, or how do you work around not having one?
- Have you ever tried to apply for a grant, and if so, did you get it?
- Have you ever done crowdfunding?
- Has the lack of money stopped you doing things?
- What would you do if you suddenly had £10, £100 or £1,000 to spend on making something happen?
As well as a survey
(coming soon) of where you are & what you’re doing, we’d like to have more back-and-forth conversation with some of you about bi-resource-related money experiences & money obstacles – if you’d like that.
One part of that will be a couple of real-time discussion events on Zoom:
- A session for small groups which don’t currently have a bank account, and people who might want to run a group or set up a new thing. (It’s likely that session will be on Sunday 13 June – pencil in that date if you’re interested.)
- A session for groups which already have a bank account and some kind of legal structure. (There are fewer of those groups, and we’re going to check with a few of the key people before we set the date.)
The other part of that “back & forth” will be ongoing throughout the next six weeks or so, via an online text chat channel. This means that people who dislike Zoom meetups, or can’t predict their schedules, or are only available at odd moments, can still chip in.
Communication access: Both Zoom discussions will have professional real-time captioning. We also have a budget for BSL interpretation if needed; we are keen to include Deaf bi organisers, or Deaf bi people who may want to organise something in future.
Financial access: We have some money set aside for compensating people from disadvantaged groups who put time into this. We’ll prioritise disabled, racialised and working-class bi people. If money would make a difference to your ability to participate (e.g. if you’d have to miss a shift or hire a babysitter, or it would use up your spare energy for the day, or you feel politically that your input/insight ought to be compensated), please email Libby on email@example.com.
Access in general: If there’s anything else we might be able to do to help you participate, please let us know.
The chat channel is ready and waiting, and we’re gathering names of people to invite to the real-time events. So if you have any interest in bi-related funding, please email and say hi, and we’ll send you an invitation! (See note on privacy, below.)
The chat is on Discord, but you don’t need a Discord account: there’ll be invites available of a type where you can skip making an account and come straight in. (We’ll include instructions for how to do that.)
When we saw the advert for someone to do this work, we all thought the research was a good idea. We all liked the idea of having a finger in this interesting pie, but none of us wanted to do it alone. So we formed a team!
We spent a long time putting together an outline of what we’d like to do if we got the job, and helping each other to rewrite our CVs to include “the bi stuff” :-)
After a week or so, we found out that we had indeed been selected. Yay!
After the report is done
We said in our bid we’d like the main part of the report to be released in public, so it can be a resource for other funders. (There might be the odd bit which is specific to how the Consortium operates, but most of it will be more widely relevant.) That’s been approved, so we intend to have it freely available for anyone to read. And all three of us are open to being invited to talk about it once it’s done.
Paul from the Consortium has promised us that on their side, the report won’t just “sit on a shelf”. They’ll be using it as part of showing other funders what needs to happen. And it could potentially also lead to changes in how they themselves engage with bi communities, if we’ve come up with suggestions for how to improve that.
One way or another, there’s a good chance it’ll lead towards money and/or resources coming in the direction of bi people.
Thanks in advance for any help!
Anything to firstname.lastname@example.org will forward to all three of us, and by default be seen only by us three.
A bit later, we’ll be inviting interested people to get onto the Consortium’s database, so they can send you stuff from them in future. You can decide not.
At some point, we may ask if we can quote something you said, for example because it would be useful in the report we’re going to write. You can decide not, or decide it’s OK to quote your words without your name.
In the case of access requests (to email@example.com), Libby will only share with the other two of us what we need to know for practical reasons.