Giving Compass' Take:

The author discusses his experience as a funder in Paris working on LGBTQI issues in Europe and shares insight about the growing philanthropic sector in France.

How can we create more partnerships or networks with U.S. funders and global issues?

Read about grantmaking strategies for LGBTQI health.

I am a love exile. I fell in love with a gay French man and everything in my life changed. There was no way to stay in Philadelphia with DOMA firmly in place. The only way we could stay together was if one of us had a complete and radical change to both our professional and public life.

As such, I moved to Paris in August of 2012 and I began to engage in the French and EU Philanthropic sector. Given that I am a newcomer to European philanthropy, I am by no means an expert. But what I’ve taken away in my sort time here is that while there is a robust philanthropic infrastructure in Europe there is less of a philanthropic culture.

In the European Union, by contrast, there are so many different nation-states—each with their own laws and customs—it makes having a shared philanthropic culture far more problematic. For example, a human rights funder in France will often have far more in common with a funder working on health in France than they might with a funder working on human rights in the Netherlands. With our goal to address big issues that affect the lives of LGBT people internationally, bridging this divide becomes critical.

We as funders need to work with our EU peers to build a global approach.

As much as there are differences, both communities of funders share a certain set of values and urgency. Formal affinity groups exist in the EU for foundations working to advance LGBTI lives and human rights, but there is nothing as public, established or well run as Funders for LGBTQ Issues for LGBT issues specifically. Still, there is interest and indications that funding for LGBTI issues is growing.

Read the full article about LGBTI global philanthropy by Matthew Hart at The Lafayette Practice.