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What does Microgrants do?

Microgrants offers small grants to trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people for the cost of updating their identification documents with the accurate name and/or gender marker.

Microgrants also houses the Inside Advocacy project, which offers microgrants for identification document changes, commissary grants to trans folks who are currently incarcerated, and post-release grants to folks that have recently been released.

What does Microgrants not do?

We cannot offer legal support or advice and we cannot file paperwork for you, but we can help connect you with local legal resources.

What if I'm not from the US?

Microgrants is unable to offer funding for Canadian documents. We are able to work with anyone regardless of citizenship status or geographic location, but at this time we are only able to fund US documents. See our immigration documents application page for more information on microgrants for immigration documents.

When do Microgrants cycles open?

The application currently opens twice a month online at different times of the day. On the first of the month, it opens at 9 AM PST/12 noon EST, and on the 15th of the month it opens at 3 PM PST/6 PM EST.

How many Microgrants are offered each cycle?

We currently accept and process 48 applications per month, 24 per cycle.

How do you determine who gets a microgrant?

32 (75%) of these applications are reserved for TBIPOC (trans Black, Indigenous, people of color). We ensure that at least 20 grants per month go to youth ages 18-29.

Can I read about your equity policy?

Yes! You can find that here.

How does Trans Lifeline determine identities?

We trust our community's ability to self-identify when it comes to gender, race, ethnicity, nationality and ability. You can read our equity statement here.

What if I'm under 18?

We offer Microgrants to trans folks under 18! Complete the regular application, and include your age so we can be best prepared to help you. In most states, minors are able to change their name and/or gender marker with approval from their guardian(s). If a minor is in a situation where they cannot get approval from a guardian (which usually looks like a signature and/or attending the court hearing), it still may be possible but could require legal assistance, which we can help you find. If you have any other questions about this, please reach out to us at [email protected].

What kind of support is available to grantees?

Microgrant applicants receive support from program volunteers or staff on requirements and paperwork specific to your state, county, and situation.

What kind of fees and documents does Microgrants cover?

Our microgrants cover all the required fees pertaining to court order name changes, publication fees, and document fees. We cover passports, driver's licenses, state IDs, and Tribal IDs. We also offer two grants per month for immigration documents such as: Employment Authorization cards, Permanent Resident Cards, and Naturalization Certificates. You can access that application here.

Does Microgrants cover birth certificates?

We are not able to pay for birth certificates at this time, unless it restricts someone from accessing documents that we do cover the costs of. It may be helpful to know that many trans folks never end up needing a corrected birth certificate if their other documents are up to date, or if they have a correct federal document like a passport.

What does the application process look like, and what is the wait time?

The application asks for basic info about yourself including how you identify your race and gender, how we should get in touch with you, and a few questions to gather the best information to help you. In order to access the application, you will go to https://microgrants.translifeline.org.

We process applications chronologically, based on application date. Right now the wait time is 2-4 weeks.

Once I fill out an application, what does the process look like?

Once you submit your application, it's assigned to a volunteer or staff member on our team. That person will contact you to discuss:

  • Which documents you would like a microgrant for
  • The fees associated with updating those documents
  • Information about the process and any resources in your area

Then, we send you your grant in the payment preference of your choice.

What types of payment methods does Microgrants use?

We disburse microgrants in the form of personal checks by mail, or via PayPal.

We do not require any receipts or documentation proving that funds were used for their intended purposes.

Why do I have to wait after getting my application in?
Due to our current budget, we process 48 applications per month. Our team works hard to reduce wait times, and we continue to look for new ways to accomplish this! We understand waiting can be stressful and we know the urgency of these needs.
Are microgrants only given to young people?
No! Trans and Nonbinary folks of any age are welcome to apply. We can give microgrants to children, minors, elders, and everyone in between. We currently have a partnership with MTV aimed at giving 250 microgrants to youth between the ages of 18 and 29, but the amount of folks receiving those grants are the same as before the initiative started; meaning, nothing is different! There are no age restrictions for microgrants.

Still have a question we didn't answer? Email us at [email protected].

We are always working on improving our program. We want to offer these funds to more trans people, make them more accessible, and improve your overall experience. Improving is only possible with your feedback! Please submit your feedback here at any point in your process. Thank you for partnering with us to meet the needs of our community!