Funders for LGBTQ Issues Celebrates 35th Anniversary By Honoring Leaders in LGBTQ Philanthropy
Published: August 16, 2017
When Funders for LGBTQ Issues was founded in 1982, less than $250,000 was awarded to LGBTQ issues annually. In 2015, the last year for which data is available, foundations and corporations awarded more than $160 million to support LGBTQ communities. The Pride in Philanthropy Awards celebrate and acknowledge the philanthropic leadership that has brought LGBTQ funding to this moment.
Our inaugural honorees have led the way in funding the advancement of equity, social justice, and a better lived experience for diverse LGBTQ communities.
The Reed Erickson Trailblazing Leadership Award
The inaugural Reed Erickson Award for Trailblazing Leadership will be presented to Marco Antonio Quiroga. The award recognizes a philanthropic leader who has helped communities envision the future and trailblazed innovative strategies for grantmaking to effect lasting change in LGBTQ communities.
Marco Antonio Quiroga is the Director of the Contigo Fund, an initiative of Our Fund Foundation established in response to the Pulse tragedy. In the weeks following the shooting, Marco built a diverse grants committee made up of the communities most affected by the tragedy. In just one year, Contigo has awarded more than $640,000 in grants, supporting culturally competent mental health services for Pulse survivors and the victims’ families, programs to empower LGBTQ Latinx communities and to build acceptance of LGBTQ people in Muslim communities, curriculum development around hate crimes in the region’s public schools, and programs to build the leadership of trans women of color.
Marco’s work at Contigo draws on his own life experience as an undocumented and queer person of color as well as his track record advocating for LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights, and racial justice at organizations such as Immigration Equality, United We Dream, and the True Colors Fund. His trailblazing leadership demonstrates the power of participatory philanthropy to heal and transform communities.
The Out in the South Leadership Award
The inaugural Out in the South Leadership Award will be presented to Laughing Gull Foundation. This award recognizes philanthropic institutions that have demonstrated significant leadership in increasing philanthropic resources for LGBTQ communities in the U.S. South.
The Laughing Gull Foundation is a family foundation based in Durham, North Carolina. Since its inception in 2012, Laughing Gull has become a top funder of LGBTQ movement work in the South. Appreciating the long history of Southern-based movement work, the foundation supports a diverse range of Southern organizations, with a significant focus on grassroots organizations engaged in community organizing, direct service, advocacy, and other culture change work.
Beyond its grantmaking, the foundation advocates for increased funding for Southern LGBTQ communities by organizing with both Southern and national foundations to transform philanthropy for Southern communities. The Laughing Gull Foundation is one of the handful of funders whose vision for LGBTQ Southerners laid the groundwork for the Out in the South Initiative. The foundation continues to be an unparalleled leader in the initiative and an important sustainer of the initiative’s critical work.
The Paul Rapoport Lifetime Achievement Award
The inaugural Paul Rapoport Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Henry van Ameringen. The award recognizes an LGBTQ philanthropist who has demonstrated a long commitment to improving the wellbeing of LGBTQ communities, advancing social justice, and strengthening LGBTQ philanthropy.
Henry van Ameringen founded the H. van Ameringen Foundation in 1987 and he continues to serve as its president. At a time when very few were willing to fund the HIV/AIDS response or lesbian and gay issues, Henry stepped up to provide critical support. He continues to fund heavily in both issue areas in addition to supporting prison sentencing reform and marijuana legalization.
Henry is not only generous, but he is also strategic — being mindful about both immediate needs and the long view. The majority of his funding continues to support empowering marginalized communities, particularly communities of color, with at least 25 percent focusing specifically on advancing social justice through advocacy, civic engagement, and community organizing.
The Out for Impact Award
The inaugural Out for Impact Award will be presented to two recipients: the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and the Trans Justice Funding Project. The award recognizes philanthropic institutions that have led the way in impactful grantmaking that advances social change in LGBTQ communities.
Established in 1953 in San Francisco, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund seeks to build a vision of a just and compassionate society where all people have the opportunity to live, work, and raise their families with dignity. The Haas, Jr. Fund has been a leading funder of LGBTQ communities for almost two decades and was among the first and most significant investors in the movement for marriage equality. Since the victory for marriage equality, the Fund has continued its work on LGBTQ rights, supporting litigation and other activities to protect and enforce the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision and is a leader in helping to move the country to a tipping point on enacting broader protections from discrimination for LGBTQ people. Through its extensive investments and its visionary leadership, the Haas, Jr. Fund is clearly “out for impact” in the work of achieving LGBTQ equality.
The Trans Justice Funding Project (TJFP) is a community-led funding initiative founded in 2012 to call the attention to the importance of supporting local, grassroots, trans-led organizations. Funding decisions are made by a trans-led funding panel – ensuring the entire process prioritizes trans leadership. Over the last five years, TJFP has moved resources to over 530 trans-led groups in 44 states in the nation. From $50,000 dollars in 2013 to over $500,000 in 2017, TJFP has given away over $1.3 million dollars for trans justice. Through its work to strengthen trans leadership and build trans movements, TJFP has been Out for Impact for trans justice!
Funders for LGBTQ Issues
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Funders for LGBTQ Issues works to increase the scale and impact of philanthropic resources aimed at enhancing the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities, promoting equity, and advancing racial, economic and gender justice.