We envision a U.S. South where LGBTQ+ people can safely and authentically pursue full lives, free of discrimination. To achieve this, LGF employs multiple strategies and invests in everything from direct services to direct action. We recognize that racism pervades the LGBTQ+ community just as it does every aspect of American culture and life. Therefore, LGF prioritizes support for solutions that are led by and center Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities.
OPPORTUNITY TO ADVANCE LGBTQ+ EQUALITY IN THE SOUTH
The South is home to a plethora of resilient, visionary, and inspired communities and organizations that are primed for resourcing from progressive foundations, such as LGF and its regranting partners. Year after year, they face waves of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and a rise of hate and far-right movements. This challenging context exemplifies the need to invest in Southern LGBTQ+ communities.
In 2013, the Foundation Funding for LGBTQ Issues in the U.S. South report from Funders for LGBTQ Issues found that the U.S. South received nearly 1/10th of LGBTQ+ foundation support when compared to other regions. Since that time, through initiatives driven by a collective of funders including LGF, funding for LGBTQ+ issues in the South has more than quintupled – yet the region continues to lag in funding per LGBTQ+ adult.
Since 1965, the ACLU-NC Legal Foundation has been North Carolina’s guardian of liberty – working in courts, the General Assembly, and communities to protect and advance constitutional rights for all of those who call North Carolina home. Since its founding, the ACLU-NC Legal Foundation has a long and proud history of fighting for equal rights for LGBTQ and gender nonconforming North Carolinians and their families. LGF has supported the ACLU-NC Legal Foundation since 2018.
The Campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) works to achieve full LGBTQ equality – both legal and lived – across the South. CSE uses a range of tools in their work, including direct services, direct action, litigation, and grantmaking to respond to immediate community needs, support a new generation of LGBTQ organizers, and build political power over the long term. CSE's work is rooted in commitments to equity and empathy. Laughing Gull Foundation has supported CSE since 2013.
Comfrey Films is focused on cultural organizing and narrative power led by and for Black Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people. CF believes there is no racial justice nor trans/gender justice without economic justice. In 2021, LGF awarded CF a three-year grant for general operating support.
El Centro Hispano, Inc (ECH) is the largest Latino-led/Latino-serving organization in North Carolina and has been working with and on behalf of the Latino community since 1992. ECH works to strengthen the community, build bridges, and serve as advocates for equity and inclusion of Hispanics /Latinos in the Triangle area of North Carolina. ECH achieves these purposes by making advancements in education, economic development, and health & well-being. LGF has supported ECH since 2018.
Equality Federation Institute is the movement builder and strategic partner to state-based organizations advocating for LGBTQ people. Equality Federation believes that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people should have a fair and equal opportunity to thrive and provide for themselves and their families in every community. Laughing Gull Foundation has supported Equality Federation since 2013.
The vision of Equality NC (ENC) is that beyond legal rights and justice, we win “lived equality,” including safety and acceptance in the community at large for all LGBTQ North Carolinians. ENC's mission is to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) North Carolinians. Laughing Gull Foundation supported ENC from 2013-2018. In 2019, LGF awarded ENC a three-year grant for general operating support.
Equality Virginia (EV) is the leading advocacy organization in Virginia seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. EV is creating a truly inclusive commonwealth where all are equally valued, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and a Virginia that is a safe, welcoming, and equal place for LGBT individuals and their families to live, work, and play. Laughing Gull Foundation has supported EV since 2013.
Based in Charlotte, NC, The Freedom Center for Social Justice (FCSJ) is committed to the growth, safety, and empowerment of the LGBTQ community. FCSJ's mission is accomplished through education, programs, partnerships, and advocacy. They serve with care, compassion, and celebration. FCSJ works at the intersection of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, faith, social justice, race, and civil rights.
The Fund for Trans Generations (FTG), housed at Borealis Philanthropy, was created by a diverse group of funders to ensure that frontline trans activists and organizations have the financial resources and engagement needed to advance the safety, security and rights of trans people. The Fund’s grantmaking is informed by and responsive to trans communities and movements. Borealis Philanthropy works as a partner to philanthropy, helping grantmakers expand their reach and impact.
Funders for LGBTQ Issues (Funders) 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. Out in the South (OITS), an initiative of Funders, aims to transform philanthropy in the U.S. South to honor the fact that LGBTQ people and families are a part of every community in the region.
The Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat & Historical Center’s (a.k.a. “House of GG”) mission is to create physical spaces, programs, services, and resources that positively impact the lives, history, and visibility of Transgender, gender-questioning, and gender-nonconforming people of color–with a primary focus on Black trans women and girls. In 2022, LGF awarded a one-year grant for general operating support.
Health Brigade carries on a nearly 50-year legacy as Virginia’s oldest free clinic, offering a growing array of medical, mental health, community outreach, and care coordination services for low-income and uninsured persons. It is committed to serving the most marginalized populations in the community -- not only those with few resources -- but also those most oppressed and stigmatized. In 2018, LGF awarded Health Brigade a three-year grant to support LGBTQ Programs.
Horizons Foundation is the world’s first community foundation of, by, and for LGBTQ people, Horizons invests in LGBTQ nonprofits, strengthens a culture of LGBTQ giving, and builds a permanent endowment to secure the LGBTQ community’s future for generations to come. As part of that work, Horizons hosts Give OUT Day each year. Laughing Gull Foundation has supported Give Out Day since 2013. In late 2018, LGF awarded Horizons a three-year grant to support the 2019-2021 Give OUT Days.
The LGBT Center of Raleigh strengthens individual and community development through social and educational activities; facilitates the incubation of supportive services and groups; and identifies needs and advocates for resources benefiting the diverse population of lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual people, their friends, and supporters within and beyond central North Carolina. Laughing Gull Foundation has supported the LGBT Center of Raleigh since 2013.
The LGBTQ Center of Durham is a safe and inclusive community committed to supporting and celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and queer identified people in and around Durham, North Carolina through programming, resources, and networks of support; by acting as a hub for Durham’s LGBTQ community; and by sharing and affirming LGBTQ lived experiences. Laughing Gull Foundation has supported the LGBTQ Center of Durham since 2015.
The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) is a national network of more than 150 leaders and organizations creating a broad political home for Black people to learn, organize and take action. M4BL includes activists, organizers, academics, lawyers, educators, health workers, artists and more, all unified in a radical vision for Black liberation and working for equity, justice and healing. In 2021, LGF awarded M4BL a 3-year grant to support the Trans Gender Non Conforming Intersex Task Force.
The National LGBTQ Task Force (Task Force) advances full freedom, justice, and equality for LGBTQ people. As part of their work, the Task Force hosts the Creating Change Conference, which is attended by thousands of LGBTQ+ activists each year. In 2020, LGF awarded the Task Force a three-year project grant for the Creating Change Conference.
Nationz Foundation was incorporated on May 27, 2015 and founded by Zakia McKensey an African American Transgender Woman. Nationz's mission is to provide education, HIV counseling, HIV prevention counseling, HIV and other STI testing, and information related to HIV prevention and overall health and wellness, while inspiring healthier lifestyle choices and working toward a more inclusive community for LGBT identified individuals.
OUTRight Youth of Catawba Valley seeks to reduce the isolation felt by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth by providing a sense of community and developing programs and services to counteract the prejudice and oppression that LGBTQ youth often face. OUTRight Youth's vision is to inspire inclusive schools and communities where all youth are treated equally and empowered to reach their true potential.
Side by Side, formerly ROSMY, is dedicated to creating supportive communities where Virginia’s LGBTQ+ youth can define themselves, belong, and flourish. Laughing Gull Foundation has supported Side by Side since 2013. In 2021, LGF awarded Side by Side a three-year grant for general operating support.
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The Southern Vision Alliance (SVA) is a grassroots intermediary organized to provide infrastructure, capacity-building, coaching, and technical assistance to groups and projects led by directly-impacted communities, with a special emphasis on youth-led programs. SVA supports leadership development, organizing, and base-building programs that work for social, racial, economic, gender, education, LGBTQ and environmental justice in the US South. LGF has supported SVA since 2018.
Southerners On New Ground (SONG) is a home for LGBTQ liberation across all lines of race, class, abilities, age, culture, gender, and sexuality in the South. SONG builds, sustains, and connects a southern regional base of LGBTQ people in order to transform the region through strategic projects and campaigns developed in response to the current conditions in our communities. SONG builds this movement through leadership development, intersectional analysis, and organizing.
Based in Charlotte, NC, Time Out Youth (TOY) supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth by offering vital programs, fostering unconditional acceptance, and creating safe spaces for self-expression through leadership, community support, and advocacy. Time Out Youth envisions inspiring inclusive communities where all youth are equally empowered to reach their true potential. Laughing Gull Foundation has supported TOY since 2013.
The Trans Justice Funding Project (TJFP) is a community-led funding initiative that supports grassroots, trans justice groups run by and for trans people. TJFP makes grants annually by bringing together a panel of six trans justice activists from around the country to carefully review every application received.
Tranzmission's mission is to help make the lives of non binary and transgender people safer, healthier, and happier through education, advocacy, and support. LGF has supported Tranzmission since 2018. In 2021, LGF awarded Tranzmission a three-year grant for general operating support.
The Virginia Anti-Violence Project [VAVP] works to prevent and address violence in diverse LGBTQ+ communities across Virginia. The work is rooted in the values of community; family and relationships; intersectionality and racial justice; LGBTQ+ liberation/equity; trust/accessibility; fun/creativity; integrity/transparency; and language justice.
The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) works to achieve success through inclusion. VCIC works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success by addressing prejudices, in all forms, to improve academic achievement, increase workplace productivity, and enhance local trust.
Youth OUTright (YO) is dedicated to supporting, empowering and advocating for LGBTQIA+ youth ages 11-20n throughout Western North Carolina. YO engages and supports LGBTQIA+ youth ages 11-20 to be confident, resilient and compassionate community members. We envision a world where youth of all gender and sexual identities are empowered to reach their full potential, free of discrimination or violence based on identity. In 2019, LGF awarded a three-year grant for general operating support to YO.
Providing LGBTQ+ communities with physical space and services to meet their unique and varied needs, including operating a community center, and providing housing for adults and youth experiencing homelessness, case management services, physical and mental health services, food, mutual aid, and gender-affirming clothing, to name a few.
Working with policymakers and legislators, and local, county, state, regional, and national levels to change policies that negatively impact LGBTQ+ communities. Specifically, working on anti-discrimination protections in every state and at the federal level.
Building the leadership capability and civic engagement capacity of working people is essential to promoting the interests of any community; this in turn offers opportunities to develop community-based power rooted in a strong political analysis that encompasses an intersecting racial and gender justice lens.
Relationships move at the speed of trust: our grantmaking focuses on developing authentic, not transactional relationships. Our approach focuses on:
MULTIPLE, INCLUSIVE STRATEGIES
We support what works for LGBTQ+ communities, including direct service, policy advocacy, community organizing, and changing hearts and minds.
PRIORITIZING EQUITY & COMMUNITIES
We prioritize funding for groups that are have Black, Indigenous, and people of color leadership at all levels of the organizational structure and hold clear accountability structures to communities.
We support capacity building by funding our grantee partners to engage in work such as leadership coaching, board development, racial equity, fundraising, and peer learning.
ALIGNING FUNDING PARTNERS TO STRENGTHEN NETWORKS
We collaborate with other funders to increase funding access and support intermediary grantmakers to reach emerging leaders organizations representing impacted frontline communities in the South.
INVESTING REGIONALLY IN THE SOUTH/SOUTHEAST
We prioritize NC and VA based organizations and we fund work that supports the entire U.S. Southeast.
Since 2013, we have partnered with 42 organizations in the South and have moved $9,846,000 in funding to support grantees, primarily in North Carolina and Virginia. Through the visionary and resilient work of organizations throughout the South, we have seen great strides towards a vision of lived equality.
By partnering and working alongside exemplary organizations and funders, we hope to expand the financial resources going to LGBTQ+ communities in the South and contribute to the building of a region where LGBTQ+ people can safely and authentically pursue full lives.