We envision a world of sustainable communities, liberated from the inter-generational harm of structural racism and economic inequality, living in balance with the earth. We envision both human rights and human rites of passage including everyone equally and fully, especially those who have been pushed to the margins of our human family.
Laughing Gull Foundation is a progressive family foundation rooted in the South and committed to justice. We redistribute our resources to repair, rehumanize, and transform relationships, institutions, and systems.
We achieve our mission through grantmaking in support of three program areas: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Equality, Higher Education in Prison, and Climate & Environment. We typically fund grassroots organizations engaged in direct service, organizing, advocacy, and/or culture change work. We prioritize organizations that are led by, are accountable to, and build the collective power of BIPOC communities and others harmed and marginalized by unjust systems. We also help shift philanthropy in the South to be more progressive through relationship building, funder organizing, and mission-aligned investing aimed at systems change in philanthropy and finance. We recognize that structural racism is at the root of our society and all the systems in which we work. Thus, we use an explicit racial equity lens in all our decisions and actions, and we are on a continuous learning journey to do this better.
LGF Values: (excerpts)
Authentic Relationships: We actively work to build authentic relationships with our grantee-partners by showing up, listening, and respecting their expertise and leadership.
Impact and Sustainability: We support our grantee-partners to survive and thrive, achieving big impact while also being sustainable.
Power Analysis with Humility: As a family foundation, we strive to reflect and model the world we want to see by letting go of resources and passing on a spirit of openness and engagement with money to our family, peers, and future generations.
Sharing Stories: We welcome and embrace everyone’s multi-dimensionality and nuanced stories.
Spend Out Commitment
Our decision to spend out Laughing Gull Foundation’s assets is both personal and political. Through the foundation, we are intentionally redistributing wealth out of our family and into the community, acknowledging the unjust economic system and racist history that made this wealth accumulation possible. In 2016, we established a twenty-year timeline for the spend out plan because of the urgency of the injustices LGF addresses, the moral imperative to move assets out of the family's control, and the founders' desire to witness many of the impacts of the foundation’s work.