LGBT Community Fund

LGBT Community Fund logo

Supporting Chicago’s LGBT Community through Philanthropy

In 2010, civic leaders joined in a commitment to addressing a broad range of needs within the LGBT community, through strategic support to nonprofit organizations that serve it. Through an operating grant from The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and funding support from The Chicago Community Trust, this fund serves as a tool to educate the region about LGBT issues and promote effective philanthropy to achieve strategic change. The LGBT Community Fund envisions a region where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender residents live responsibly in harmony with all communities, enjoying the same freedoms and quality of life, and with the same opportunity to make the region a better and safer place for all to live.


The LGBT Community Fund is an endowed fund, which will dedicate its endowment income to providing strategic grant support for nonprofit agencies. With this permanent resource, the most pressing needs of Chicago’s LGBT community can be met in perpetuity—no matter what challenges emerge in years ahead.

How You Can Give

The LGBT Community Fund will grow through your direct personal support. Gifts can be made online using a credit card, by check or by a gift of securities, or you can consider including the Fund in your estate planning. The LGBT Community Fund can also expand its impact through leverage you may have with corporations and private or family foundations. Please contact the Trust to explore these and other giving options.


In their first round of funding, the LGBT Community Fund awarded $282,500 to 14 organizations in August 2015. These IMPACT Grants provided funding for capacity building and for seed money for new products/organizations, or those in their infancy.

The second round of funding supported innovative, replicable projects that reach traditionally underserved populations. Three projects, each representing a collaboration between two organizations, received $350,000 in Transformational Grants in spring 2016.

A third round of funding, for projects addressing urgent and underserved needs—healthcare, safety, and services to youth and seniors—awarded $315,000 in Community Grants in spring 2017.

The Fund’s fourth grant cycle accepted proposals in winter 2018, with grants to be announced in spring 2019.

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  • 2011 Needs Assessment

    In October 2011, the Fund launched the LGBT Community Needs Assessment. Over 2,000 Chicagoans representing a wide variety of sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, races, socioeconomic backgrounds and residential areas shared their insight into the assets, needs and challenges of the region’s LGBT community. Data from the survey were used to shape the Fund’s first round of grant making, and will continue to inform the Fund’s philanthropic strategy in future. View the report

    In October 2018, the Fund launched a second Needs Assessment. Read more

  • Steering Committee

    Prudence R. Beidler
    Maree Bullock
    Bonita Burrell
    Raymond Crossman, Ph.D.
    Denise C. Foy
    Elizabeth Garibay
    Adnaan Hamid
    Alan G. Harder
    Ken O’Keefe
    Dan Sprehe

  • Investors

    LGBT Ignite / Unite campaign logo

    We honor the following contributors who have made gifts to the Ignite: Unite Campaign as of October 22, 2014.

    Unite — $100,000 and Above

    The Chicago Community Trust
    Elissa Efroymson and Adnaan Hamid
    The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust

    Ignite — $50,000 to $99,999

    BMO Harris Bank
    Richard P. and Susan R. Kiphart

    Flash — $25,000 to $49,999

    Frank and Prue Beidler
    Grosvenor Capital Management
    Ken O’Keefe
    US Bank Foundation

    Spark — $5,000 to $24,999

    James L. Alexander
    Sid and Sondra Epstein/Polk Bros. Foundation
    Denise Foy
    Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust
    Jim and Kay Mabie
    Patrick Sheahan/Woods Fund of Chicago

    Kindle — up to $5,000

    Ramesh Ariyanayakam and Edward Gisiger
    Greg Cameron
    Robert Cunningham
    Elizabeth Garibay
    Elizabeth Jenkins
    Gary Johnson
    Christopher Jowett and Tuan Do
    Christopher Lloyd
    T. J. Houlihan/Robert McCormick Foundation
    Charles Middleton
    Jack and Sandy Guthman/Polk Bros. Foundation
    Ryan VanMeter