LGBT Community Fund
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, The LGBT Community Fund serves as a tool to educate the region about LGBT issues and promote effective philanthropy to achieve strategic change. The fund works toward the vision of 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.
New: 2019 Community Needs Assessment
In 2018, the LGBT Community Fund partnered with Morten Group for a grassroots participatory action research process to learn about the most urgent needs and opportunities for Chicago’s LGBTQ community. More than 2,000 individuals took the time to complete an online survey, fill out a data card or participate in a focus group to contribute their knowledge and lived experience to the study. Read the 2019 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment Summary.
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, 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 summer 2019.
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
Prudence R. Beidler
Raymond Crossman, Ph.D.
Denise C. Foy
Alan G. Harder