Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues

Celebrating 35 years of mobilizing
        philanthropic resources for the LGBTQ community.
1982 – 2017



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The Philanthropy Track at Creating Change

Author: Ben Francisco Maulbeck

In early February, many staff, board members, and members of Funders for LGBTQ Issues are packing their bags and headed to Denver for the annual Creating Change Conference, the national gathering of LGBT leaders and activists!

A number of sessions focus specifically on philanthropy or fundraising, and even more sessions will provide valuable opportunities for movement leaders and funders to connect, learn from each other, and share strategies for building a stronger LGBT movement.

Below is a short guide to the sessions and events related to philanthropy, as well as those that feature Funders for LGBTQ Issues members and partners.

Be sure not to miss our Saturday morning session on the "Art and Science of LGBTQ Funding," which will provide an overview of the current state of LGBTQ philanthropy as well as an opportunity to hear advice directly from experienced funders. Plus, our Saturday afternoon session will feature the release of our new report on foundation funding for Transgender Communities, and a chance to talk with transgender and allied leaders in philanthropy about how to increase funding for trans communities.

Thursday, February 5


David Bohnett CyberCenter Reception
A reception for LGBT Community Center leaders who already host a David Bohnett CyberCenter or for LGBT Center leaders who want to learn more about this innovative program. Come share experiences, network and talk to other David Bohnett CyberCenter folks. Sponsored by Funders for LGBTQ Issues member the David Bohnett Foundation. 6-7:30pm, Katie Mullen’s Irish Restaurant (inside the Sheraton)

Friday, February 6


LGBTQ Fundraising Forum
This workshop, specifically designed for those who fundraise for LGBTQ organizations (Executive Directors, Development Directors, Development Coordinators, Board and Committee Members) will focus on how we can best raise funds for our organizations. Presenters include Funders member Samantha Giusti, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund. 9am-12:15pm

U.S. Support for LGBT Organizations Abroad
This workshop will focus on how U.S.-based LGBT organizations can best support the work of LGBT activists and leaders outside the U.S. Presenters include Funders member Kevin Jennings, Executive Director of the Arcus Foundation. 10:45am-12:15pm

People of Color & Indigenous Traditions of Giving
This session will explore how indigenous communities and people of color can engage our own communities and build effective alliances with allies to resource our collective survival and liberation. The workshop, co-designed by FIERCE and the Audre Lorde Project, will include storytelling, and games as we map our traditions of giving, share current strategies, and lessons learned within our communities and movements. 10:45am-12:15pm

The Queer Left: Strategies Going Forward
We will share lessons, and critical strategies that are working to resource the Queer Left. We will explore questions of how do we resource our longevity? What are the roles of allies and the roles of people of color in giving and fundraising for our collective survival and liberation? What are fundraising strategies that build effective alliances? We will explore the larger fractures within our movements caused by competition, co-optation and liberal frame. 3-4:30pm

Lead the Way to Fundraising Success: More $$ More Power
Are you in a position where fundraising is seen as a one-person job but you know that it’s too much for one person to do? There’s a better way to make your job easier, more effective, and more fun. Build a team of fundraisers from your staff and volunteers through direct asking. 3-6:15pm

Gay Pioneers & Their Movement Impact
A screening of the award-winning documentary film “Gay Pioneers” (30 minutes), followed by a distinguished panel discussing the Gay Pioneers, especially seminal movement leaders Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny, the endemic homophobia they faced and their strategic brilliance against all odds. Presenters include Funders member Kevin Jennings, Executive Director of the Arcus Foundation. 3-4:30pm

Over the Tipping Point: Trans Messaging
Transgender issues have skyrocketed to national prominence in the media and society. Now, innovative messaging research on transgender messengers and issues and unprecedented media exposure mean that the stories of transgender people have the power like never before to change hearts and minds and increase support for trans-inclusive laws. In this multi-media workshop, trans folks and those advocating for trans equality will hear from top experts about how to elevate stories about transgender people and how transgender people can effectively tell their own stories to affect change. Presenters include Funders member Andy Marra, Communications Manager of the Arcus Foundation. 3-4:30pm

You’re in Control: Creating Your Own Momentum
The bill isn’t moving, or the legislative session is over. How do you create momentum online using your digital media tools? How do you continue growing your list when the action wanes? In this interactive workshop, we’ll explore the ways you can control your narrative online to generate your own excitement and engagement. We’ll look at some examples of successful online organizing, even when energy is low, and we’ll work together in small groups to develop digital plans that create real momentum. Presenters include Funders member Jace Woodrum, Director of Communications of the Gill Foundation. 4:45-6:15pm

Reignite Your Fundraising!
Wanting to reignite your fundraising efforts? Try something different? Or get reminded of something you used to do? This session will be about how to recreate your fundraising wheel, save money, lapsed donors, the R-word, and social media strategy. 4:45-6:15pm

More Effectively Raise Money with Events
Fundraising events can be an effective revenue stream when built from the ground up with donors and specific fundraising goals determining the way. We’ll explore how to elevate fundraising and reduce workload for your event. 4:45-6:15pm

Giving in Communities of Color
From Ruth Ellis parties to Tea Dances, communities of color have long participated in giving. Please come and find out how to build on existing cultural and community-based practices to expand your fundraising efforts. 6:30-7:30pm

Saturday, February 7


The Art & Science of LGBTQ Funding
This session will dive deep into trends, opportunities and gaps in LGBTQ foundation funding. Presenters from Funders for LGBTQ Issues will share data on the state of LGBTQ foundation funding and analyze trends in funding for trans communities, queer health funding and funding in the U.S. South. Additionally, a panel of funders will share perspectives on opportunities and gaps in LGBT philanthropy. Finally, participants will have small group discussions with funders to explore opportunities particular to their work. Presenters will include Brandie Balkin, Program Officer, Gill Foundation; Ben Francisco Maulbeck, President, Funders for LGBTQ Issues; Cindy Rizzo, Vice President, Impact & Learning, Arcus Foundation; Edgar Villanueva, Program Officer, Marguerite Casey Foundation. 9am-12:15pm

Getting Past the Fear of Asking
This session combines a how-to tutorial with customized coaching to help people to overcome their fears around asking people to give to their organizations and causes. 10:45am-12:15pm

TRANSformational Impact: An Inside Look at Foundation Funding for Trans Communities
This session will provide ground breaking new data on the current state of foundation funding for trans communities with the launch of a new report, TRANSformational Impact. In addition, leaders in the growing field of trans philanthropy will share their analysis on trends, opportunities and gaps in trans funding. We will also discuss ways to grow the leadership of transgender people in LGBT philanthropy and to increase trans funding overall. Presenters will include Kristina Wertz, Director of Engagement, Funders for LGBTQ Issues; Gabriel Foster, Director, Trans Justice Funding Project; and Rye Young, Director, Third Wave Fund. 3-4:30pm

Engaging New Donors and New Dollars Online
You’ve seen other groups engage hundreds of new donors and raise thousands of dollars on Give OUT Day, but what will work best for your organization? Join us for a hands-on workshop to learn about the successes from groups big and small across the country and begin developing your own, customized strategy to get the most out of Give OUT Day 2015. Presenters will include Jason Franklin, Executive Director, Bolder Giving. 3-4:30pm