Today, Pride Foundation and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announced $1.6 million in funding to support LGBTQ+ youth-serving organizations.
The two-year pilot program is focused on Washington state, funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and implemented by Pride Foundation, the only LGBTQ+ community foundation serving the Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Funding will provide unrestricted resources for nonprofits that primarily serve LGBTQ+ youth and support growth, capacity building, and movement building within and across the organizations, as well as the opportunity for participants to build relationships, share stories, rest, heal, and learn with each other as leaders.
Despite progress in recent years, LGBTQ+ youth continue to face devastating and life-threatening discrimination, harassment, and violence as a result of ongoing systemic oppression stemming from racism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia, imperialism, and carceral systems. The urgency to address these issues and help young LGBTQ+ people thrive is only growing, as a targeted anti-LGBTQ+ backlash continues to grow and gain momentum, with more than 650 anti-LGBTQ bills filed in state legislatures across the country and nearly one-third of states having restricted healthcare access for transgender youth. Even with these challenges and realities, the organizations and leaders supporting LGBTQ+ youth continue to be bright spots of support that foster joy, create connections, and build movements for justice.
“LGBTQ+ organizations have long had to build the resources and support structures our community needs. We are thrilled to be developing this pilot initiative to support the long-term stability and growth of those organizations to carry out their critical and tremendous work with a long-overdue level of investment,” said Katie Carter, CEO of Pride Foundation. “We hope that what we learn and develop from the program will help spur ongoing investment by philanthropy into these brilliant leaders and organizations, in Washington and beyond, who have been integral to building movements for justice with joy, resilience, and creativity for generations.”
The 13 sub-grantees selected by Pride Foundation for the first phase of the partnership (see list below) play a crucial role addressing the challenges faced by young LGBTQ+ people. The program prioritizes organizations in more rural areas of the state and those that are led by Queer, Trans, Black, or Indigenous People of Color (QTBIPOC). The diverse nonprofits provide a wide range of services, programs, and support, from housing and food assistance to physical and mental health services, education and employment counseling, legal and immigration services, and mentorship programs. These organizations create safe spaces and advocate for inclusive policies that promote the well-being of LGBTQ+ youth across our schools and communities.
LGBTQ+-serving organizations are persistently and chronically underfunded by philanthropy, limiting the resources they have to stabilize, grow, and provide the breadth of support needed. In 2021, for every $100 awarded by U.S. foundations only 28 cents specifically supported LGBTQ+ communities and issues. This pilot program aims to bridge the funding gap for LGBTQ+ youth-serving organizations in Washington state and serve as a model for others across the country to address the under-funding of these vital organizations.
"Young LGBTQ+ people are powerful agents of change within their communities. By bringing together current and future leaders of LGBTQ+-serving organizations, we can build a society that is more inclusive, resilient, and responsive to the needs of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Cat Martin, Director of the Arts & Communities program at the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “This partnership will also provide resources that make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ youth and allow us to learn how we and other funders can best support the community.”
Pride Foundation kicks off the project later this year by creating a movement-building platform steered by community voice and trust-based philanthropy practices, that supports the wellbeing and leadership of youth and those working at the frontlines of these organizations. The goal is to widen and strengthen networks to provide leaders with ongoing learning, mentorship, and skill-building opportunities. In addition, Pride Foundation will disburse grants to LGBTQ+-serving organizations to further build their programs, efforts, and impact in Washington state. Through this pilot, both Pride Foundation and Paul G. Allen Family Foundation hope to learn more about the landscape of what LGBTQ+ youth serving organizations in Washington state need and want to support current and future LGBTQ+ movements.
About Pride Foundation
Pride Foundation is the only LGBTQ+ community foundation serving the Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Since 1985, Pride Foundation has fueled transformational movements to advance equity and justice for LGBTQ+ people in all communities across the Northwest. Pride Foundation envisions a world in which all LGBTQ+ people live safely and openly as their whole selves, in all the communities they call home.
About the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
Founded in 1988 by philanthropists Jody Allen and the late Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, the foundation invests in communities across the Pacific Northwest to enhance the human experience of arts & culture, center under-served populations, and mobilize young people to make impact. In addition, the foundation supports a global portfolio of nonprofit partners working across science and technology solutions to protect wildlife, preserve ocean health, and create lasting change. The foundation also funds the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, which works to advance cutting-edge research in all areas of bioscience.