Fall 2021
In September, the Gay Community Endowment Fund celebrated a significant milestone, reaching $2 million in charitable assets. This achievement, which comes during the fund's 20th anniversary year, is thanks to the collective gifts of more than 2,600 donors since the fund was created in 2001.

As the endowment grows, the Gay Community Endowment Fund is able to increase its annual grantmaking to nonprofit programs that benefit the local LGBTQ+ community and Greater Akron as a whole. These grants create safer environments for LGBTQ+ youth, combat phobias of the LGBTQ+ community, and support mental health and suicide prevention programs for LGBTQ+ people, among other important initiatives.

As we look ahead to the next million-dollar milestone, we hope you'll join us in advancing the LGBTQ+ community toward a future of full inclusion and equity. We envision a world in which everyone can enjoy the freedom to live safely, openly and authentically.
Thank you for your support!
The Gay Community Endowment Fund recently received the second-largest gift in its 20-year history, thanks to a bequest from the estate of Peter Lee Schofield, a cornerstone donor and longtime volunteer of the fund. Learn how Peter's planned gift will benefit the local LGBTQ+ community for generations to come.
In the last three years, the Gay Community Endowment Fund has awarded impact grants totaling $25,000 to Summa Health to support specialized health care services for LGBTQ+ patients. Hear the stories of two of those patients and learn how the hospital's Pride Clinic is changing lives throughout our community.
This year's winners include a biochemistry student who is passionate about LGBTQ+ representation in STEMM fields, a senior at Kent State whose writing has explored the intersection of complex LGBTQ+ issues, and a public health student working to address health disparities in the LGBTQ+ community.
GCEF recently welcomed two talented community leaders to our advisory board. Jacob Nash is the founder of Margie's Hope, a nonprofit organization that assists transgender and nonbinary people in need, and Beau Shaniuk is a direct service advocate at the Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties.
Join us as we celebrate 20 years of dazzling decorations, twinkling lights, and unforgettable holiday traditions. This year's festivities include both live and virtual tours, with the live tour taking place Dec. 5 and the virtual tour taking place Dec. 11-12. Discounted early bird tickets are available through Oct. 31. Get yours now!
Interested in sponsoring the tour?
Sponsors are invited to the fabulous Patron Party at the new Chateau Fifty event center, located in the former Firestone estate. Learn more.
In Other News
The Gay Community Endowment Fund is accepting grant proposals for programs that support the local LGBTQ+ community. Nonprofits may apply for either an impact grant or a micro grant. Strong preference will be given to impact grant proposals that create safer environments for LGBTQ+ youth, combat phobias of the LGBTQ+ community, and support mental health and suicide prevention programs for LGBTQ+ people. Applications are due by Dec. 15.
Have you completed the survey for the Greater Akron LGBTQ+ Community Needs Assessment yet? This comprehensive assessment is the first of its kind in Greater Akron and will collect and analyze data surrounding key measures of health in the LGBTQ+ community, including education, housing, nutrition, employment, safety and recreation. The goal is to collect 1,000 responses by Dec. 31, 2021, so please make your voice heard. LGBTQ+ allies are also welcome to take the survey!
Giving Opportunities
Last December, Congress passed COVID-19 relief legislation extending many of the tax provisions included in the CARES Act. This legislation temporarily extends the universal charitable deduction for taxpayers who do not itemize, allowing you to deduct up to $300 – or $600 for married couples – for cash contributions to qualifying public charities like the Gay Community Endowment Fund. This opportunity is set to expire at the end of the year, so take advantage of it now!
To celebrate our 20th anniversary in 2021, the Gay Community Endowment Fund has launched the Circle of Inclusion. Members of this new giving campaign receive special recognition for their role in growing GCEF's endowment. The circle welcomes gifts and pledges of $1,000 or more, and all donations support the fund's mission of advancing a lived equality for LGBTQ+ people in Greater Akron.
You can support the Gay Community Endowment Fund forever by establishing a charitable fund in your name at Akron Community Foundation through your will or trust. After your lifetime, the fund will continue to support all your favorite causes, including GCEF, in perpetuity. It's a simple and tax-friendly way to leave a lasting legacy.
Thank you to the generous individuals, families and organizations who contributed to the Gay Community Endowment Fund or the GCEF Scholarship Fund from March 1, 2021, to Sept. 30, 2021. Your gifts will positively impact LGBTQ+ people in our community for many years to come.