July 2023

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Justice Ain’t Cheap: A Queer Philanthropy Podcast

This month we debuted Justice Ain’t Cheap: A Queer Philanthropy Podcast. The premiere episode, A Billion Dollar Problem, features a powerful conversation between Funders’ President, Saida Agostini-Bostic, and Funders’ board members Ana Conner (Third Wave Fund) and Paulina Helm-Hernández (Foundation for a Just Society) on how philanthropic institutions can show up for the LGBTQ movement during this moment of heightened legislative attack.

Justice Ain’t Cheap will be released bi-monthly and feature notable leaders in the LGBTQ movement and philanthropy who are working toward liberation. Stay tuned for Episode Two to be shared with Funders for LGBTQ Issues' members in August and widely in September.

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Funding Forward Registration is Open!

Early-bird Registration is open for Funding Forward 2023! The event will not only be Funders for LGBTQ Issues' first in-person conference since 2019 but will also mark the tenth anniversary of this annual gathering of grantmakers committed to LGBTQ issues. We hope you will join us at Loews Chicago Hotel from November 29th to December 1st. Virtual content will be available for hybrid participation.

Learn more and reserve your spot today!

We want to thank our host Chicago Community Trust and sponsors for their support of this year's conference. Without them Funding Forward would not be possible.

Learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

We Are At a Crossroads

The recent slate of Supreme Court decisions repealing hard-won rights in affirmative action and protections for LGBTQ communities speaks to a reality that our movements have warned us about for generations. In the past two years, we have seen the far right advance over four hundred ninety-one anti-LGBTQ bills in state legislatures, the vast majority of which specifically attacks the rights of trans and gender nonconforming (TGNC) communities and their families, along with drag performers and artists. These attacks, coupled with far-right organizing against Critical Race Theory, reproductive justice, and rights to privacy and bodily autonomy, have deeply impacted the physical and emotional safety of our communities – particularly those living at the intersections of race, disability, citizenship, and class.

Read our Deputy Director, Alexander Lee's note to philanthropy in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decisions. 

Meet Our Team: Welcome, Luna!

This month, we welcome Luna Moreta Avila as our new Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) Project Director! Luna (she/her) is a community space-holder and advocate based in San Francisco. She has fought for personal and collective transformation for more than 15 years via various political projects centered on prison abolition, trans liberation, community empowerment, collective healing, and racial justice. Luna joined Funders after serving as program leadership and Development Director at Young Women’s Freedom Center. We’re so happy to have her join our team! Get to know more about her on our website.

Resources for Funding LGBTQ Organizing

In the face of the growing anti-trans and gender-expansive backlash nationwide, Funders for LGBTQ Issues has created a resource hub for funders seeking to increase funding for TGNC communities specifically and the LGBTQ community broadly. It also collects resources for organizers seeking support and other information.

Please note that this guide is emergent, and we are adding new resources daily. Please email our Communications Officer, Noemi Mangual-Rosa, to suggest additional resources and links or to note updates.

Welcoming our Interim Director of the Out in the South Program!

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Shaena Johnson to the role of Interim Director of the Out in the South Program. Shaena is a former Grantmakers United for Trans Communities (GUTC) Fellow and a longtime partner in all of our programmatic work. We look forward to continuing to build with her in this new capacity.

Shaena Johnson headshot fall 2021

2021 Resource Tracking Report

Last month, we released the 19th iteration of our Resource Tracking Report, exploring the scope and character of the U.S. Foundation funding for LGBTQ communities and issues in calendar year 2021. Our research finds that foundation funding reached a new high of $252 million. However, this does not tell the full story, as the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community did not necessarily see this benefit. Funding to transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary communities, Black LGBTQ communities, and Southeastern LGBTQ communities has not increased commensurate with total LGBTQ funding. As a sector, we also continue to see an increase in overall foundation funding, meaning that even at this new high, for every $100 awarded by U.S. foundations in 2021, only 28 cents specifically supported LGBTQ communities and issues.

Read the full report to learn more about funding gaps and opportunities. You can also watch the recording of The State of LGBTQ Philanthropy, our report release and corresponding funder briefing, here.

Inside Philanthropy - Funders for LGBTQ Issues' Latest Tracking Report: Some Good News, More Not So Good


Inside Philanthropy recently featured our 2021 Resource Tracking Report findings. The article titled Funders for LGBTQ Issues' Latest Tracking Report: Some Good News, More Not So Good includes insights into the substantive increases in LGBTQ funding in 2021 and the stark misalignment of funding priorities in philanthropy for the most vulnerable communities in the United States.

Funders’ staff members and report co-authors, Alyssa Lawther and Alexander Lee, were featured in the article. Citing underfunded states like Montana and the recent threats to transgender people within those states, Alex says the problem is that without sufficient funding, “there’s not a critical mass of trans organizations and activists empowered enough to go toe-to-toe with the GOP” in those states. Alex continues: activists are “actually mapping out what could be possible if trans people weren't horribly oppressed. In the other states that are being seriously underfunded, it's really just about survival.” Read the full article.

Notes From The Field: State and Local LGBTQ Movement Leaders Speak on Organizing in Response to Anti-LGBTQ Backlash

We cannot talk about the domestic backlash against transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) communities and the LGBTQ community more broadly without looking deeply into the far right’s state and local strategy. This funder briefing will allow participants to hear about the historical context of the far-right’s strategy to weaponize TGNC communities in their work to attack bodily autonomy, hear about current work and wins across the field, and identify strategies for philanthropy to deepen its partnership with LGBTQ movements.

This funder briefing is co-sponsored by Grantmakers for Southern Progress (GSP). 

Featured Speakers:

Serena Sebring, Blueprint North Carolina

Rumba Yambu, Intransitive 

Scot Nakagawa, 22nd Century Initiative 

Aaron Zimmerman, PFund Foundation

Please note: If you previously registered for this event postponed on June 13th, your registration is still active. A post-event recording will be available.


CHANGE Philanthropy: 2023 Unity Summit

Early Bird registration for the 2023 CHANGE Philanthropy Unity Summit is now open! This year’s convening brings funders, movement leaders, and advocates together to engage with some of our communities most pressing issues.

Hotel blocks with discounted rates are available at the Westin Bonaventure, which is expected to fill quickly. Secure your spot before the end of July! 

Contigo Fund: Trans Care Community Town Hall

Join Contigo Fund on July 26th from 6 pm - 9 pm EDT for a Trans Care Community Town Hall. The event will address the critical issue of restrictions in Transgender healthcare and work towards positive change. The event location will be shared with registered participants; register here.

FCAA: Emergency & Rapid Response Grantmaking

Join FCAA on July 27th at 11 am ET for a virtual conversation focused on emergency and rapid response grantmaking. This meeting will allow donors to explore what mechanisms, processes, and connections can help respond to emerging crises, including response to wars, political developments, natural disasters or threats to grantee and partner security. Registration is limited to representatives from funding and philanthropy-serving organizations only.

Grantmakers for Southern Progress: Biennial Convening

GSP’s 2023 Biennial Convening: The Forward Moment is taking place from August 30th - September 1st in Orlando, Florida. The gathering creates a dynamic environment for philanthropic professionals and grassroots movement leaders to better understand the South, generate solutions together, and to move resources into the communities that need them most.

Learn more about registration and agenda here.

CEP: 2023 National Conference

Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP)’s national conference is taking place in Boston from October 30 – November 1!

CEP 2023 will feature talks from influential and thought-provoking leaders, including Funders for LGBTQ Issues’ President Saida Agostini-Bostic, who is moderating a breakout session: LGBTQ+ Rights Right Now: How Philanthropy Can Act featuring Marselle Alexander-Ozinskas, (The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation), Kate Kendell (The California Endowment), and Luc Athayde-Rizzaro (Ford Foundation). 

To find out more about what’s happening at the CEP conference, have a look at the CEP2023 agenda and register today!

HIP Proudly Welcomes 2023 Líderes

Hispanics in Philanthropy welcomes thirty new fellows to their Líderes Program. They represent twenty-three philanthropic institutions and seven non-profit organizations across the United States.

Policies for Action: Call for Proposals

Policies for Action issued a call for proposals to build evidence based investigating on how preemption policies at the state level may affect racial justice and health equity. Up to $1.5 million will be awarded for up to six 24-month grants. Projects must be U.S. based. Proposals are due by August 10, 2023.

Ms. Foundation for Women: Activist Collaboration & Care Fund

Ms. Foundation for Women is awarding grants through their Activist Collaboration & Care Fund for trans and cis women and girls of color, and nonbinary people of color. Grants will range from $15,000 to $25,000. Organizations must operate within the U.S. and U.S. territories. Proposals are due by August 25, 2023.

William T. Grant Foundation: Youth Service Capacity Building Grants

William T. Grant Foundation’s Youth Service Capacity Building Grants Program (YSCG) is now accepting applications. The grants will provide general operating support to small New York-based nonprofits that provide direct services to young people ages 5 to 25. Awards are $60,000 each and provide funds over a three-year term.

Proposals are due by September 20, 2023, 3:00 PM ET, for decisions in March 2024.

Submit your featured funding opportunities on our website!

To Respond to Anti-LGBTQ Legislation, Fundraisers Turn to Giving Circles

Research shows donations to LGBTQ groups pale compared to other causes. The Chronicle of Philanthropy writes on why foundation giving is essential in supporting LGBTQ groups responding to the nationwide anti-LGBTQ backlash.

Groundswell Fund 2022 Impact Report

Groundswell Fund recently shared their 2022 Impact Report. Read and learn about the work of their grantee partners who are building community power and infrastructure.

A Borealis Queer & Trans Self-Care Guide

Borealis Philanthropy shares five reminders to help queer and trans activists center their self-care journey.

Judge Strikes Down Arkansas Law Banning Gender Transition Care for Minors

A federal judge in Arkansas struck down the state’s law forbidding gender-affirming care for LGBTQ youth, blocking what had been the first in a wave of such measures championed by conservatives nationwide.

Food Insecurity Amongst LGBTQ Youth

The Williams Institute published a recent report that used data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey that details the inequities of food insecurity among LGBT youth and young adults aged 18-24.

Notable promotions, transitions, and career updates from LGBTQ people

in philanthropy and allies.

Dani Martínez joins Arcus Foundation as the U.S. Social Justice Program Director. Congratulations, Dani!

Foundation Relations Manager

Groundswell Fund

Remote, United States

Vice President, Programs

Council on Foundations

Remote, United States

Chief Philanthropy Officer

Horizons Foundation

On-site, San Francisco, CA

Communications and Engagement Associate

The Funders Network

Remote, Coral Gables, FL


Third Wave Fund

Remote, United States

Visit our website for more listings on our full Jobs Board.

Q-Notes is a regular newsletter produced by Funders for LGBTQ Issues. Please contact [email protected] with questions on this edition or submissions for future publishings. The next edition of Q-Notes will be released on September 21st.


Cynthia Renfro, Chair (Civis Consulting, LLC)

Paulina Helm-Hernandez, Vice-Chair (Foundation for a Just Society)

Jonathan Jayes-Green, Secretary (Philanthropic Consultant)

Karen Appelbaum, Treasurer (Northwest Area Foundation)

Namita Chad (Philanthropic Consultant)

Ana Conner (Third Wave Fund)

Desiree Flores (General Service Foundation)

Aldita Gallardo (Borealis Philanthropy)

Lane Harwell (Ford Foundation)

Kelli King-Jackson (The Simmons Foundation)

Cathy K.K. Kapua (Trans Justice Funding Project)

Bré Rivera (Black Trans Fund)

Glo Ross (Arcus Foundation)

William (Bill) Smith (May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust)

Judy Yu (Wellspring Philanthropic Fund)


Saida Agostini-Bostic


Cleopatra Jach Acquaye

Director of Programs

Luna Moreta Avila

GUTC Project Director

April Bethea

Director of External Affairs

Ashe Helm-Hernández

Senior Fellow of Philanthropic Organizing

Shaena Johnson

Interim Director of Out in the South

Alyssa Lawther

Senior Research Officer

Alexander L. Lee

Deputy Director

Ollin Rodriguez Lopez

Director of Human Resources & Administration

Noemi Mangual-Rosa

Communications Officer

Amara Reese-Hansell

Membership Engagement Officer

Stephen Switzer

Director of Finance

Marvin Webb

Chief Financial Officer


American Jewish World Service

Annie E. Casey Foundation

Arcus Foundation

Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice Baltimore Community Foundation

Borealis Philanthropy

Boston Foundation

California Wellness Foundation

Civil Rights Defenders

Cleveland Foundation

Community Foundation for Southern Arizona

Community Foundation of Louisiana

Community Foundation of Northeast Florida Con Alma Health Foundation

David Bohnett Foundation

Dwight Stuart Youth Fund

Edward W. Hazen Foundation

Excelerate Foundation

Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund

Ford Foundation

Foundation for a Just Society

Foundation for the Carolinas

Foundation for Louisiana

General Services Foundation

Gilead Sciences

Gill Foundation

Gilmour-Jirgens Fund

Groundswell Fund

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Henry van Ameringen Foundation

Horizons Foundation

James Irvine Foundation

Johnson Family Foundation

JP Morgan Chase & Co. 

Kicking Assets Fund

Kresge Foundation

Laughing Gull Foundation

Levi Strauss Foundation

Lloyd A. Fry Foundation

The Leonard-Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation

Libra Foundation

MacArthur Foundation

Marguerite Casey Foundation

Masto Foundation

McKnight Foundation

Meyer Memorial Trust

Ms. Foundation For Women

Mukti Fund

Nathan Cummings Foundation

NEO Philanthropy

New York Women's Foundation

North Star Fund

Northwest Area Foundation

Open Society Foundations

Our Fund, Inc.

Overbrook Foundation

Pacific Foundation Services, LLC

Paul G. Allen Foundation

Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation

PFund Foundation

Philadelphia Foundation

Polk Bros. Foundation

Pride Foundation

Proteus Fund, Inc.

Richmond Memorial Health Foundation

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Rosenberg Foundation

Santa Fe Community Foundation

Simmons Foundation

Small Change Foundation

Southwest Florida Community Foundation

Stonewall Community Foundation

Stupski Foundation

Surdna Foundation

The California Endowment

The Collins Foundation

The Colorado Health Foundation

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

The Palette Fund

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Third Wave Fund

Tides Foundation

Trans Justice Funding Project

Transgender Strategy Center

Tzedek Social Justice Fund

Wallace Foundation

Washington Grantmakers AIDS Partnership

Wellspring Philanthropic Fund

Wild Geese Foundation

Women's Foundation of California

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