After Albuquerque, Funders Focus on What’s Next

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After Albuquerque, Funders Focus on What’s Next

By: Andrew Wallace on November 6, 2016

From March 13-16, over 100 people joined us in scenic Albuquerque, New Mexico for the 2013 LGBTQ Grantmaking Retreat. Over the course of four days, this group was privy to thoughtful presentations on funding frameworks, in-depth conversations on pressing issues as well as a multitude of opportunities to catch up with old friends and meet new colleagues.

The theme of our 3rd Annual LGBTQ Grantmakers Retreat, “Funding Forward: What’s Next for LGBTQ Philanthropy?” reflected the goal of this gathering: to provide grantmakers with the information and tools they need to smartly invest in LGBTQ communities today in order to positively impact the future. Because even with full recognition of our equal rights in sight for the first time, we need to look ahead to the even more complex challenge of transforming the lived experience and improving the well-being of all LGBTQ people. Moreover, significant obstacles remain in the battle for legal equality.

A diverse group of public funders, private funders and individual donors were joined by policy and community advocates in a variety of conversations that expanded on this theme. Topics included:

  • “The Lived experience of LGBTQ People: A Framework for Funding”
  • “LGBTQ Health Care: Where Service Meets Advocacy”
  • “Immigrant Justice and Marriage Equality in New Mexico”
  • “The Impact of Religious Exemptions in the LGBTQ Community”
  • “The Physics of LGBTQ Funding: Momentum, Resistance, and Impact”
  • “Funding Strategies for a U.S. of Diverse Youth and Families.”

Nearly all of this year’s sessions were proposed and driven by members of Funders for LGBTQ Issues. This successful model drew on the forward-thinking ideas of our network, and we hope to continue and build upon this member-centered leadership for future events. A special thanks goes out to the organizations who sponsored and organized sessions: the Arcus Foundation; the Envision Fund of the Santa Fe Community Foundation; the Paul Rapoport Foundation; the Santa Fe Community Foundation; and Wellspring Advisors.

Our new president, Ben Francisco Maulbeck, presented “The Physics of LGBTQ Funding” address. Ben unveiled new data and analysis on philanthropic support for LGBTQ issues. He looked at opportunities for synergy and partnership between LGBTQ grantmakers and “mainstream” funders, focusing on possible coordinated strategies for expanding the scale of the LGBT civic sector and its impact on LGBT communities. We’re in the process of developing a briefing paper that draws on the data and analysis presented at the retreat, which will be shared with the full membership by May. Our hope is that this will help provide an initial framework for working in partnership with our members to expand LGBTQ funding by an order of magnitude in the next five to seven years.

Slides and other materials from this year’s retreat are currently being gathered and will be made available on our website by the end of April.

If you’re interested in being involved in next year’s retreat, either as a retreat planning committee member or to sponsor a conversation, please contact Ben at [email protected]

Throughout the retreat, we highlighted efforts for LGBTQ equality in New Mexico. It was both fitting and exciting that a mere two days after the end of the retreat, Santa Fe mayor David Coss asked the city council to urge county clerks across the state to begin issuing marriage licenses for gay couples under current state laws.

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