By: Funders for LGBTQ Issues Staff on December 13, 2021
The Out in the South Pooled Fund – and initiative of Funders for LGBTQ Issues – will award nearly $700,000 to 12 LGBTQ funds and allied grantmaking organizations throughout the South. Now in its sixth grantmaking cycle, the Fund has awarded nearly $3 million dollars to catalyze locally-driven Southern funds to move resources in support of LGBTQ movement work in the South. The full list of 2021 grant recipients can be found on our website here.
The current political climate has emphasized the importance of the work of our grantees and informed the decision of the Out in the South Fund Committee to award renewal grants to the 2020 grantee cohort. Our 2021 distribution represents an increase of nearly $250,000 from previous grant cycles. This one-time increase was supported with funds secured by Funders for LGBTQ Issues through the federal government’s COVID-19 employee retention tax credit. “It felt important to us to augment the existing funds from our donor partners with this money our team secured through a difficult year, especially as our communities face so many urgent needs,” reflected Saida Agostini-Bostic, President of Funders for LGBTQ Issues.
The pooled fund grantees have responded in tremendous ways to meet the challenges posed by our current political and social climate. Our grantee partners are able to move money quickly to grassroots organizers and provide necessary support and connection among their networks of organizers and leaders. “Our grantee partners continue to move resources to southern LGBTQ movement work in ways that traditional philanthropy struggles to do. They are able to respond directly to what organizations and groups rooted in Southern communities are asking for,” said Chantelle Fisher-Borne, Project Director of the Out in the South Initiative.
In light of the pandemic and racial justice uprisings across the South in recent years, we strove to respond as a grantmaker to changing circumstances with compassion and support. We know that how money is moved can be as important as how much money is moved. We encourage grantee partners to take the time necessary to regroup and repurpose their grant awards while navigating diminished capacity or shifting priorities.
The Out in the South Pooled Fund is a central element of the Out in the South Initiative and a critical piece of our strategy to transform philanthropy in the U.S. South. We are growing and learning alongside our grantee partners as we build a community of practice and share lessons and practices with regional and national funders. Learn more about the Out in the South Initiative and ways your foundation can get involved here.