Funders for LGBTQ Issues is pleased to announce a targeted, placed-based effort to increase the dialogue about foundation funding for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people living in Ohio. This effort will include a funders learning tour and an ongoing Ohio ambassador initiative.
LGBTQ Ohio Funders Learning Tour: Building on the momentum of the Cleveland Foundation’s sponsorship of the Gay Games, Funders for LGBTQ Issues invites you to a learning tour on LGBTQ issues in Ohio, September 8-9, 2016. This learning tour will foster cross-learning between national LGBTQ funders and local Ohio-based funders, providing a vehicle for engaging and educating Ohio-based funders around LGBTQ issues while allowing national LGBTQ funders to learn in depth about the needs and opportunities in a specific state. The details are still being finalized, but if you are interested, please contact Kristina Wertz at [email protected].
Ohio Ambassador Initiative: As a complementary ongoing effort, we are also launching an Ohio Ambassador Initiative which offers collegial support for local funders interested in exploring LGBTQ issues. Ambassadors embedded in the local philanthropic landscape will serve as an informational touchpoint to address questions about LGBTQ funding/grantmaking, and to connect local funders with the national expertise and resources of Funders for LGBTQ Issues. Our inaugural ambassadors are Kristi Andrasik, Program Officer, the Cleveland Foundation and Brian Schultz, Community Outreach Manager, Foundation Center. Kristi and Brian are local powerhouses, and we are grateful to have them on board.
Funders for LGBTQ Issues recognizes that much of philanthropy is place-based. Localized philanthropy is essential for building sustainable funding for local nonprofits, which are uniquely positioned to respond to the day-to-day needs of LGBTQ communities. Therefore, we are committed to building regional networks of LGBTQ and allied funders and strengthening systems to connect funders to local nonprofits. These efforts in Ohio are among the ways we are exploring deepening our work with local funders, along with our ongoing Out in the South Initiative and other locally targeted programming.
We are particularly excited to launch this effort in Ohio, where there is a depth of community need and a growing energy around meeting that need. As highlighted in our recent infographic, Money for the Midwest: Foundation Funding for Midwestern LGBTQ Communities, 20 percent of LGBT adults live in the Midwest, only 14 percent of local and statewide LGBTQ funding targets the Midwest.
We hope you will join us in Cleveland in September and look forward to the ongoing work of our Ohio Ambassadors.