When the National LGBTQ Task Force assumed responsibility for producing South Florida’s two major fundraisers in 2004, the organization agreed to maintain their place as a stream of funding for the local community. From 2005 to January 2021, the Task Force donated close to $3.25 million to The Miami Foundation’s LGBTQ Community Fund. Over 80 organizations serving the South Florida LGBTQ community received grants during this period.
In 2022, in the wake of the passage of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the National LGBTQ Task Force, The Miami Foundation and Our Fund Foundation came together to launch the LGBTQ+ Equity Fund to support and strengthen South Florida’s LGBTQ+ community and respond to timely, urgent community needs.
The three groups work in concert to make decisions about the issue area to address and the grantees, with input from expert advisors in the field. The Fund’s strategy is to be responsive to the ever-evolving issues that impact the prosperity and health of the LGBTQ community in South Florida. It seeks to use resources to strengthen the infrastructure that allows LGBTQ+ organizations to advocate for their well-being in a time of enhanced political divineness.
The Task Force has donated $280,000 to date. The LGBTQ+ Equity Fund has been very proactive in raising additional money from other donors. In 2022, the LGBTQ+ Equity Fund focused funding on organizations that provide critical mental health resources, safe spaces, and support for LGBTQ+ youth. $140,000 was awarded – $10,000 each to 14 organizations.
The goal in 2023 continues to be to increase the scale and impact of philanthropic resources aimed at enhancing the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities in South Florida. In May 2023, grants were awarded that focused on funding the high-priority issues areas in the LGBTQ+ community, including:
Youth: To create and expand safe spaces and provide mental health support for LGBTQ+ youth.
Trans Health: To ensure continuous access to gender-affirming medical and mental health care for trans youth and adults.
Advocacy – To help amplify the voice and power of the LGBTQ+ community.
The 2023 grant awards totaled $300,000: $240,000 in unrestricted support to 12 organizations working at the intersection of the areas of highest need in support of LGBTQ+ communities in South Florida; and $60,000 to support local LGBTQ+ coalitions as well as Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) within Miami-Dade County Public Schools and local universities.
The expected impact of this funding will be:
- LGBTQ+ empowerment groups and GSAs will have the financial resources to gather, organize, advocate, and build coalitions with one another.
- Trans individuals will have increased access to gender-affirming care, name change services, free or discounted mental health counseling, and increased access to hormone replacement therapy for youth and adults.
- Resources to advance LGBTQ+ friendly policies at the state and local level.
- Advocacy organizations will have increased resources to educate the community about pro-LGBTQ+ candidates.
- Critical funding for organizations working with youth to pivot and be creative in how they reach and support LGBTQ+ students.
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