Arcus Funds LGBTQ Capacity Building Grants In An Under-Resourced Region

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Arcus Funds LGBTQ Capacity Building Grants In An Under-Resourced Region

When Funders for LGBTQ Issues released its first Out in the South report in 2014, it found that per capita, LGBTQ people in the southeastern United States were getting about a tenth of foundation funding of their counterparts in the Northeast. As we’ve seen before, that disparity isn’t isolated to LGBTQ giving. But in a socially conservative region that’s home to nearly a third of “out” adults, there’s a clear need for capacity building.

The Out in the South Fund is helping to fill that gap. Housed at Funders for LGBTQ Issues, the fund has drawn support from the Arcus Foundation, the Chartrand Family Foundation, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the Freeman Foundation, Laughing Gull Foundation, and the Tides Foundation, among others. 

Now in its second year of grantmaking, the fund’s total outlay to date comes to around $1 million. That’s a relatively modest sum, but it represents a significant proportion of total LGBTQ giving in the South, which was hovering under $5 million when Funders for LGBTQ Issues began the initiative.

Out in the South’s 2017 grants look a lot like last year’s. The aim is to build capacity among local and regional funders working on LGBTQ issues, and to strengthen the connection between them. Instead of relying on a trickle of support from national funders, Out in the South envisions a strong, homegrown base of LGBTQ philanthropy. A key part of that strategy is galvanizing support for local grassroots organizations and letting LGBTQ Southerners lead the charge...

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