Pride Foundation is a regional community foundation that inspires giving to expand opportunities and advance full equality for LGBTQ people across the Northwest. We invest in organizations, leaders, and students across Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. We provide the resources that local visionaries need to effect change in their communities: grant dollars, scholarships, technical expertise, convenings and leadership development.
How Pick.Click.Give. makes a difference
Since 1985, Pride Foundation has invested more than $50 million across the Northwest, supporting a diverse mix of LGBTQ organizations, leaders, and students who are boldly changing their communities. Our strong belief that what happens here, matters everywhere translates into a focus on working toward lasting equality in every corner of our region. In Alaska, our regional staff person is one of only two full-time LGBTQ equality-focused professionals in the entire state.
Despite the major impacts that we have had in the community, there is still much more work that needs to be done. While our discretionary grants program is one of our greatest successes, it is also an area that could be significantly expanded. In 2014, we awarded nearly $300,000 to 72 organizations working on a variety of issues of importance to the LGBTQ community—social and mental health support, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, domestic violence, transgender health, economic justice, and more. While we are proud of the investments we were able to make, we had a total of 155 applications requesting a total of $711,000. With increased support we could provide more grants to more organizations, allowing us to have a greater impact on the LGBTQ community.
This same trend also continues in our scholarship program. In 2014, we awarded $395,200 in scholarships to 105 students, which is tremendous. However, we received 574 applications. Those applications represent a total financial need of a staggering $18,568,597. The need is great.
Today, in 29 states—including Alaska—it is still legal for someone to be fired or denied access to housing and public services solely for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or perceived as such. And in 34 states—including Alaska—those same protections are also denied to those who identify as, or are perceived to be, transgender or gender non-conforming.
Discrimination, stigma, and violence based on homophobia, biphobia, and/or transphobia can lead to educational setbacks, physical and mental health challenges, substance use problems, criminal justice system engagement, housing instability, poverty, and problems securing and maintaining employment.
While we believe in a world in which we can be our true selves and be accepted for who we are, we know that is not a lived reality for many in our community. An investment in Pride Foundation is an investment in a brighter future—where everyone can live safely, openly, and genuinely.