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LGBT Community Fund awards $280,000+ to local groups, addressing gaps for youth, aging
From a press release
2015-10-01

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CHICAGO — October 1, 2015 — The LGBT Community Fund ( the LGBT Fund ), at The Chicago Community Trust, is pleased to announce that it has chosen its inaugural group of grant recipients. A total of $282,500 in grants were presented to organizations at a breakfast reception this morning at the Trust.

"This is a significant milestone for the LGBT community. The LGBT Fund was created to directly fund organizations addressing the most critical needs identified by the community," says Ryan VanMeter, co-chair of the LGBT Fund. "We heard from the community that LGBT youth and seniors are two segments currently underserved, and these grants represent an important first response to what we heard."

The following organizations will receive grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000: About Face Theatre, Adler University's LGBT Mental Health and Inclusion Center, Affinity Community Services, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Association of Latinos/Motivating Action ( ALMA ), Broadway United Methodist Church ( Youth Lounge Program ), Chicago Filmmakers, Chicago Gay Black Men's Caucus, Leather Archives and Museum, Inc., Project Fierce Chicago, RAD remedy, Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Center, Transformative Justice Project of Illinois, and Youth Empowerment Performance Project have all been designated as grant recipients. All are organizations serving Chicagoland's LGBT community.

The LGBT Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Trust, is solely responsible for its own fundraising. Fifteen Steering Committee members have raised over $900,000 in the last three years in partial fulfillment of a $1 million challenge grant established by the Trust. Unlike traditional fundraising campaigns, the LGBT Fund is using a one of a kind venture capital fundraising model. While the Fund continues to fundraise, this model provides distribution of the dollars to worthy organizations, which are all providing important services to the LGBT community today.

The second cycle of grant making has been designated as Transformation Grants and will range from $50,000 to $150,000. This cycle will begin later this year with the exact timetable posted on the LGBT Fund's website, www.LGBTFund.org . Collaborations between at least two organizations will be required in the Transformation Grant cycle.

The Chicago Community Trust began The LGBT Community Fund in 2010 with a $500,000 matching challenge grant. The Steering Committee of the Fund has overseen a fundraising campaign that has raised over $900,000 toward the $1 million required to match the CCT gift. Additionally, The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust issued a $150,000 matching challenge to encourage contributions. The Steering Committee will distribute the full amount of $1 million in three giving cycles, beginning with the inaugural cycle just completed. The $500,000 gift from the Trust will remain as a permanent endowment to the LGBT Community Fund.

About The Chicago Community Trust

The Chicago Community Trust, our region's community foundation, partners with donors to leverage their philanthropy in ways that transform lives and communities. Since its founding in 1915, the Trust has awarded approximately $2.3 billion in grants to thousands of local and national nonprofits, including $164.5 million in 2014. Throughout its Centennial year, the Trust will celebrate how philanthropy in all its forms — time, treasure and talent — strengthens our region and impact the lives of others in countless ways.


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