June is not just Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community. It’s also the largest online funding effort for the many non-profits supporting this community. Founded in 1980, the Horizons Foundation at www.horizonsfoundation.org is the “world’s first community foundation of, by and for LGBTQ people.” They make grants to support that community. They invest in LGBTQ nonprofits. They work to strengthen a culture of LGBTQ giving and to build a permanent endowment “to secure the community’s future for generations to come.”
One such effort is “Give Out Day.” This is “a month-long fundraising campaign culminating on June 30, the only national day of giving for the LGBTQ community.” This fundraising efforts has helped hundreds of LGBTQ non-profits in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico raise millions of dollars in support of their services and programs. Last year, “over 500 LGBTQ organizations raised over $1.6 million from over 19,000 donors!” Give Out Day is but one of many programs run by the Horizons Foundation. Headquarters in San Francisco they also have programs for LGBTQ COVID-19 Loans, Community Event Sponsorships, a Global Faith and Equality Fund, and Scholarships and Fellowships. They can be reached by email at: email@example.com.
Over six hundred and fifty organizations are participating in this year’s event. Sonoma County has several organizations participating this year. In fact, within 25 miles of Rohnert Park there are eleven organizations asking for your donations. Many are familiar names such as Amor Para Todos (APT), Petaluma’s People Service Center, Sonoma County Pride, Sebastopol’s Area Senior Center, and the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation. Another is Positive Images in Santa Rosa. They have been serving Sonoma County since 1990. They marched in the county’s first pride parade. They have support groups for youth (12-24) and young adults (20s & 30s). They also have education and mentoring programs. What kind of impact does your donation have? Let’s look at a couple of local non-profits to illustrate the importance of your contributions.
In Petaluma there is Amor Para Todos, aptamorparatodos.weebly.com. Their name means “Love for all” in Spanish. It was founded by Renee Ho, who is a teacher and mother of four kids under 10 years of age, one who is in the LGBTQIA+ community. Their mission is “to innovate schools and communities to be more gender and LGBTQIA+ inclusive.” According to Ho, Give Out Day “is how we get over 95 percent of our funding to support our organizations mission and projects.” The focus this year is their “Saving Lives Now Project,” which is comprised of five components.
First, they want all school and community single stall restrooms to follow state law which is to have all gender signage. They also want to help establish APT Student clubs in elementary schools. They are working with the schools to adopt use of a gender inclusive family life/sex-ed curriculum. They also recommend a general TK-6th grade gender/LGBTQIA+ curriculum, which state law also recommends. And they are working on getting anti-bias gender/LGBTQIA+ trainings implemented. Donations can be made at: www.giveoutday.org/organization/Amor-Para-Todos . They also have a live event planned for Ayawasaka in Petaluma on June 30, from 3-9 p.m. as a Give Out Day Dine and Donate. Reservations to dine are required and can be made at: https://www.facebook.com/events/129163712620264?ref=newsfeed.
Jessie Hankins, the Program & Evaluation Manager for LGBTQ Connection in Santa Rosa, said “Last year, community support allowed us to serve over 3,819 youth, seniors, family members, and allies with critically needed services including support groups, virtual gatherings, free counseling, and one-on-one support.” Additionally, Hankins said “we trained over 1,570 professionals and community leaders on how to implement best practices as allies.” They even launched a new QTPOC group for queer and trans people of color and youth programs in American Canyon and Healdsburg. According to Hankins “your Give Out Day contribution during the month of June will help us to continue to expand our services, address unmet needs, and provide support to those who are counting on us.” You can donate to LGBTQ Connection Napa/Sonoma at: tinyurl.com/give4connection. You can also learn more about them at their website at: www.lgbtqconnection.org.
Organizations can earn extra funds as prizes from participating in Give Out Day. They are awarded by number of unique donors, not based on total dollars. These organizations are 501(c)(3) nonprofits whose staff and board leadership are primarily LGBTQ, and which primarily serves LGBTQ people. Donations are tax deductible. The minimum donation is $10 and there is no maximum donation amount. Donations can be made via credit card, debit card, PayPal, ACH, and Apple Pay. All donations are irrevocable and cannot be refunded. Will you be a unique 2021 donor?