The organization's 2017-18 Grant Request For Proposals is available now.
Caitlin Barbieri | November 2, 2017
Whether you’re checking out at Diversity Thrift or enjoying a night of drag bingo, you’re supporting the LGBTQ community more than you realize. Through their many fundraising efforts, Diversity Richmond has opened up their grant program for another year, continuing their mission to enrich and support the LGBTQ community.
Through their grant program, in existence for nearly two decades, Diversity Richmond seeks to support the Richmond community by funding organizations working on issues affecting local LGBTQ residents. This year Diversity Richmond is giving out $15,000, which is available to support any program helping the LGBTQ community — even programs created by non-LGBTQ organizations.
Diversity Richmond’s Executive Director, Bill Harrison, calls the grant program “a major point of our mission to financially support the LGBTQ community.” The grant program, began in 1999, has not been an annual event. Harrison restarted the grant program after two years of inactivity when he joined Diversity Richmond in 2013.
In total, Diversity Richmond has given out over $955,000 since the program began. Last year alone, they gave out $30,000 in grants. However, this year the organization has less money to allocate because they are experiencing an increase in need themselves. “We have some major expenses facing us,” Harrison said. “Our building is in dire need of repair. We need a new roof, which is going to cost about a half million dollars.”
Despite this decrease in available funds, Diversity Richmond is excited about using the money they do have to continue supporting the LGBTQ community. In past years, money has been granted to organizations such as Side By Side, Equality Virginia, Planned Parenthood of Richmond, and the Alzheimer’s Association.
“This most recent funding they gave for 2017 helped us to pilot our first LGBTQ support group in Petersburg High School,” Side-by-Side’s Executive Director, Ted Lewis, said. “We wouldn’t have been able to pilot that program without them.”
The grant program is meant to assist any organization that is supporting the LGBTQ community. To qualify for a grant the organization must be a non-profit, and proposals should detail how the organization will use the money to either benefit the LGBTQ community or address issues facing the community. Diversity Richmond is looking for unique proposals that address unmet needs in the community.
“We funded the Alzheimer’s Association, for example, because they are creating support groups for LGBT people who have memory loss or have partners who have memory loss,” Harrison said.
The grants are allocated by a diverse committee of people from different backgrounds and areas. The committee will reward the money based on the grant proposals they receive, and are specifically looking for creative new ideas.
“What’s beautiful about Diversity Richmond is that they understand the the needs of the community are ever changing and ever evolving,” Lewis said. “They are willing to reinvest in the community for new and exciting projects in a way that some funders are a little more hesitant to do.”
Grant proposals should be submitted in the form of an online application, which can be downloaded from Diversity Richmond’s website. Applications were originally due on Monday, November 6, but the deadline has been extended to Monday, November 20, so you still have time to put a proposal together.