Gay Community Center of Richmond to get new name and look at a big announcement 4/15
Since 1999, the The Richmond Gay Community Foundation and its building on Sherwood Avenue has changed little. Meanwhile, the world around it has – from the legalization of same-sex marriage, the the growth of LGBTQ issues on the national stage.
Times have changed.
So it should not come as a surprise that the Foundation is looking for a few updates….
“This is the culmination of three years of work,” said Bill Harrison, President and Executive Director of the Foundation, as he ran through the top secret plans for the future of the organization.
Shortly after he took over at the GCCR, he noticed a change was in order. Harrison, under direction of the Foundation Board, began a community-wide needs assessment, asking not only what the community wanted from the community center, but finding out what other needs were not being met in RVA’s LGBTQ community – from health groups, youth programs, arts and entertainment, and everything in between.
“What we were doing well and where did we needed to improve” asked the assessment, before finally moving into focus group stages with an equally diverse range of local LGBTQs.
“If you’d talked to us, we focused,” joked Harrison about the massive push for feedback from the community.
Taking the knowledge gained through focus groups, they then contracted with Floricane, a local firm that specializes in helping nonprofits with long range strategic planning.
After the strategic planning phase, a marketing team was sought to help build the message.
Kim Farlow and Lisa Cumbey, who’s new branding effort will be unveiled April 15th at the GCCR, really hit the message out of the park, according to Harrison.
Cumbey has been working with LGBTQ groups for decades – she designed Pride guide books, flyers for LGBTQ events, and she supported the GCCR in the billboard campaign opposing the ex-gay therapy billboard put up late last year.
Farlow worked as the community affairs director for Philip-Morris and Altria and went out on her own some time ago – the two joined together to apply for the chance to update the GCCR.
One of the biggest change’s you’ll see later this month is the new name – “Gay” leaves out lots of groups, said Harrison.
“As one transgender friend told me, never been gay, am not gay, never will be gay,” he said.
The name also left people unaware of just what the Gay Community Foundation, the org managing the GCCR, did, including doling out $850,000 in donations over the last decade to local LGBTQ groups.
Mean while everyone knew about their storefront Diversity Thrift.
So the new name hopes to be a silver bullet – aligning the non-profit with the store front, and giving a more inclusive name to their cause.
“I want people to leave with knowledge of what their community center does,” said Harrison, but there’s still lots of work to be done.
Among one of the foundations next big projects is finding out what do to with the rest of their building. They only use about 40% of it currently, and they’re hoping the community can help them figure it how to fill the space.
The big unveiling happens Event is Wednesday, April 15, 6-730 in the Foundation’s event hall, 1407 Sherwood Avenue, 23220 - with Attorney General Mark Herring, the Richmond Gay Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorus, and a number of other surprises.
RSVP by emailing RSVP@lgbtrichmond.net
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“The more money we make with events like this, the more money we can put back in the community,”July 22, 2016
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