More than half a million dollars has been awarded in the community foundation’s first three years
DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer
Texas Pride Impact Funds opened its latest grant cycle to organizations providing services to the LGBTQ community in Texas this month
Since 2018, the fund has distributed 70 grants totaling $570,000 to about 50 organizations, according to TPIF spokesperson Ron Guillard. The awards are annual, although last year, teaming with Equality Texas, the community foundation raised money to distribute crisis funds to smaller community organizations around the state that were most severely impacted by the pandemic shut down.
Guillard said during the pandemic year, TxPIF exceeded its giving plans.
This year, the organization has begun doing community-based strategic planning to shape the next five years. He said the process is similar to what they did beginning in 2013 to create the LGBTQ-focused community foundation for Texas. Building greater diversity is one of the goals.
Applications for the new round of funding are available on the foundation’s website. Any organization with 501(c)(3) status that serves the LGBTQ community may apply. While most of the organizations that have received funds are LGBTQ, some are mainstream organizations that have programs targeting the LGBTQ community. For example, Promise House in Dallas, which shelters homeless youth, received a $5,000 grant for its LGBT house and programs.
Another example is UT Health San Antonio, which received a $10,000 grant in 2019 to help fund the Pride Community Clinic housed at the Alamo Area Resource Center. The clinic provides free health care to underserved communities who lack access due to stigma or economic factors, and it educates future healthcare professionals about health issues and needs in the LGBTQ community.
Investing in community-building efforts across Texas is one of the foundation’s goals. The upstart Coastal Bend Pride Center is the first LGBTQ community center in the 12-county Coastal Bend region. The $10,000 grant the center received from TPIF is funding housing programs for LGBTQ youth, adults 55 and older and a transgender alliance, as well as providing computer access, job search assistance, family programming and workshops on a variety of topics including financial security and health and wellness.
TPIF is also committed to investing in organizations led by indigenous and people of color working to meet the needs of varied communities and those organizations working to advance racial and economic justice.
Community building is an important area for TPIF grants focusing especially on youth, seniors and trans people. Smaller organizations especially those in rural areas, are a priority.
The application deadline is May 31. Site visits will take place over the summer, and grants will be awarded in September.
Site visits may be in person or virtual. Guillard said in 2019, a donor from San Antonio was free to drive to Eagle Pass to do a site inspection of Eagle Pass SAFE — Sexuality Advocacy For Everyone. Then a member of the grant committee spoke with the organization’s director virtually. The group was awarded $3,500 to fund a targeted media campaign for PrEParadas to address the intertwined issues of homophobia and lack of sexual health knowledge among Latina matriarchs.
In 2020, however, site visits were virtual since most organizations’ facilities were closed. This year, Guillard said, he expects at least some of the site visits this summer to be in person.
For virtual visits, the committee will meet virtually with the grant writer, the organization’s lead official and possibly a client benefiting from the organization’s services.
“When we launched, we had a policy where an organization was eligible for two years,” Guillard said.
This year, following best practices of LGBTQ community foundations around the country, there are no restrictions based on past awards.
Guillard also said the application doesn’t require the applicant to ask for a specific amount of money. The grant committee decides how much to give each organization. However, an applicant may explain what a certain amount of money would fund.
“We’re intentionally broad,” Guillard explained. “Not many foundations make grants to the LGBTQ community.”
Online applications are available at TXPIF.org. Questions about grant applications may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.