The Community Foundation of Broward kicked off Pride Month early by celebrating the 25th anniversary of our LGBTQ Community Impact Fund.
This endowed charitable fund, established in 1997, created a permanent, sustainable source of support for initiatives and services benefiting Broward’s LGBTQ residents. The groundbreaking endowment locked in ongoing support that today continues to foster understanding, encourage cooperation and promote equality for the LGBTQ community.
For 25 years, support from the fund has played a crucial role in strengthening Broward’s LGBTQ community, but there is still much work to do, said Community Foundation Board Member Brett Rose. Brett and his husband Jeremiah Gutierrez hosted the anniversary celebration at United National Consumer Suppliers in Fort Lauderdale.
“Despite the progress we have made, we must acknowledge that this is progress at its infancy when it comes to protecting our youth and ensuring that everybody can be who they truly are and be loved, respected and safe,” said Brett, CEO of United National Consumer Suppliers. “It’s our duty to continue to advocate for change.”
Twenty-five years ago, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis was an early contributor to the LGBTQ Community Impact Fund at the Community Foundation. On May 31, the mayor was among more than 100 LGBTQ supporters who enjoyed an evening of live music, drinks and delicious food to celebrate the fund’s 25th anniversary.
Ongoing support for the fund is an important way to help amid a time of “terrible backlash” to the LGBTQ community, seen in legislation in Florida and elsewhere, the mayor said.
“Everybody should be entitled to and assured equal rights,” Mayor Trantalis said. “It’s a challenge that we all have to accept and embrace. We can’t shy away from it. We can’t say we are going to stand in the shadows, like we once did, and be afraid to be acknowledged.”
Through the years, Community Foundation grants made possible by the LGBTQ Community Impact Fund have supported health care equity, social-emotional support for students, sensitivity training for first responders, outreach programs to promote understanding and equality, the Pride Center at Equality Park, artistic exhibits, festivals and performances, and much more.
As an endowed charitable fund – able to grow through the Community Foundation’s careful investment – support from the LGBTQ Community Impact Fund will always be there to foster equality and support the needs of LGBTQ residents.
At the Community Foundation, providing LGBTQ support is “something that’s embedded in our DNA,” President/CEO Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson said. Looking forward, the Community Foundation plans to prioritize more support for mental health needs as well as opportunities to amplify the voices of Broward’s LGBTQ community, Jennifer said.
“Everyone deserves to be loved, respected and safe,” she said.
The Community Foundation's History of LGBTQ Support
Throughout its nearly 40-year history, the Community Foundation of Broward has been a staunch supporter of the LGBTQ community. In 1986, the Community Foundation became the first non-government funder in Broward to lead the charge for education and understanding of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Since then, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $9 million in grants to support the LGBTQ community on a wide range of issues, including education, outreach, the arts and more. That support includes more than $344,000 in grants made possible by the LGBTQ Community Impact Fund.
Today the Community Foundation of Broward ranks fourth among more than 1,000 community foundations across the nation in providing LGBTQ support.
In 2021, the Community Foundation teamed up with Our Fund Foundation to launch the LGBTQ Social Justice & Equity Funders Collaborative – a unique partnership to combine expertise and resources to find innovative ways to support the aspirations of Broward’s LGBTQ community. The latest wave of support from the collaborative includes $250,000 for eight initiatives to support social equity and the civil liberties of LGBTQ residents in Broward County.
Here's How You Can Support Broward's LGBTQ Community
Click here to make a contribution to the LGBTQ Community Impact Fund at the Community Foundation.