Foundation marks 20th anniversary of HOPE Fund

In 1994, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan established The HOPE Fund in order to confront the lack of essential human and social services serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the region. At that time, mainstream support for LGBT issues was in its infancy. In fact, this initiative was the first partnership in the state between the LGBT community and a mainstream philanthropic foundation.

To mark The HOPE Fund's anniversary, the Community Foundation has launched a matching gift program where, through the end of the year, the organization will match donations from those who have either never donated to the fund or have not contributed in more than two years.

The HOPE Fund was initially launched with the help of a $43,000 challenge grant from the Funders for LGBTQ Issues. Since its founding, more than $3 million has been donated to support the fund's endowment and grant-making program, which has awarded $1.8 million in grants to 131 projects at 45 nonprofit agencies serving southeast Michigan's LGBT population.

"We are proud to mark this milestone of The HOPE Fund and encourage new donors to participate in the matching program," said Allan D. Gilmour, co-chair of the Community Foundation's HOPE Fund Committee. "Each grant we make helps strengthen and support the LGBT community in southeast Michigan and will continue to do so far into the future."

The mission of the HOPE Fund is to: build the capacity of key, local organizations serving the LGBT community; encourage mainstream organizations to better serve the needs of their LGBT constituents; educate the public about the needs of the population; and support efforts to build leaders.

Organizations that have received grants from The HOPE Fund have included: Affirmations Lesbian/Gay Community Center Inc., Al-Gamea, the American Civil Liberties Fund of Michigan, Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, Oakland University, Ruth Ellis Center, and KICK The Agency for LGBT African Americans.

"Great gains in the LGBT community have been made thanks to The HOPE Fund and the dedication of the grantees, but there is still more work to be done," said Mariam Noland, president of the Community Foundation. "We hope people will consider support for the LGBT community in our region through a gift to The HOPE Fund during this match period."

For additional information about the fund or to donate, visit https://cfsem.org/hope-fund.

Published: Fri, Dec 19, 2014

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