Gay Community Endowment Fund celebrates $750,000 grant milestone
More than $70,000 awarded in 2023 to support LGBTQ+ community
On Friday, March 3, the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation announced 15 grants totaling $71,354 to programs that enhance the quality of life of Greater Akron’s LGBTQ+ community. This latest round of grants marks a milestone for the Gay Community Endowment Fund, as the fund has now reinvested more than $750,000 in the Greater Akron community since it was established in 2001.
For the fifth consecutive year, the fund awarded impact grants to programs that create safer environments for LGBTQ+ youth, combat phobias of the LGBTQ+ community, and support mental health and suicide prevention programs for LGBTQ+ people.
Impact grants totaling $42,854 were awarded to four nonprofit organizations, including Summa Health, which received a $12,500 grant to purchase gender-affirming hormone therapy injection kits for transgender and nonbinary patients to use between visits to the Pride Clinic. The funding will purchase supplies for a two-year stock of hormone kits, enabling the clinic to serve up to 800 patients across Summit, Medina and Portage counties.
In addition, the Battered Women’s Shelter received a $10,000 grant to increase outreach to LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic and sexual violence, as well as to hire and train staff to provide culturally responsive services to shelter residents and support group members. A portion of the grant will also support a targeted needs assessment that expands on the results of last year’s Greater Akron LGBTQ+ Community Needs Assessment to identify and prioritize the unique needs of LGBTQ+ survivors.
"People who identify as LGBTQ+ are more likely to experience sexual or domestic violence. They also encounter additional barriers to supportive services that impede their journey to healing," said Kate Robbins, director of grants and public policy at the Battered Women’s Shelter. "This project will conduct a needs assessment, and in partnership with agency staff, board, and a survivor advisory board, will develop and implement recommendations to improve the access and delivery of services to the LGBTQ+ community."
Other grants awarded by the Gay Community Endowment Fund this year will help LGBTQ+ job seekers find meaningful employment, promote free wellness services for LGBTQ+ people impacted by cancer, and provide expanded learning opportunities for students at the University of Akron and Kent State University.
The following is a complete list of organizations receiving grants this year:
Akron AIDS Collaborative, to support the Bayard Rustin LGBTQ+ Resource Center, which provides emergency housing referrals, food and clothing assistance, and mental health services for LGBTQ+ people of color in Summit County, $10,000
Akron Children’s Hospital, to establish a parent support group for caregivers of patients who are receiving gender-affirming care, $3,000
Akron Civic Theatre, to support the Millennial Theatre Project, which engages underrepresented young adults in theater productions, including those in the LGBTQ+ community, $1,000
Battered Women’s Shelter, to address the needs of LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Summit and Medina counties through culturally responsive services, support groups, staff trainings and outreach, $10,000
CANAPI, to promote inclusivity through the 2023 Akron Pride Festival, $3,000
CANAPI, to provide food, transportation and rental assistance for LGBTQ+ young adults experiencing housing instability, $10,354
Kent State University Foundation, to support the QUEST mentorship program, which pairs LGBTQ+ students with a supportive adult role model, $3,000
OutSupport, for community outreach, education and advocacy efforts that promote the health and equality of LGBTQ+ people in Medina and surrounding communities, $2,000
OutSupport, to promote a sense of belonging within the LGBTQ+ community in Medina County through a billboard marketing campaign, $3,000
Plexus Education Foundation, to connect LGBTQ+ job seekers with employers dedicated to hiring diverse candidates through the LGBTQ+ Job & Resource Fair, $3,000
Stewart’s Caring Place, to support outreach to LGBTQ+ and HIV+ communities, which have historically underutilized the organization’s free cancer wellness and support services, $1,500
Summa Health, to provide gender-affirming hormone therapy injection kits to transgender and nonbinary patients at the Summa Health Pride Clinic, $12,500
University of Akron Foundation, to provide expanded learning and enrichment opportunities for LGBTQ+ students and allies during the 2023-24 school year, $3,000
University of Akron Foundation, to support a graduate assistant position to spearhead the university’s services for LGBTQ+ students, $3,000
VANTAGE Aging, to provide LGBTQ+ older adults with opportunities to serve their community and find connection through the AmeriCorps Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), $3,000
About the Gay Community Endowment Fund
Founded in 2001, the Gay Community Endowment Fund is a permanent philanthropic endowment of Akron Community Foundation. The fund advances a lived equality for all LGBTQ+ people in Greater Akron by investing in strategic and responsive grantmaking that empowers the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. Since its inception, the fund has grown to nearly $2 million while reinvesting more than $750,000 into the community. Contributions of any amount are welcome and support future grantmaking. Checks should be sent to Akron Community Foundation, 345 W. Cedar St., Akron, OH 44307, with Gay Community Endowment Fund in the memo line. Donations may also be designated for the GCEF Scholarship Fund. For more information, or to contribute, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.gaycommunityfund.org.
About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 67 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. It is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $260 million with a growing family of more than 810 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded more than $217 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.