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Equality Fund for LGBTQIA+
Cultivating support, inclusion, and respect
The LGBTQIA+ Equality Fund has been established to cultivate a community that supports, includes, and respects lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and non-binary individuals and families.
VISION: The vision is a unified LGBTQIA+ community whose voices and needs are amplified to create deeper understanding and acceptance within the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area.
- Provide LGBTQIA+ community members, especially youth and elders, a strong network of support;
- Achieve collective impact by organizing within the LGBTQIA+ community and investing in leadership development opportunities;
- Increase visibility and acknowledgement of intersectionality within the queer community, empowering diverse voices and experiences to be heard;
- Foster inclusivity, openness, and acceptance with and within the greater community around LGBTQIA+ issues; and,
- Deliver equitable access to critical services (housing, medical care, education) AND address issues of inequity within our current social, economic, political, and justice systems.
This Fund is a collaboration between the Sherwood Foundation, Mutual of Omaha, Conagra Brands Foundation, Peter Kiewit Foundation—and is administered by the Omaha Community Foundation.
All funding decisions are made by a resident-led committee of individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+.
The 2021 EQ Committee Members are:
- Esther Mejia, Chair
- Dan Harr
- Ryan Ellis
- Jackie Cuthbert
- Krysta Larson
- Ralph Kellogg
- Christina Arellano
- Angela Balsarini
Funding priorities include, but are not limited to, support for:
- Workforce Training, Education, and Development LGBTQIA+ Representation (staff, leadership, board), LGBTQIA+ facilitators leading trainings around LGBTQIA+ topics
- Informed, Supportive, and Accessible Health Care Physical and Behavioral Health
- Justice System Involvement/Intervention
- Public Leadership. Advocacy, and Allyship
- Safe Shelter and Homelessness Prevention
Applications that demonstrate collaboration among multiple organizations are encouraged. LGBTQIA+ representation (among clients served, management, staff, and board members) is considered during the decision making process.
Up to $200,000 in grant funding will be awarded each year. The average grant award is $15,000 to $20,000.
The application period is open annually January 1 – March 1 (11:59 PM). Applications must be submitted via the online grant portal.
Awards are announced via email in May. Projects must be completed in the year awarded.
Applicants must be a public, tax-exempt organization as defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, OR working with a 501(c)(3) fiscal agent who can receive funds on your behalf.
There is no organizational operating budget limit. Organizations of all sizes that fit the other criteria are eligible to apply.
Innovative programs, initiatives, services, or other ideas within the above-stated focus areas that serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and non-binary individuals and families in Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie Counties.
Applicants’ policies and practices must be in alignment with the following non-discrimination clause:
The applicant organization does not lawfully or unlawfully discriminate in its hiring practices or service provision to clients and/or customers based on race, ethnicity, religious preference, age, [mental, emotional, or physical] disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, military service, or gender.
Additionally, organizations must submit their anti-discrimination policy at time of application.
There is no organizational operating budget limit. Organizations of all sizes that fit the other funding criteria are eligible to apply.
Nonprofits receiving funding from Omaha Community Foundation’s other grant programs, or from the Fund’s other philanthropic partners are eligible to apply. Applicants from previous years may apply again this year if their final report was submitted to the Omaha Community Foundation.
These requirements, including eligibility of repeat, consecutive funding, funding priorities, and operating budget caps, are subject to change annually. Additionally, the committee reserves the right to waive eligibility requirements to make awards that address critical community needs.