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Lesbian Fund

Supporting lesbians throughout their lives.

Funding from the Lesbian Fund supports issues critical to our community, such as partner rights, access to resources, health and wellness activities, and reproductive justice.

Although there are a few existing funds and foundations that have a strong history of funding LGBT issues, there are none that focus solely on lesbian issues. To meet this need, the Lesbian Fund was established in 2006 as a community resource built and advised by lesbians. Today, it is a resource dedicated to meeting the unique needs of lesbians at all stages of their lives. It serves as a catalyst for raising community awareness and commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all lesbians and their families.

Consider Joyce, a lesbian who raised two children on her own, working at a small nonprofit with no health benefits. She is still working hard to make sure her adult children are thriving in the world.  Over the past 20 years she has had little time for herself or had the time to be involved in her community. Two years ago, she joined the Diverse and Resilient Lesbian Health Leadership Initiative, funded by the Lesbian Fund at the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee. With leadership training and support she is paying attention to her own development. She is now committed to regular checkups and screenings and is passionate about advocating for breast cancer prevention. She has recruited lesbian and bisexual women to participate in outreach, health and leadership projects that benefit lesbians, and she works hard to connect lesbians and their family members to needed community resources.  Recently, Joyce was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the cure Southeast Wisconsin and serves on the Diverse and Resilient Lesbian Leadership Advisory Council.

A gift to the Lesbian Fund is used in two ways: for direct grants to programs that benefit lesbians and support lesbian leadership and to grow the Lesbian Fund’s invested assets. In the words of Lesbian Fund Steering Committee members, “Our donors support programs that move us toward a more fair and just society for lesbians. The support of allies and other lesbians increases our confidence and willingness to become visible and active leaders on issues of importance to lesbians in our community.”

2014 Grant Process

The Lesbian Fund is conducting two grant cycles in 2014. This application is for program or event sponsorship requests that must be completed by December 31, 2014. We will also conduct an application cycle in Fall 2014 for 2015 programs and events.  We will only accept one application from an organization in each cycle.
We invite non-profits and organizations with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor to apply in one of two categories: 1) funding of activities that improve the lives of lesbians, and 2) sponsorship of a community event that benefits lesbians in the greater Milwaukee area. For both areas, the activity/event to be funded must occur between July 1 and December 31, 2014.

The L Fund’s annual survey at Pridefest shows that isolation, invisibility and lack of respect for our families are pressing issues for lesbians. We believe that we can impact the lives of lesbians by developing and showcasing our leadership, protecting our families and creating social outlets that build community.

For the 2014 cycle, we are focusing our support on programs that improve the lives of lesbians at all stages of their lives:
• Increase the visibility of lesbians as strong community leaders
• Empower lesbian women and girls through leadership development
• Reproductive justice: the right to create, define and protect our families
• Reduce isolation and create community (i.e., groups that allow lesbians to socialize in healthy activities)

Programs that are selected for funding can receive up to $2,000. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm on THURSDAY, JUNE 12th. NO LATE SUBMISSIONS ACCEPTED. Grant announcements will be made by June 30, 2014.

This year the Lesbian Fund will be making its decisions about event sponsorship through this Request for Proposals. Maximum sponsorship amount is $500.

Click here to submit application

Our 2013 Grant Partners

Alliance School
$ 3,000.00 | School Nurse (specializing in health issues for girls)

Diverse and Resilient
$ 3,000.00 | Grow Great Women ( leadership training for lesbian women)

Fair Wisconsin Education Fund
$1,000.00 | Annual conference

Public Allies
$ 3,000.00 | Support research project that develops anti homophobia curriculum

Lesbian Fund Steering Committee

Tanya Atkinson
Dalila Cardona, Co-Chair
Chris Doerfler
Ann Ellingboe
Velvet Moore
Kathy Prodoehl
Lesley Salas, Co-Chair
Eren Turk

 Note: The Women’s Fund retains a percentage of all restricted gifts.