COVID-19 and the Bay Area LGBTQ Community

The COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented challenges throughout the SF Bay Area and the nation, as well as in the Bay Area’s LGBTQ community.

These challenges come in the form of threats to the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ people living in the nine Bay Area counties, including those most at risk for COVID-19-related illness. The pandemic and related economic shutdowns also threaten to overwhelm the capacity of critical LGBTQ community nonprofits, as well as pose near- and long-term financial hardship.

Our 2020 survey of nonprofits makes clear that the pandemic has caused declines in revenue, among other challenges, for many Bay Area LGBTQ nonprofits. Learn more about our findings.

Horizons is working in community to ensure Bay Area LGBTQ nonprofits have the resources they need during these challenging times.

LGBTQ COVID-19 Loan Program

As part of our continued response to COVID-19, Horizons launched the LGBTQ COVID-19 Loan Program for LGBTQ nonprofits in the nine counties of the SF Bay Area. This loan program offers several types of loans at zero-percent interest, with deferred payments option for up to six months and no loan-processing fee. 

LGBTQ COVID-19 Response Emergency Fund

In our initial response to the pandemic, Horizons awarded over $940,000 in emergency grants to 71 Bay Area LGBTQ nonprofits and programs through our LGBTQ COVID-19 Response Emergency Fund.

Learn more about our impact from some of our COVID-19 grantee partners and participants in Give OUT Day, Horizons' day of giving that raised over $1.6 million for hundreds of LGBTQ nonprofits across the country.

Thank you to the many donors, donor advisors, and institutions that have contributed to the Emergency Fund!

2K logo
Blue Shield of California Foundation logo
California Wellness Foundation logo
Hewlett Foundation logo
Silicon Valley Community Foundation logo
Stuart Foundation logo
Sutter Health/CPMC logo


Horizons seeks to advance two major goals through this Fund: 

Virus icon

COVID-19 Response

To help Bay Area LGBTQ nonprofit organizations respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially to support individuals, couples, and families impacted by the pandemic and those in vulnerable and underserved parts of the community.

Infrastructure icon

infrastructure Support

To help maintain our community’s critical nonprofit and service infrastructure by providing immediate financial support to LGBTQ organizations that play especially critical roles in that infrastructure.


To be eligible for an LGBTQ COVID-19 Response Emergency Fund grant, your organization must:

  • Be a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, or provide documentation that the organization is fiscally sponsored by an organization that has 501(c)(3) status
  • Be an LGBTQ-primary organization (defined as an organization whose mission includes the LGBTQ population as a primary focus of the work; whose staff and board predominantly reflect the LGBTQ community; and which primarily serves LGBTQ people)
  • Request support for an organization within one or more of these counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma
  • Address all sections of the application

Please note that Horizons cannot make grants directly to individuals.

Awards and Timeline

Grants range from $2,500 to $20,000. All grants are in the form of unrestricted operating support.

Note: Horizons is not currently accepting applications, but will resume applications if additional funds become available. 


This is a simplified application form that is intended to impose as little burden on over-stretched nonprofits as possible, while still providing you a chance to share information with us. Our goal is for the application to take you 60 minutes or less to complete. Please note that funding limitations mean that Horizons will be able to fund only a portion of applications submitted.

General Focus Areas

Horizons seeks to support LGBTQ-primary organizations that directly serve substantial numbers of
LGBTQ people at-risk for COVID-19, especially vulnerable and frequently underserved populations. We seek to support LGBTQ-primary organizations that play especially central roles in specific geographical areas of the SF
Bay Area (e.g., a community center serving a specific county or area).

Horizons has established two overall focus areas for the LGBTQ COVID-19 Response Emergency Fund:

COVID-19-responsive programming

LGBTQ-primary organizations engaged in specific COVID-19-responsive programming, including (but not
limited to):

  • Supporting low-wage LGBTQ workers
  • Reducing social isolation, especially among LGBTQ seniors
  • Reducing food and/or housing insecurity among LGBTQ individuals

Critical near-term Organizational financial need

LGBTQ-primary organizations that are experiencing clear and critical near-term financial challenges due to the
COVID-19 pandemic. We are aware that every LGBTQ organization has concerns about funding at this time. This focus area is not, however, intended to respond to more general future funding concerns.


If you have any questions, please contact us at grants [at]

Note: Horizons is not currently accepting applications, but will resume applications if additional funds become available. 

We are not currently accepting new applications for the LGBTQ COVID-19 Response Emergency Fund, but will resume if additional funds become available. Sign up to receive updates about future funding opportunities.

Additional Resources

Horizons' Webinars and Virtual Discussions

External Resources