Community Issues Funding Program

Horizons’ flagship grantmaking program, Community Issues, provides support to LGBTQ nonprofit organizations and programs based in our local community: the nine counties of the SF Bay Area. Central to our mission, supporting these organizations’ programs, services, and advocacy helps advance a world where all LGBTQ people live freely and fully.

Our Psace

Grantee partner Our Space

Oasis Legal Services

Grantee partner Oasis Legal Services

Our Psace

Grantee partner Our Space

We know that the LGBTQ community’s needs and opportunities constantly evolve, and it is essential to examine our grantmaking approach and priorities. Horizons 2018 LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment underscored the continuing significant challenges and often disproportionate needs the LGBTQ community faces in the SF Bay Area. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated disparities that already existed while increasing vulnerability for parts of the LGBTQ community. The pandemic has also financially impacted LGBTQ nonprofits while increasing demand for their services.

To help target our funding and achieve greater impact for the LGBTQ community, Horizons Foundation has updated our grantmaking strategy. Horizons seeks to strengthen our Community Issues grantmaking with refined priorities, emphasizing the centrality of supporting organizations that are based in our community and led by LGBTQ people. We proudly reaffirm our commitment as a community foundation to an “Open Door” policy in our community grantmaking, intentionally offering a wide range of LGBTQ nonprofits opportunities to seek funding. 

About Community Issues Grants

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General Operating Support


Horizons favors general operating support grants for LGBTQ-primary organizations because we know that this is the funding our organizations need most. 

 

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grant size and duration


Horizons' Community Issues grants have a maximum award of $15,000 — an increase from $10,000 in past years. This year, we are also increasing the number of multi-year grants awarded. 

 

open door policy


Community Issues is open to all nonprofits and fiscally sponsored programs that meet eligibility criteria and whose work falls within these overall funding areas: 

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Advocacy and Civil Rights

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Arts and Culture

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Community Building and Leadership

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Health and Human Services

LGBTQ-primary organizations and programs

Community Issues will focus on funding smaller and mid-sized (annual budget $1 million or less) nonprofits that are LGBTQ-primary organizations, defined as organizations:

  • whose missions include the LGBTQ population as the primary focus of the work; 
  • whose staff and boards predominantly reflect the LGBTQ community; 
  • and which primarily serve LGBTQ people (65% or more). 

Note: LGBTQ-primary organizations with annual budgets of $1M or more and based within the nine counties of the SF Bay Area are eligible to apply to Horizons' LGBTQ Donor Engagement Program. 

Horizons will also consider applications from non-LGBTQ-primary organizations with LGBTQ-focused programs that have annual program budgets $1 million or less if the applicant can demonstrate that the program serves a specific area in the nine-county SF Bay Area where LGBTQ-primary organizations do not provide sufficient, comparable services or reach a specific LGBTQ population.

Updated Population Focus

Horizons is committed to supporting the whole ecosystem of the LGBTQ community and will continue to make grants across the multiple demographics and identities within our tremendously diverse community. We also know from our own Needs Assessment (and multiple other sources), and due to increasing wealth/income inequality in the SF Bay Area, that some parts of our community continue to be underserved and under-resourced.  

Accordingly, the foundation will prioritize the following LGBTQ organizations and programs:

LGBTQ organizations whose missions focus on, that are led by, and that primarily serve (65% or more):

  • Transgender-primary organizations
  • LGBTQ people of color-primary organizations
  • Bisexuals-primary organizations

Organizations and programs that primarily serve (65% or more):  

  • LGBTQ youth age 24 and younger 
  • LGBTQ elders age 55 and older  
  • LGBTQ asylees and/or refugees 

Eligibility

  • 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 with a budget $1M or less or a non-LGBTQ-primary organization with an LGBTQ program with a budget of $1M or less 
  • Request support for an organization or program/project based within one or more of these SF Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma 

Please note that the following are not eligible for support:

  • Requests from outside the SF Bay Area 
  • Requests for costs incurred prior to the date of the grant award 
  • Requests from government agencies 
  • Requests for capital support, including construction and renovation 
  • Fundraising event sponsorship (see our LGBTQ Donor Engagement Program) 
  • Requests from LGBTQ-primary organizations with annual budgets of $1M or more (see our LGBTQ Donor Engagement Program) 

Proposal Process

1. Create an account


Create a user and organization account on our grantmaking portal. Questions about using the portal? Please review this handy guide. Still need help? Email us at grants [at] horizonsfoundation.org 

2. Complete Proposal


Address all sections of the proposal and submit application online through our grantmaking portal by Friday, November 5 at 11:59 p.m. PT. You will receive a confirmation when your application is received.

3. Review and notification


Proposals are reviewed by staff and a community panel, and funding decisions will be announced afterward. 

Want to learn more?


View our webinar to learn more about Community Issues and this year's strategy update. Watch the recording (password: C2XU00&E), and view the slides.


We look forward to receiving your proposal and hearing about your work and your goals. Thank you for your interest in the 2021 Community Issues program — and for all the work your organization does for the LGBTQ community.  


Questions? Interested in discussing a potential proposal? Contact us at grants [at] horizonsfoundation.org.