Pride Foundation and Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Announce Partnership to Invest in LGBTQ+ Youth Across Washington

SEATTLE – AUGUST 2, 2023 – Today, Pride Foundation and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announced $1.6 million in funding to support LGBTQ+ youth-serving organizations. The two-year pilot program is focused on Washington state, funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and implemented by Pride Foundation, the only LGBTQ+ community foundation serving the Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Funding will provide unrestricted resources for nonprofits that primarily serve LGBTQ+ youth and support growth, capacity building, and movement building within and across the organizations, as well as the opportunity for participants to build relationships, share stories, rest, heal, and learn with each other as leaders.

Despite progress in recent years, LGBTQ+ youth continue to face devastating and life-threatening discrimination, harassment, and violence as a result of ongoing systemic oppression stemming from racism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia, imperialism, and carceral systems. The urgency to address these issues and help young LGBTQ+ people thrive is only growing, as a targeted anti-LGBTQ+ backlash continues to grow and gain momentum, with more than 650 anti-LGBTQ bills filed in state legislatures across the country and nearly one-third of states having restricted healthcare access for transgender youth. Even with these challenges and realities, the organizations and leaders supporting LGBTQ+ youth continue to be bright spots of support that foster joy, create connections, and build movements for justice.

“LGBTQ+ organizations have long had to build the resources and support structures our community needs. We are thrilled to be developing this pilot initiative to support the long-term stability and growth of those organizations to carry out their critical and tremendous work with a long-overdue level of investment,” said Katie Carter, CEO of Pride Foundation. “We hope that what we learn and develop from the program will help spur ongoing investment by philanthropy into these brilliant leaders and organizations, in Washington and beyond, who have been integral to building movements for justice with joy, resilience, and creativity for generations.”

The 13 sub-grantees selected by Pride Foundation for the first phase of the partnership (see list below) play a crucial role addressing the challenges faced by young LGBTQ+ people. The program prioritizes organizations in more rural areas of the state and those that are led by Queer, Trans, Black, or Indigenous People of Color (QTBIPOC). The diverse nonprofits provide a wide range of services, programs, and support, from housing and food assistance to physical and mental health services, education and employment counseling, legal and immigration services, and mentorship programs. These organizations create safe spaces and advocate for inclusive policies that promote the well-being of LGBTQ+ youth across our schools and communities.

LGBTQ+-serving organizations are persistently and chronically underfunded by philanthropy, limiting the resources they have to stabilize, grow, and provide the breadth of support needed. In 2021, for every $100 awarded by U.S. foundations only 28 cents specifically supported LGBTQ+ communities and issues. This pilot program aims to bridge the funding gap for LGBTQ+ youth-serving organizations in Washington state and serve as a model for others across the country to address the under-funding of these vital organizations.

“Young LGBTQ+ people are powerful agents of change within their communities. By bringing together current and future leaders of LGBTQ+-serving organizations, we can build a society that is more inclusive, resilient, and responsive to the needs of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Cat Martin, Director of the Arts & Communities program at the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “This partnership will also provide resources that make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ youth and allow us to learn how we and other funders can best support the community.”

Pride Foundation kicks off the project later this year by creating a movement-building platform steered by community voice and trust-based philanthropy practices, that supports the wellbeing and leadership of youth and those working at the frontlines of these organizations. The goal is to widen and strengthen networks to provide leaders with ongoing learning, mentorship, and skill-building opportunities. In addition, Pride Foundation will disburse grants to LGBTQ+-serving organizations to further build their programs, efforts, and impact in Washington state.  Through this pilot, both Pride Foundation and Paul G. Allen Family Foundation hope to learn more about the landscape of what LGBTQ+ youth serving organizations in Washington state need and want to support current and future LGBTQ+ movements.

About Pride Foundation

Pride Foundation is the only LGBTQ+ community foundation serving the Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Since 1985, Pride Foundation has fueled transformational movements to advance equity and justice for LGBTQ+ people in all communities across the Northwest. Pride Foundation envisions a world in which all LGBTQ+ people live safely and openly as their whole selves, in all the communities they call home. 

About the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Founded in 1988 by philanthropists Jody Allen and the late Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, the foundation invests in communities across the Pacific Northwest to enhance the human experience of arts & culture, center under-served populations, and mobilize young people to make impact. In addition, the foundation supports a global portfolio of nonprofit partners working across science and technology solutions to protect wildlife, preserve ocean health, and create lasting change. The foundation also funds the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, which works to advance cutting-edge research in all areas of bioscience.

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About the Organizations: Pride Foundation Grant Sub-Grantees

Camp Ten Trees
King County, WA

Camp Ten Trees is a nonprofit residential camp in Washington State founded in 2000 that provides inclusive summer camp programs and year-round activities for LGBTQ+ youth and youth from LGBTQ+ families aged 8-17. Their mission is to foster self-acceptance, leadership, and social change. Camp Ten Trees offers a safe and supportive environment where youth can connect, learn, and grow.

Communities In Schools (CIS) – Benton-Franklin
Benton and Franklin County, WA

The CIS Benton-Franklin affiliate works directly inside 31 schools throughout Richland, Pasco, Kennewick, Finley and Prosser School Districts to learn first-hand about the personal challenges and structural barriers standing between our students and their goals. They provide resources, support, and mentorship to students facing barriers to education, such as poverty, homelessness, or family challenges. CIS aims to assist all students in need and provides support to LGBTQ+ youth.

King County, WA

FEEST (Food Empowerment Education and Sustainability Team) began in 2008 as part of the King County Food and Fitness Initiative. Now, FEEST trains youth of color and working-class youth, including LGBTQ+ youth, to build collective power and organize for transformative and systemic change in their schools.

Okanogan County, WA 

FYRE is a local non-profit organization serving youth ages 12-24 in Okanogan County. They serve as a Safe Place for LGBTQ+ Youth and provide direct services for youth including physical and mental health services; basic supplies and necessities; drop-in support; life skills, education and employment guidance; legal and housing services; and more.

Harbor Include
Grays Harbor County, WA 

Harbor Include is an LGBTQ+ Youth Drop-In Center in Grays Harbor, hosting a weekly social gathering program for LGBTQ+ teens and their friends ages 13-18, serving as a safe place to hang out, learn life skills, and get support. Harbor Include is committed to fostering inclusivity and equality and hosts other events such as dances and proms.

Oasis Youth Center
Pierce County, WA

The Oasis Youth Center, located in Tacoma, WA, aims to address the unique needs and challenges faced by LGBTQ+ youth, creating a welcoming environment where they can connect, find resources, and build a sense of belonging. They offer a variety of services, including support groups, educational workshops, counseling, and social activities.

Odyssey Youth Movement
Spokane County, WA 

Odyssey Youth Movement promotes equity for LGBTQ+ youth in the Inland Northwest through youth-driven programs and community education. Their programs empower LGBTQ+ youth to lead authentic lives and become advocates for equality and social change. They offer a range of services, including support groups, leadership development programs, social events, and educational workshops.

Olympic Pride
Jefferson County, WA 

Olympic Pride is a Washington-based community organization that celebrates and supports LGBTQ+ youth and allies through events, activities, and educational programs. They provide resources to LGBTQ+ youth, including the Rainshadow Youth Collective for school-aged youth and LGBTQIA+ Young Adult groups. They also have a Book4Kids program that offers LGBTQ+ books to schools, fostering a sense of self-acceptance and support for queer and questioning youth.

Pizza Klatch
Thurston County, WA

Pizza Klatch is a nonprofit organization that provides support to LGBTQ+ youth in Thurston County, focusing on creating inclusive school environments and promoting mental health for LGBTQ+ youth. They offer weekly support groups facilitated by trained adult volunteers, where LGBTQ+ youth can find a safe space to connect, share experiences, and receive support.

Powerful Voices
King County, WA

Led and fully staffed by womxn and nonbinary people of color, Powerful Voices is a nonprofit organization based in Seattle that aims to build a place where young girls and gender expansive youth of color can commune, create, learn, and lead while being their full, authentic selves. Since 1995, they have created gender-specific social justice programs for middle-and highschool-aged youth and collaborated with organizations, community members, and businesses to reframe what it looks like to support and be led by young people.”

Rod’s House
Yakima County, WA

Rod’s House is a nonprofit organization located in Yakima, Washington, that serves youth experiencing homelessness. They offer a range of services, including shelter, meals, case management, educational support, and life skills training. They aim to support all youth facing homelessness, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Stonewall Youth
Thurston County, WA

Founded in 1991 and based in Olympia, WA, Stonewall Youth is a social justice organization of youth, activists, and allies that empowers LGBTQ+ youth and fosters connections within the community to address issues of discrimination and marginalization. Stonewall Youth serves three primarily rural counties in southwestern Washington: Thurston, Mason, and Lewis. Stonewall Youth is youth-led and adult-supported.

South King County, WA

UTOPIA Washington is a transnational grassroots organization created by and serving the Queer and Trans Pacific Islander (QTPI) community in the Puget Sound area and throughout Washington state. They provide resources, support, and advocacy for LGBTQI+ individuals, allies and their families; addressing unique challenges and promoting acceptance, equality, and cultural affirmation through various initiatives and services. UTOPIA Washington’s services include peer support, cultural revitalization, youth empowerment, legal and immigration services, gender affirming and primary care health services, and trauma-informed harm reduction.

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