Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues

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        philanthropic resources for the LGBTQ community.
1982 – 2018

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Winning Ingredients: What Philanthropy Can Learn from the Marriage Equality Movement

Organizer(s): Civil Marriage Collaborative, Funders for LGBTQ Issues, Overbrook, Philanthropy NY, Proteus Fund

November 2, 2015
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET
Philanthropy New York
1500 Broadway, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10036

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued an historic ruling holding that denying the freedom to marry to same-sex couples violates the U.S. Constitution. For years, the Civil Marriage Collaborative (CMC), acting collectively, and other philanthropic actors, worked diligently to support a wide array of efforts to change hearts and minds and significantly move public opinion on marriage equality. The CMC, coupled with its member institutions, provided a combined $120 million in total to support the marriage equality movement.

Join the Civil Marriage Collaborative and leaders of key partner organizations for presentations and conversations with a wide array of social justice funders about the role of the CMC and philanthropy in achieving victory on marriage equality; how this level of impact was crafted; and what can or cannot be learned from it to inform, shape and drive strategy development, messaging, organizing, coalition- building, and other elements of effective campaigns on urgent rights and justice issues.

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This grantmaker event will include a set of discussions with key philanthropic leaders and advocates who worked to achieve the freedom to marry. We will probe the role philanthropy played in shaping and helping to execute key components of the comprehensive strategy to win marriage equality. We will explore lessons learned at all levels—funder collaborative structure and approach, philanthropic strategy and tactics, and grantmaker collaboration and coordination within philanthropy, as well as with advocates at the state and national levels.


  • Premier of a video highlighting and documenting the role that philanthropy and the CMC played in the fight for marriage equality.
  • Release and discussion of a publication on philanthropy, the CMC and the incredible freedom to marry campaign. Attendees will be the first to receive copies of the publication.
  • Panels with key marriage equality philanthropists as well as leading advocates and strategists who helped drive this remarkable social justice victory. Panels will explore all of the issues noted above, as well as challenges, missteps, and the limitations of foundation support for such work.
  • Steve Foster, President & CEO, The Overbrook Foundation
  • Meg Gage, President & Executive Director, Proteus Fund
  • Paul Di Donato, Civil Marriage Collaborative Director, Proteus Fund
  • Rebecca Fox, Program Officer, Wellspring Advisors
  • Jason Franklin, W.K. Kellogg Chair in Community Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University
  • Jeana Frazzini, Co-Director, Basic Rights Education Fund
  • Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • Tim Sweeney, Philanthropic Advisor

We deeply value the work of our partners and allies across the fields of civil/human rights and social justice philanthropy and hope you will join us in New York for these conversations intended to inform and hopefully further maximize the impact of grantmakers on social justice objectives and goals.

Please contact Kyrstin Thorson ( with any questions.

Only Grantmakers Invited? Yes