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Responding to the Tragic Shooting and Massacre in Orlando - What Can Funders Do?

Updated June 16, 2016

This weekend, a gunman attacked an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, leaving at least 100 victims, nearly all LGBTQ, Latino/a, and young.

This is the worst mass shooting in the U.S. since the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. For funders and individual donors concerned about this tragic act of anti-LGBTQ violence,we wanted to offer a number of ways you can help. We welcome additional resources or recommendations, and will update this list as we receive them. (If you have additional resources or recommendations, please email them to Lyle Matthew Kan, Director of Research & Communications, at

Support the victims, survivors, and their loved ones.
So far, four different efforts aim to raise funds to support the victims, survivors and their families.

Give to local LGBTQ and Latino nonprofits in Orlando.
In the wake of a tragedy like this one, the needs of the community can be overwhelming, and a number of LGBTQ nonprofit organizations are working to respond to those needs. All of these local organizations are undoubtedly in need of additional resources to meet the unexpected demand.
  • Over 40 Latino and Orlando-based organizations have established a community-based coalition called "Somos Orlando" to fundraise for culturally competent services for victims and their families, 96% of whom were Latino. Services will include culturally competent emergency assistance, case management, crisis intervention, and mental health services, among other immediate needs.
  • The GLBT Community Center of Orlando is organizing a range of services and resources on the ground in Orlando.
  • The Zebra Coalition is a network of organizations serving LGBTQ youth in Central Florida. Zebra has expanded its hotline services to answer the flood of callers in need of help.
  • Two-Spirit Health Services offers mental health services to LGBTQ communities in Orlando, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
  • Hope and Help Center provides comprehensive support for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in Central Florida.
  • Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA) provides a safe space for GLBTQ youth in Central Florida.
  • Equality Florida is the organization advocating for equality for LGBTQ across the state of Florida, including protections from discrimination and violence.
Fund LGBTQ organizations across the country responding to the shooting and other acts of anti-LGBTQ violence.
The shooting in Orlando is unfortunately the most extreme and visible manifestation of the violence, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia directed against LGBTQ people every day. A number of LGBTQ organizations around the country are working to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues and prevent these kind of violent acts before they happen.
  • The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs is a coalition of organizations around the country that provide services for LGBTQ people who are survivors of violence, and works to raise awareness and advocate for social change to build a world where such violence doesn’t take place.
  • CenterLink is a network of more than 200 community centers serving LGBTQ communities around the country, through services ranging from counseling and support groups to primary care and HIV testing.
  • Campaign for Southern Equality is launching a Rapid Response round of their Southern Equality Fund to direct resources to grassroots groups and individuals organizing across Florida.
  • Southerners on New Ground (SONG) is a regional Queer Liberation organization made up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class, and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South. In the wake of the Pulse shooting, SONG mobilized to Orlando to show support for Orlando's LGBTQ Latinx, immigrant, and Black community grappling with this intimate assault.
  • The Equality Federation is the national network of LGBTQ organizations advocating for equality for LGBTQ people at the state level.
Make a public statement in support of the LGBTQ community in Orlando.
As community leaders, funders can play an important role by stepping out publicly in support of the LGBTQ community in Orlando. This is an important time for all of us to ensure that the impact of this massacre on LGBTQ people and their families is understood and honored. Here are helpful talking points to consider when drafting a public statement. There has been an outpouring of supportive statements so far, including statements by several Muslim organizations such as Muslim Advocates and Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity.You can also join your local community through attending a vigil to honor the victims, survivors and families of this terrible attack. A list of vigils around the country can be found here.

Support efforts through rapid response funding.
The Security & Rights Collaborative Rapid Response Fund (at Proteus Fund) is open to supporting time-limited and intersectional responses to this tragedy. Contact Lindsay Ryder at to suggest projects. Our Fund also has a rapid response fund and is collecting tax-deductible donations to benefit non-profits in Orlando supporting survivors and victims' families and friends and their efforts to restore peace, joy and wellness to Orlando's LGBTQ community.

Category(s): Philanthropic Sector, General LGBTQ Community