As the nation confronts the significant and unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Campaign for Southern Equality has created a rapid response grant round to quickly route funds to individuals, families, and community organizations across the LGBTQ South. The grant round of $25,0000 will be distributed through CSE’s Southern Equality Fund. This page houses information and a link to the application for our Community Response Grants.
Updates to the COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Process
Update March 27:
We are now adding all new Community Response Grants applications to a waiting list. Thank you for your ideas, passion, and enthusiasm as we work to move resources to projects supporting LGBTQ Southerners.
How It Works
Anyone can apply for a grant of up to $500 to fund a project to meet the needs of LGBTQ Southerners in response to COVID-19. Projects could focus on, for example, connecting LGBTQ elders with meals or tech assistance, connecting people virtually to build community, addressing mental health challenges that will be exacerbated by social distancing, or something else.
We’ve made the funding application short and simple. Please note that the Campaign for Southern Equality team is working remotely and will be working to process grants as quickly as possible, on a rolling basis. If you don’t receive the funding you’ve requested this time, we hope you’ll keep in touch, connect with opportunities for training and support, and apply again.
Criteria to Receive Funding
The following are required in order to receive funding:
- The work must be based in the South and focus on promoting the equality, health, safety, and/or support of LGBTQ people in the South, with a specific tie to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This emergency funding is designed to route funds to projects that support people already experiencing, or at risk to soon experience, the health and financial impacts of the pandemic, with a focus on people and communities who are at particularly high risk.
- Southern Equality Fund grants are intended to support groups with annual budgets of less than $50,000; however, if your group’s budget is more than $50,000, please go ahead and submit your request, explaining in the application why your work is a fit.
- Groups are not required to be a 501(c)3 or have a fiscal sponsor in order to receive funding, but we do require that all grantees adhere to 501(c)(3) requirements for funded work.
These priorities also guide our funding decisions:
- Groups or individuals that face barriers to funding their work.
- Work led by and for impacted communities.
- Work that demonstrates commitments to racial, economic and gender justice.
- Work that centers the voices and leadership of transgender and GNB (Gender Non-Binary) individuals, people of color, people with low incomes, and people in rural areas.
- Projects that respond to immediate and urgent community needs.
- Projects that work toward long-term change.
- Projects focused on serving individuals that are disproportionately vulnerable to the health risks of COVID-19, including senior citizens, people with immune conditions, and people with chronic disease.
- Projects that serve individuals who are first responders, health care providers, and employees in the industries that have already been impacted by the economic downturn resulting from COVID-19.
Ready to Apply?
UPDATE MARCH 27: We are now adding all new Community Response Grants applications to a waiting list. Thank you for your ideas, passion, and enthusiasm as we work to move resources to projects supporting LGBTQ Southerners.
Application Questions (Click to Expand)
- Are you representing an organization or an individual?
- First Name
- Last Name
- Street Address
- Zip Code
- Where are you based?
- Your role in your organization
- If you receive a grant, how should a check be made out (name of group or individual)?
- Check should be mailed to: (street address, city, state, zip):
- Tell us about the work/project you are seeking funding for to respond to COVID-19 in your community. In 2-3 sentences, describe what you will do and how you will do it.
Ex: We will host three free virtual group therapy sessions for Black transgender women in Nashville, TN. We will fund the therapist and focus on creating this supportive virtual space that specifically focuses on folks’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will spread the word through social media and our group’s members.
- Tell us about the people involved. In 2-3 sentences, tell us who will lead this project and who will be served by this project. If available, please include information, about the age, race, gender, and class of those involved.
Ex: Our group is led by black and brown LGBTQ people who live in the Charlotte, NC, area. Our project focuses on serving LGBTQ elders in our community impacted by COVID-19.
- When and where will this project happen? Ex: This event will happen on May 1, 2020 in Hattiesburg, MS.
- How much funding are you requesting, up to $500?
- Tell us how you will use this funding, listing each expense and the estimated amount it will cost. Ex: We are seeking $250 for a virtual community art and music exhibit. The budget is: $50 for art supplies; $100 for virtual video streaming software license; $100 for microphones to ensure strong sound.
- Use this space to tell us anything else you’d like us to know about you, your group, the needs and dreams of your community, or the work you are doing. If your group’s budget is more than $50,000 annually, please explain why you are applying for a SEF grant for your work.
Donate to Support the COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Round
Want to donate to Campaign for Southern Equality’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Round? A generous donor to the Campaign for Southern Equality has pledged to double every dollar we raise for the next round of grants, up to $15,000. Your $5 will automatically become a $10 gift thanks to the match pledge. Click here and your gift will go directly to a grant supporting LGBTQ Southerners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Campaign for Southern Equality will distribute a total of $25,000 through Emergency Assistance funds, Community Response Grants, and Frontline Grants to Direct Service Providers. Big thanks to Gender Benders, a longtime partner of CSE, for donating $5,000 for Emergency Assistance Grants; and, for their support of the Southern Equality Fund, to foundations including Arcus Foundation, Freeman Foundation, Laughing Gull Foundation, Mandel-Rodis Fund, the Out in the South Initiative of Funders for LGBTQ Issues, and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
Return to Southern Equality Fund program page to see all components of SEF, including grassroots training webinars, spotlights on grantees, and more.
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