Through our Southern Equality Fund, we provide a pipeline of resources – including direct funding and training – to Southern LGBTQ folks doing heroic organizing in their hometowns. If you’re on this page, you’re likely seeking funding for your work, and you’ll find all the information you need to apply to the Southern Equality Fund below.
Updates to the COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Process
Update April 1, 2021
Thank you for your interest in the Campaign for Southern Equality’s Emergency Assistance Grants through our COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program. We are sending love and support during this challenging time.
On April 1, 2021, we reopened the application at 7:40pm ET and received 100 applications very quickly, reaching our $25,000 limit for this round. We will reopen applications for these grants later in 2021 – to stay tuned, please sign up for our email list in the footer of this website or by clicking here.
COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program
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 program to quickly route funds to individuals, families, and community organizations across the LGBTQ South. The grants are distributed through CSE’s Southern Equality Fund.
Since launching in March 2020, we have opened up $335,000 in rapid response funding. Click here to read about the impact of the program – including stories from grant recipients.
Types of Grants
The COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program has three grant categories:
Emergency Assistance Grants for Individuals and Families
Emergency Assistance Grants allow LGBTQ Southerners to apply for immediate financial support of $250. The easy application process is designed to move funds quickly to LGBTQ Southerners who are already experiencing the health and financial impacts of the pandemic, with a focus on those who are most impacted. Applicants can use the funding for basic needs like groceries, rent/mortgage payments, prescriptions or medical bills, prevention supplies, and more. Please note we have increased the grant amount from $100 to $250 in response to the urgent needs across the LGBTQ South. This application is closed as of April 1.
COVID-19 Community Response Grants
Community Response Grants are grants of up to $500 to fund projects that meet the needs of LGBTQ Southerners in response to COVID-19. This includes projects focused on connecting LGBTQ elders with meals or tech assistance, food delivery programs, initiatives to connect people virtually to build community, and efforts to address mental health challenges exacerbated by social distancing. This application is not currently open.
Frontline Grants to Direct Service Providers
Staff from the Campaign for Southern Equality will direct grants to frontline organizations that provide direct services to LGBTQ Southerners at high risk of being impacted by COVID-19.
Impact and Stories
Read about how the COVID-19 Rapid Response Program has impacted LGBTQ Southerners. On this page you can view the breakdown of the types of grants that we have distributed through the program, the geographic distribution and demographics of Emergency Assistance Grant recipients, stories from grant recipients, the geographic distribution of Community Response Grant projects, and a full list of Frontline grant recipients.
The Campaign for Southern Equality is grateful for our partner organizations and donors across the South who are helping to support the COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Round.
Big thanks to Gender Benders, Southern Vision Alliance, Blue Ridge Pride, We Are Family, East Fork Pottery, and the Families and Workers Fund, a funders collaborative that includes the Ford Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and Open Society Foundation, for their donations for Emergency Assistance Grants. And, for their support of the Southern Equality Fund and the COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Program, thank you to foundations including Arcus Foundation, Freeman Foundation, Laughing Gull Foundation, Amy Mandel Fund, the Momentum Fund, the Jesse Smith Noyes Foundation, the Out in the South Initiative of Funders for LGBTQ Issues, and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
Special Grant Round: Southern Equality Studios, Supporting BIPOC LGBTQ Artists & Creatives
In November 2020 CSE accepted applications for a Southern Equality Studios special grant round, dedicated to resourcing and celebrating LGBTQ artists and creatives across the LGBTQ South who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or people of color). Grants of up to $500 supported BIPOC LGBTQ Southern artists working on a wide range of creative projects.
Southern Equality Fund: #BlackLivesMatter Grant Round
In June 2020 and Summer 2020 our #BlackLivesMatter special grant round worked to resource and celebrate the Black-led organizing across the LGBTQ South. Grants of up to $1,000 supported Black LGBTQ organizers leading projects such as direct action, resilience and healing efforts, direct service, artistic endeavors, and bail-out funds, across the South.
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