Equity Foundation is Oregon’s only grant-making institution established to fund programs and projects that advance equality for those in the LGBTQ community. Equity has been funding equality since 1989.

We believe our communities should be safe for LGBTQ individuals and that sexual orientation and gender identity should not be the basis for social alienation or legal discrimination. Equity lives this vision by granting to non-profits that work to advance LGBTQ equality and improve the quality of life for LGBTQ individuals and families.

2016 Grantmaking

This year, Equity Foundation will award grants out of our General Fund and the Paul D. Higgins Housing Fund.

General Fund: Equity’s general fund will award grants to organizations working in all areas of the LGBTQ movement, prioritizing four key areas: arts as a tool for social change, community engagement, LGBTQ youth, and transgender justice. This year, Equity will only consider proposals from organizations with annual operating budgets under $500,000. This allows us to focus our funding on small, emerging, and underfunded organizations working for LGBTQ equality.

Higgins Fund: Organizations that provide housing and supportive services for people living with HIV and AIDS are eligible to apply for grants from the Higgins Fund, which has no budget requirement.

For more information or for technical assistance, contact Dani Bernstein, Acting Executive Director, at 503-231-5759 or danib@equityfoundation.org.

General Eligibility Requirements

  • Eligible organizations must either have a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax status or be an accredited non-profit educational institution. Start-up organizations may also be eligible if they are affiliated with an organization that has a 501(c)(3) tax status that will assume responsibility for administering all funds received and expended.
  • Equity Foundation will not approve grants to individuals or for the following purposes: endowment funds; capital campaigns; physical plants; annual fund drives; private business ventures; political organizations or campaigns.
  • To be eligible for funding, projects or programs must be directly relevant to Equity Foundation’s mission to leverage resources to create social, economic, and political equality for the LGBTQ community.
  • Organizations or projects must operate within Oregon and/or benefit Oregonians. Because Vancouver and surrounding area is considered part of the Portland metropolitan area, organizations can be located in Southwest Washington and benefiting Southwest Washington—organizations need not serve the city of Portland.
  • One-time events are funded through sponsorship requests rather than through this granting cycle. To apply for event sponsorship, please click here.
  • Equity funds projects for one fiscal year, from approximately July 2016 – July 2017. Projects must be completed within the year. If the project is ongoing, the organization must use Equity’s funds in the year designated.
  • In our 2016 general granting cycle, Equity Foundation will only fund organizations with annual operating budgets under $500,000. If organizations are utilizing a fiscal sponsor, the fiscal sponsor may have a budget that exceeds $500,000. This requirement does not apply to organizations applying for a Higgins Fund grant.

Application Deadlines

This year’s deadline for grant proposals is May 2, 2016 at 5:00pm. To apply, download the application form:

 2016 Equity Foundation Grant Application

Organizations applying for either a General Fund grant or a Higgins Fund grant should download and review the Guidelines and Procedures for additional information on eligibility requirements and process.

 2016 General Fund and Higgins Fund Application Guidelines and Procedures

Approval Process

Equity Foundation’s Grants Committee consists of volunteers from across Oregon. The committee reviews proposals, requests additional information when necessary, and if time permits, conducts pre-award site visits as deemed necessary.  Equity’s members have the opportunity to vote on strong proposals, and the results of the vote are taken into consideration by the committee.

The Grants Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors, which reviews and makes all final decisions on funding. Grant decisions will be announced in June 2016 and grants will be awarded once contracts are signed.

Grantee Reporting

Grant recipients are required to submit a written report at the completion of their project or program. If you are applying for a grant this year, you are required to submit your report with your new application if you have not already submitted your report.

 Equity Foundation Grant Report Form

Download the report form and submit the completed form to danib@equityfoundation.org. Please attach an income and expenditure report for the funded project or program and any photographs, other media, letters of appreciation, or project feedback with your email.

For more information or for technical assistance, contact Dani Bernstein, Acting Executive Director, at 503-231-5759 or danib@equityfoundation.org.