The Equality Fund at the Boston Foundation announces $165,000 in grants to 33 organizations

Fund expanded and expedited grantmaking to support nonprofits during COVID-19

June 11, 2020

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BostonThe Equality Fund at the Boston Foundation today announced it had made the largest slate of grants in its history to provide general operating support to LGBTQ-serving organizations in Greater Boston. The Fund’s Advisory Board voted to approve 33 grants, totaling $165,000, to ensure the broadest possible support to the LGBTQ community, and to expedite the grants to get needed funds to organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grants are typically announced and distributed in June, during Pride celebrations. This year, grants were released in early April to help these organizations endure through these unprecedented times. Grant restrictions were also removed to allow grantees to use funds for their most pressing needs.

“Considering the strain that the pandemic has placed on so many organizations, the Advisory Board felt strongly that we should move as broadly and quickly as possible,” said Catherine D’Amato, co-chair of the Equality Fund at the Boston Foundation. “While we want to highlight the remarkable work being done across Greater Boston as we do each year during Pride Week, accelerating the process of awarding the grants was the only right choice.”

“These thirty-three organizations all play key roles supporting members of the LGBTQ community,” said Elyse Cherry, co-chair of the Equality Fund at the Boston Foundation. “Their work in support of young people, LGBTQ elders, the homeless and other groups has only been made more vital in this time of uncertainty for so many. Providing general operating support gives nonprofits critical flexibility to use the funds for the greatest benefit.”

Since its founding in 2012, the Equality Fund has awarded over $800,000 in grants to LGBTQ-led and -serving nonprofits for operating and project support. 2020 marks both the largest dollar amount awarded in a single year and the first time the fund has made solely for general operating support. Grantees received their funds in April.

The 2020 grantees of the Equality Fund each received $5,000 grants. They include:

Bisexual Resource Center: Committed to providing support to the bisexual community and raising public awareness about bisexuality and bisexual people.

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program: Provides and ensures access to the highest quality health care for all homeless individuals and families in the Greater Boston Area.

Breaktime Café: Tackles and prevents long-term chronic homelessness through early intervention and providing accessible pathways to launching a career through transitional employment and empowerment. 

Bridge of Central Massachusetts Inc. (Open Sky Community Services): Works in partnership with the individuals, families, and the communities it serves to achieve life-long learning, self-determination, meaningful relationships, productive work, and community living through psychosocial interventions and practices.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Inc.: Provides effective and innovative services to runaway, homeless and high-risk youth, helps youth avoid a lifetime of dependency on social services, guides youth towards self-sufficiency, and enables youth to transform their lives and build fulfilling, meaningful futures.

Children’s Friend, Inc.: Provides the highest quality services designed to meet the mental and emotional needs of children, young people, and families whose lives have been affected by difficulties including abuse, neglect, family instability, death, substance abuse, and mental, emotional, and behavioral problems.

Coro Allegro: Dedicated to providing access to choral music to broad audiences, to commissioning and performing works by diverse composers, and to serving as a model LGBTQ+ organization through artistic excellence and visibility.

Ethos: Assists the elderly and disabled to live at home, primarily in the Boston neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, West Roxbury, Hyde Park and Mattapan.

Fenway Community Health Center, Inc.: Enhances the well-being of the LGBTQIA+ community and all people in surrounding neighborhoods and beyond through access to the highest quality health care, education, research and advocacy. 

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Inc.: Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.

Greater Boston Legal Services, Inc.: Greater Boston Legal Services helps low-income families and individuals secure the most basic necessities of life: shelter, safety, food, and stability.

Health Law Advocates, Inc.: Provides pro bono legal representation to low-income residents experiencing difficulty accessing or paying for needed medical services.

Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for the Aged [Hebrew Senior Life]: Delivers a wide range of outpatient, inpatient, and in-home care to seniors, at any stage in their life’s journey.

History Project, Inc.: Focused exclusively on documenting and preserving the history of New England’s LGBTQ communities and sharing that history with LGBTQ individuals, organizations, allies, and the public.

Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Boston: Seeks to support and empower individuals and families to engage, to participate actively in the life of their communities, to live inspired, and to inspire others. 

Keshet, Inc.: Works for the full equality of all LGBTQ Jews and their families in Jewish life, while strengthening Jewish communities and organizations.

Mass Trans Political Coalition: Dedicated to ending oppression and discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. It educates the public, advocates with state, local, and federal government, engages in activism, and encourages the empowerment of community members through collective action.

Massachusetts Asian + Pacific Islanders (MAP) for Health: Provides health counseling and support, referral and screening services, and general health promotion and advocacy for APIs in the Boston metro area and beyond. 

New Boston Pride Committee, Inc.: Produces events and activities to achieve inclusivity, equality, respect, and awareness in Greater Boston and beyond. Fostering diversity, unity, visibility, and dignity; they educate, communicate, advocate, and strengthen community connections.

New Dance Complex Inc. [Fiscal Sponsor of Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion]: The Dance Complex supports the creation, study, and performance of dance. Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion (PDM), is a dance/theatre production company, comprised of several intergenerational dancers and dance-makers. Their work, spanning decades, has included the lives of LGBTQ+ communities worldwide, from the early days of the AIDS crisis mid-’80’s, to some of the first works to include a spectrum of the community, including trans artists over 20 years ago.

North Shore Alliance of Gay & Lesbian Youth: NAGLY’s mission is to honor, teach, respect, and empower LGBTQ youth via weekly support meetings, educational opportunities, social events, creative projects, activism, and civic engagement.

Partners Healthcare System, Inc. / Massachusetts General Hospital: The Transgender Health Program at Massachusetts General Hospital is dedicated to providing gender-affirming care, including comprehensive primary care, endocrine/hormone management, case management, and links to behavioral health and surgical services. 

Political Asylum Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project: Serves low-income asylum-seekers from across the world, unaccompanied minors, and immigrants who are unjustly detained, guiding them through the first step on the journey to becoming United States citizens.

Respond, Inc.: RESPOND partners with individuals, families and communities to end the serious public health issue of domestic violence. RESPOND strives to achieve its mission through prevention, intervention and education services that promote safe, healthy relationships.

Roxbury Youthworks, Inc.: Helps youth who are caught in cycles of poverty, victimization and violence to transition successfully into adulthood. 

Samaritans: Aims to reduce the incidence of suicide by alleviating despair, isolation, distress and suicidal feelings among individuals in the community, 24 hours a day, and to educate the public about suicide prevention, thus reducing the stigma associated with suicide.

Silver Lining Mentoring: Empowers youth in foster care to thrive through committed mentoring relationships and the development of essential life skills.

South Coast LGBTQ Network Inc.: Seeks to build and maintain a comprehensive support network for LGBTQ individuals and families across the age spectrum.

SpeakOUT Boston: SpeakOUT is a community of speakers working to create a world free of homo-bi-transphobia and other forms of prejudice by telling the truths of their lives. They train individuals and organizations to use public speaking as a means of creating positive cultural change and conduct educational programs about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual lives and issues.

Strong City Baltimore [Womxn of Color Weekend Provincetown]: Womxn of Color Weekend strives to elevate, strengthen, educate and celebrate the experiences of LGBTQ+ women of color, trans- people of color, non-binary people of color, gender-fluid people of color and our accomplices.

The Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth (BAGLY): The Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, is a youth-led, adult-supported social support organization, committed to social justice and creating, sustaining, and advocating for programs, policies, and services for the LGBTQ+ youth community.

Tiffany Club New England: TCNE’s primary mission is that of being a social and support club for transgender peoples in the New England region.

Transgender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts: Works for the safety and well-being of low income and homeless Transgender residents in Massachusetts. It provides homelessness prevention services, shelter assistance, nutrition assistance, prescription co-pay assistance, and transportation/ escort to medical appointments.


The Equality Fund at the Boston Foundation was created in 2012 as an endowed fund to support Greater Boston nonprofit organizations that serve and strengthen the LGBTQ community. Stewarded by the Boston Foundation, the Equality Fund’s grantmaking priorities are guided by an Advisory Committee of community members and allies who possess a depth and breadth of understanding about the most pressing issues affecting LGBTQ people today. The Equality Fund is a Field of Interest Fund within the Boston Foundation’s endowment, the Permanent Fund for Boston, which fuels all of the Foundation’s local grantmaking. Gifts made from the Equality Fund will always go to benefit Greater Boston’s LGBTQ community.