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 grant-making 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 grant making. Gifts made from the Equality Fund will always go to benefit Greater Boston’s LGBTQ community.
This unique fund is already having an impact on the LGBTQ community of Greater Boston, with a focus on innovative programming aimed at pressing and emerging issues. To date, nearly 100 grants ranging in size from $3,500 to $15,000 have been made to LGBTQ organizations and organizations with a focus on LGBTQ programming.
In June 2019, the Equality Fund announced the largest docket of grants in its history: more than $160,000 to 26 LGBTQ+-serving organizations.
The docket of 26 grants highlights a growth in donor commitments to support LGBTQ+ issues even as a record number of organizations applied for grants. The Equality Fund Advisory Committee kept an eye toward the areas of need most recently identified in the June 2018 report Equality and Equity: Advancing the LGBT Community in Massachusetts, which was co-authored by the Fenway Institute and Boston Indicators, and was funded in part by the Equality Fund.
2019 grantees included:
OUT MetroWest, Inc.
$15,000: To support access to mental health clinicians at youth programming, leading to increased access to mental health care and improved outcomes for participants.
Fenway Community Health Center, Inc.
$10,000: To support the research and compilation of LGBT Aging 2025: a report on what a thriving LGBT aging community looks like in 2025.
Health Law Advocates, Inc.
$10,000: To support legal services provided free of charge to low income transgender individuals unable to access healthcare.
Political Asylum Immigration Representation Project Inc.
$10,000: To support the salary of an LGBTQ+ Asylum Attorney, expanding services to increase the number of LGBTQ+ clients served and granted asylum.
Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
$9,000: To support a weekly support program for homeless and marginally housed transgender individuals as well as provide preventative health services.
$7,500: To support comprehensive training of Boston GLASS staff on restorative justice practices and incorporation of these competencies into program operations.
Massachusetts Asians and Pacific Islanders for Health
$7,500: To support the expansion of Asian Pride, a weekly youth development and leadership program, through increased services and frequency.
Black and Pink
$5,000: To support the commissioning of a report on sexual violence against the LGBTQ+ population incarcerated in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections.
Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth
$5,000: To support the youth leader planning committee of the Trans Youth Summit.
Boston Medical Center Corporation
$5,000: To support the Transgender Health Equity Institute, a half day long medical and community health event regarding best practices for transgender and gender diverse individuals.
Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Inc.
$5,000: To support a trauma informed continuum of care for LGBTQ+ homeless and high-risk youth.
Children's Friend, Inc.
$5,000: To support Children’s Friend’s Gender Wellness Initiative and provide gender and sexuality counseling to transgender and gender minority youth and their families.
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Inc. (GLAD)
$5,000: To support modernizing Massachusetts parentage laws through the removal of gendered language from laws and replacing these with inclusive language to reflect the lived reality of LGBTQ+ families.
International Association for Premenstrual Disorders (IAPMD)
$5,000: To support advancing reproductive mental health outcomes in the LGBTQ+ community through training staff and board members on best practices for serving gender diverse communities.
Intersex and Faith
$5,000: To support a collaborative series of screening and dialogue events to raise public awareness of intersex variations and reduce cultural anxiety.
Massachusetts General Hospital
$5,000: To support the salary of a dedicated Community Health Worker to help transgender and gender diverse individuals navigate the healthcare system successfully.
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC)
$5,000: To support the improvement of MTPC’s strategic plan through the “Working for Lived Equality in 2019” survey campaign.
New Boston Pride Committee
$5,000: To support the Committee’s first salaried Executive Director in organizational growth efforts.
North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth (nAGLY)
$5,000: To support nAGLY’s outreach and Training and Leadership Education (TALE) programs providing positive representation of LGBTQ+ people, history, and events through conference attendance and workshops.
Silver Lining Mentoring
$5,000: To support the LGBTQ+ initiative of the Community Based Mentoring Program, including increasing the number of mentor-mentee relationships.
South Coast LGBTQ Network
$5,000: To support the salary of a Network Coordinator, tasked with sustaining services, events, and programs.
Victory Programs, Inc.
$5,000: To support increasing services and accessibility to transgender and gender diverse individuals through the Trans Health Initiative.
$5,000: To strengthen services for LGBTQ+ homeless youth through expanded services and culturally competent policies and procedures.
$4,800: To support educational webinar and resources for service providers designed to improve patient outcomes for LGBTQ+ elders in their care.
Uphams Corner Health Center
$4,000: To support expansion of services and training of staff members on unique needs facing LGBTQ+ patients.
Center for Independent Documentary, Inc.
$2,500: To support feature length documentary “Minister of Loneliness” and website as resources for care providers to combat loneliness in populations including the LGBTQ+ community.
The Equality Fund launched with a goal of raising $500,000 by 2017. The Boston Foundation provided $250,000 in challenge grants for the Fund to begin the process of building the Fund endowment. has exceeded its goal of raising $500,000 by 2017. The Foundation thanks Eastern Bank, BNY Mellon and Northern Trust, as well as individual donors, for their commitment of funds in support of the Equality Fund and its grant making.
To date, The Equality Fund has already documented some $7,000,000 in testamentary gifts, which will ensure that the fund is a robust resource for the LGBTQ community over the coming decades.
Any individual, family or organization can contribute to the Equality Fund in a variety of ways: