The Gill Foundation arose out of a battle for equality. A 1992 Colorado ballot initiative denying lesbians and gay men equal protection in the state provoked outrage among fair-minded citizens across Colorado and the nation. One such citizen was Tim Gill, a Coloradan since boyhood, the founder of Denver-based software company Quark, Inc., and a gay man. Tim was moved to action by the attack on his and other Coloradans’ equal rights.
Amendment 2 passed by a narrow margin and was ultimately struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. The attempt by some Coloradans to deny equal rights to others based on their sexual orientation had a profound effect on Tim. In 1993, he pledged $1 million to raise awareness in Colorado about the effects of discrimination. In 1994, he established the Gill Foundation to secure equal opportunity for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.
Twenty Years Later: The Gill Foundation Today
Today, the Gill Foundation is one of the nation’s largest funders of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equal rights work. The goal of our work is straightforward: we want to create an America in which all people are treated equally and respectfully.
Over the course of our history, we have invested more than $259 million to support programs and nonprofit organizations across America that share our commitment to equal rights for all Americans.
About 70 percent of the foundation’s work and funding is dedicated to LGBT and allied nonprofits – both national and state organizations – that work everyday to bring about equality. Colorado is our home, so the remaining 30 percent of our funding goes to nonprofits in the state that improve the quality of life for all residents. Our grants in Colorado are given in the name of the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado program. We have given more than $30 million in grants to high-impact Colorado nonprofits over the last 20 years.