Gill Foundation Fortifies LGBTQ Movement During COVID-19 Pandemic

In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020, the Gill Foundation quickly pivoted its grant-making to help mitigate the financial toll on LGBTQ organizations and historical sites. In tandem with granting more than $1 million to address food insecurity in Colorado, the Gill Foundation provided more than $1.25 million in funding to support the COVID response efforts of LGBTQ organizations in their communities, launch a financial resiliency program, and make a critically timed investment in preserving the legacy of the Stonewall Inn as the movement’s first and only national monument.

“The future of the LGBTQ movement depends on keeping our history intact and protecting the organizations that are leading the charge for full equality,” said Gill Foundation Board Co-Chair Scott Miller. “We are carefully monitoring the impact of the pandemic and shifting resources as needed to ensure the LGBTQ movement perseveres.”

“The future of the LGBTQ movement depends on keeping our history intact and protecting the organizations that are leading the charge for full equality.”

Gill Foundation Board Co-Chair Scott Miller

Beginning in April 2020, the foundation partnered with Movement Advancement Project (MAP) to survey the field on a quarterly basis to understand and assess the financial impact of the pandemic on the health of LGBTQ organizations. Informed by those survey results, the foundation launched a financial resiliency program with Fiscal Management Associates for several critical organizations within the LGBTQ movement. This offering will help strengthen each organization’s financial stability and resiliency, and includes individualized financial analysis, action planning, and coaching, as well as new systems for financial forecasting and multi-year budgeting.

In addition, the Gill Foundation extended support to two iconic New York City landmarks that are cornerstones of LGBTQ history – the Stonewall Inn and Julius’ Bar. The Stonewall Inn is the site of the Stonewall Riots and the nation’s first LGBTQ historic landmark and national monument. In June 2020, due to the negative economic impact of COVID-19, the Stonewall Inn was on the brink of closing. The Gill Foundation provided a $250,000 lifeline to the Stonewall Inn to ensure it remains a historic gathering spot through and beyond the pandemic. The foundation also made a $20,000 contribution to Julius’ Bar, the oldest gay bar in New York City and site of the Mattachine Society’s 1966 “sip-in,” which challenged and prevailed over a discriminatory policy that made it illegal for gay people to be served in bars – an important precursor to the Stonewall Riots.

Anticipating the impact of the pandemic will be felt through 2021 and potentially beyond, the Gill Foundation will continue to make the financial health of the movement a priority in the year ahead.