Our LGBT Fund

West Michigan, it’s Time. Support Our LGBT Community

Our LGBT Fund was established by Shelley Padnos and Carol Sarosik, a West Michigan couple who chose to spearhead changes in the community after attending OutGiving, a LGBT philanthropic conference sponsored by the Gill Foundation. Inspired by the conference and the insight that the LGBT community needs to initiate support for LGBT issues, they partnered with Grand Rapids Community Foundation to lead the charge against issues faced by LGBT youth.

Support Us

Support this cause today by contributing to Our LGBT Fund. You will have the opportunity to choose an endowed gift or non-endowed. Both ways of giving will help LGBT youth now and in the future.

 All contributions will be kept in West Michigan and are percent tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS. If you are interested in making a bequest or a planned gift, please contact Marilyn Zack, she’ll be happy to help!

Give Now
  • Grand Rapids Community Foundation

    The Community Foundation exists to build and manage our community’s permanent endowment and lead the community to strengthen the lives of its people. That’s why we are pleased to announce Our LGBT Fund, a brand new initiative to support LGBT people in our region.

  • Purpose

    Provide a safe, welcoming and healthy environment for the LGBT community in West Michigan by increasing wellness and prosperity levels, visibility, acceptance, support and access to resources.

  • Vision

    Create equal opportunity for the LGBT community. With an initial focus on homeless youth in West Michigan, the Fund will accomplish its work by increasing the capacity of existing service providers and leveraging relationships within the LGBT community and with straight allies.

  • Needs

    Our LGBT Fund will help us understand the scope of LGBT challenges in the community and find ways to address them. We will also concentrate on filling the gap in LGBT leadership at the state and community levels.

  • Our First Grant

    Two grants totaling $45,000 were awarded to Arbor Circle at the Grand Rapids Pride Center for "Safe and Supported," a prevention program for youth at risk of health and mental health issues like suicide, homelessness and HIV.

Grants Awarded

Here Are Our Recent Grants

Recipient

Amount

Date

Purpose

  • Arbor Circle

    Amount Awarded: $20,000

    Date Awarded: Apr. 2017

    To partner with the True Colors Fund to facilitate community planning efforts for the needs of West Michigan LGBTQ runaway/homeless youth.

  • Grand Rapids Trans Foundation

    Amount Awarded: $2,500

    Date Awarded: Apr. 2017

    To expand Grand Rapids Trans Foundation's current Academic Scholarship program.

  • Out on the Lakeshore

    Amount Awarded: $5,000

    Date Awarded: Apr. 2017

    To help establish the Out on The Lakeshore Center, a place where Holland-area LGBT people, their families, friends and allies can safely gather and meet; a space for organizational meetings, support groups and social functions and a place where LGBT youth can connect with one another and organizations to offer support services.

  • Well House

    Amount Awarded: $20,000

    Date Awarded: Apr. 2017

    To purchase and renovate a house for young people who identify as LGBTQ and who are facing or experiencing homelessness.

Other Ways You Can Help

Giving isn't the only way you can support LGBT issues in West Michigan.

Spread the Word

Help us reach out to area businesses, organizations and straight allies to spread the news about the fund and the community needs it addresses. Contact us to find out more.

Like us on Facebook

Be an Ally

Be an ally at home, school, church and work. Allies are some of the most powerful voices the LGBT community. Allies help people in coming out and help others understand the importance of equality, fairness, acceptance and mutual respect.

Our Community

We Can Make a Difference Together

Time for acceptance, equality and prosperity for our LGBT community. This is our home, where we work, support local businesses, take care of our friends and neighbors and raise our families. And now it’s time to take care of each other, too. Join these local community residents in supporting Our LGBT Fund.

A photo of Tommy Allen

Tommy Allen

Regardless of who you are, we do all matter and offer a beautiful uniqueness.

A photo of Ken Terpstra + Ken Bandstra

Ken Terpstra & Ken Bandstra

Equality is essential for all, regardless of who we are. Until that happens, we need to be there for each other.

A photo of Nadira Kharmai

Nadira Kharmai

Community inclusion promotes fairness, creativity, new friendships, and greater understanding.

A photo of Amy + Erin Wilson

Amy & Erin Wilson

Our family strongly believes in equality and we are supportive of efforts to achieve this.

Donors as of December 1, 2016

  • Melissa Adams
  • Brian and Ronna Alexander
  • Ms. Ruth Almen
  • Mr. William E. Alt
  • American Century Investments Foundation
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Deborah J. Hughes and Frederick J. Antczak
  • Deb Bailey
  • Bill Baillargeon
  • Mark and Mary Kay Baker
  • Rick Baker and Bernie Elliott
  • David Balas and Jim Sellman
  • Mr. Thomas Baldini
  • Ken Bandstra
  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation
  • Ms. Vicki Barnett
  • Kimberly Barrett
  • Mr. Zachary Bauer
  • BDO USA LLP
  • Laurie Finney Beard
  • Mr. and Mrs. Joe Becherer
  • Mr. and Mrs. Matthew K. Becker
  • Ms. Mary A. Bejian
  • Ms. Kim Belfort
  • Mr. Tim Bell and Mr. Max Myers
  • Connie Bellows and Darlene Zwart
  • Dr. Jesse M. Bernal
  • John and Claudia Berry
  • Ms. Barb Bevan
  • Kristine Bishop
  • Mark and Cathy Bissell
  • Lynne Black
  • Mr. and Mrs. David M. Blandford
  • Laurel Blasi
  • The Honorable Rosalynn Bliss
  • Mr. Brian Bode
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Boes-Sweeney
  • Ms. Elizabeth K. Bransdorfer
  • Mr. Reed Bretz
  • The Brooks Family
  • Andrew and Janay Brower
  • Denise Brown
  • Duane Brown and Kevin Martin
  • Mr. Marty Brown
  • Mr. Matthew Buccilla
  • Mr. Edward J. Bucher
  • John and Debra Byl
  • John Cannarsa and Tim Straker
  • Ms. Janet Carbonneau-Jones
  • Mr. Ken Carls
  • Professor Susan Carson
  • Ms. Stacey E. Cassis and Dr. Arianna T. Morales
  • Ms. Ruby Chaise
  • Timothy Chester and Henry Matthews
  • Mr. Jeffrey Cipcic
  • Ms. Susan M. Cleland and Ms. Jane M. Gietzen
  • Thomas C. Clinton
  • Mr. Monty Collins and Mr. Jerry Dark
  • Dr. Albert Lewis
  • Steve and Sue Conway
  • Dr. Paul Cook
  • Heather Cooper and Diane Titche
  • Mr. Thomas Craig and Mr. Ken Fox
  • Creative Change Mission LLC
  • Ms. Annette Cress
  • Colin Cumming
  • Holly Davis and Kay Hanna
  • Mrs. Anne Deahl
  • Mr. Robert Deahl
  • Dennis DeLano and Merritt Taylor
  • Mr. Gordon DeLong*
  • Ms. Marilyn Glabosky and Ms. Laura Desmond
  • Eileen and Brian DeVries Family Foundation
  • Ron DeWaard and Jeanne Elders DeWaard
  • Ms. Charlsie Dewey
  • Dan DeWitt and Lisa DeFerrari
  • Annie DeYoung
  • Margo Dichtelmiller Donor Advised Fund
  • Rebecca Dickenson
  • Sarah Donnan
  • Matthew Downey
  • Mr. Jonathan Dunn
  • Metta Dwyer
  • Lucy Dyer Joswick and  Scott Joswick
  • Mindy Kalinowski Earley & Travis J. Earley
  • Mr. Jason K. England
  • Jeanne Englehart and Jack Novick
  • Adam and Laura Epstein
  • Mr. Carl Erickson and Mrs. Mary O'Neill
  • Ms. Elizabeth Estes
  • Experience Grand Rapids
  • Mr. Jonathan Farman
  • Ms. Jessica Fields
  • Alex Fink and Sarah Harris
  • Mr. David Fink and Mr. Kim Clark
  • Ms. Christine Fisher
  • Mr. and Mrs. James R. Flemming
  • Dan Fogel and Brenda Behm
  • David and Amy Fowle
  • Ms. Ann Franas
  • Dr. Jason Franklin
  • Frey Foundation
  • Ellie Frey Zagel
  • Mr. Christian Gaines and Ms. Kristen Taylor
  • Mr. William Galligan
  • Larry W. Gammons and Carl I. Jennings
  • Mr. Kevin Geary
  • Mr. and Mrs. Owen Geisz
  • Linsey Gleason
  • Meg Goebel
  • Ms. Yolanda Gonzalez
  • Mrs. Mary Goodwillie Nelson and  Mr. James Nelson
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Mr. Ken Gray
  • Jeffrey Green and Christopher Rutledge
  • Mary, Duke, Libby and Benjamin Greene
  • Ms. Diane Griffin and Ms. Lisa Costanza
  • Mr. Aaric Guerriero
  • Mr. Christopher Hacker
  • Ms. Cheryl Hadsall
  • Mrs. Melissa Hansen
  • Jana and John Hanson
  • Ms. Mary R. Harmon
  • Haworth, Inc.
  • Ms. Karen Hays
  • Mr. Jon Helmrich and Mr. Stephen Mottram
  • Ms. Ginger Hensley
  • Jason Herlands and Gen Kobayashi
  • Ms. Amy Herring
  • James V. Higgins and Kathleen Delp Higgins
  • David Hill and Elizabeth Kidd
  • Janelle, Jason and Beckett Hill
  • Bryan Hoffman and Mark LaChey
  • Mr. Mark Holzbach and Mr. Dana Friis-Hansen
  • Sue Hood and Ann Vlcek
  • Mr. Jayson Hoppe
  • Sandra Hopwood
  • Daniel and Joseph Huber
  • Dave Hulst
  • Mr. Daniel J. Hurwitz
  • Hyde Creative
  • Win and Kyle Irwin
  • Mr. James Jacobs
  • Christopher Jasinski
  • Ingrid Jensen and Renee Williams
  • Bob Johnson
  • Glen Johnson and Thomas P. Merchant
  • Terry Johnston
  • Dr. Clarence Joldersma
  • Norm Jones and Jim Engberg
  • Mr. and Mrs. Vern Jones
  • JTM Partners, LLC
  • JW Marriott Grand Rapids
  • Mr. Stephen J. Kamm
  • Karen and Sue
  • Mr. Peter Kauffman and Mr. Timothy Augsten
  • The W. K. Kellogg Foundation Matching Gift Program
  • Jill and Frank Kelly
  • Ruth and Carl Kelly
  • Ms. Sharon Kelly
  • Mr. Raymond M. Kennedy and Mr. Tyllor Parker
  • Michael Kerkorian
  • Ms. Vicki Kijewski
  • Kristen King
  • Roberta F. King and Mike J. Miesch
  • Bruce F. Klein-Wassink
  • Becky and Wally Knack
  • Mr. Todd Knight
  • Mr. Stephen M. Knollenberg
  • Michael E. Kooistra
  • Natalia Kovicak
  • Mr. Steven K. Kressley
  • Steve and Mary Kretschman
  • Mira Krishnan
  • Ms. Cynthia Kruska and Ms. Phyllis Nix
  • Scott and Linda LaFontsee
  • Mr. Matthew Lambrecht
  • Lambrecht's Jewelers, Inc
  • Jeff Schad and Marilyn Lankfer
  • Gabrielle Layne & Christian Ezell
  • R. Leach
  • Thomas Leach
  • Ryan and Cathy Lebster
  • Ms. Laura Leenhouts
  • Tim and Maryjo Lemanski
  • Mr. Matt Levin
  • Rabbi and Mrs. Albert Lewis
  • Ms. Ashley Lewis
  • Garnet Lewis and Vicky Cobb
  • Ms. Stephanie Lewis
  • Ms. Cindy Locklin
  • Richard Lord and Brian Schipper
  • Arend and Nancy Lubbers
  • Mr. David Luft
  • Jan Lunquist and Michael May
  • Mr. Fred Mackraz
  • Cynthia Mader
  • Christopher Maironis
  • Stephen Maniaci
  • Daniel and Deborah Mankoff
  • Mr. Patrick Mannix and Mr. Dan McCloskey
  • Jamie Marks and Mark Scott
  • Mr. and Mrs. Rodney D. Martin
  • Max B. Matteson
  • Ms. Arlene Maul
  • Brian May and Kirk Moore
  • Ms. Jill May and Ms. Jennifer DeHaan
  • Ms. Joy McClendon
  • Ms. Janet McClintock
  • Grant McCorkhill and Alan Zuber
  • Brad McCoy and Patrick Plank
  • Mr. Ryan McGuire
  • Joe and Donna Milauckas
  • Debra L. Minton and Terri Osborne
  • David Morris
  • Ms. Kary Moss
  • Mrs. Lynn Mulder
  • Mr. Gregory Nelson
  • Sofia Nelson
  • Mr. Mark E. Nettleton
  • Ms. Toni Newell
  • Mr. John Newland and Mr. Doug McIntosh
  • Melinda Nykamp & Pam Whitehead
  • Gwen O'Brien
  • Karen and Tim O'Donovan
  • Dan and Ann O'Keefe
  • Mr. John O'Neill
  • Ms. Mary Ortiz
  • Ms. Kathleen Packard
  • Martin and Enid Packard
  • Ms. Cindy Padnos and Mr. Jim Redmond
  • Hannah Padnos
  • The Louis and Helen Padnos Foundation
  • Margie Kay and Bill Padnos
  • Mitchell and Karen Padnos
  • Mr. and Mrs. Seymour K. Padnos
  • Ms. Shelley Padnos and Ms. Carol Sarosik
  • Douglas and Nancy Padnos
  • Dan Persinger and Claire Whitman
  • Pfizer Foundation Matching Gifts Program
  • Michael Pfleghaar and Tommy Allen
  • Ms. Sharon Phelps
  • Ms. Amy Pierce
  • Susan Pierson
  • Ms. Cindy Piletic
  • Ms. Mary Pitchford
  • Ms. Nancy Plantinga
  • Mr. Greg Plowe
  • Ms. Pam Potgeter
  • Mr. and Mrs. Paul Potter
  • Jim and Marie Preston
  • Stephanie Price and Jan Wilson
  • John and Ann Puckett
  • Adair and Mark Putnam
  • Ms. Linda Quinde
  • Marcia L. Rapp
  • Shawn and Jim Rathbun
  • Mr. Christopher Reader
  • Susan Reck
  • Rhoades McKee PC
  • Dottie Rhodes
  • Ms. Meridith Ridl
  • Mr. Eric Ringquist
  • Mr. Mitchell Rivard
  • Richard A. Roane and Leandro Robles
  • Mr. Leonard Robinson
  • Ms. Deborah A. Rockman
  • Ms. M. A. Roeser
  • Sarah Romijn
  • Ms. Vicki J. Rosenberg
  • Bill Rowe and Alan Angeloff
  • RSF Social Finance
  • Sabo Public Relations, LLC
  • Mark Salisbury and Fernando Villeda
  • Megan Sall
  • Mr. Mark Saltzman
  • Angela Sanborn
  • Carol L. Sarosik
  • Saugatuck Harbor Insurance
  • Donald Schipper and John Seros
  • James L. Schipper and Jane M. Frey
  • Kate Luckert Schmid
  • James Schmiechen
  • Ms. Kim Sebastian
  • Josh Shames and Jason Kalajainen
  • Mr. and Mrs. Michael P. Shaw
  • Shaun and Ruth Shira
  • Diana R. Sieger
  • Ms. Julie Silverstein and Ms. Kim Colweck
  • Mr. and Mrs. Brent Slay
  • Susan Sloop
  • Ryan Slusarzyk
  • Jodi Smith
  • Ms. Megan E. Smith
  • Sara Smolenski and Linda Burpee
  • SpartanNash
  • John and Corinne Sprague
  • Ms. Ellen V. Sprouls
  • Square One Design
  • Amanda and Ryan St. Pierre
  • Ms. Maria Stanton
  • Aimee Sterk and Joe Kurnik
  • Mary and Rick Stevens
  • Stonewall Community Foundation
  • Betty Stremich and Nancy Sojka
  • Michele Suchovsky-Gabrosek and Dr. John Gabrosek
  • Missy Summers and Jenny Seckinger
  • Ms. Janet Swanson
  • Joe Sweeney
  • Mr. Jose M. Teixeira
  • Robert and Colleen Tobin
  • Ms. Mindy Trafman
  • Barbara Ufer
  • Andy and Tracy Van Solkema
  • Ms. Ann VanDyke
  • Ms. Jaye VanLenten and Ms. Janette Tazzia
  • Sheila E. VanZile
  • Ms. Amy VeNard
  • Lin Ver Meulen
  • Carl and Sandra VerBeek
  • Phil and Kathleen Vogelsang
  • Jon, Kimberly, Erika, and Anneliese Waalkes
  • Mark Warner
  • Warner Norcross & Judd LLP
  • Lynn Warshaw and Vicki Esch
  • Water Street Gallery
  • Karin and Steve Waterbury
  • Mr. Ben Watson
  • Ms. Karen Watson
  • Ms. Cindy Weir
  • Elizabeth Welch
  • Ms. Angie Welker
  • Terence D. West
  • Ms. Mary Weston
  • Lizzie Williams
  • Charles S. Winslow and Judy K. Sopeland
  • Ms. Janice Wolff
  • Kate Pew Wolters
  • Bruce and Susan Young
  • Marilyn and Garrett Zack
  • Mr. Mark Zancanaro
  • Mr. Scott Zumwalt
  • Rev. David Baak and Betty Zylstra

*Deceased