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 its own issues, they partnered with Grand Rapids Community Foundation to lead the charge against issues faced by LGBT youth by creating the fund.

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.

Our LGBT Fund Leadership Circle is a great way to ensure the sustainability of the fund into the future. To join the Leadership Circle, complete these simple steps: give a minimum of $2500, which may be pledged over five years, and advocate and share your enthusiasm with others about the fund. If you are interested in joining the Leadership Circle, please contact Marilyn Zack

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.

Grant Proposals Accepted until October 26, 2018!

Our LGBT Fund aims to fund programs that support vulnerable and homeless LGBTQ youth in West Michigan. Nonprofit organizations that prevent or address needs of runaway or homeless LGBTQ youth in the Allegan, Kent, and Ottawa County area are encouraged to apply. Learn more about our grantmaking guidelines here: https://www.grfoundation.org/a...

Click Here to Apply for Funding

Priority Areas

A wide range of issues facing vulnerable and homeless LGBTQ youth will be considered including—but not limited to—health, education, basic needs, employment, housing, family preservation, and creating safe, affirming and inclusive environments. In particular, the Fund hopes to support work that builds on the West Michigan Recommendations to the Community to Address LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness

Download the PDF of Recommendations

Grants Awarded

Here Are Our Recent Grants

Recipient

Amount

Date

Purpose

  • Arbor Circle

    Amount Awarded: $45,000

    Date Awarded: Dec. 2018

    LGBTQ Youth Host Home Housing: Arbor Circle’s Host Home Housing Program serves to stabilize and house homeless LGBTQ+ identified youth through connection and housing with safe and affirming adult hosts.

  • Grand Rapids Trans Foundation

    Amount Awarded: $2,500

    Date Awarded: Dec. 2018

    Trans Education Fund (Learning for Life): To expand Grand Rapids Trans Foundation's current Academic Scholarship program.

  • Out on the Lakeshore

    Amount Awarded: $12,500

    Date Awarded: Dec. 2018

    OOTL: At Home In Ottawa County: To facilitate a collaborative and educational process of serving Ottawa County's LGBTQ youth through an active, growing, and visible organization, Out On The Lakeshore.

  • Grand Valley State University

    Amount Awarded: $40,000

    Date Awarded: Dec. 2018

    GBTQIA+ Social Justice Education Track: Youth serving organization participation in The Social Justice Institute’s LGBTQIA+ Social Justice Education Track, which offers a progressive learning opportunity for community stakeholders and organizations who seek to enhance their awareness, knowledge, and skills to advance full LGBTQIA+ inclusion and equity.

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. And follow us on Facebook for timely updates! 

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 stand up, 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 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 Tommy Allen

Tommy Allen

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

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.

Our LGBT Fund Leadership Circle

Donors as of July 5, 2018

Our LGBT Fund Leadership Circle is a group of donors who are deeply committed to ensuring the sustainability of the fund into the future. They give a minimum of $2500, which may be pledged over five years, and advocate and share their enthusiasm with others about the fund. If you are interested in joining the Leadership Circle, please contact Marilyn Zack

  • Brian and Ronna Alexander
  • David Balas and Jim Sellman
  • Ken Bandstra and Ken Terpstra
  • Laurel L. Blasi and Lawrence P. Nolan
  • Tracy and Tom* Breihof
  • Duane Brown and Kevin Martin
  • Timothy Chester and Henry Matthews
  • Jason Franklin of the Ktisis Fund of RSF Social Finance
  • Edwin Galka and Lawrence Holland
  • Larry W. Gammons and Carl I. Jennings
  • Graci Harkema
  • Michael Hoffman
  • Glen Johnson and Tom Merchant
  • Roberta F. King and Mike J. Miesch
  • David Klinzing, Todd Theisen, Patrick Tischler
  • Mira Krishnan and Teri Jourdan
  • Marilyn Lankfer and Jeff Schad
  • Emily Loeks
  • Ms. Jill May and Ms. Jennifer DeHaan
  • Michele McIsaac and the Eleveld Family
  • Debra L. Minton and Terri Osborne
  • Mr. Mark E. Nettleton
  • Douglas and Nancy Padnos
  • Mitchell and Karen Padnos
  • Shelley Padnos and Carol Sarosik
  • Wally Petersen and Mike Tischleder
  • Dottie Rhodes
  • Richard A. Roane and Leandro Robles
  • L. Howard Rochte and Russell J. Lamesfield
  • Mary Ann Sabo and Jeff Ott
  • Matthew and Kate Schmid
  • Ralph Siddell
  • Diana R. Sieger
  • Mr. George Stoutin and Mr. David Heilman
  • Betty Stremich and Nancy Sojka
  • Elizabeth Welch and Brian Schwartz
  • Kate Pew Wolters
  • Karin and Steve Waterbury

*Deceased

Our LGBT Fund Donors as of July 5, 2018

  • Melissa Adams
  • Ms. Ruth Almen
  • Mr. William E. Alt
  • American Century Investments Foundation
  • Anonymous (12)
  • Deborah J. Hughes and Frederick J. Antczak
  • Roger Arbury
  • Jody and Gary Astrein
  • Tom Bachtell
  • Brace Bacon
  • Deb Bailey
  • Bill Baillargeon
  • Mark and Mary Kay Baker
  • Rick Baker and Bernie Elliott
  • Mr. Thomas Baldini
  • Julie and Bruce Ballard
  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation Matching Gifts Program
  • Ms. Vicki Barnett
  • Kimberly Barrett
  • Mark Barrone
  • Mr. Zachary Bauer
  • BDO USA LLP
  • Laurie Finney Beard
  • Dr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Becherer
  • Mr. and Mrs. Matthew K. Becker
  • Mr. Jim Bedford
  • 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
  • Kimerlee Billings
  • Kristine Bishop
  • Mark and Cathy Bissell
  • Lynne Black
  • Mr. and Mrs. David M. Blandford
  • The Honorable Rosalynn Bliss
  • Mr. Brian Bode
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Boes-Sweeney
  • Lee and Jane Bosko
  • Ms. Elizabeth K. Bransdorfer
  • Mr. Reed Bretz
  • The Brooks Family
  • Andrew and Janay Brower
  • Denise Brown
  • Mr. Marty Brown
  • Mary Brown
  • Mr. Edward J. Bucher
  • Lyt P. Burris
  • John and Debra Byl
  • Larry and Ginny Cain
  • Mr. and Mrs. Christopher J. Caldwell
  • John Cannarsa and Tim Straker
  • Ms. Janet Carbonneau-Jones
  • Mr. Ken Carls
  • Susan Carson and Gail Hall
  • Marsha Caspar and Glenna DeJong
  • Stacey Cassis and Dr. Ariannna Morales
  • Mr. Jeffrey Cipcic
  • John April and Mike Clawson
  • Ms. Susan M. Cleland and Ms. Jane M. Gietzen
  • Tom C. Clinton
  • Tracie and Chad Coffman
  • Mr. Monty Collins and Mr. Jerry Dark
  • Patrick W. Collins
  • Collins Foundation
  • Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area
  • Community Media Center
  • Dr. Albert Lewis
  • Conway Family Foundation
  • Steve and Sue Conway
  • Dr. Paul Cook
  • Heather Cooper and Diane Titche
  • Ms. Lisa Costanza
  • Laurie and Crawford Craft
  • Creative Change Mission LLC
  •  Pedro E. Crespo and Craig McMurry
  • Annette Cress
  • Colin Cumming and Christopher Maironis
  • Shannon and  Ethan Cunningham
  • Andrew Danos and Justin Garrett
  • 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 DeVries Family Foundation
  • Ron DeWaard and Jeanne Elders DeWaard
  • Ms. Charlsie Dewey
  • Dan DeWitt and Lisa DeFerrari
  • Annie DeYoung
  • Margo Dichtelmiller
  • Rebecca Dickenson and Michele Bosak
  • Suzanne Dixon
  • Sarah Donnan
  • Matthew Downey
  • Mr. and Mrs. Christopher J. Draves
  • The Dunes Resort
  • Mr. Jonathan Dunn
  • Deirdre Dupre and Robert Golub
  • Metta Dwyer
  • Lucy Dyer Joswick and  Scott Joswick
  • Mindy Kalinowski Earley & Travis J. Earley
  • Edward Jones Trust Company
  • Mr. Craig A. Eicher
  • Mr. Jason K. England
  • Jeanne Englehart and Jack Novick
  • Adam and Laura Epstein
  • Mr. Carl Erickson and Mrs. Mary O'Neill
  • Bill Essling
  • Ms. Elizabeth Estes
  • Experience Grand Rapids
  • Mr. Jonathan Farman
  • Ms. Jessica Fields
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Alex Fink and Sarah Harris
  • Mr. David Fink
  • Ms. Christine Fisher
  • Mr. and Mrs. James R. Flemming
  • Dan Fogel and Brenda Behm
  • Ms. Ann Franas
  • Arthur Frederick and Mark Vanderleek
  • Frey Foundation
  • Ellie Frey Zagel
  • Mr. Christian Gaines and Ms. Kristen Taylor
  • Mr. Kevin Geary
  • Mr. and Mrs. Owen Geisz
  • Heather and Sam Fox
  • Linsey Gleason
  • Meg Goebel
  • Kenneth and Carol Gold
  • Ms. Yolanda Gonzalez
  • Mary G. Nelson
  • Grace Church of Holland
  • Grand Rapids Community Foundation
  • Grand River Renegades
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Mr. Ken Gray
  • Jeffrey Green and Christopher Rutledge
  • Mary, Duke, Libby and Benjamin Greene
  • Ms. Diane Griffin
  • Mr. Aaric Guerriero
  • Mr. Christopher Hacker
  • Ms. Cheryl Hadsall
  • Mrs. Melissa Hansen
  • Jana and John Hanson
  • Ms. Mary R. Harmon
  • Ric Hartig and Stephen Kamm
  • Haworth, Inc.
  • Ms. Karen Hays
  • Mary E. Heilman
  • Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Helder
  • Mr. Jon Helmrich and Mr. Stephen Mottram
  •  Randy Henry
  • Ms. Virginia Hensley
  • Jason Herlands and Gen Kobayashi
  • Ms. Amy Herring
  • Bill Hess and Mike Mattern
  • James V. Higgins and Kathleen Delp Higgins
  • David Hill and Elizabeth Kidd
  • Janelle, Jason and Beckett Hill
  • Dirk Hoffius
  • Bryan Hoffman and Mark LaChey
  • Mr. Mark Holzbach and Mr. Dana Friis-Hansen
  • Stacy Honson and Richard Bont
  • Sue Hood and Anne Vlcek
  • Mr. Jayson Hoppe
  • Sandra Hopwood
  • Daniel and Joseph Huber
  • Dave Hulst
  • John Hunting
  • Mr. Daniel J. Hurwitz
  • Ms. Rachel Hyde
  • Win and Kyle Irwin
  • Mr. James Jacobs
  • Vicki and Don Jansma
  • Ingrid Jensen and Renee Williams
  • Bob Johnson
  • Terry Johnston
  • Dr. Clarence Joldersma
  • Norm Jones and Jim Engberg
  • Mr. and Mrs. Vern Jones
  • JTM Partners, LLC
  • JW Marriott Grand Rapids
  • Bryan and Kelly Kading
  • Karen and Sue
  • Mr. Peter Kauffman and Mr. Timothy Augsten
  • Michael Kearney
  • Keller Williams
  • The W. K. Kellogg Foundation Matching Gift Program
  • Ruth and Carl Kelly
  • Jill and Frank Kelly
  • Ms. Sharon Kelly
  •  Mr. Raymond M. Kennedy and Mr. Tyllor Parker
  • Kent Education Foundation
  • Mike Kerkorian and Chris Penzien
  • John Kershek and John Potter
  • Laura Freed and Nadira Kharmai
  • Ms. Vicki Kijewski
  • Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Kimmel
  • Kristen King
  • Bruce F. Klein-Wassink
  • Walter Klimek
  • Klott Psychological Services, PLLC
  • Becky and Wally Knack
  • Angela and Bob Knauss
  • Todd Knight and Micheal Leonard
  • Mr. Stephen M. Knollenberg
  • Michael E. Kooistra
  • Edward Korson
  • Natalia Kovicak
  • Mr. Steven K. Kressley
  • Steve and Mary Kretschman
  • Connie and Harold Krupka
  • Ms. Cynthia Kruska and Ms. Phyllis Nix
  • Scott and Linda LaFontsee
  • Mr. Matthew Lambrecht
  • Lambrecht's Jewelers, Inc
  • Gabrielle Layne & Christian Ezell
  • R. Leach
  • Thomas Leach
  • Ryan and Cathy Lebster
  • Ms. Laura Leenhouts
  • Brett Leingang and Eric Icard
  • 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
  • Margie Kaye and Bill Padnos
  • Louis Padnos Iron & Metal Company
  • Arend and Nancy Lubbers
  • Mr. David Luft
  • Jan Lunquist and Michael May
  • Ms. Megan Maas
  • Mr. Fred Mackraz
  • Cynthia Mader
  • Mr. Brian P. Mahoney
  • Stephen Maniaci
  • Daniel and Deborah Mankoff
  • Mr. Patrick Mannix and Mr. Dan McCloskey
  • Peter C. Mark
  • Kathleen Markland
  • Jamie Marks and Mark Scott
  • Mr. and Mrs. Rodney D. Martin
  • Max Matteson and Bud Baty
  • Ms. Arlene Maul
  • Brian May and Kirk Moore
  • Ms. Joy McClendon
  • Ms. Janet McClintock
  • Grant McCorkhill and Alan Zuber
  • Brad McCoy and Patrick Plank
  • Margaret McDermott
  • Mr. Ryan McGuire
  • Mr. and Mrs. Mark G. McNally
  • Ms. Mary A. McNeil
  • Meijer, Inc.
  • Brian Merucci
  • Lindsay Mikita
  • Joe and Donna Milauckas
  • Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Mooney
  • David Morris
  • Ms. Kary Moss
  • Mrs. Lynn Mulder
  • Jeffrey Murdock
  • Craig Nadborne
  • Mr. Gregory Nelson
  • Sofia Nelson
  • Ms. Toni Newell
  • Mr. John Newland and Mr. Doug McIntosh
  • Melinda Nykamp & Pam Whitehead
  • Judith Oberholtzer
  • Gwen O'Brien
  • Karen and Tim O'Donovan
  • Dan and Ann O'Keefe
  • Mr. John O'Neill
  • Ms. Mary Ortiz
  • Terry Marie Owens
  • Ms. Kathleen Packard
  • Martin and Enid Packard
  • The Louis and Helen Padnos Foundation
  • Ms. Cindy Padnos and Mr. Jim Redmond
  • Hannah Padnos
  • Mr. Jeff Padnos
  • Mr. and Mrs. Seymour K. Padnos
  • Terry McGovern and Carol Paine-McGovern
  • Vicki Rosenberg and Eddie Parach
  • Dan Persinger and Claire Whitman
  • Mr. and Mrs. William P. Peterson
  • 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
  • John Porzondek and James Serman
  • Ms. Pam Potgeter
  • Marge Potter
  • Jim and Marie Preston
  • Stephanie Price and Jan Wilson
  • John and Ann Puckett
  • Adair and Mark Putnam
  • Ms. Linda Quinde
  • Marcia L. Rapp
  • RE/MAX Saugatuck-Douglas
  • Mr. Christopher Reader
  • Susan Reck
  • Randy and Kris Renker
  • Rhoades McKee PC
  • Ms. Meridith Ridl
  • Mr. Eric Ringquist
  • Lisa Rios
  • Michael Rios
  • Mr. Mitchell Rivard
  • Mr. Leonard Robinson
  • Ms. Deborah A. Rockman
  • Ms. M. A. Roeser
  • Milt and Barbara Rohwer
  • Sarah Romijn
  • Richard Rotman
  • Bill Rowe and Alan Angeloff
  • Larry and Janice Rowland
  • RSF Social Finance
  • Mark Salisbury and Fernando Villeda
  • Megan Sall
  • Mr. Mark Saltzman
  • Angela Sanborn
  • Ronald Sarbieski and Stephen Blackwell
  • Judy and Roy Sarosik
  • Saugatuck Center for the Arts
  • Saugatuck Harbor Insurance
  • Brian Schipper and Richard Lord*
  • Donald Schipper and John Seros
  • James L. Schipper and Jane M. Frey
  • Stephen Schmidt
  • James Schmiechen
  •  Ms. Jan S. Schroeder
  • Ms. Kim Sebastian
  • Josh Shames and Jason Kalajainen
  • Sandy and Dan Shanahan
  • Larry and Pat Sharp
  • Mr. and Mrs. Michael P. Shaw
  • Shaun and Ruth Shira
  • Ms. Julie Silverstein and Ms. Kim Colweck
  • John Slater and Michael Penrod
  • Mr. and Mrs. Brent Slay
  • Ryan Slusarzyk
  • Ms. Megan E. Smith
  • Deanna and Jamie Smith
  • Jodi Smith
  • Smitty's Specialty Beverage
  • Sara Smolenski and Linda Burpee
  • SpartanNash
  • Spectrum Health
  • 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
  • Mr. and Mrs. Douglas E. Stoutin
  • Mr. William M. Strausberger
  • Mr. and Mrs. Philip Streng
  • Michele Suchovsky-Gabrosek and Dr. John Gabrosek
  • Missy Summers and Jenny Seckinger
  • Ms. Janet Swanson
  • Joe Sweeney
  • Mr. Jose M. Teixeira
  • Temple Emanuel
  •  Sandra Thieda
  • Robert and Colleen Tobin
  • Ms. Mindy Trafman
  • Ken and Angela Trester
  • Selma Tucker
  • David Turner and Glenn Vaughen
  • Barbara Ufer
  • Jane F. Underwood
  • Andy and Tracy Van Solkema
  • Judith E. Vanderbeck
  • Ms. Ann VanDyke
  • David and Amy Fowle
  • Ms. Jaye VanLenten and Ms. Janette Tazzia
  • Sheila E. VanZile
  • Varnum LLP
  • Ms. Amy VeNard
  • Lin Ver Meulen
  • Carl and Sandra VerBeek
  • Steve Villa and Malcomb MacLeod
  • Phil and Kathleen Vogelsang
  • Jon, Kimberly, Erika, and Anneliese Waalkes
  • Mr. James P. Wade and Mr. Ralph Greene
  • Warner Norcross + Judd
  • Mark Warner
  • Lynn Warshaw and Vicki Esch
  • Dick Waskin and Larry Hanlin
  • Water Street Gallery
  • Mr. Ben Watson
  • Ms. Karen Watson
  • Ms. Cindy Weir
  • Ms. Angie Welker
  • Wayne and Sharon Wellman Family Foundation
  • West Michigan Caterer.com
  • West Michigan Gay Men's Chorus
  • Terence D. West
  • Ms. Mary Weston
  • Mr. and Mrs. Christopher B. Wiley
  • Don Wiley
  • Lizzie Williams
  • Charles S. Winslow and Judy K. Sopeland
  • Ms. Janice Wolff
  • Bruce and Susan Young
  • Marilyn and Garrett Zack
  • Mark Zancanaro
  • Michael Moody and Karen Zivi
  • Mr. Scott Zumwalt
  • Rev. David Baak and Betty Zylstra  


*Deceased