of a need...
Tampa Bay has a strong history of organizations providing services to the LGBTQ+ community. Some of these organizations are more ‘LGBTQ+ intentional’—meaning it’s very clear that they serve the LGBTQ+ community. But others are more ‘LGBTQ+ incidental’—meaning they serve LGBTQ+ individuals as a part of their larger client populations. But in either case, these organizations are faced with the never-ending challenge of funding—for both planned and unplanned needs. This is especially true as these organizations continue to serve an ever-widening array of LGBTQ+ audiences and needs, including LGBTQ+ homelessness, transgender and other gender identity issues, aging, the LGBTQ+ disability population, healthcare & ACA navigation, mental health, domestic violence, family therapy, health & wellness, and many more. In short, the list of audiences and needs is lengthy—and ever-growing.
Working with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, The Plus Projec+ founding board conducted an in-depth research study with non-profits that serve the LGBTQ+ community. What we found were key recurring themes:
- An ongoing need for funding sources.
- A complex and difficult grant application landscape, often for small grants issued by funding organizations that have little link to Tampa Bay.
- A lack of awareness of new, different or other funding sources, and a need for greater opportunities to collaborate with others serving the LGBTQ+ sector.
- The challenge of generating interest and engagement among new potential funders in Tampa Bay.
The recognition of unique and
- An opportunity to be a significant local source of need-based funding. A funding source that ‘knows’ the market and understands the organizations, the client/need populations, and the context for funding.
- An opportunity to be a fund focused on filling gaps and unmet needs. A funding source focused on directly funding organizational needs—from clothing to counseling, from printers to public relations, from stuff... to staff!
- An opportunity to be a long-term resource for grant-based funding. But with a grant application and award system that is quick, streamlined, and innovative in its simplicity.
- An opportunity to be a short-term resource for need-based funding. The Plus Projec+ has a unique ‘Rapid Response’ funding option, whereby organizations with urgent funding needs can apply—and be given a response—in a matter of days (or less).
- An opportunity to welcome any and all donors who wish to make a difference. From individual legacy-based donors, to corporate donors, to new or young donors who may not know how—or where—their funds can make a difference. The collective power of The Plus Projec+ funds allows donors of any sort or any level—whether LGBTQ+, allies or others—to be equally important for making the most significant impact possible.
- An opportunity to be a philanthropic extension, not a replacement. The Plus Projec+ funding mission and practices are unlike any other in Tampa Bay. Donors often have an historical relationship with an organization and are familiar with its needs.
- An opportunity to strengthen Tampa Bay LGBTQ+ organizations and their leaders, mobilize donors and funders, inspire giving, and actively secure our LGBTQ+ community’s future for generations to come.