LGBT+ Giving Circle

The LGBT+ Giving Circle at the Community Foundation was created in 2011 by a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and allies. Through grants from its LGBT+ Fund for Greater Rochester, the Giving Circle hopes to bridge diversity and cultivate community.

Our Mission

We unite donors to support organizations that serve, are inclusive of, or are allied with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to enhance and strengthen our region.

Our Vision

Through our sustained support, we will become the region’s largest private funder of organizations that improve the lives of LGBT individuals and cultivate a better community.

What is a Giving Circle

A giving circle is a group of like-minded individuals who pool their money each year and decide together how it should be distributed.

The LGBT+ Giving Circle would like its impact to be felt now and in the future. To do that, annual contributions in the form of memberships will be evenly split between grantmaking for the current year and endowment for the future. 2022 grant dollars distributed are here.

Giving Circles include social, educational, and engagement opportunities that connect participants to their communities, while increasing their understanding of philanthropy and community issues.

Leadership and Committees

The LGBT+ Giving Circle leadership is provided by a Steering Committee with two co-chairs and standing committee chairs, most of whom serve a two-year term.

We offer three different membership levels:

  • $250 
  • $500 
  • $1,000 

A contribution at any of these levels or above gives an individual or a household one vote in the grantmaking process. To be an eligible voting member, full membership contributions must be received by August 30 of the grant cycle year. Membership-level gifts may be made in four installments.

If you would prefer to make a donation to the fund or give a gift in memory or honor of someone, it can be in any amount. You can also support the Giving Circle without joining with a generous gift of any amount. All gifts to the LGBT+ Fund for Greater Rochester are tax-deductible.

To Join: Print and fill out the membership form included in this brochure about the fund and the Giving Circle and follow the instructions for mailing. 

To Donate to the Fund Online: Use our easy and secure online form.

Like us on Facebook

Check out our Facebook page for more up-to-date info. 

Get Involved

The LGBT+ Giving Circle is looking for members who would like to be actively involved in growing membership and spreading the word about the LGBT+ Fund for Greater Rochester.

To find out more, email

To be eligible for a grant from the LGBT+ Giving Circle, the nonprofit organization must have — or be in the process of developing — a nondiscrimination policy that is inclusive of LGBT people.

Projects and activities outlined in the grant request need to align with the mission and scope of the Giving Circle, which is to support organizations that serve, are inclusive of, or are allied with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to enhance and strengthen our region.

For more information about the Giving Circle’s grant criteria and annual grant cycle, click here.

We thank the 2020 grantees featured below for sharing stories of how LGBT+ Giving Circle grants are helping their organizations.

See how The Avenue Black Box Theatre and LGBT+ Giving Circle dollars are helping bring the creative arts to under-served audiences in the City of Rochester.

Learn how Center for Youth’s Arnett House is providing a safe space and shelter for LBGTQ and trafficked youth in the greater Rochester area.

Listen to how Family Counseling Service, with help from the LGBT+ Giving Circle, is supporting LGBTQ clients from all walks of life in the Finger Lakes.

Watch how Pencils & Paper, a program of Jewish Family Services, is providing free and much-needed school supplies to teachers in high-poverty schools with support from the LGBT+ Giving Circle.

Be inspired by RAIHN, which is working with grant dollars from the LGBT+ Giving Circle to ensure secure housing and provide support to vulnerable families, primarily in the City of Rochester.

Hear the story of how Veterans Outreach Center is using LGBT+ Giving Circle funds to support and empower service members struggling in the greater Rochester area.