In celebration & solidarity: Announcing the first grants from the OUT Georgia Impact Fund

December 23, 2022

Previously published on the Saporta Report, 12.19.22

By Troy Parker, Associate Director of Corporate Relations at United Way of Greater Atlanta

Friday night, December 9th, was an unforgettable evening for me. I had the extreme honor of attending the annual OUT Georgia Business Alliance’s Community Honors Event. As a gay man, I have never experienced being in a room that filled with LGBTQ+ individuals, leaders, and allies celebrating all that we are, and what we’ve accomplished together over the last year. One of the many highlights of the evening for me was seeing the work of the partnership between United Way of Greater Atlanta and the OUT Georgia Business Alliance come to light.  

OUT Georgia Business Alliance and United Way of Greater Atlanta launched the OUT Georgia Impact Fund because of the critical importance to drive meaningful, measurable, and lasting impact for LGBTQ+ individuals, youth, families, and communities across the Greater Atlanta Region. This community continues to be one of the most underrepresented and underestimated. The fund was launched pre-pandemic and despite the challenges brought on because of this, these two entities remained committed to seeing the partnership through. 

Working together, we were very excited to announce that $35 thousand dollars were raised to the fund over the past year, and we awarded 7 LGBTQ+ organizations with the first round of grants that night! Those organizations are: All 1 Family, A Vision 4 Hope, Covenant House, I Am Human Foundation, Thrive SS, Trans Housing Coalition and ZAMI NOBLA. 

“This is a truly unique collaboration between OUT Georgia Business Alliance and United Way of Greater Atlanta, and it’s an incredible feeling to get to our first round of OUT Georgia Impact Fund grants supporting local LGBTQ+ focused organizations,” said Chris Lugo, Executive Director of the OUT Georgia Business Alliance.

“We recognize the critical position LGBTQ+ nonprofits hold in elevating and addressing the multifaceted needs within our growing and diverse community, and we are building the Impact Fund to move in lockstep with those needs. For corporations, foundations, and individuals, it couldn’t be a more important time to consider a charitable investment that will make a meaningful difference in the lives and livelihoods of LGBTQ+ people, families, and organizations across the Greater Atlanta region.”

The community-led advisory committee for the OUT Georgia Impact Fund identified the organizations based on the objectives of the fund. Those objectives are to:

  • Serve individuals, children and families who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations. 
  • Help LGBTQ+ youth become stable, secure, and ready for college and careers. 
  • Help LGBTQ+ adults and families to address basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, and other resources in an accessible and equitable environment.
  • Help LGBTQ+ small businesses.
  • Build awareness of inequities and how to be more equity centered while promoting advocacy within the LGBTQ+ community.
  • And building broader public awareness and increasing investments to black-led and trans-led LGBTQ+ organizations.

In the wake of the tragedy that occurred at Club Q on Transgender Day of Remembrance, this event and this accomplishment brought hope. This is only the beginning. We have already secured $20k in recommitments from Norfolk Southern and Cox Enterprises for the second round of grant distribution that will take place in September of 2023. Applications for the next round will be available in June 2023! We continue to move forward and help create a more equitable Atlanta where all individuals and families thrive regardless of race, gender identify, or sexual orientation. 

We are hoping to triple the support of the fund in the coming year, but we can only do that with your help! For more information on the OUT Georgia Impact Fund and to donate, click here.