Every day in our partnerships across the philanthropic sector, we see nonprofits’ tremendous power to change lives for the better, strengthen communities, and advance justice, equity, and inclusion to build a better future. As we celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community this Pride month and beyond, Campbell & Company is calling on the nonprofit sector to join us in advocating for queer equality, inclusion, and their thriving futures.
To date, more than 550 anti-LGBTQIA+ pieces of legislation have been introduced in 49 states. The legislations include:
Across various mediums such as social media, mainstream news sources, pop culture and more, anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric continues to fuel violence and rollback meaningful strides in representation and inclusion.
The philanthropic sector has a role to play in advocating for LGBTQIA+ rights. To support the sector in this multi-issue, here are some strategies and activities that nonprofits can implement and adapt in the communities we serve. Rooted in our cross-sector expertise and developed with the insights of Campbell & Company’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group, we offer some tips to inspire increased efforts to support the LGBTQIA+ community:
Organizations in all sectors can offer mission-relevant programs and initiatives that support and advocate for LGBTQIA+ people. Healthcare and human services organizations can add and expand services to support community members impacted by bans on gender affirming healthcare. This might include financial resources to help people access care, establishing or expanding helplines and support groups, creating virtual resource centers, and collaborating with local healthcare providers to develop referral networks of trans affirming healthcare professionals in their communities.
Colleges and universities can direct resources to LGBTQIA+ student groups and hold listening sessions to hear how they can make campus safer for trans students; civic and public affairs organizations might launch educational initiatives to help community members better understand the impacts of anti-trans and other anti-LGBTQIA+ bills and offer strategies to help people navigate a cultural and political world increasingly hostile to queer people and gender nonconformity.
Organizations of all kinds can use their power as community conveners to mobilize intersectional action and advocacy while building stronger community networks. Healthcare and human services organizations might partner with local LGBTQIA+ and civil rights organizations to bring their communities together to discuss the impacts of gender affirming care bans and how communities can support each other. This could include workshops, webinars, and community events to address misconceptions and misinformation, foster inclusive discussions, and provide strategies for activating allyship.
To mobilize their communities in advocacy efforts, organizations across sectors and with diverse missions can partner with each other to raise mutual aid funds, organize rallies and protests, host letter-writing campaigns, canvas neighborhoods with petitions, and support online activism to voice opposition to discriminatory bills and support intersectional LGBTQIA+ rights.
Storytelling and artistic expression of all kinds have extraordinary power to educate, challenge bias, cultivate connections, and inspire action—arts and culture organizations have the unique power to amplify queer voices and express the full rainbow of the queer experience through programming that features queer creators, perhaps with proceeds from event ticket sales benefiting a local transgender rights organization or other LGBTQIA+ group. Communication and storytelling across organizations and sectors can also center the voices and experiences of LGBTQIA+ community members, such as our very own Campbell Proud video, which highlights the experiences of many of our firm’s LGBTQIA+ employee-owners.
As organizations increase their external-facing efforts to support and advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, it is imperative that they also commit to supporting this work internally—with adequate staffing, program budgets, and learning opportunities for staff across the organization. Consider how donors of all giving levels and volunteers from across your communities can be meaningfully engaged to help support this urgent work. Organizations can engage queer educators and intersectional consulting partners to help staff deepen their learning and activate their advocacy and allyship. They might also conduct audits of external and internal materials for inclusive language, and encourage all staff, regardless of gender identity, to normalize sharing and asking for pronouns.
Additionally, organizational leaders should be prepared to proactively initiate and lead conversations about how their organization is working to ensure inclusion, equity, and access for trans and other LGBTQIA+ people, both amongst their staff and the communities they serve and support.
As the anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation continues to affect the lives and well-being of the queer community, the incredible power of the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors can help us advance pro-equity policies and the rights of members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Campbell & Company has worked extensively with national and local LGBTQIA+ organizations and helped over 700 human services and healthcare clients advance their fundraising strategies and place visionary leaders to help move their missions forward. Visit campbellcompany.com or call 877.957.0000 to launch the Campbell & Company team within your organization today.