'Tis the season for giving and many of Atlanta and Georgia's LGBT nonprofits as well as gay-friendly community groups are sending out emails asking for a final donations before the start of 2012.
Georgia Equality, the state's LGBT advocacy organization that works under the Gold Dome during the legislative session to track anti-gay bills as well as support pro-equality bills and does other advocacy work throughout the state, notes in its year-end message that less than 1 percent of the state's LGBT people regularly donate.
"In 2011, between Georgia Equality and Equality Foundation of Georgia, we raised and spent some $250,000 to advance your rights and the rights of your loved ones. Imagine what we could have accomplished if we had raised an additional $50,000 that could have been used for education, outreach or support of fair-minded candidates," says its letter titled, "Equality is Within Reach."
Ga. LGBT organizations, local theaters seeking year-end donations
“In 2011, 277 people supported our work with gifts ranging from $10 to $4,800. 54 of those donors participate in our monthly sustainer program and 30 are members of the Equality Council.
“While this is a great number of donors, and an increase from the year before, it represents far less than one percent of the estimated 300,000 people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender in Georgia. Imagine what we could do if 1 percent, 3 percent or 5 percent of our community made a donation to support the work of advancing our civil and human rights in 2012,” the letter states.
MEGA Family Project, which works to help LGBT families by providing resources to parents and children, was able to reach its end-of-year fundraising needs of $5,000 but still seeks more donations so the nonprofit can thrive.
Freddie Ashley, the openly gay artistic director of Actor’s Express, says his gay-friendly theater continues to need the support of the community despite its close-call this year of nearly having to shut off the spotlight.
“We survived the storm earlier this year because of the support we received from donors like you. We’ve done a lot to manage the risks by implementing new administrative and accounting controls. But since single ticket sales cover less than 50 percent of our expenses, we continue to rely on the ongoing support of our truest believers. Yes, we’ve made it out of our crisis. But your continued financial support is crucial — not just to survive, but to thrive,” he says. Click here for more info on what donors receive in exchange for their gifts.
Horizon Theatre in Little Five Points, also gay-friendly, seeks not only monetary donations but in-kind donations such as office supplies, building supplies and even a coffee maker.
The Health Initiative, formerly the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative, wants to continue helping meet the health needs of all LGBT people in the community and notes that a $25 contribution will buy a MARTA card for five trips to a doctor or pharmacy, a $50 contribution will pay for a diagnostic mammogram for a client with a breast lump and a $150 contribution will cover the cost of a full annual physical for an uninsured LGBTQ individual.
Southerners on New Ground notes in its end-of-year email that, “We as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer folk have been at the forefront of all key Southern freedom struggles with other people who experience oppression and who long for a better South.”
YouthPride in Atlanta that serves LGBT youth is in a financial crisis and needs $40,000 by the end of the year or faces shuttering its doors early in 2012. It started a “Good Gays Give” campaign.
Saint Lost & Found, a new grassroots organization dedicated to finding emergency shelter for Atlanta LGBT homeless youth, recently rented a house to serve as a group home and needs money as well as seeking donations for the home.
Lambda Legal, a legal organization working to defend LGBT rights in the courts — and this month won a major victory in Georgia — is featuring its attorneys in videos sharing what the nonprofit’s mission is. Check out what Greg Nevins, senior staff attorney for the office in Atlanta, has to say.
Charis Circle, the nonprofit arm of Charis Books & More, plans to open the Charis Feminist Center in the near future and is asking for donations to help make the dream come true. Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, a commercial business, has started a “Save Outwrite Books” campaign to help with potential moving costs after the LGBT bookstore announced in November it was having to relocate from its landmark location in Midtown.