Calamus Foundation: Grants for Human Rights

OVERVIEW: Calamus supports LGBT rights programs both in the U.S. and abroad. On a smaller scale, the foundation also awards grants to groups providing care and support services to people with HIV.

IP TAKE: Calamus is a relatively approachable grantmaker, but is pretty judicious when choosing organizations to support. Since the foundation does not award a large number of LGBT rights grants annually, and the number of those going toward international projects is even fewer, grantseekers should expect a good deal of competition here.

PROFILE: The Calamus Foundation has been fighting for the rights of LGBT people since 1994. Calamus awards grants to organizations that provide services to gay and lesbian communities, focusing on those that “[p]romote and support its formation, growth, identity, general wellbeing, and social and legal rights.”

The foundation directs a portion of its LGBT rights grants to organizations working in the United States, but does not impose geographic restrictions in its grantmaking. It directs a portion of its grant dollars to international projects. While the foundation does not limit its grants to a particular dollar amount, most range from $10,000 to $50,000. Calamus also supports organizations that provide care and support services to people with HIV.

Grants seem to be pretty evenly split between large national and international organizations and grassroots outfits. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but can take up to six months. The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, but it does encourage grant seekers to introduce their organizations by contacting Calamus.


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