E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation: Grants for LGBT

OVERVIEW: The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation awards grants to local, regional, and national LGBT organizations.

IP TAKE: This funder only accepts grant requests from an organization once per calendar year.

PROFILE: The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation was founded in 1975 in Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Carpenter was the founder of the foam rubber manufacturer, the Carpenter Company. The foundation is a separate entity from the company. The Carpenter Foundation’s grantmaking priorities include graduate theological education, performing arts, visual arts, community health nursing, and LGBT causes.

The foundation’s LGBT grants center on LGBT “people of faith” and seek to ensure “[f]aith communities’ understanding, affirmation, and inclusion of,” LGBT people.

According to the foundation’s tax filings, the majority of grants awards range in amount from $10,000 to $100,000. In the past, Carpenter has supported LGBT organizations such as Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the National LGBTQ Task Force, and Old Lesbians Organizing for Change. The foundation largely supports large, established organizations; however, a few smaller organizations succeed in securing funding.

The Carpenter Foundation accepts unsolicited requests for funding. Grantseekers do not need to fill out specific grant application forms. A brief letter describing their organization’s history, project or program will suffice. Applicants must also include their organization’s IRS ruling and financial statements. Applications must be postmarked before January 31 to be considered by the board at the spring meeting and July 15 for consideration at the fall meeting.


  • Joseph O’Connor, Jr., Executive Director
  • Diane Collins, Associate Executive Director
  • Ann Day, President and Director
  • Paul Day, Vice President and Director