Crossroads Fund: Grants for LGBT

OVERVIEW: The Crossroads Fund supports community-based LGBT organizations in the Chicago area.

IP TAKE: While Crossroads awards grants to a wide variety of Chicago-based LGBT organizations, it prioritizes youth-focused programs.

PROFILE: A group of 12 likeminded activists got together to found the Crossroads Fund in 1979 to support “[c]ommunity organizations working on issues of racial, social, and economic justice in the Chicago area.”  In 1981, the fund awarded its first grants and today, it focuses its giving on criminal justice, disability rights, the environment, community development, worker rights, immigrant rights, LGBT rights, women and girls, and youth causes.

In the LGBT rights space, Crossroads “[h]as been an ally and supporter of a broad-based LGBT movement,” for decades. The fund continues to be a key resource for new and emerging LGBT organizations in Chicago. Past grantees include the 750 Club, which received funding for its work providing stable housing for queer youth; and the Transgender Oral History Project, which received a grant for its community project promoting diverse stories from within transgender and gender variant communities. To learn more about the types of LGBT organizations the Crossroads Fund supports, explore its list of past grantees.  

Crossroads accepts unsolicited requests for funding for each of its areas of focus through its Seed Fund, Technical Assistance and Emergency Funds, and Youth Fund for Social Change.

The Seed Fund accepts grant applications throughout the year and reviews submissions from March to June each year. The board typically makes its final funding decisions in late June or early July.

The Technical Assistance and Emergency Funds programs accept requests for funding throughout the year. The review process generally takes six weeks for home Technical Assistance grants and seven working days for Emergency Fund grants. The fund limits technical grants to $3,000 and emergency grants to $500.

The application deadline for the Youth Fund for Social Change program varies each year; however, the deadline typically falls somewhere in the fall or winter.

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