B.W. Bastian Foundation: Grants for LGBT

OVERVIEW: The Utah-based Bastian Foundation was founded in 1997 by tech entrepreneur Bruce Bastian. Areas of focus at Bastian include the performing arts, LGBT rights, and HIV/AIDS advocacy. Projects based in the U.S. Intermountain West region (Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana) are prioritized.

IP TAKE: Bastian is a no-frills operation, and can also be hard for grantseekers to access. 

PROFILE: The B.W. Bastian Foundation's mission is to "build community and understanding by supporting local and national institutions."  Broadly speaking, the areas of focus are the arts, LGBT rights, and work on HIV/AIDS,  though Bastian has also provided funding for environmental organizations, wildlife funds and homeless shelters.

The foundation was started in 1997 by Bruce Bastian, a well-known Utah-based tech entrepreneur who cofounded the WordPerfect Software Company and has appeared on Forbes' list of the 500 wealthiest people in America. Bastian's philanthropy has always been about cultural arts and LGBT equality, and he also serves on the Board of Directors for the Human Rights Campaign.

The Bastian foundation is led by Executive Director Michael Marriott, who must be contacted directly prior to submitting any grant application. The foundation is also open about its "geographical limitations." Priority is given to grantseekers based in the Intermountain West region (Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana), though proposals from organizations working at a national level are also considered.  Click here for a recent list of grant recipients.

Bastian will only fund organizations that "wholeheartedly embrace the principle of equality" and whose applications explicitly "include a statement specifically stating their commitment of equality for all Americans, including the gay and lesbian community."

The foundation does not award grants to individuals and strongly favors organizations working in or around the State of Utah. Most of Bastian's grants fall in the $100 to $15,000 range and the foundation tends to "avoid multiple year grants."  

Bastian is not currently accepting unsolicited grant proposals. Grantseekers must contact Marriott, either by email or by phone, and make their case. Only organizations are eligible for grants; individual activists need not apply. It should once again be stressed that what is most perhaps most salient with this foundation is its geographical selectivity. Grantseekers outside of the Intermountain West region, even those working nationally, might have a hard time getting Marriott's attention. 


  • Michael Marriott, Executive Director