This Health Insurance Funder is Expanding LGBT Support After the Orlando Tragedy

The recent Orlando nightclub tragedy has triggered a strong response from grantmakers and nonprofits alike, forging some new alliances. One high-profile example of this is when 50 major LGBT and gun violence prevention groups released a joint statement to outline key priorities for addressing gun violence as it affects LGBT people. The Arcus Foundation is a driving force in this particular effort, and other players include the David Bohnett Foundation, Americans for Responsible Solutions, and Everytown for Gun Safety.

However, some foundations that you might not necessarily expect to engage on these pressing issues seem to be increasing their LGBT support as well, at least for now. A case in point: The Cigna Foundation recently awarded a $75,000 grant to the OneOrlando Fund, which was specifically created to assist the people affected by the Orlando mass shooting by Mayor Buddy Dyer. But that’s not all the health insurer is doing for the Orlando community. It’s also been offering free phone counseling for people who are suffering from fear, loss and anxiety. “Cigna is here for our community, sharing in the grief and committed to moving forward, together,” said Dean Mirabella, president of Cigna’s North Florida market.

So Cigna’s recent LGBT support is directly tied to its long-term support for mental health, which seems to make a lot of sense. In recent years, Cigna has been a significant force in mental health grantmaking on a national scale.

Related: Cigna Foundation: Grants for Mental Health

However, Cigna is also emerging as an inclusive LGBT funder, especially for youth. The foundation also recently awarded a $25,000 grant to the Gay and Lesbian and Straight Education Network and a $10,000 grant to the Trevor Foundation. These grants are going toward safe and supportive school environments, crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. And as a company, Cigna has made strides to employ an inclusive workforce and was actually chosen as a top equality workplace by Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index last year. This positive corporate image and recent foundation actions aren't going unnoticed by the LGBT communities in Florida and beyond.

You can learn more about Cigna Foundation giving on its website. One grantmaking program to pay attention to, here, is the World of Difference Grants program. This particular effort is all about promoting access to community health resources and wellness in the workplace.