Pride Month 2023 is a time of joy and celebration that comes during a moment in history when members of the LGBTQ+ community are increasingly targeted by legislation and hostile public discussion. For those of us who are people of color (no matter our gender identity) and those who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming it can feel like there is a target on our backs. This is a time for all of us to speak up and do what we can to help break down stereotypes and increase inclusivity.
We reached out to Gayle Roberts for words of guidance. Gayle is a successful C-level executive who has raised over $200 million – and helped others raise billions more. With years of fundraising experience Gayle has seen it all. Here’s a clip from her LinkedIn bio: “At the age of six, I had my first taste of fundraising — hosting a Muscular Dystrophy Association Carnival, complete with pin the tail on the donkey. Today, as a professional fundraiser, I draw on 35 years of nonprofit management experience, for-profit business ownership, and community volunteerism.” Gayle serves as the Chief Development Officer for Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco, CA and is member of the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Golden Gate Chapter. Here are her words of guidance as we close out Pride Month for 2023.
“Philanthropy is as American as baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie. It transcends our diverse spiritual traditions, reminding us of the common ground we share. We all want the best for our loved ones, communities, and country. Pride Month provides an opportunity for all of us, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity, to put our values into action by supporting LGBTQ+ individuals and communities. It allows us to find that common bond that unites us as human beings.”
“This year, standing up for LGBTQ+ rights is especially vital, as we witness attempts to undermine the hard-fought progress and protections. As Pride Month unfolds, there are many meaningful ways to show support. You can (1) join local Pride parade celebrations; (2) make a donation to local LGBTQ+ community centers or national rights organizations; or (3) consider supporting political candidates who champion LGBTQ equality. But above all, never forget to reach out and let your LGBTQ+ loved ones know that you stand with them, celebrating their identities and offering unwavering support. That’s the kind of philanthropy that keeps on giving!”
Like Anu Iyer of OutMemphis who we interviewed in part one of this series, Gayle has suggestions who how nonprofits can support and uplift the LGBTQ+ community. They include providing safe spaces and support programs for LGBTQ+ youth; organizing workshops, trainings, and public forums to educate the community about LGBTQ+ issues, gender diversity, and the importance of respect and acceptance; and implementing non-discrimination policies, gender-affirming practices, and diverse representation on boards and leadership teams within nonprofit organizations. Here are Gayle’s closing words: “Together, we can make a difference and build a more inclusive and equitable world for all!”
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Copyright 2023 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Let us help you plan for 2023! Video and phone conferencing services are always available. Call us at (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com