Pride Foundation: An Investment In Montana’s Future

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You may have noticed that I’m a big fan of the Pride Foundation.

I’d like to explain why.

When I was growing up in Montana in the 70′s, there were no resources for kids like me- no gay role models, no resources, no way for me to combat the prevalent message that I was deformed, debilitated or disordered. I just assumed that I was. It’s a painful way to live. In fact, it was so painful I attempted suicide.

I survived.

Some of our kids haven’t.

When I moved back to Montana as a reasonably well-adjusted gay man, I made myself a promise: I would do everything in my power to make sure that kids growing up here would have role models and support and resources to stand against the messages of hate and bigotry that still find a place in our culture.

Pride Foundation is a big part of that for me.

When I worked at Seattle Counseling Service, Pride Foundation was a major supporter of our mental health and substance abuse work with LGBTIQ and HIV-infected people. They are proud partners in creating community health. That makes Pride Foundation a natural partner for my life goals as a gay man in Montana. Pride Foundation has made it a point to create a culture of giving and support for organizations and individuals to create safe and sustaining places for LGBTIQ people- and our allies- in Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Oregon and Washington. Creating better and more inclusive communities for all.

Since 1985, Pride Foundation has given more than $39 million dollars to thousands of organizations and scholars across the Pacific Northwest.

If you’ve been looking for a way to be involved, here’s your chance. Volunteers serve on grant and scholarship review teams, work at local events and provide important input for our mission in every state across the region.

And, if you’re looking to get an amazing return on your philanthropic dollar, I hope you’ll consider a gift that will keep on giving for decades to come.

I currently serve- with Shelley Hayes from Billings- as one of Montana’s Pride Foundation Board Members. I’m also the Pride Foundation Montana Leadership Action Team Chair, and I’m doing everything in my power to ensure that Pride Foundation’s generous culture of philanthropy and stewardship continues to benefit Montanans and LGBTIQ persons in the Pacific Northwest for years to come.

I’d like you to join me.

Here’s the Pride Foundation donor link. It’s very easy. Ken and I give $50 every month- and it’s simply taken from our debit card. Plus, for every dollar you give to Pride Foundation over $3.00 comes back to Montana! That’s unheard of in this day and age.

https://www.pridefoundation.org/giving/give-online/

  •  All donations from Montanans stay in Montana supporting grants and scholarships here.
  • For every $1 raised in MT last year, $3.80 came back to the state.
  • Caitlin has driven over 10,000 miles since being hired as the first staff on the ground two years ago.
  • We’ve given away nearly $500,000 in Montana total, including nearly $50,000 this past year.  

We plan to award even more this next year thanks to our supporters- people just like you.

Whatever you can offer is deeply appreciated. We appreciate your time as well as your resources. Seriously. We treat all of our donors and volunteers as part of our family.

Thanks in advance for helping make the future brighter for LGBTIQ people under the Big Sky!

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Pride Foundation Named One of Top Twelve Nonprofits

 

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Dear friends,

After a year that has included many celebrations at the local and national level, we have one more exciting headline to share.

Pride Foundation was just named one of the Top 12 high-impact nonprofits working in the field of local LGBTQ equality and support.
 This esteemed award from comes from Philanthropedia, a division of GuideStar. The rankings are based on in-depth surveys and conversations with hundreds of experts, including academics, foundation leaders, policy makers, and consultants.

Pride Foundation is honored to be recognized for such a prestigious award. We are also thankful to each of you—we reach our successes only with your support. As the holiday season continues, we are reminded of what matters most in our own lives and in the life of an organization like Pride Foundation. We are so grateful for the opportunity to champion for inspired students and innovative nonprofits all year long.

Here is a link to two stories 
of one scholar (Andrew Nichols) and one grantee (Gay Straight Alliance at Salish Kootenai College) that exemplify what can happen when you take the risk to do what you believe in and when you have a community of friends at your side. These stories also point to the reason Pride Foundation was honored with this award—together we are transforming the lives of people in the Northwest.

I understand that so many of you have contributed generously to many causes this year. Knowing that achieving full equality for all is important to you, I would ask that you consider making a personally significant year-end gift to Pride Foundation. To those of you who have already given generously, thank you. Your gift will be joined with the voices and momentum of the entire community and region. And you never know—you may profoundly change or even save a life.

Thank you.

With Pride,

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Kris Hermanns, Executive Director

Pride Foundation

 

 

Greer Among Young NW LGBTQ Leaders Invited to The White House

So proud of my friend Jamee….


VP Biden and Dr. Biden to celebrate the next generation of LGBTQ leaders
 
Jamee Greer has been told in public meetings that his kind deserves to be sentenced to death and ridiculed as “Tinkerbell” by a prominent gun lobbyist. Last week, the White House confirmed what members of the LGBTQ Montanans and their supporters have long known: That Greer is one of the finest leaders in the country, and his policy and organizing expertise is essential to ensuring dignity and fairness for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
 
Greer will join other Northwest LGBTQ leaders including Josh Parrish of the ACLU of Idaho, Heather Purser of the Suquamish Tribe (Washington), and Kyle Rapiñan of Seattle Queer Youth Center for a tour of The White House, LGBTQ policy roundtable, and end-of-summer BBQ reception in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, September 19. A fifth community leader, Christian Baeff of CAUSA (Oregon), was invited but is unable to attend.
 
“Jamee’s work on non-discrimination ordinances in Missoula, Helena, and Bozeman, and his steadfast advocacy for all the underdogs in our society made him a clear choice for this invitation,” explains Kris Hermanns, Executive Director of Pride Foundation, the Northwest LGBTQ community foundation that was asked by The White House to suggest people that are leading change in their LGBTQ communities.
 
“Each of these young leaders inspire change by working with their local communities—their dedication to and passion for full LGBTQ equality is inspiring,” adds Hermanns.
 
Greer is employed as a full-time community organizer and lobbyist for the Montana Human Rights Network, a longtime grantee and partner to the foundation.
 
“It’s an incredible honor and very humbling to be chosen for something like this when there are so many qualified LGBTQ Montanans working every day for equal treatment under the law, and I couldn’t even think of this sort of opportunity happening without their help, including from the folks at Pride Foundation,” Greer said.
 
Greer was born and raised in Bozeman and has worked for the Montana Human Rights Network since the 2009 Legislature. He was lead organizer on the campaign to pass Montana’s first LGBTQ non-discrimination protections through the Missoula City Council in 2010 and is currently leading the campaign to pass a similar ordinance in the state capital of Helena. During legislative sessions, Greer lobbies for MHRN, working on policy related to social and economic justice, including reproductive freedom, LGBTQ equality, immigrant rights, and access to health care.
 
Greer previously worked as an HIV/AIDS tester and counselor with the Montana Gay Men’s Task Force and as a volunteer organizer through the Western Montana Gay & Lesbian Community Center.
 
 
Founded in 1985, Pride Foundation is dedicated to inspiring a culture of generosity to connect and strengthen organizations, leaders, and students who are creating LGBTQ equality across the Northwest states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, visit www.pridefoundation.org or email Caitlin@pridefoundation.org.