Achieving Equitable Standards for LGBTQIA inclusive grantmaking.

The Better OUTcomes Initiative is a multi-year philanthropic movement to increase funding to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, Two-Spirit and allied people and groups as well as strengthen better philanthropic practices for grantmakers.

An Innovative Solution – The Better OUTcomes Initiative

Members of the Minnesota Council on Foundations are embarking together in a new effort to create a level playing field for LGBTQ grant seekers – called the Better OUTcomes Initiative. This Minnesota-based effort will bond our communities together and strengthen opportunity and access for all.


Historical Context

Philanthropy has always played a pivotal role in the advancement of civil rights and social justice. Family, corporate and community foundations all understand the interdependent nature of our communities – what affects one part of our community affects us all.

As a sector, grant-makers have invested in innovations to improve services that benefit communities and increased the flow of opportunity through social institutions designed to meet public needs, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people.
In recent years, the philanthropic sector played an important role in advancing policy wins for the LGBTQ community.

Current Context

MN & the upper Midwest

Evidence shows that LGBTQ people do not have a level playing field when it comes to educational outcomes, or access to culturally sensitive healthcare, employment and income, among other critical social indicators.

A quick review of current data – poverty and unemployment, mental and physical health, personal safety, educational attainment, family support, incarceration rates, access to affordable housing, and more – reveal that the civil rights concerns of LGBTQ people are systemic and complex.

Join the Effort to Level the Playing Field for Minnesota’s LGBTQ Grant Seekers

There is more work to do. When it comes to predictable, adequate, sustainable funding for the organizations and initiatives that address the daily impacts and policy needs of LGBTQ people in Minnesota and beyond – it’s time to do better – ensuring that LGBTQ-serving organization and programs have the resources they need to support, protect, and advance LGBTQ people and communities.

Strategic, long-term investments by funders are needed to ensure LGBTQ people can thrive, just as other communities do.

We want to hear from you!


The Better OUTcomes Initiative aims to provide opportunities for Minnesota-headquartered foundations and individuals to improve understanding and funding of the LGBTQ community.


  • Recruit one-third of the Minnesota Council on Foundations members to join the initiative.

  • Grow in Connection and Understanding.

  • Set and implement the appropriate standards for LGBTQ-inclusive grantmaking.

Adopting a model that works:

The Better OUTcomes Initiative is based on a model that is already working – a place-based philanthropic collaboration called “Out in the South.” Developed by a broad coalition of foundations, “Out in the South” has successfully increased awareness of, connection to and investment in LGBTQ people in the U.S. South.

Grant-making designed to empower leaders from all walks of life

The US census does not track sexuality or gender identity, making it difficult to fully understand the extend and depth of impact of homophobia, transphobia and the resulting structural inequality among LGBTQIA Communities.

Funding Gap in the Midwest

The Midwest is currently last in the country when it comes to philanthropic support of LGBTQ people, issues and organizations.

LGBTQIA People of Color

For LGBTQ people of color, the intersection of gender, sexuality and race/ethnicity generates even greater systemic barriers that substantially increase structural inequality.

This multi-year effort is being generously supported by the Minnesota Council on Foundations, PFund Foundation, Greater Twin Cities United Way, the Blandin Foundation, Otto Bremer Trust, The St. Paul Foundation, and Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.

Additionally, the goals and work of the Better OUTcomes Initiative are endorsed by: Minnesota’s LGBTQ Funders Working Group – coordinated by MCF, chaired by PFund Foundation, Native Americans in Philanthropy, ABFE, Trans Justice Funding Project, Third Wave Fund.

BOI Partners

Engaging Community, Advancing Social Justice

PFund Foundation is committed to expanding awareness and sharing resources and knowledge about strides and barriers facing LGBTQ people. We know that an effective way to fight discrimination, isolation, and injustice is by building a collaborative, well-informed community of stakeholders.

We continue to build relationships among grantees, donors, and funders by creating opportunities to learn and work together so that all voices are heard. Through projects, partnerships, and events, we are eager to continue advocating for LGBTQ people throughout the philanthropic sector.

  • Join us for Training

    Signup for a 2020 Cohort

    Last year, 5 BOI Cohorts learned about the issues faced by the LGBTQIA community and how they could use this knowledge to become a partner.  Signup for Pfund’s training.

  • Become a funding Partner

    Help advance our work

    Join members of the Minnesota Council on Foundations and others on a mission to create a level playing field for LGBTQ grant seekers

  • Hire us for a private training

    Implicit Bias & Orientation

    Interested in on-site training?  We will come to you.

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