I. Executive Summary

Generosity is core to the ethos of all that PFund Foundation is. As the only LGBTQIA community foundation representing the vast region of the upper Midwest, we are committed to further instilling generosity through our work in support of our communities.

In 1987, four friends saw a serious gap in generosity for those most in need—those early LGBTQIA folks contracting HIV/AIDS—and they gave generously to create a fund by and for LGBTQIA people in the community.

This strategic plan reflects that legacy of generosity, and will be guiding the organization through the next three years. At the center of this plan is a set of goals that outline how PFund Foundation can be more generous to those in the community that need resources and connection.

We have taken feedback from the community and have built a framework of three goals that will inform our programming and direction: Increase Capacity, Underscore Impact, and Communicate Results.

In the following plan, we will outline how we collected information, filtered it through our values, mission, and elevated priorities, and determined these goals. Lastly, we are implementing performance indicators that hold us to our word and demonstrate our impact in the next three years.

When PFund Foundation’s Board of Directors and Staff initially began drafting our strategic priorities, with the support of the Saint Paul and Minnesota Community Foundation, we were facing very different circumstances than we are in 2020. We have had to show up for communities in different ways with different priorities. However, we have seen the resilience of our communities in this time of uncertainty. This plan has become the guidepost through the fray and holds us accountable to our partners, our constituents, and our communities.

The degree of safety, prosperity, and empowerment experienced by LGBTQIA communities in the upper Midwest varies greatly across the region and across identity. Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin each face a set of challenges as unique as the communities that inhabit them. The needs of those in Minot often vary greatly from those in Madison versus those in Minneapolis.

We recognize that the work of eradicating homophobia and transphobia requires significant courage, energy, tenacity and resources. As the regional LGBTQIA grant-maker in the upper Midwest, PFund Foundation inspires donors and catalyzes communities to invest in lasting change.

PFund Foundation is proud to support LGBTQIA activists, organizers, practitioners, artists, educators and communities. We invest in LGBTQIA people across the lifespan in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Going forward, the organization is at a critical point as it seeks to grow and expand scope, increase impact and establish stronger positioning as a regional community leader via new areas of partnerships, new initiatives and networks of influence. And we are thrilled to be partnering with you!

II. Mission, Vision & Values & Elevated Priorities


PFund Foundation is a vital resource and community builder for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and allied communities by providing grants and scholarships, developing leaders and inspiring giving


PFund Foundation is a catalyst in building communities in Minnesota and the upper Midwest where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are celebrated and live free from discrimination, violence, invisibility and isolation.


Respect: PFUND Foundation understands that respect is central to our cultural identity and the guiding principle to all our relationships.

Trust: PFUND Foundation is committed to developing partnerships based on trust, mutual respect, transparency, and collaboration.

Generosity: PFUND Foundation nurtures and sustains a culture of generosity across multiple generations.

Elevated Priorities

LGBTQ Indigenous, Black, and People of Color; Undocumented, First Generation, Immigrants, and New Americans
Anti-LGBTQ discrimination coupled with institutionalized racism has resulted in LGBTQ indigenous, black, people of color, undocumented, first-generation immigrants, and new Americans experiencing oppression, systemic barriers, and some of the highest disparities within and beyond the LGBTQ community. Disproportionate negative health outcomes include higher HIV infection rates, limited basic health care, poor education, increased profiling, and criminalization.

Trans* Communities
Out of the 33 transgender women murdered so far in 2020, more than half were transgender women of color. Violence, discrimination, suicide, and stigma in transgender communities remain at alarming rates. Research and studies show that trans* and gender non-conforming communities are four times more likely to live in extreme poverty – with household incomes of less than $10,000 per year. More than one in four transgender adults have lost at least one job due to anti-trans* bias, and 90% of transgender adults report experiencing workplace discrimination.

LGBTQ North Dakotans and South Dakotans
North Dakota and South Dakota have extremely discriminatory policies towards LGBTQ communities. North Dakota and South Dakota have extremely discriminatory policies towards LGBTQ people and communities. Legislation does not provide protection against discrimination in employment, housing, healthcare, and adoption based on gender identity or sexual orientation. In a hostile political environment, volunteer-led organizations are working hard to stop anti-LGBTQ attacks.

III. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

We solicited a wide range of voices to provide feedback on Pfund Foundation’s core competencies.  This included the Pfund Board of Directors, the Community through focus groups, and donors through one-on-one conversations.  The chart below details the findings.



  • Resiliency
  • Strong history and Recognition
  • Strong leadership;
  • Focus
  • Revitalized energy – New ED
  • Awareness of need for change
  • Love FR long-term donors
  • Long track record of supporting leaders
  • Elevated priorities
  • Committed board
  • Amazing awardees


  • Investing in young queer people
  • Scholarships to kids of color
  • Longevity
  • Elevated priorities
  • ED of color


  • Scholarships
  • Solid history
  • New energy that embraces change
  • Finally dreaming big



  • Communication gaps
  • Donor neglect
  • Small size & budget
  • Scholar neglect
  • Coasting/missing opportunities
  • Overwhelmed by transitions
  • Lack of institutional memory access
  • Weak brand


  • Elevated priorities leave no room for white people
  • Too much ED turnover
  • Discontinued organizational grants
  • No donor or community engagement
  • No annual report
  • Need board diversity
  • Don’t prioritize LGBTQ elders
  • No trans programming
  • No real way to get involved – no volunteer opportunities
  • No presence in states other than Minnesota


  • Scholarships is the only real program
  • Many younger people don’t know Pfund
  • Many older people think Pfund went away



  • Scholar Connection
  • Big community to cultivate
  • BOI 2.0
  • Diversity is IN – DEI training for corporations
  • Clear Communication
  • Take action in the current political climate
  • Engage past scholars/grantees;
  • Using our data
  • New branding
  • Education and outreach


  • Only LGBTQIA foundation
  • Donors getting older – Lavender League
  • 5 state coverage with little LGBTQIA presence
  • Can only get better
  • Real communities of color engagement


  • Expand presence – Pfund got really small – invisible
  • More consistent social presence
  • More media presence
  • Poised for national leadership
  • Community grants
  • Co-grant, Fundraising, capacity building allows partners to grow as well.
  • Youth and Trans leadership guidance
  • Leverage partner relationships with past recipients
  • Lend a voice to issues concerning LGBTQIA youth like climate change, healthcare, education, housing, etc.



  • Communication gaps
  • Donor neglect
  • Small size & budget
  • Scholar neglect
  • Lost goodwill
  • Aging PFund donors, community
  • White supremacy
  • Financial instability


  • Too small to make a difference
  • Outfront is doing all the work, programming
  • Others working with scholars, we only give money
  • Relevance


  • Current political climate
  • Competitors are better known
  • Thought it wasn’t for white people
  • Reputation for exclusion – mean girls
  • Reputation for messiness and turmoil
  • Too academic, not enough community activism
  • Don’t use marketing chanels

IV. Goals

As the upper Midwest’s only LGBTQIA focused community foundation, PFund Foundation must continue to serve as a catalyst in precipitating change through strong LGBTQIA leaders, organizations, and communities. Our direct infusion of resources—money, education & training, and connection—plays a pivotal role in shaping the movement for equity, empowerment, and fulfillment of LGBTQIA people across Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and beyond.

These goals provide a roadmap for sustainable, smart growth for the next 3 years. Outlined below are the methods in which PFund Foundation’s Board and Staff commit to seeing a region where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are celebrated and live free from discrimination, violence, invisibility, and isolation


    PFund Foundation is positioned to strategically invest in community-led solutions. As a community foundation, we operate through a variety of funding channels aimed at maximized impact. Outlined below are a series of goals that align with the need for a diverse funding strategy that reaches those most in need.

    Immediate Impact Funding: PFund Foundation will establish a Crisis Response Fund, built on the expertise developed as a pass-through funder through our COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund; we will also work with our community partners to ensure vital resources are allocated to the LGBTQIA community including pass-through funding opportunities.

    Stable Community Investment: PFund Foundation will re-invigorate its grants, sponsorships, and investments in community-led non-profit organizations, placing sustainability at the core of this work. We will also seek to grow our scholarship program to ensure that future leaders are supported and resourced.

    A Long-term Legacy: PFund Foundation’s endowment is where the community places its history and its legacy.  Our endowment has been built by community members seeking a long-term path for the LGBTQIA community.  We will invest in ensuring that the endowment is strong and the resources are applied for full impact.


    PFund Foundation has a legacy spanning more than 30 years as a key investor in the health, vitality, and growth of LGBTQIA communities in the upper Midwest. We are a partner shaping the modes in which our community addresses its own challenges.  We take our role seriously and we are committed to thoughtful design and soulful impact. 

    Innovation: We must create opportunities for creative solutions to meet the challenges in our communities. We will accomplish this with collaboration and cross-sector partnership with other foundations, non-profits and stakeholders; we will lean into new ways of thinking and align with community-centered philanthropy.  

    Design: PFund Foundation is committed to implementing improved processes; investing in our staff and infrastructure; and advancing governance at the board level. By securing a strong organization, we can expand our impact. 

    Evaluation: As a cross-community actor, PFund Foundation must further develop solid frameworks for evaluation and measurement. We are accountable to the community to provide short-term results and long-term impact. We will accomplish this through a balance of measurable outcomes and community wisdom. 


    PFund Foundation represents a diverse community across a vast region, and as such, must advance strong and authentic relationships. LBGTQIA communities often face isolation and a lack of connection to resources and opportunities. To better serve our diverse community, PFund Foundation will foster a strong brand, deliver reliable & informative resources, and create opportunities for collaboration. 

    Build: PFund Foundation will design and implement the communication, marketing and fundraising tools needed to elevate our brand and programming. We will center our vision and mission to align with our Elevated Priorities in all that we do.

    Strategize: As an organization representing a five-state region, it is critical to build a cost-effective and impact-forward strategy that drives action. We will establish PFund Foundation’s key messaging and implement an integrated content strategy. 

    Connect:  More than 600 scholars, dozens of organizations, and numerous communities that have felt the impact of PFund Foundation scholarships, grants and programs. We will strengthen these networks to cultivate a community of committed PFund supporters. 

V. Key Performance Indicators

In order to ensure we are accountable to the goals defined above, the Board of PFund Foundation will use the following metrics to track and evaluate success.  Our KPI’s are clearly defined, actionable and adaptable. 

Increase Capacity 

  • By the end of year 1, PFund Foundation will have initiated a Rapid Response Fund to assist members of the LGBTQIA community across the upper Midwest. By year 3, the Fund will have a balance of $50,000 with more than 75% of funding going to members of our three Elevated Priority communities. 
  • By the end of year 3, PFund Foundation will provide grant funding for LGBTQIA organizations in each of the states in our service region. Additionally, PFund Foundation will increase our scholarship funding from approximately $50,000 per year to $75,000 by year 2. 
  • In year 1, PFund Foundation will reinvigorate our Lavender Legacy League—our planned giving society—and increase our membership from 100 to 120. In year 2, PFund Foundation will begin a comprehensive endowment campaign to increase endowed scholarships, endowed funds, and outright gifts by 30%. 

Underscore Impact

  • PFund Foundation will expand its granting of scholarships and organizational grants by 50% by year 3. At least 50% of our granting and scholarships will be invested into communities of color.  Our investment in programming to complement our granting will increase its participant numbers by 30%.  
  • In year 1, PFund Foundation will do a full audit of its policies, procedures, and practices—ensuring that a racial equity lens is at its center. PFund Foundation will expand its board membership to include residents of each of our 5 states by year 2. 
  • By the end of year 2, PFund Foundation will have full evaluation metrics for its grants, scholarships, education, training and other programs. In each year, PFund Foundation is committed to providing the results of our work to communities. 

Communicate Results

  • PFund Foundation commits to having resources available to our communities via our comprehensive marketing and communications tools. As the only LGBTQIA focused community foundation, PFund Foundation aspires to be a resource for information on and for LGBTQIA communities in the upper Midwest. 
  • By year 2, PFund Foundation will create accessible, streamlined opportunities for LGBTQIA individuals, organizations, and communities to gain resources, education and information. 
  • By the end of year 2, PFund Foundation will have recruited 50 former scholarship recipients to participate in a PFund Foundation Scholar Alumni program aimed at connecting, building and advancing networks of LBGTQIA individuals across the upper Midwest. By the end of year 3, we will have connected with 200 alumni. 

VI.Target Audiences & Elevated Priorities

As an organization that serves a five-state region, PFund Foundation has the responsibility to work in community to address the needs deemed most critical by those who are most impacted. Additionally, as a community foundation, our work is to create significant impact through the investment of resources—money, expertise, and connection; therefore, we seek to work alongside key stakeholders, thought leaders, donors, and community leaders.

In 2015 PFund Foundation recognized the disparities in resources for specific groups within the LGBTQIA communities. We have committed to elevating those groups to ensure there is more equity in resource delivery. These communities are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, Immigrants, first generation Americans and New Americans; transgender, non-binary, non-gender, and gender non-conforming communities; and North Dakotans and South Dakotans.


PFund Foundation expressly serves individuals as well as organizations that aim to bring positive change in the lives of LGBTQIA people and their communities.


PFund Foundation plays a dual role within the non-profit realm as a community foundation. We are reliant and most effective with financial support from those in the community; therefore, their partnership is essential to deliver the greatest impact to those in community. We also provide funding and resources to community organizations and individuals.


In addition to financial resources, PFund Foundation provides key services to LGBTQIA and allied individuals, organizations, businesses, and communities. These programs, such as our Emerging Leaders and Better Outcomes Initiatives are aimed at complementing our investment in LGBTQIA individuals and organizations.

VII. PFund’s Model for Work & Impact

PFund Foundation is committed to being a catalyst for change across communities through hearts, minds, and hard work. We see fulfillment of this mission through the investment of resources at each level within our communities. Our community has the wisdom and wherewithal to advance equity, security, and empowerment; it simply needs investment to see that impact.


Individual leaders are the foundation for the advancement of LGBTQIA communities, and it is vital that we provide them the resources to be successful. PFund Foundation does this through two key initiatives:

Scholarships: PFund Foundation has provided scholarships to LGBTQIA individuals across the lifespan for its entire existence. PFund Foundation has awarded scholarships to people who have gone on to run for elected office, create profound artwork in every medium, create and grow businesses, and fight for LGBTQIA equity. Funding individuals that enable them to achieve their dreams is the catalyst for building a community that can make the world a better place.

Emerging Leaders Initiative: In partnership with Quorum, Minnesota’s LGBTQ+ and Allied chamber of commerce, we have developed a holistic leadership development program that provides LGBTQIA leaders with the tools and networks to successfully enter their industry with confidence.


Individuals go on to build organizations that address the challenges that are unique to LGBTQIA communities.  They create a strategy that understands the perspectives of those most impacted and rely on community wisdom. We know that they must be supported to drive solutions.

Organizational Grantmaking: PFund Foundation has historically provided grants to agencies across the region. Those agencies utilize the funds to provide a positive impact within their communities. These funds are built by PFund Foundation donors that recognize the need for resources but seek guidance from a community foundation which takes a larger look at the landscape and directs funding where it is most needed.

Better Outcomes Initiative: PFund Foundation provides training and technical services in diversity, equity, and inclusion with an LGBTQIA focus. The initiative works with foundations, non-profits, and businesses across the region   This program works to build a community of organizations whose leadership, staffs, and constituents carry forward an anti-racist, anti-homophobic, and anti-transphobic lens across their footprint.


At the highest level, PFund Foundation seeks to impact full LGBTQIA communities by providing long-term, sustainable resources. Although the LGBTQIA community has made a lot of progress since our founding in 1987. Today, many parts of our communities—namely BIPOC, trans*, and rural—are still fighting for basic rights, equity, and inclusion.

PFund Foundation Endowment: PFund Foundation’s long-term strategy for impacting LGBTQIA communities lies in sustainable resources placed in the care of our endowment. These pooled fund work to grow the gifts of our community into fruits of real change.

Lavender Legacy League: This is a circle of invested LGBTQIA community members who seek to leave a lasting impact after their passing. This group has chosen to impart scholarship, grant, purpose restricted or other funds with PFund Foundation who will re-invest them into the community.

VIII. Conclusion

PFund Foundation is excited to present this plan for our next three years. We are hopeful for the future of the organization and the very real impacts it will have in communities across our region. By making the commitment to increase the ways in which we can impact individuals, organizations, and communities, we will see our resources work harder than ever. And by underscoring the impact of those resources through innovation and evaluation, we will know that our communities are benefiting from PFund Foundation’s programming. We can’t wait to share it with the community and we are confident that the results will infuse our communities with networks of connected LGBTQIA leaders.

If this work inspires you as it does us, we can’t wait to partner with you. How can we work with you to grow your impact in community? If you are interested in supporting a specific goal, program, or fund—please do not hesitate to reach out! Generosity as at the center of all we do.

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