A reception will be held Tuesday, Dec. 18. Eighteen nonprofit LGBT organizations will soon receive early Christmas gifts, courtesy of Our Fund, South Florida’s LGBT community foundation.

In all, the Foundation will disperse more than $120,000 through Our Fund’s Community Grant Program to fuel proposed ideas, projects and programs advancing LGBT issues in South Florida. 

The gala will be held Tuesday, Dec. 18 at the New River Fine Art Gallery on Las Olas Blvd., recognizing a diverse group of organizations benefitting the LGBT community. According to Our Fund President and CEO David Jobin, the goal for awarding these grants is to “inclusively unite individuals, institutions and resources from throughout the region to fulfill our mission of making South Florida the most livable community in the country for LGBT people.”

Awards will be given out in eight categories: youth, seniors, women’s issues, transgender issues, HIV/AIDS, arts and culture, advocacy and pets. 

More than 60 organizations submitted grant applications--tripling the number of requests of just a few years ago—a result of the Foundation’s expansion into Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. 

Since its inception in 2011, Our Fund has rapidly grown into the nation’s third largest LGBT Community Foundation with an endowment of $10 million, behind only San Francisco and Seattle for size of endowment.

The 18 organizations received grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. Agencies can receive grants once in a 12-month period and must go through a rigorous vetting process, including interviews with the Foundation’s Grant Committee, consisting of community volunteers and a Foundation board member. The process is repeated twice each year.

Jobin said the process takes a couple of months to complete. “We interview each applicant and then rate and score the project. We usually come up with 15-20 organizations that are strong enough and their program is so vital.” 

But that’s just the beginning. 

“The really difficult process begins when we go out and solicit these programs to match up with our donor base. We try to find intersections where an agency’s programming and our donors’ priorities are aligned,” Jobin said. “It takes time to figure out how to spend $250,000.” 

Tickets to the event are free. For more information on Our Fund Foundation visit Our-Fund.org or call 954-565-1090.

WHO: Our Fund Community Foundation

WHAT: 2018 Fall Community Grant Program Annual Reception

WHEN: Tuesday, December 18 at 6 p.m

WHERE: New River Fine Art Gallery822 E. Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.