In 2019, Blue Ridge Pride established the Blue Ridge Pride Community Partner Fund. The fund’s purpose is to support the many groups, organizations and projects that seek to uplift western North Carolina’s LGBTQ Community.
In its first year, Blue Ridge Pride awarded $7,500 to area organizations. That is by far the most it has awarded in any single year. Awards included sponsorships, scholarships, project grants, and general donations. Most funds went to LGBTQ-focused organizations, such as Tranzmission, YouthOUTRight, PFLAG Asheville, and Campaign for Southern Equality. However, funds were also provided to allied organizations who welcome and support our community, such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Our Voice, and Girls Rock Asheville. Grants were also made to organizations, events, and projects that represent and serve minority communities.
“It has been a learning process,” says Board President Butch Thompson. “We are trying to formalize funding decisions without allowing the process to become burdensome. We have established a simple, online form that people can use to apply for funds. However, we have made some decisions on the basis of emails and phone calls. There are two constants we won’t sidestep: all funding decisions require a board vote; all disbursements are reported online.”