Who We Are

The LBTQ Giving Council of Chicago Foundation for Women is committed to fundraising in order to provide grants to organizations and programs benefiting lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning women and girls in the Chicago region. Through its Lavender Fund, the LBTQ Giving Council was the first grantmaking entity in the city of Chicago to provide grants exclusively to lesbian communities. We have a special focus on access to healthcare and information, freedom from violence and economic security for girl- and women-identified people.

2020 - 2021 Chairs
Lauren Birchlove
Carly Stacy

Who We Support

The impact of our work is strong! We have awarded 56 grants totaling over $175,000 to organizations serving LGBTQ folks in the Chicago region since 2004.

FY2020 Grantee: $7,500 total awarded
One Roof Chicago

FY2019 Grantees: $10,700 total awarded
Affinity Community Services
The National LGBTQ Workers Center
Sisters in Cinema

FY2018 Grantees: $8,600 total awarded
Brave Space Alliance
Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois

To Join or Renew: 

Join: Membership for this fiscal year is now closed. Membership will re-open in late spring.

Renew: Complete Renewal Registration

Packet Complete, Need to Make Member Donation Only

Not ready to join yet? 

Add Your Name To Interest List To Find Out More

Support Our Grantmaking

How It Works

  • Membership is on a fiscal year basis (July 1-June 30), and one may join throughout the year
  • The Giving Council meets monthly on the third Thursday
  • Events are scheduled and organized by members
  • Grantmaking occurs in the winter and spring with funding being awarded in June
  • You choose your level of participation

Member Benefits

  • Amplify your giving by leveraging your dollars with those of other members.
  • Give voice to the issues affecting the women and girls in your community by deciding with your peers on the Council which programs to fund.
  • See the impact of your giving as funded programs share with membership accomplishments that were made possible by the Council’s grants.
  • Develop new personal and professional relationships with like-minded folks.
  • Learn from trainings, workshops and conversations on philanthropy, women in philanthropy, issues and needs of women, how organizations are serving women, and trends and gaps in funding.

Member Responsibilities

  • Make an annual contribution of at least $250 with a variety of options to make payments affordable.
  • Participate in group and individual fundraising. This may include soliciting donors, sponsors, and in-kind contributions, serving on an events committee, or recruiting members.
  • Participate in the Giving Council grantmaking process, a cooperative effort to select the recipients of grants. This may include identifying organizations and programs to fund, reviewing proposals, conducting site visits, and voting on grant recommendations.
  • Provide good stewardship and thought partnership to the Council with your active and positive participation. This may include attending meetings, or contributing to discussions about fundraising and grantmaking.
  • Connect Chicago Foundation for Women with organizations and stakeholders doing work on behalf of women and girl identified people in the LBTQ communities in the Chicago region.

Why Giving Councils?

Giving Councils link grassroots organizations to funding and the Foundation to new issues, new leaders, and new ideas.

Through its giving councils, Chicago Foundation for Women aims to:

  • Exercise the power of giving individually and collectively to create an understanding of philanthropy within different cultures;
  • Establish unique funds to provide additional support to the communities represented by the Councils (proceeds generated through fundraising efforts by the Councils go toward these special funds);
  • Educate the public and take action on unique issues facing diverse communities in the Foundation’s areas of interest (economic security, freedom from violence, and access to health services and information);
  • Increase awareness about the Foundation’s work within diverse communities;
  • Provide leadership opportunities, and;
  • Amplify the voice of underrepresented women as philanthropists through democratic philanthropy.

For more information about the Giving Council, contact Eli Marsh, Philanthropic Education Officer, at 312.577.2825 or emarsh@cfw.org.