Stonewall Community Foundation
“They made the transition as seamless as possible….”
Against the tragic backdrop of the 1980s’ AIDS crisis, dozens of groups sprang up in New York City to address emergent issues and with that came a growing need for resourcing. Creating a foundation by and for the LGBTQ community could inspire legacy and amplify the power of individual giving. The result was the Stonewall Community Foundation, a collection of donor funds. Today the foundation is one of the oldest of nearly 20 community funds nationally that offer LGBTQ-focused philanthropy by and for the people, strengthening the LGBTQ movement by making smart, values-driven investments in dynamic organizations, projects, and leaders. Stonewall is one of the Top 10 funders in the U.S. on LGBTQ housing and homelessness issues and has awarded over $19 million in grants since its founding. It funds over 100 nonprofits each year in more than 30 issue areas and houses seven scholarship programs, including the largest in the country created to support LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers. Their grantmaking is complemented by intensive capacity building and training programs that equip local leaders with tools to be effective change agents. Through free consulting, coaching opportunities, monthly workshops, planned giving, and scholarships, the foundation is making sure that community dollars make a difference.
The foundation contracted with YPTC on a short-term basis in 2018 in anticipation of its Operations & Finance Director going out on leave, the end of the fiscal year, and the need of the Executive Director, Jarrett Lucas, to be able to spend more time focusing on fundraising. “We needed some assurance that the person coming in could not only do our bookkeeping but also hit the learning curve around our practices effectively. We put out an RFP to several firms and YPTC won out based on our interviews and the vetting process. We had heard great things about YPTC’s work, and I have to say that they made the transition as seamless as possible,” says Lucas.
A YPTC Associate came to the foundation’s office several times a month to help take care of the accounts payable, process checks for grantmaking and do the monthly closeouts, reconciliations and reporting. When the Operations & Finance Director returned, YPTC helped implement a graceful transition and even recommended auditors.
“On top of holding down the finance function at the foundation, the person who joined our team was a terrific cultural fit,” adds Lucas. “I experienced this as a reflection of YPTC as a whole, being able to attract folks who are talented, adaptable and able to acclimate to each client and make sure that they feel comfortable with YPTC’s presence.”