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4 Fantastic LGBT Charities

LGBT-Charities
4 Fantastic LGBT Charities. IMG: via Shutterstock.

“All…people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.” – Harvey Milk

June marks the celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) Pride, an annual month-long observance of LGBT history, culture, and progress towards gaining equal rights. In honor of LGBT Pride, here are four incredible nonprofit organizations that work hard to provide resources, care, and support for LGBT people.

PFLAGPFLAG

Parents, Families, and Friends, of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) has been serving the LGBT community and straight allies for decades. According to its mission statement, “PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights.” Its history of being especially supportive of families is something that sets PFLAG apart.

National-Gay-and-Lesbian-Task-ForceNational Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Often called simply, The Task Force, this organization is committed to building the grassroots power of the LGBT community, and does so by training activists, reaching out to local and national organizations, and running campaigns that center on equality and rights for LGBTs. A forerunner of the broader social justice movement, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is one of the best resources out there for LGBT activists and allies.

HRCHuman Rights Campaign

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is one of the leading LGBT rights organizations in the country. This nonprofit strives to end discrimination against LGBT people, and has always attracted celebrities, high profile figures, and prominent LGBT activists to stand united against social injustices. HRC focuses on advocating for the LGBT community at work, under the law, and in society at large. HRC and organizations like it have taken on a huge mission, but their work is incredibly valuable.

lambda-legalLambda Legal

Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal serves as a national civil rights organization that seeks to achieve LGBT equality through “litigation-based advocacy.” According to the organization’s mission, Lambda Legal “imagines a world without discrimination and inequality,” and “works to achieve that vision every day.” Often advising clients free of charge, the nonprofit is dedicated to earning justice, equality for the LGBT community.

There are hundreds upon hundreds of other nonprofits and charities that are committed to improving the quality of life for LGBT people in this country and abroad. What LGBT charities do you support?

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Two Major Philanthropic Foundations Team Up for Human Rights

Two Major Philanthropic Foundations Team Up for Human Rights
HRC is the largest LGBT equality-rights advocacy group in the US.
IMG: via Shutterstock

In an excellent example of collaborative philanthropy, the Daniel S. Loeb Family Third Point Foundation and the Paul E. Singer Foundation are teaming up to award the Human Rights Campaign grants to support LGBT rights abroad. Earlier this month, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced how these two influential foundations were pledging to award grants to the organization over three years. This generosity is meant to support HRC’s advancement in advancing LGBT equality overseas.

According to a press release from HRC, “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities around the world face stigmatization, harassment, violence and blatant human rights violations. To combat these horrific acts and to advance the cause of LGBT justice internationally, the Paul E. Singer Foundation is teaming up with the Daniel S. Loeb Family Foundation,” to provide funding for the education and research branch of the HRC. The HRC is the largest LGBT civil rights organization in the United States, and has been monumentally influential in the fight for LGBT rights in the U.S.

Now, the HRC is expanding its efforts to increase a more global reach, which wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of major philanthropic foundations. “I am proud to support HRC’s new initiative to protect LGBT rights globally,” remarked hedge fund manager and philanthropist Dan Loeb. Paul Singer concurs, explaining how “Every day around the world, LGBT individuals face arrest, imprisonment, torture and even execution just for being who they are…As an organization that has been at the forefront of the equality movement for over three decades, the Human Rights Campaign is uniquely positioned to work in tandem with NGOs to empower LGBT and human rights advocates abroad to help stop these abuses,” of his reasons for supporting such an important human rights initiative.

No strangers to philanthropic work, Dan Loeb and Paul Singer are aware of the great impact their grants will have in advancing global LGBT rights. Reportedly, each of them have been long-time advocates for human rights, which makes their collaboration and donation to the HRC all the more powerful.

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Resources

How to Make a Call to Action

call to action
IMG: via Shutterstock

Every nonprofit organization should have a call to action. That is, they have a place where they tell people what they want them to do. It’s an objective to complete, and provides users with focus, a measurable goal, and direction.

To create an effective call to action, there must first be a groundwork set up. A specific must be identified and the organization must offer up a solution. There should be a benefit involved for those that choose to join with the organization. What will they get out of it? If an organization has the resources, it might offer small incentives, such as a bumper sticker or a button with donations.

Giving users options for a few distinct actions will also provide direction. It’s a good idea for organizations to provide some starting points to guide the user around the site or cause. Common actions might include donating money, becoming a member of the organization, or volunteering for an event.

Calls to action should use active, strong verbs that clearly communicate what the organization wants users to do. Examples include donate, purchase, volunteer, join, fight, or register. These words should create a sense of urgency—this is a problem that needs to be addressed now! To accomplish this further, calls to action often have deadlines for goals.

Website users should be able to see calls to action easily. It should be central on the page, not hidden at the bottom or off to the side. Utilizing “white space,” or blank space around the call to action can make it stand out more and keeps it from being lost in a busy page. Font size and color can also be used for emphasis.

Perhaps the most important part of a call to action is that it’s not just found on one page. It is on every page. For example, the Human Rights Campaign includes a basic banner at the top of every page on their website. The banner includes their logo, their mission (“Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equal Rights”), and buttons to become a member, receive a newsletter, and get involved via social media.

Another great example of an effective call to action can be found on the NYCHA PlanNYCHA website.  It was created by NYCHA leadership, including the NYCHA board, in order to get a very specific message out to the public. The site is dedicated to the cause of helping to preserve public housing, and no where is that message more clear than in John Rhea, NYCHA’s CEO’s, message.

“Together we have accomplished so much to enhance our communities and support NYCHA’s families. Our progress is significant, but our work is ongoing. As we move forward we will need the unwavering and broad-based support of multiple stakeholders to ensure that the transformative vision outlined in Plan NYCHA is realized,” John Rhea writes. “Join us as we embark on this collaborative journey toward a stronger, more efficient and customer-focused New York City Housing Authority.”

A clear, detailed, and driven message provided as part of a collaborative framework.  Other organizations could well take advantage of this example.