The Denver-based Gill Foundation (assets $240 million) has announced the impending departure of executive director Katherine Pease. Founded in 1994 by Quark computer software chairman Tim Gill, the foundation “invests in organizations serving the needs of gay, lesbian and bisexual people.” Pease became the first staffer, hired eight years ago, and now oversees 40 people. Pease recalls that in the foundation’s early years grant requests from youth development groups were “none,” but now requests are “more than in any [category] on youth” services. Gill does fund national groups (i.e. Advocates for Youth, National Network for Youth, Public Allies), but the bulk of its youth grant awards go to small grass-roots programs that struggle to serve gay teens and to promote community tolerance. Pease says the grants give gay youth “the opportunity to find each other.” Its most recent grants fit that pattern: $15,000 to ALSO for Gay Youth in Sarasota, FL; $5,000 to the Institute for Community Research in Hartford; $5,000 to the Youth Alliance in Des Moines; $24,000 to the Community Council for Adolescent Development in Colorado Springs; $10,000 to the Educo School of Colorado in Fort Collins; and $15,000 to Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere in San Francisco.
Also worth noting as we enter this era of faith-based services is Gill’s steady commitment to churches and other explicitly sectarian groups serving gays. Among recent grants is one for $4,000 to Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota in Duluth to “express the love of Christ for all people through acts of service” by its “Together for Youth” project. Might their next grant be from the suddenly gay-friendly Attorney General John Ashcroft’s Justice Department which, through the Office of Juvenile Justice, funds myriad youth groups? Place your bets. Contact: (303) 292-4455, www.gillfoundation.org.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (assets $4.5 billion) has appointed Julia Stasch to be vice president of its Program on Human and Community Development, which makes more than $60 million in annual grants, including in such areas as juvenile justice, mental health and workforce development. Much of the foundation’s grantmaking is to national groups, as well as to Chicago and southeast Florida. Prior to joining MacArthur in February, Stasch served as chief of staff to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. A former VISTA volunteer, Stasch currently co-chairs the Chicago Workforce Investment Board and is an Advisory Board member of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in Chicago. Contact: (312) 726-8000, www.macfound.org.