The who, what, why of the Foundation

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section will help you better understand the Pride Foundation of Maryland. If you would like further information, please email us at [email protected] and someone will follow up with you.

1. What is the Pride Foundation of Maryland?

The Foundation is a tax-exempt 501c3 organization that exists to promote the culture, history, and well-being of Maryland's LGBT community. We do so in a way that is very different from other LGBT organizations. We don't have offices, and we don't have staff. What we do have are digital resources that allow members of the community to organize the sort of programming that matters most to them. We offer access to Foundation resources to foster more opportunities for LGBT people to have visible, open, fulfilled lives. For example, if a group of same-sex parents want to organize a family festival in Howard County, we can help identify venues, connect with local resources, provide a fundraising page, contact the media, and support the event in any way possible. Alternatively, if even a small group of HIV-positive athletes want to organize a tennis league, we can support that as well.

2. Why can't other organizations do that?

They can. They do. But in some instances the mission of those organizations is focused on a specific part of Maryland, such as the GLCCB in Baltimore.  In other instances the organizations are focused on advocacy work, or politics, and their staffs define the programming that's important to them. In contrast, The Pride Foundation is all about you. It's about being where you are, and helping you get what you need.

3. Do you work with other organizations?

We certainly do, and we will. Our goal is to support the entire community. When it makes sense to connect members of the LGBT community with LGBT organizations, we will do so. When those organizations are having events, we will promote them. When it makes sense to involve groups and organizations that aren't focused primarily on the LGBT community we will reach out to them as well.

4. Who runs the Foundation?

The Foundation, is entirely managed by volunteers. Right now, there is a small group of trustees who fulfill the legal obligations required of all organizations. As mentioned above, the Board members do not develop or define programming. Their names and information is available on the Board bio page. If you would like to volunteer for the Foundation in a professional capacity (legal, financial, design, or other way) please let us know.

5. How are you funded?

The Board of Trustees currently pays all pertinent expenses of the Foundation, and we expect that this will not change. Our goal, as an organization, is to make sure all money raised through the Foundation goes directly to the programming that benefits members of the LGBT community. Gifts made in general support of the Foundation will only be used to build our lists and better connect with members of the community wherever they are. We are very much committed to avoiding the overhead costs of staffing and office space.

6. How do I contact the Foundation?

You can email us at [email protected] or call us at 410-970-6971. Please remember that this is a volunteer organization. We will make every effort to be in touch immediately, but that's not always possible. If you have a personal emergency, please contact local authorities as appopriate.

7. How do I work with the Foundation to do a program?

We welcome the participation of all volunteers and those who would like to enhance the lives of LGBT people. The best way to start is to let us know what sort of activity you are contemplating. Tell us how it will promote the culture, history, and well-being of Maryland's LGBT community. We will connect with you to discuss the specifics. We recommend that you contact us as early as possible so that we can involve the relevant parties and help ensure a successful event.

8. What kind of restrictions are there on the programs you will help organize?

The Pride Foundation does not discriminate. All our programs, and all programs we support, must be open to the entire LGBT community as well as to the broader public. Additionally, we are legally prohibited from engaging in political activities which specifically endorse candidates or ballot initiatives. As much as possible we prefer to leave political activities to organizations better designed to the purpose. Nonetheless, rallies and vigils that enhance visibility of the LGBT community are important events and we will consider them on a case-by-case basis.

9. Will you give me a mailing list to do things on my own?

We value the right of privacy of all individuals. We will never share anyone's personal information with another organization or with the organizers of any programming we support. We will, however, make targeted communications to those who have shared their contact information with the Foundation. We ask that everyone who joins our website and email list informs us of their interests. This will help us connect people with events that they care about most, and it will spare everyone the sort of email spam that everyone can do without.

10. Do you share my personal info?

No. All information provided to the Foundation remains with the Foundation. We will not sell or share any information we are given.

11. Do you make financial grants to individuals or organizations?

At the present time, we do not provide direct financial support to individuals or organizations. If we collaborate with another organization on a project and raise money specifically for that project, we will make this very clear in all fundraising solicitations.

12. How can I be involved in managing the Foundation?

Our entire organization is founded on the work of volunteers, and we are always eager to involve those who want to offer their skills and talents. If you have professional or personal skills that can help grow the Foundation or support its mission, we encourage you to contact us by email at [email protected]

13. What if I am working with another organization, will you help me organize something?

We are happy to work with any organization that is doing programs or events that promote the culture, history, and well-being of Maryland's LGBT community. If you represent an organization that would like to host a program or an event that is consistent with the mission of the Foundation, please contact us.

14. What are that future plans of the Foundation?

We are a relatively new organization. Our immediate goal is to inform the LGBT community and the broader public about our mission, connecting with as many members of the LGBT community as possible. We are also considering some programming that can be supported by the current cohort of volunteers and leadership.

15. How can I support the Foundation?

We are happy to take financial gifts, and we encourage volunteer efforts. You can make a contribution by clicking on the link to donate. All financial gifts are fully tax-deductible.

16. What does the Foundation do with financial contributions?

Money given to directly support the activities of the Foundation will be used to grow lists and perform general outreach to the community. Most fundraising efforts will be in support of programming identified by members of the community.