The LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, is ecstatic to announce that its longtime supporters, Kristen Birner and Colette Barajas, have established a permanent endowment to support the Fund’s grantmaking in perpetuity. They are the first lesbian couple to create a permanent endowment for the Alliance Fund, and their gift comes at a critical moment as the Fund transforms its funding model to better meet the needs of grantees in Southern Arizona.
The Kristen Birner & Colette Barajas Endowment is the sixth endowment created for the Alliance Fund since 1999. The existing named endowment funds include the Douglas Noffsinger & Roger Funk Endowment, the Noel Matkin–Jim Sincox Endowment, the Kent Burbank & Vicente Talanquer Endowment, the Walt Whitman Endowment, the Sylvia Stan Mulka Endowment, and the general Alliance Fund Endowment.
“We believe there is enormous power in giving back, and when like-minded givers unite, great progress can be made towards the betterment of life for all those in our queer community. These same principles guide the LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund, which we have seen grow in strength and purpose,” said Birner and Barajas. “We dream of a world that is inclusive, fair, and fully realized for all LGBTQ+ people, and we want our work to live on into perpetuity through our endowment. With our progress as LGBTQ+ Americans presently at risk more than ever before, we feel the time is now to add our legacy to the current and future success of the organization.”
“On behalf of the CFSA Board of Trustees, we commend Kristen and Colette for entrusting us with their hearts and treasures to keep LGBTQ+ programs in Southern Arizona funded— now and into the future,” said CFSA President & CEO Jenny Flynn.
“Kristen and Colette’s generosity is deeply rooted in so many organizations and causes throughout Southern Arizona, but especially in their decades-long commitment to creating an accepting and loving community for our queer loved ones,” said Kent Burbank, Chair of the LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund Advisory Board. “We are immensely grateful for Kristen and Colette’s willingness to take their unwavering philanthropic legacy to the next level by establishing a permanent endowment to support our grantees for generations to come.”
“Kristen and Colette are known for their unique ability to bring people together,” said Andrés Cano, Director of the LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund. “This endowment is an extension of their loving hearts and continued commitment to building community. We are beyond grateful for their establishing gift that will help transform our Fund.”
To make an honorary donation to the Kristen Birner and Colette Barajas Endowment benefiting the LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund click here.
The LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund was created in 1999 by the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona with support from donors, community members, and the National Lesbian and Gay Community Funding Partnership. To date, the Alliance Fund has awarded 219 grants to 75 organizations, totaling $1,131,957. Learn more about the LGBTQ+ Alliance Fund here.