LGBT-Straight Alliance Fund

From the Beginning

Supporters Brian Bateman, Noel Matkin and Doug Noffsinger

The LGBT-Straight Alliance Fund was established in 1999 with a $100,000 challenge grant from the National Lesbian and Gay Community Funding Partners. The goal? Increase support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer (LGBTQ) communities in Southern Arizona.

It worked. The community responded and the challenge grants were matched. In the ensuing years, the Alliance Fund has awarded more than half a million dollars in grants to 44 organizations for 106 projects that support these under-funded communities in Tucson and throughout Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties.

The Philanthropic Plan

Unlike some of the other 1999 challenge grant recipients, the Tucson-based effort has grown and thrived because so many generous people have served and contributed to the Alliance Fund over the years.

Most recently, a small group found a way to honor two bulwarks of the LGBTQ community, Noel Matkin and Jim Sincox, while at the same time providing for the future of the Alliance Fund. The group started an endowed field-of-interest fund at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona—called the Noel Matkin/Jim Sincox Tribute Endowment—that will benefit the Alliance Fund forever. An endowed fund keeps spending at a percentage of the principle, thus ensuring the longevity of the fund. Members of the small group made their pledges, and then fanned out into the Fund’s community of supporters and beyond to ask for donations and planned gifts.

The Difference They Make

Scott Neely joined the Alliance Fund board in 2008, and has served as a leader of its development committee. He also is the Alliance’s representative on the Board of Trustees for the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. What really excites him about the Alliance Fund is that it can seek out and sponsor projects that make a real difference in Southern Arizona. With an active board and little overhead, the Alliance Fund can connect its donors directly with community organizations that provide a lasting and significant benefit to LGBTQ people.

“We connect caring donors who want to include LGBTQ people in their philanthropy with the very best projects we can find, says supporter Douglas Noffsinger. “The Alliance Fund’s emphasis right now is our Queer Youth Initiative, which is an effort to bring sanity and safety to LGBTQ young people.”

What Inspires You?

Learn more about how the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona can help you make the kind of difference you would like to make.