20 Years of Giving

$279 million Invested since inception


2014 was an exciting year for our grantees.

Here are some highlights from their work. Scroll to next panel

Federal Agencies Project

The Federal Agencies Project (FAP) is a partnership of donors and organizations working to make federal agency policies and practices more responsive to the LGBT community.

In 2014, FAP efforts led to groundbreaking changes for LGBT Americans:

Leadership from the President

President Obama signed two executive orders ensuring fair and equal treatment of more than 36 million LGBT workers—one protecting transgender federal employees from discrimination, one prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people.

Equal Benefits

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, Attorney General Holder directed all but two federal agencies to provide marriage benefits to same-sex couples regardless of where they live.

Student Education

The Department of Education unveiled guidance that, under existing law, transgender and gender non-conforming students are protected from discrimination and harassment in schools.

Family Coverage

The Office of Health and Human Services clarified that existing sexual orientation non-discrimination protections in the healthcare marketplaces prohibit insurers from refusing to offer family coverage to same-sex spouses.

Trans Healthcare

The Office of Personnel Management removed a barrier to federal employees accessing gender transition-related care.

Spotlight on the Executive Orders

Before signing two executive orders protecting LGBT workers from discrimination, President Obama said, “It doesn’t make much sense, but today in America, millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could lose their job, not because of anything they do or fail to do, but because of who they are—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender. And that’s wrong.”

Equal Treatment

Only 19 states have laws in place that fully protect LGBT people from discrimination.

Without these laws, hardworking LGBT people can be fired, denied housing, or refused service at a business simply because of who they are or who they love.

In 2014, the Gill Foundation significantly expanded its funding to ensure that LGBT people are protected from discrimination, no matter where they live.

With a focus on Southern states, we invested in coalition building, litigation, research, and messaging in order to build the public imperative for equal treatment.

Spotlight on Texas

Texas is the second largest state in the nation, with a booming business climate, and yet its LGBT residents aren’t protected from discrimination. Learn how public education campaigns like Texas Competes and Texas Wins are building momentum for change in the Lone Star State.

Family Recognition

Marriage says “we are family” in a way that no other word does.

And that’s why the Supreme Court has affirmed the freedom to marry for gay couples nationwide.

In 2014, the Gill Foundation invested in efforts to finish the job on marriage.

We were one of the nation’s first funders of efforts to secure the freedom to marry for all families, making our first marriage grant in 1997. Over the course of 17 years, our investments have helped to get the job done. Through high-impact litigation, opposition disruption, and national and state-based public education campaigns—Gill Foundation grantees are working to ensure that no child has to grow up in a family that’s unprotected.

Spotlight on the Journey

Work to secure the freedom to marry began in the 1970s when brave gay couples brought court cases challenging the denial of marriage. Courageous families, in partnership with savvy attorneys, led the charge to the Supreme Court, but these strategic litigation efforts have been strengthened by effective policy advocacy and dramatic shifts in public opinion. Look back at the journey we’ve been on.

Look back at the journey we’ve been on

Safe Schools

30% of LGBT students missed at least one day of school in the past month

because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable. And that’s not the only way hostile school climates negatively affect the educational success and personal well-being of LGBT young people.

In 2014, the Gill Foundation invested in improving the experiences of LGBT students in Colorado—making the state a laboratory for learning what strategies really work.

According to research, four factors make students feel safer: Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs), supportive educators, LGBT-inclusive curricula, and comprehensive anti-bullying policies. In Colorado, the Gill Foundation has invested strategically in these areas, and students have reported feeling safer and more supported at school.

It’s working!

Spotlight on GLSEN

The research and analysis provided by GLSEN paints the most comprehensive and accurate picture of the everyday experiences of LGBT students. The data they collect at the national level is fueling conversations and change in schools districts and states nationwide. Get a glimpse of what GLSEN learned when they surveyed 7,800 LGBT middle and high school students.

See the data [PDF]

Prosperous Colorado

Every Coloradan should have the same chance to share in our state’s opportunities.

That’s why the Gill Foundation invests right here in our home state—to ensure that everyone has a say in our future.

In 2014, the Gill Foundation kept $2.5 million of its resources right here in Colorado.

We fund Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education because we need to ensure today’s learners and tomorrow’s leaders are prepared for success in a 21st century economy. Colorado is on the path to becoming the most innovative state in the country, and STEM students will fuel our prosperous future.

Spotlight on the Colorado Education Initiative

Stakeholders worked together for months to create a vision and roadmap for STEM education in the state. Because of the work of the Colorado Education Initiative, our state’s leaders are helping to articulate this vision. Watch Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia talk about the importance of STEM education.