Samara Fund Grants

Since its founding, Samara has granted over $600,000 to organizations to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) communities in Vermont. The Fund seeks proposals for new or existing projects, programs, and organizations that serve LGBTQ communities in Vermont and help the Fund achieve its mission.

What We Fund

The Samara Fund will accept applications for projects or organizations that serve LGBTQ communities or support HIV/AIDS services or prevention at the grassroots level. Non LGBTQ-identified organizations are encouraged to seek support for projects that directly serve Vermont’s LGBTQ communities. The Samara Fund is interested in projects addressing our mission from a wide variety of organizations or fields of work including: basic human needs – such as health care, housing and poverty alleviation; community safety and anti-violence programs; youth development and leadership; advocacy and organizing; education; and arts and cultural events. 

The Samara Fund recently surveyed past grantees to learn more about the current needs of LGBTQ Vermonters. While most grantees continue to support broad funding across the state, they identified a few specific areas of need:

  • Programs that serve LGBTQ youth and allies;
  • Extending services, or establishing new services, in rural and underserved areas of the state;
  • Support and services for transgender Vermonters;
  • LGBTQ competent health care and HIV/AIDS supports and services; 
  • Anti-bullying programming.

In 2018 special consideration will be given to applications that extend services, or establish new services, to LGBTQ communities in rural and other currently underserved areas of the state, with further emphasis on support for LGBTQ youth. If your organization serves primarily LGBTQ people or people who are living with HIV/AIDS or who are at risk of contracting the virus, you are eligible to apply for either general operating support or project support (but not both). All other organizations are required to apply for project support.

See a list of grants awarded from the Samara Fund in 2017.

Read the 2016 Samara Fund Annual Report.

In general, the Samara Fund will not support

  • Religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Political campaigns
  • For-profit corporations or businesses
  • Individuals
  • Capital campaigns
  • Deficits, funding shortfalls or work that has already been done
  • More than one grant in the same calendar year

The Samara Fund grant review committee, made up of volunteer LGBTQ and allied Vermonters, will review all applications that satisfy the above requirements and make funding recommendations to the Vermont Community Foundation. 

Who May Apply

Eligible applicants must be non-profit organizations whose primary service area is within Vermont. Otherwise eligible projects that do not have IRS 501(c)(3) status may still apply using a fiscal sponsor. Fiscal sponsors must be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or be a public agency, school, or municipality in the state of Vermont.

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available (meaning any funds having a competitive application process) by the Vermont Community Foundation, and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the Foundation. 

Grant applicants must employ staff and provide services without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability.

Please note: By submitting your application to the Samara Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation, you give us permission to share your application with other interested funders, both individuals and foundations.

Deadline and Notification

Applications for this year’s grant cycle of the Samara Fund must be submitted online using our Online Grants Manager by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2018. No late applications will be accepted. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by early July.

Grant Size

Grants from the Samara Fund generally fall in the range of $500 to $3,500. The average grant award is approximately $2,500.

Application Process

All applications must be submitted electronically via the Online Grants Manager. Visit our Online Grants Center to learn how to use the Grants Manager, including accessing your existing account or registering for the first time.

You may click here to preview the application questions.

Samara Grants Advisory Committee

If you are interested in participating on the Samara Grants Advisory Committee, please contact the grants chair for the Samara Fund at samara@vermontcf.org.

Apply for a Grant