The Samara Fund

The Samara Fund (Samara) is a community-directed fund that helps ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) Vermonters are connected, healthy, appreciated, safe, and empowered. We make grants and scholarships annually based on recommendations from committees of LGBTQ+ volunteers from around the state.

Samara is the only set of permanent endowments in the state of Vermont dedicated to assuring a base of funding to support ongoing and critical challenges facing LGBTQ+ communities. These funds, composed of bequests and donations, provide grants to nonprofit organizations to benefit LGBTQ+ communities and scholarships to Vermont students to attend college or training.

The Samara Fund is named for the symbolism of seeds and growth, new life and vitality, the continuity of life, and of Vermont's native sugar maples. Samara is the distinctive winged fruit of the maple tree that gently spins its way to earth. Just as the samara ensures continuity of the maple tree, the fund fosters and sustains Vermont's LGBTQ+ communities by providing support for projects and scholarships and establishing a permanent resource for the future.

What We Fund

The Samara Fund will grant funds to LGBTQ+ led projects and organizations in Vermont this year.

We've taken time to pause, reflect, and queer up how we approach every aspect of our work as a fund over the last year. We are emerging from our process clear that our purpose is to fund people, ideas, and small groups for the LGBTQ+ community in Vermont.

Our values will guide us in our funding. These include being:

  1. Anti-racist and anti-oppressive by practicing (internally and externally) intersectionality, power-shifting, and transformative justice. This includes being proudly trans-inclusive in every level of our work.
  2. Transparent with our community and funders about how we work.
  3. Transformative in our fundraising by redistributing wealth that can have a big impact on the Vermont queer community.
  4. Mindful of queering our work by making it fun, connective, and sustainable. This includes prioritizing accessibility, gratitude, and accountability. 

We are eager to return to funding LGBTQ+ community-centered projects across the state and look forward to reconnecting with our community.

Click here to learn more about the Samara Scholarship program.

Deadline and Notification

The grant application will appear in early summer 2023, with a deadline of early fall 2023 and decisions soon after that. Further details coming soon.

If you have any questions in the meantime, contact Elisabeth Marx at to connect with the Committee and learn more about how to apply.

The Samara Fund Advisory Committee

  • Owen Daniel-McCarter, he/him, Bethel
  • Vini KD Emery, they/them, Montpelier
  • Llu Mulvaney-Stanak, they/them, Burlington
  • Mo Reilly, she/they, Westford