The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is honored to welcome the Out Fund for Lesbian & Gay Liberation of the Funding Exchange to their home of LGBTQI funds. The OUT Fund was created in 1990 with an endowment gift of $500,000 from David Pillsbury Becker. David was a visionary gay activist-philanthropist and professional art curator who believed deeply in connecting the LGBT movement with broader social justice issues. The OUT Fund was established precisely because so few funds were committed to this approach. Fortunately, this strategic commitment is core to Astraea’s values and mission.
“David was such a deep believer in Astraea’s work throughout his lifetime,” notes Astraea Executive Director J. Bob Alotta “I can honestly say he taught me some of my greatest lessons about the possibility and impact of philanthropy through his incredible legacy. Posthumously, he remains one of my greatest teachers. It’s both an honor and our deep responsibility to steward this fund.”
The OUT Fund at Astraea meaningfully commits to prioritizing communities of color recognizing that race, class, gender and sexuality are interrelated issues.
Prior to moving to Astraea, the Out Fund was housed at The Funding Exchange (FEX), a national network of 16 autonomous local and regional public foundations founded in 1979. In December 2012, the FEX board of directors voted unanimously to cease programmatic operations and in 2014 they voted to move the OUT Fund to Astraea.
“Queer social justice work has been a central part of the work of the Funding Exchange for decades.” says Casey Cook, Chair of the Funding Exchange board of directors and executive director of the Bread & Roses Community Fund. “We’re pleased that the Out Fund has found a welcoming home at Astraea and that David’s vision for change will continue with Astraea’s leadership.”