Room for All Regional Groups exist for a variety of good reasons: They provide safe space and support for local LGBT folks, friends and families; they offer opportunities for networking with colleagues in LGBT inclusion-related work; they are sources of information and resources. But more and more, our regional groups are turning to another vital activity, that of raising money for the ministry of inclusion in the Reformed Church in America.
To back up, we’re sometimes asked, “Where does Room for All get its funding?” There are several answers:
- Grants – there are a few national organizations that are very interested in financially supporting religious groups that are working for LGBT inclusion, as well as smaller family foundations.
- Churches – churches may take a special offering, make a one-time off-budget gift, or include Room for All in their annual budget, pledging a full support share ($6,000), a half-share, or any amount. Church gifts are especially important, as granting foundations are looking for a widening base of support among RCA congregations. They view a growing list of supporting churches as evidence that RfA is doing our movement-building work effectively.
- Individual donors continue to send us gifts of any amount. Again, adding first-time donors to our list is crucial for our grant-writing. Foundations do not see names or individual dollar amounts, but they do want proof that we’re making a difference.
WE’RE PLEASED TO REPORT THAT WE CAN NOW ADD REGIONAL GROUPS TO THIS LIST OF FUNDING SOURCES! For example, supporters in the Mid-Hudson group gave a dinner this past summer, offering valuable opportunities for fellowship, a time to learn about new RfA Board initiatives, and a chance to make a contribution. That event raised close to $1,000! This coming November 4 at 7:30 PM, the NY Capital District will hold a benefit concert for RfA called “Songs, Stoles & Stories.” The Albany Gay Men’s Chorus will donate their musical artistry, individual choir members will share their stories of inclusion in their own faith communities, the pastor of an RCA congregation will share her story, and there will be an exhibit of The Shower of Stoles. Before the free-will offering, information about Room for All will be shared. Admission is free, but the event is publicized as a benefit for Room for All.
DOES YOUR REGIONAL GROUP HAVE IDEAS FOR DEVELOPING NEW DONORS FOR THIS MINISTRY? Thanks to a generous matching-funds grant, we will be challenging our supporters in the coming year to help us broaden our donor list, and our regional groups can play an important part in that effort. Room for All counts some of the RCA’s most creative thinkers as supporters – can you put that creativity to work for furthering our mission? The possibilities are exciting, the work ongoing, and the need is great. Let us hear from you about what your regional group is doing!