Welcome to our new weekly series, Philanthropy Fridays, where Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) Executive Director Samantha Giusti introduces you to a local LGBT non-profit in Philadelphia. She gets things started with a peek into her work at DVLF, an organization that works to provide resources LGBT-focused non profits in the city.
I am … Samantha Giusti, social change agent and executive director of Delaware Valley Legacy Fund.
When was the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund founded? 1993.
The organization’s mission statement is … Fostering positive change through grant-making, scholarships, advocacy, programming and education.
Our biggest shining moment to date was … The day DVLF’s endowment surpassed the $1-million mark. We have a growing pipeline of almost $10 million, because of our generous Legacy Society members who have left a gift to DVLF in their will.
Finish this sentence: If a check for $1 million found its way to my doorstep … I would cry with joy. That would allow us to fund so many LGBT organizations doing vitally important work.
Last evening, gay Philly was treated to breathtaking views from the 52nd floor of the BYN Mellon Center, otherwise known as The Pyramid Club. The exclusive space opened its doors as part of the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund‘s Our Night Out program. Guests had the chance to preview DVLF’s upcoming holiday extravaganza, TOY 2014, and were offered a chance to purchase discount tickets to the popular event; one lucky guest won a pair of tickets as part of a raffle. We were there to capture the mingling, the cocktails, and the really great looking crowd.
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To celebrate its eighth anniversary, TOY, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund‘s annual charity gala for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), will move from Reading Terminal Market, where it has been held for the past two years, to Fire & Ice in Old City.
I don’t know about you, but I was surprised to hear it was moving. It really seemed like the event was becoming synonymous with RTM, where people would gather after hours to hobnob and bring toys that would be donated to the pediatric HIV/AIDS unit at CHOP. It was fabulous there. Why is it moving?
It truly is Christmas in July for eight local LGBT non-profits who will benefit from a $32,000 grant from Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF.) The money will be divided between each organization, and used to fund a specific program within each group. DVLF Executive Director Samantha Giusti tells me the money comes from the organization’s 2014 LGBTQ Emerging Needs Grant. Benefactors are chosen by a panel of community members “who have a diverse array of lived experience and professional knowledge in a variety areas” based on best practices, benchmarks, outcomes, and financials, she says.
This year’s recipients are:
- American Civil Liberties Union of PA: LGBT Equality and African American Communities Project
- Attic Youth Center: Mental Health Program for LGBT Youth and their Families
- College of Physicians of Philadelphia: Out4Stem Program
- GO! Athletes: Strategic Plan for Pilot Mentorship Program
- Kimmel Center, Inc: It Gets Better Project
- LGBT Elder Initiative: LGBTEI Conversation Series
- Mazzoni Center: Sisterly L.O.V.E
- Valley Youth House: Pride Housing
“Every year I am more impressed by the ingenuity displayed by our community members at creating innovative programming to meet emerging needs faced by LGBTQ people in our region,” says Giusti. “Less than .3 percent of the over 50 billion given annually by U.S. foundations goes to LGBTQ issues. It’s a grave statistic as it is neither representative of the size of our community nor it’s need. With these grants we hope that we can be responsive to the the emerging needs in our community.”
On Monday, July 21, the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund teamed up with the Greater Philadelphia Flag Football League (who will be making history in October when they host Gay Bowl XIV, the championship tournament for the National Gay Flag Football League) to welcome guests from around Philadelphia at the oh-so-swanky Four Seasons Hotel. Attendees at this Our Night Out were treated to a gorgeous outdoor patio, plenty of cocktails, and lots of summer evening fun. We were there to snap some shots that captured the night perfectly.
Every week, Philly gay gents share their local picks for Man Crush Monday. This week, Grant Shea. Mr. Shea works for the City of Philadelphia as an emergency planner. He is also a volunteer with the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF.)
Last Five Man Crush Mondays:
On March 30th, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) will honor six local LGBTers and allies at its eighth annual HEROES event. The affair was created by DVLF to pay tribute to “youth, adults, non-profits, straight-allies & businesses who have bold ideas, act with selfless intention, are admired for their integrity, and are regarded as courageous in advancing the equality of the [region's] LGBTQ community.”
Those being awarded are mega gay rights advocate Mel Heifetz (Lifetime Achievement), Philly State Representative Brian Sims (Community HERO), pro-marriage fighting MontCo Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes (Straight Ally HERO), Donald Jackson (Youth HERO), the City of Brotherly Love Softball League (Non-Profit Organization HERO), and Philly iconic gay bookstore Giovanni’s Room (Business/Corporation HERO).
The awards will be handed out at a brunch on May 30th in the Lafayette Ballroom of the Hotel Monaco. For more information and tickets go to dvlf.org.