Standing against hate with Colorado Springs and LGBTQ+ community

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Updated Dec. 8, 2022 (we will provide more updates as we learn more)

It's with very heavy hearts that Philanthropy Colorado acknowledges and speaks out against another horrific act of violence in our state and against our LGBTQ+ community and neighbors in Colorado Springs.

Several dozen representatives from Philanthropy Colorado's network took part in a virtual convening on Monday, November 21 to talk about reactions and responses in the aftermath of the weekend shooting at Club Q. 

Since this time, Philanthropy Colorado staff have been in regular communication with our members at the local and statewide level to help connect, communicate and coordinate efforts for the response efforts, as well as longer-term, community-focused support. The Gill Foundation and Chinook Fund have been providing leadership, staff expertise and their national LGBTQ+, funder networks to leverage support, resources and technical assistance for the response to the Club Q tragedy. 

We’d like to share a few timely updates and opportunities to collaborate provided to us by the Gill Foundation. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for more information and/or to be connected to these opportunities to collaborate by contacting info@philanthropycolorado.org

We understand that the immediate response remains under-resourced and that coordination is critical to make sure no one slips through the cracks. There will never be enough dollars to meet every need that emerges from this horrific tragedy. Here are the donation links to the main funds and we can also connect you directly to the executive director of either fund if you would like to make a gift by another method.
•    Colorado Healing Fund for Club Q victims
•    National Compassion Fund for Club Q victims

On Tuesday December 6, the Colorado Healing Fund announced that the majority of their administrative costs have been covered, and they are working to get their overhead fully underwritten so that they can waive their admin fee and ensure 100% of donations to the Club Q fund go directly to victim assistance. The Colorado Healing Fund is also in the midst of convening an advisory committee of LGBTQ and philanthropic leaders to inform distribution decisions that fully account for the unique needs and experiences of LGBTQ victims. 

One of the most pressing issues the Gill Foundation and others have been working to address in the broader response effort is the need for victim advocacy/assistance outside of the typical law enforcement channels. It has become evident that some victims may not be coming forward out of fear of interacting with law enforcement and because aspects of the assistance process can be re-traumatizing for LGBTQ victims (e.g., limited options for self-identification, like binary pronouns and requirements for legal/dead name vs. chosen name, etc). 

To ensure no one is left behind, the Gill Foundation is collaborating with Community Health Partnership in Colorado Springs to stand up a “navigator” position that will be filled by a trusted member of the LGBTQ community in the Springs who is also part of the direct services field. Additional funds are needed to extend the timeline for this role and/or bring additional capacity to this critical function

On Sunday December 4, the Good Judy Garage GoFundMe campaign announced a partnership with the National Compassion Fund to develop distribution protocols and manage disbursement of funds to Club Q victims. LGBTQ organizations in Florida have described National Compassion Fund’s involvement as a godsend in the aftermath of the Pulse shooting, given the breadth of their experience in supporting victims of mass shootings and bringing together everyone involved in response efforts. 

Questions have come up about the differences between the Colorado Healing Fund and the National Compassion Fund. Based on our understanding, there are three key differences:
•    The Colorado Healing Fund releases funds to the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance (COVA), which distributes those funds based on the needs that victims identify through their victim advocates (and soon the new navigator role), whereas the National Compassion Fund distributes funds directly to victims based on distribution protocols that tier the severity of the shooting’s impact on victims.
•    It takes some time for the National Compassion Fund to begin distributing funds to victims – typically about six months after a tragedy in order to convene a steering committee, develop a distribution protocol, and collect input from the victims and community – whereas the Colorado Healing Fund has a seed fund that enables them to make cash disbursements right away and cover critical expenses like travel for victims’ families, rent, lost wages, and medical and funeral expenses that exceed the limits of what the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Victim Compensation Program covers.
•    The philosophy of the National Compassion Fund is to disburse all funds directly to victims as soon as possible to give victims complete control over how and when they use those funds to support their recovery, whereas the philosophy of the Colorado Healing Fund is to disburse funds over a longer timeline through various channels to account for the enduring and unexpected impact of trauma, e.g., direct cash assistance and expense reimbursement in the short term, to the expansion of community support services in the long-term (like a resiliency center).

Organizations already working locally in Colorado Springs on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ community include: Inside Out Youth Services, Commuity Heath Partnership LGBTQIA2+HealthUCCS MOSAIC LGBTQ+ Resource Center and Pikes Peak Pride. The mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs has mobilized community leaders and organizations to act and respond to needs beyond their capacities. Colorado Health Partnership (CHP) convened local and state-wide stakeholders to identify, prioritize, and develop an action plan to address immediate concerns and support victims, their families, and the LGBTQIA2+ community. Please contact CHP to learn more about these efforts and how you can contribute. 

We will continue to provide updates on some funder efforts under way to provide additional longer-term, community-focused support.

Colorado Philanthropy Responds to the Club Q Tragedy

Pikes Peak Community Foundation: Club Q $10,000 commitment & Warning re Bogus Fundraisers

Gill Foundation: $100,000 commitment to Club Q victims

El Pomar Foundation: Response to Tragedy in Colorado Springs

The Colorado Health Foundation: LGBTQ Coloradans Deserve Safe Spaces for Community, Belonging and Joy

Chinook Fund: Club Q Statement statement 

Rose Community Foundation: A Message from our President & Supporting Club Q victims and Colorado’s LGBTQ+ community

The Denver Foundation: Statement & Ways to support the victims of the Club Q shooting

Community Foundation Boulder County: Club Q Tragedy

Please contact info@philanthropycolorado.org if you have a response or statement you would like included. 

See also 

OnePulse Foundation: Statement on Club Q Mass Shooting

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