Council Message on Orlando

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 3:33 pm
CoF Author
Vikki Spruill & Sherry Magill

Editors Note. Since the publishing of this blog post, the Central Florida Foundation is no longer managing the distribution of donations to the OneOrlando Fund. The Foundation will now be administering the Better Together Fund. Read the full statement from the Foundation at


Dear Colleagues,

The Council on Foundations stands in solidarity with those affected by the horrific attack in Orlando. It is particularly tragic that the shooting at a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) nightclub occurred during the very month that many across the nation are celebrating LGBTQ pride and the progress made toward full inclusion of the LGBTQ community within the larger community.

Hate-motivated violence has no place in a free and just society.

This mass killing serves as a stark reminder of the continuing intolerance and lack of equality many in the LGBTQ community face. A coalition of organizations working on the front lines of the LGBTQ movement report that LGBTQ individuals comprised a disproportionately high percentage of hate violence-related homicides in 2015. Throughout our nation, LGBTQ individuals continue to fight for equality in employment, housing, healthcare, marriage, and immigration.

In response to the Orlando attack, many of the Council’s members, partners, and allies have mobilized to serve their diverse constituencies. Funders for LGBTQ Issues created a resource guide for individuals looking to support the local community. The guide highlights local LGBTQ nonprofit organizations and fundraising efforts for the victims.

The Central Florida Foundation is administering the OneOrlando Fund to help meet the needs of the diverse Orlando community in the aftermath of this tragedy.

The Florida attack also underscores the intersection of the diverse communities that our members support. Victims of this tragedy were from both the LGBTQ and Latino communities.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical to the philanthropic sector today and will remain so as our nation becomes increasingly diverse. Council members strive for inclusive practices and policies in their individual organizations and the diverse communities they serve, in times of tragedy and throughout the year.

Our society has made tremendous advances in the area of LGBTQ inclusion. Last year's landmark Supreme Court decision on marriage equality, for example, was a historic victory for LGBTQ individuals. Last month, only five years after the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a law that prohibited qualified LGBTQ Americans from serving in the United States armed forces, our nation confirmed the first openly gay leader of a United States military service branch.

Our country has made significant progress with regard to LGBTQ rights, but our journey to full equality remains far from over. The Council on Foundations salutes the many organizations and foundations working to strengthen and support the LGBTQ community.


Vikki Spruill
President and CEO

Sherry Magill
Board Chair, Council on Foundations
President, Jessie Ball duPont Fund

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