Whether you’re an LGTBQ+-led organization, a nonprofit that serves the LGTBQ+ community, or an individual looking to raise funds for a cause that’s close to your heart this June, we’ve got everything you need to get loud and proud this Pride Month.
Keep reading to learn about the history of Pride Month, explore creative ways you can show support this June, and discover fundraising tools you can use to take your event to the next level.
What is Pride Month?
Pride is the opposite of shame—an emotion members of the LGBTQ+ community have long been made to feel for who they are and who they love. Pride Month was established to promote and affirm the dignity, equality, and visibility of these individuals. Bill Clinton first declared June "Gay & Lesbian Pride Month" in 1999. Barack Obama, and now Joe Biden, have since proclaimed increasingly inclusive iterations of Pride Month every year in office to date.
Pride wasn't always parades and rainbows, though. The Gay Pride movement emerged as a result of police raids at the Stonewall Inn—a well-known gay bar on Christopher Street in New York's Greenwich Village—in the early hours of June 28, 1969. Tired of being targeted and discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, the raid resulted in six days of riots by the bar's patrons and the local community. The first gay pride parade occurred on the raid's one-year anniversary when thousands marched from the Stonewall Inn to Central Park as part of "Christopher Street Liberation Day."
How to show support during Pride Month
Perhaps you've already worn all your most colorful clothing and joined your local Pride festivities. Still, you want to take it a step further in celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Well, grab some glitter and a glue gun, and read on for some ideas that truly put the ‘fun’ in Pride fundraising.
Invite LGBTQ+ panelists to a discussion 🎙
There is no better way to learn about other peoples' experiences than to literally give them the mic and listen. Identify leaders in your local LGBTQ+ community and professionals who work for relevant organizations (like the Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign, or GLAAD, just to name a few), and invite them to sit on the panel. Choose someone to faciliate the discussion. Determine the nature and goal of the conversation and come up with questions accordingly. You could host this discussion as an in-person, hybrid, or virtual event.
⭐ Take this event to the next level: Livestream your panel discussion to engage a broader audience.
Throw a big gay dance party
From Cher to Queen to Britney—there is no shortage of 'gay anthems' to put on and shake a multicolored tail feather too! Explore existing playlists online or make your own. Find a local bar, nightclub, or community space to host your event at. Hang some decorations and a disco ball, push play, and dance the night away! Depending on where you host this event, some venues may be willing to run a Pride-themed drink special and donate a portion of the proceeds to your cause.
Host a movie screening 🎥
Pick a movie with LGBTQ+ themes or characters. Some popular options include Milk, Paris is Burning, Transhood, Circus of Books, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Locate a theater (or a community space with projector compatibility) to screen it. The theater may be willing donate the space, but you may need to pay a fee to rent it out. When choosing a film, it's important to consider your audience. Does the movie need to be family friendly? What is the goal of the screening? Maybe you want to promote the visibility of a particular faction of the LGBTQ+ spectrum or a specific aspect of the LGBTQ+ experience.
⭐ Take this event to the next level: Ask movie-goers to add a donation to their ticket purchase.
Play drag bingo 📣
With drag queens hosting, bingo definitely isn't reserved for the retirement set anymore! Round up prizes from local businesses, book some local drag queens, and get playing! This is a great way to introduce unfamiliar members of your community to the fabulously outrageous and fiercely creative art form of drag.
⭐ Take this event to the next level: Consider asking for corporate sponsorships for your event. Local business may be willing to donate prizes for the bingo winners or cover the costs of hosting and marketing the event.
Have an LGBTQ+ trivia night 🧠
Looking for an engaging and educational way to raise money? Try out trivia! Scour the web for facts about LGBTQ+ history and cultural icons. See if a local bar is willing to host your event or find a community space if you want to keep it open to all ages. Aim for a good balance of questions that touch equally on lighter aspects of gay culture and more somber parts of its history. For example, a round called "LGBTQ+ life in the '80s" could cover the AIDS crisis and Madonna. Sign us up!
⭐ Take this event to the next level: Have trivia teams create a team fundraiser when they sign up to add another level of friendly competition.
Get crafty with Pride flag decorations 🏳️🌈
Flags have become a common way for members of the LGBTQ+ community to display their sexual and gender orientation to others proudly. If you have attended a Pride event in recent years, chances are you have seen several people draped in the flag with which they identify or wearing clothing, makeup, and accessories in their flag's colors. To honor this iconic marker, plan a flag decorating night. Think gems, glitter, fabric paint, and feathers! You can even include other rainbow items for people to decorate. Charge attendees to attend, auction the flags off at the end, or sell them on-site at a local Pride event.
⭐ Take this event to the next level: Gather participants' emails at the beginning of the event so you can send a personalized follow-up after.
Make it a walk-a-thon 👟
Already planning to attend your local Pride parade and want to turn your steps into money? Make it a walk-a-thon! Take pledges based on the number of steps or distance you'll trek, and invite your friends and family to join you to get those numbers up. If Pride Month has already passed, this is a great way to keep the momentum going and turn your regular exercise into a donation for a good cause.
⭐ Take this event to the next level: Create a personalized fundraising page to share your story, track the progress made to hitting your fundraising goal, and keep supporters up-to-date with campaign milestones.
Celebrate Pride Month with Givebutter
LGBTQ+ individuals continue to face discrimination and stigma, including obstacles to health care, housing, and acceptance from their family and friends. These barriers put them at higher risk of mental health challenges and suicide. Merely accepting LGBTQ+ people for who they are is a crucial first step in supporting them. This June, we encourage you to go even further by supporting LGTBQ+-led organizations or creating a more inclusive donor experience for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Regardless of how you choose to uplift the LGBTQ+ community this Pride Month and beyond, Givebutter is here to help ensure your success. Sign up for free to start fundraising in minutes!
Reisa is excited to use her nonprofit development, communications, and engagement background to help others elevate their fundraising, administrative, and programming proficiencies