InFocus: Community groups report successes and struggles

Local and regional non-profit groups share needs, strengths and concerns in annual survey

by QNotes Staff  Staff Reports  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: October 27, 2012 in News

InDetail

View our in-depth chart exploring community organizations’ budgets, with breakdowns of expenses, revenue and other items. Click here or on the photo below to download the chart in .pdf format.


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View all stories in this year’s InFocus series

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nearly a dozen local and regional LGBT non-profit organizations in Charlotte and across the state are sharing their concerns and needs in response to qnotes’ third annual Community Assessment Survey. The survey is a yearly check-up on organization strength, financial well-being and commitment to transparency.

This year’s responses marked a departure from last year when more than half of the groups asked to participate in the survey declined. In 2012, 15 organizations were asked to participate, with a total of 11 groups opting-in.

The survey also includes a review of each organization’s year-end tax filings with the Internal Revenue Service, as well as self-reported current fiscal year fundraising and expense data. Information from IRS tax filings are included in an in-depth chart on page 10.

Several strengths and needs emerged as clear trends among the groups who participated. The majority of organizations said they were strongest in community outreach efforts and their communication with members and donors. Half rated themseves strongly on media relations and community advocacy and education. Among their needs, 10 of the 11 groups reported needing new members, donors and revenue streams. A significant number of the organizations also reported needing better community education strategies and better leadership development and youth outreach.

Each of the groups were also given the opportunity to elaborate on their needs. Their edited responses are printed below.

LGBT Center of Raleigh

Two major issues:

• Post-Amendment One fallout. How can we best serve those in the community who are confused and angry. Not only was Amendment One a huge financial drain, but it also left a good number of us in a negative place.

• Linking state resources. Just like the LGBT Center in Charlotte, the Center here fields calls from all over the state. The LGBT Center of Raleigh and LGBT Community Center of Charlotte have been brainstorming, but we need volunteer power to get it off the ground.

LGBT Community Center of Charlotte

We are always in need of impassioned volunteers for our various committees and to assist with our programming, events and fundraisers.

Southern Country Charlotte

Membership has been down the last few years and we have no real strategy to attract new members or maintain renewals.

Campus Pride

• Finalizing and implementing our 3- to 5-year strategic plan — locally and nationally — which relates to volunteer management, funding, staff growth, programming and board development.

Charlotte Business Guild

While the membership’s gender ratio has been fairly balanced for some time, its racial diversity has historically been low. For that reason, racial diversity of membership is on the forefront of the Business Guild’s current initiatives. Equally important, the Business Guild is searching for a new, young group of members who can breathe new life, energy and ideas into our organization to maximize our effectiveness at achieving our mission which is to: Provide a diverse network of professional, business and social connections among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight communities.

Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte

• Broader knowledge regarding what we do and accomplish in the community.

Equality NC

• To channel the energy and anger left over from Amendment One into positive, pro-equality change in the General Assembly.

Equality NC Foundation

• To channel the energy and anger around Amendment One into supporting pro-equality policies on the local and statewide level.

Time Out Youth

• Volunteers to monitor Safe Space (daily 3-6:30 p.m.)
• Emergency Housing Host Family Volunteers (in seven county region)
• LGBT friendly teachers, counselors and adminsitration available for referal program with youth/parents
• Adminsitrative office support (program evaluation, data entry)

Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN)

• Preparing for upcoming changes in HIV service reimbursement such as Affordable Care Act
• Sustaining critical services the community relies on, such as case management
• Preparing for 2013 AIDS Walk: need volunteer leadership, sponsors
• Preparing for Twenty-twelve, RAIN’s 20th Anniversary: need sponsors and ticket sales.

— compiled by qnotes staff