Equity Action

Equity Action is committed to enacting social change by championing initiatives and organizations that encourage justice for, provide support to, and improve the quality of life of LGBTQ Rhode Islanders. Equity Action distributes approximately $50,000 each year through two types of grants.

Small Grants

[Requests  up to $2,500]

May be submitted and are reviewed on a rolling basis to support short-term projects or one-time activities.  Organizations can receive one Small Grant award per year. Decisions typically take 6-8 weeks.

Project and Capacity-Building Grants

[Requests from $2,500 to $10,000]

Applications are reviewed annually and must be submitted by midnight (EST) on April 11, 2019. Please note that no assistance will be available after 5 p.m. (EST). Decisions typically take 8-10 weeks.

Awarded annually to support:

  • Projects that meet the needs of the LGBTQ communities in Rhode Island
  • Board development, strategic planning, program development, nonprofit business development, fundraising, program evaluation, or other activities that build the capacity of organizations that play a vital and unique role in the LGBTQ communities

Organizations can receive one Project or Capacity-Building Grant award per year. 


All agencies and associations proposing to serve the needs of Rhode Island’s LGBTQ communities are encouraged to apply, whether or not the agency is LGBTQ-focused. We strongly encourage applications from all-volunteer and grassroots organizations, and we acknowledge that many may not have grantwriting experience. 

Equity Action funds a variety of initiatives including, but not limited to:

  • Increasing advocacy capacity to address policy issues that affect the LGBTQ community (statewide or at the local level)
  • Developing skills and processes to build effective partnerships, coalitions, and alliances to increase program operation and effectiveness
  • Providing community education 

 All applicants must:

  • Have a board-approved policy regarding staff (volunteer or paid) employment, the election of a governing board, and provision of services that mandates non-discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or national origin. Please read the Equity Action Grant Applicant Non-Discrimination Policy Requirement, FAQ
  • Be incorporated as 501(c) nonprofit organizations or be sponsored by an umbrella 501(c) organization. Units of local or state government are also eligible grant recipients. Groups that have not yet applied for or received a determination of their nonprofit status may work through a fiscal sponsor.

Equity Action will NOT make grants to:

  • Organizations that discriminate on the basis of age, disability, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or religion
  • Individuals
  • Fraternal organizations, unless in support of a specific program open to or benefitting the entire community
  • Fundraising events such as annual campaigns, walk-a-thons, tournaments, fashion shows, auctions, or dinners
  • Organizations with religious affiliations, unless the program is open to the entire community without regard to religious beliefs
  • Organizations and programs designed to elect candidates to public office
  • Organizations located outside Rhode Island unless for a specific program benefitting the residents of and conducted within Rhode Island
  • Pay off past debts and obligations
  • Endowment funds
  • Academic scholarships, fellowships, and travel grants
  • Capital support, unless it is limited to equipment needs where there is a demonstrated programmatic benefit
  • Program or organizational start-up funding, unless a funding plan is in place and sustainability beyond the one-year grant period is likely

To Apply

A complete application includes:

  • Small Grant Application (accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis) OR
  • Project/Capacity-Building Grant Application (must be submitted by April 11, 2019) * 
    (Applications are available six weeks prior to the deadline; all applications must be submitted through our online system.)
  • Narrative
  • Project budget
  • Your organization's non-discrimination policy
  • If your project involves lobbying, please indicate the anticipated amounts to be spent on direct and/or grassroots lobbying. For more information, please read lobbying expenditures.

* If you already have started either of these online applications, please log in to your account page to edit the application that is in progress.

Please note: Applications will not be considered from organizations with overdue grant reports.


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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