‘Tis the season of giving — as a company, giving back to the community is an empowering act that provides care for those in need and also sends you some positive vibes for the year ahead. When it comes to being a genuinely inclusive company, giving back is such an important aspect. The LGBTQ+ community still has so far to go regarding equal rights, and it takes an abundance of resources to get there. From volunteers to donors to sponsors, there is always room for more help in the fight for equality.
So, how can you invest your time and/or resources into giving back to the LGBTQ+ community?
I always encourage businesses to donate a portion of their sales to a charity or nonprofit — it’s easy and doesn’t take up much extra time, but it makes such a difference. There are so many nonprofits in the LGBTQ+ rights sector — my favorites are Freedom for All Americans and Freedom to Marry International, two incredible grassroots organizations that I’ve worked with closely. I offer a 10% discount to all vendor guide members when they sign up, with the option to either save it or donate it to Freedom for All Americans. Many choose to give! Others that support our cause are The Trevor Project, HRC, ACLU, Lambda Legal, The Transgender Law Center, and the Ali Forney Center (among many others).
Another great way to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights is to sponsor one of the many charity events these organizations host throughout the year. Donate your product or service, whether it’s photography, calligraphy, planning, catering, or the like — every bit of help is appreciated. When nonprofit organizations can rely on volunteer event professionals as opposed to in-house employees, it allows them to produce bigger and better events (and therefore, raise more money for the cause!).
Spend some time researching to ensure that your chosen charity is authentic. Become well-versed in the organization so that, in addition to giving back, you can also be a strong advocate for their fight and share its mission with your community.
Giving back to the LGBTQ+ community does not have to mean donating a ton of money — your time and your voice as an advocate are invaluable to the cause as well. Speak up, get involved, and help the fight in the ways that you can.
Brittny Drye is the founder and editor-in-chief of Love Inc., one of the leading equality-minded wedding blog and digital publication. Her inclusive efforts have been celebrated by the New York Times, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Refinery29, NY Daily News, Cosmopolitan, and more. She serves on the 2018-19 North American Advisory Board for the International Academy of Wedding & Events.