The Paul Rapoport Foundation, a longtime supporter of lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual communities in the New York City area, has announced that it will cease grantmaking on June 30, 2014, and close its doors by the following year.
Established in 1987 with a bequest from attorney Paul Rapoport, a founder of both the Gay Men's Health Crisis and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, the foundation had been trying to balance the growing needs of LGBT communities during the recession with its own financial challenges. But the foundation's assets had declined substantially over the last year, and the board felt it had no choice but to systematically review the foundation's viability going forward.
After engaging outside consultants to evaluate its past funding and options for continuing to support the New York LGBT population, the foundation decided to maximize its impact over the next five years by dramatically increasing its funding levels in the near term and spending out by 2015. To that end, the foundation has embarked on a strategic planning process and will develop a set of new grantmaking guidelines by the end of the year.
According to Kimberleigh J. Smith, president of the foundation's board, "The current moment provides an extraordinary opportunity for the Paul Rapoport Foundation to rise to the challenges faced by its grantees and sustain our twenty-plus years of innovative and responsive grantmaking to meet the needs of New York City's LGBT communities."