The Samara Fund

The Samara Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation is a group of Queer and Trans Vermonters committed to a vision of transformational grants and scholarships to the people and groups throughout Vermont who demonstrate their dedication to the empowerment, health, and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV positive (LGBTQ+) people.

What We Fund

The Samara Fund will grant funds to LGBTQ+ led projects and organizations in Vermont this year.

We've taken time to pause, reflect, and queer up how we approach every aspect of our work as a fund over the last year. We are emerging from our process clear that our purpose is to fund people, ideas, and small groups for the LGBTQ+ community in Vermont.

Core values guide our work. We are:

  • Anti-racist and anti-oppressive by practicing intersectionality, power-shifting, and transformative justice both internally and externally. This includes being proudly trans-inclusive in every level of our work.
  • Transparent with our community and funders about how we work.
  • Queering fundraising and redistributing wealth for a bigger impact on the Vermont LGBTQ+ community.
  • Prioritizing accessibility, gratitude, and accountability while queering our work to make it fun, connective, and sustainable.

Our values guide what we fund. Our funding priorities are:

  • Queer and trans-led projects and organizations
  • Projects that center, are led by, and/or prioritize BIPOC and/or trans Vermonters
  • Elders and youth
  • Queers with disabilities
  • Work that is harm reduction (including HIV/AIDS prevention and advocacy)
  • Projects meaningfully working beyond Chittenden County
  • Smaller budget projects
  • Long-term projects

Our values guide how we fund. We offer five distinct types of funding:

  • General organizational support
  • Project-specific support to organizations 
  • Emergent (unplanned) needs for organizations 
  • Sponsorship of queer events  
  • Scholarships for LGBTQ+ high school students committed to positive change for LGBTQ+ people who seek to enroll at a four-year college or university, a career or technical college, or a vocational program

We are eager to return to funding LGBTQ+ community-centered projects across the state and look forward to reconnecting with our community.

Click here to learn more about the Samara Scholarship program.

Deadline and Notification

Applications will be accepted between June 25 – August 27, 2024. Applications must be received by 5PM on Tuesday, August 27 in order to be considered. 

Applicants will be notified of grant decisions in October. Grant funds cannot cover activities that have already taken place; please keep the notification timeline in mind as you prepare your application.

Emergent needs, new projects taking place before October, and/or sponsorships requests may be applied for at any point on a rolling basis.

If you have any questions, contact Elisabeth Marx at to connect with the committee and learn more about how to apply.

Application Process

Visit our Online Grants Center page to learn how to submit an application electronically and to register for a new account. Or click here to access your existing account.

To help you prepare, click here to preview a sample of the application. Please note that this is a PDF sample and not the actual application. To view and begin working on the application, login to the Online Grants Manager (OGM), which can be accessed at


The Samara Fund Advisory Committee

  • Owen Daniel-McCarter, he/him, Bethel
  • Najat Croll, she/her, Ripton
  • Howie LeBlanco, he/him, Colchester
  • Skylar Maguire, they/them, Bristol
  • Mo Reilly, she/they, Westford
  • Indi Schoenherr, they/them, Burlington


No gifts to The Vermont Community Foundation shall directly or indirectly subject the Vermont Community Foundation to a prohibited material restriction as defined by federal law. All gifts are subject to a federally required amendment or variance power that permits the Vermont Community Foundation to vary from the terms and conditions of agreements with donors relative to the purpose, investment, and management of its funds subject to the procedural requirements of Vermont state law. In practice, the Foundation uses this variance power rarely and only if the needs of the community have shifted. The Foundation will be in communication with donors should such a shift occur.