Our History

Our History

Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center is a Piedmont Triad leader in bringing people, ideas, and resources together to ignite change that advances equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community.

As a donor-supported organization, we support transformative philanthropy through programs and initiatives that help unite the community.

Our Story:

In 1995, a group of dedicated and concerned Greensboro community members decided they needed to do something to help provide much needed funds for our local HIV/AIDS service organization, Triad Health Project (THP).  The group’s inaugural Green Party was held on March 16, 1996, and raised over $10,000 for THP.

In 1998, the Green Party committee broadened their focus so funds could be distributed to organizations other than THP.  That year, the Green Party raised $22,884 for THP and $1,185 for Guilford Religious Area Interfaith Network (GRAIN) and retained about $26,000 for operational purposes.  But visionary founders and organizers knew that HIV/AIDS would not be the only issue to impact the LGBTQ community, so they created an organization dedicated to raising substantial funds to address the growing challenges facing our community and making grants to nonprofits serving the LGBTQ community in Guilford County. And so, Guilford Green Foundation (GGF) was born.

Over the years, donors and volunteers have helped Guilford Green Foundation provide nearly $850,000 to support critical organizations, innovative projects, students, and leaders—addressing existing and emerging community needs in urban and rural communities throughout the Piedmont Triad—creating the only LGBTQ community foundation in the Southeastern U.S.

In 2016, the Guilford Green Foundation Board of Directors voted to open an LGBTQ Center in Greensboro to help meet the growing needs of the community. The LGBTQ Center opened in 2017 at our previous location on W. Bessemer Ave. GGF rapidly outgrew that space and knew we needed to find a location that was accessible and more visible, and in the spring of 2019, we kicked off a capital campaign to pay for a new location for the Center. We quickly met our fundraising goal thanks to our generous donors, and our current space on N. Greene Street in the heart of Downtown Greensboro was secured. After totally remodeling the building to meet our needs, we moved into the new location in December 2019-January 2020.

The new LGBTQ Center boasts several meeting areas and work spaces, a lounge, snack bar, kitchen, and more. We are also lucky to be the home of three original murals by local artist Gina Franco. We are proud to offer a variety of different programs at the Center, including Gay & Gray, Youth Drop-In Hours, Rainbow Yoga, Trans-Vocal Speech Training from Prismatic Speech, Power Beyond Pride, and more. We also offer a queer library with many LGBTQ-related books and movies and a trans clothing closet where transgender folks can come and find a gender-affirming outfit at no cost to them. In 2020, we hosted the first in a series of rotating art shows at the LGBTQ Center.

GGF History - Uniting Community since 1996

April 1995

A group of community leaders develops an idea for fundraising in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community (LGBTQ) to benefit Triad Health Project (THP), Greensboro’s AIDS service organization.

March 1996

The inaugural Green Party raises more than $10,000 for Triad Health Project.

March 1997

The second annual Green Party raises more than $16,000 for Triad Health Project.

March 1998

The third annual Green Party expands to a three-day event raising more than $50,000, of which $22,884 benefits THP and $1,185 benefits GRAIN (Guilford Religious Area Interfaith Network).

March 1998

Guilford Green Foundation (GGF) is established with $26,000, money raised from the third annual Green Party.

March 1998

Guilford Green FoundationGGF is incorporated.

October 1998

GGF receives its tax-exempt status from the IRS.

March 1999

GGF holds its first annual Black Tie Gala. GGF also established its permanent endowment at the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro (CFGG) with $100,000.

February 2004

Green Queen Bingo is started with a $10,000 grant from the Future Fund and is named one of the “20 Who Bubbled to the Top in 2004” by GoTriad.

March 2004

GGF partners with CFGG to apply for a national matching grant from the National Lesbian and Gay Community Funding Partnership (now known as Funders for LGBTQ Issues).

June 2005

Cecilia Thompson, GGF Executive Director 2005

GGF sets up office space at the CFGG and hires Cecelia Thompson as its first full-time Executive Director.

June 2005

GGF reaches a milestone by growing its endowment to more than $300,000.

May 2006

GGF establishes the Straight Ally Campaign and recruits more than 300 people to sign a pledge in support of LGBTQ causes.  These names appear in full page ads in the News & Record during National Coming Out Month.

October 2008

GGF establishes the first annual Women’s Party – our first women’s empowerment event.

February 2010

GGF receives Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Organization Award at the HRC Carolinas Gala.

October 2011

GGF, in partnership with PFLAG Greensboro, establishes the Carter Stroupe Memorial Scholarship to help LGBTQ students further their education.

February 2012

At the fifth annual Women’s Party – with over 250 attendees and raising over $50,000 – GGF presents its first annual Dawn S. Chaney Award to Dawn Chaney for her many contributions to the Triad LGBTQ community.

November 2012

GGF receives the Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation Award for Guilford County at the 20th Annual Association of Fundraising Professionals NC Triad Chapter.

February 2016

GGF Women’s Party evolves into the annual GGF Red Party. The inaugural event was held at the Kress Terrace in downtown Greensboro.

February 2016

Nancy Vaughan, Executive Director Guilford Green Foundation

Nancy Vaughan is hired as GGF Executive Director.

September 2017

GGF celebrates its 20th anniversary with a Founders’ Dinner featuring special guest Cleve Jones.

January 2018

Jennifer Ruppe hired as GGF Executive Director

March 2018

LGBTQ Center Opens!

June 2018

Pearl Berlin Scholarship Fund Created

April 2019

Location for new LGBTQ Center secured and renovations begin.

February 2020

Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center Executive Director Jennifer Ruppe named Human Rights Campaign Person of the Year.