PRIDE Council offers members of the LGBT community and allies the opportunity to make broad, community-­wide change happen.

PRIDE Council and PRIDE Gives – the first United Way LGBT giving groups in the country – are part of a long history of “firsts” for United Way of Central Ohio in the LGBT community:

  • UWCO helped lead the GLBT Census, an anonymous online survey of LGBT households that provided the most detailed information on central Ohio’s LBGT community ever compiled.
  •  In 2001, UWCO funded an inaugural gift of $10,000 to The Legacy Fund of The Columbus Foundation.
  • UWCO has been an early and ongoing supporter of the AIDS Resource Center Ohio, funding more than $4.5 million in programs since 1990.
  • UWCO takes great care in standing by its commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as engaging diverse communities in our work.
  • In 2003, then Columbus City Councilwoman Mary Jo Hudson was elected as a United Way board member, providing a “seat at the table” for LGBT perspectives. Tom Grote, the co-founder and former board chair of the Equality Ohio Education Fund, replaced her on the board when she resigned.
  • In 2008, UWCO launched PRIDE Leadership, an 8-month training program directed at LGBT professionals and designed to facilitate their placement on volunteer boards and in leadership roles on committees.
  • In 2009, UWCO committed funding over the next three years to Kaleidoscope Youth Center, the only organization in Ohio solely dedicated to supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.
  • In 2010, UWCO launched PRIDE Gives and Pride Council, the first United Way LGBT giving groups in the country, to make an even bigger difference in our community – one that can improve the lives of all central Ohioians.
  • In 2012, over 65% of Pride Leadership graduates hold openly LGBT seats on non-profit boards.
  • In 2013, UWCO convened the first Out & Equal forum bringing together representatives from over 30 central Ohio companies and nonprofit organizations to discuss equality in the workplace and create the first Out & Equal Regional Affiliate in Ohio.
What does it take to become a member of PRIDE Council?

It takes passion, commitment and a desire to be part of the change to make a real difference in our community.

We also ask that each member join with a household contribution of $1,000 to United Way of Central Ohio.

As a member, you’ll receive special recognition throughout the year and have opportunities to:

  • Interact with central Ohio’s most influential leaders
  • Connect with other local LGBT members and allies
  • Work to promote balance and inclusion in our community
  • Participate in service projects that help make central Ohio a better place for everyone to live
  • Participate in advocacy opportunities within United Way and  other organizations

Opportunities for engagement are available in the areas of:

  • Advocacy
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Membership & Engagement
  • Volunteering & Special Events

If you would like more information or to get involved with PRIDE Council – contact Joshua Hartley at or 614.241.3078.

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