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CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
October 17, 2013

I was on the board of CenterLink in the 1990's and I returned 10 years ago because of how important I thought their work was. CenterLink is under the radar for many in our community, but it is a literal lifeline to LGBT Centers and their staff around the country and even in some places outside of the country. Collectively, LGBT Centers represent the largest part of the LGBT movement's infrastructure nationwide. The strength of these Centers has a direct correlation to the strength of local and thus the state and national LGBT movements. CenterLink is the ONLY organization that exists to both promote the development of new Centers and keep our existing Centers strong and healthy and growing--so they can better serve our communities. Through an impressive program of training, consulting, networking and technical assistance, CenterLink is helping LGBT community centers--from the smallest to the largest--to thrive. Even though I run the largest LGBT organization of any kind on the planet, I have greatly benefited from CenterLink's work. Plus, as a donor to CenterLInk, I'm incredibly impressed with the bang for the buck that I get. I see the results that CenterLink achieves and I've heard the testimonials. They're really doing a great job.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Recruit more board members who are not Center CEO's/E.D.'s and who could raise more money for CenterLink so the organization could expand to provide even more help to Centers around the country.

More feedback

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

MY ROLE:
Board Member

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
June 29, 2009

CenterLink is one of the few LGBT organizations around that makes our entire movement stronger because they build capacity and professionalism among LGBT community centers. Because Centers are key to the health and strength of LGBT communities across the country. CenterLink's work is vital. That's why I'm so involved. CenterLink provides technical assistance to LGBT Centers larage and small. It helps groups of people who want to form new Centers in their hometowns do so in ways that are smart and strategic so that the Centers they form will last. It provides support and leadership development to executive directors and board members of Centers so that they can more effectively lead their organizations. It links people doing the work of Centers with one another so they never have to feel alone and so they always have colleagues to whom they can turn.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

a growing number of LGBT Centers nationwide that are strong, stable and effective and in Center Executive Directors/CEO's who have a place to turn for help and so do their jobs better. All of these things make local LGBT communities stronger.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find ways to keep doing what CenterLInk is doing and to be able to help even more Centers.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching the number of LGBT community centers grow and impact the health and strength of their own communities. I also enjoy seeing the extraordinary amount of results CenterLink gets with only a tiny budget and the difference they are making.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

CenterLink's two staff members bring a great deal of experience to their work. Both have run LGBT community centers and they understand the needs of theier clients better than most. Plus, every member of the board of directors is extremely dedicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Create a leadership development/capacity building program for cities across the country with LGBT community centers. This would help improve local leadership and build healthy organizations that would make local communities stronger and more powerful.

Ways to make it better...

more funders who care about state and local activism understood the vital role that LGBT community centers play in building communities that advance our cause.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

long term sustainable funding outside the foundation world. It's harder for CenterLInk to develop funding streams from private individuals because CenterLink's immediate constituency is organizations, not individuals. And, dues alone cannot sustain it.

One thing I'd also say is that...

CenterLink as an organization offers a huge bang for the buck in terms of the impact of its work for very little cost. Spread the word!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I've been on the board for many years.