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CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Lesbian & Gay Rights, LGBTQ

Mission: CenterLink develops strong, sustainable LGBT community centers and builds a thriving center network that creates healthy, vibrant communities.

Target demographics: the leaders (board and staff) of LGBT Community Centers

Direct beneficiaries per year: (through support, programs, resources and by providing a peer network) over 170 member centers

Geographic areas served: Nationwide - as well as Canada, China and beyond

Programs: one-on-one and group training (virtual and in-person), webinars, Executive Director Boot Camp, annual Leadership Summit, online resource portal, phone and online support and more!

Community Stories

119 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

insideout

Client Served

Rating: 5

Denise and CenterLink have been a key support to Inside Out Youth Services. We apply for every opportunity for training and development we can with CenterLink because we know we will have access to excellent trainers and supportive staff who deeply understand the nuances of operating impactful LGBTQ community centers.

If you have a chance to work with CenterLink, do it!

Jason P.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our organization became a CenterLink member in the Spring of 2018. In the little over a year that we have been part of this group, we have found their resources and support invaluable. Everyone in the organization is always quick to respond to questions, and the ability to connect with the greater LGBTQ+ Community Center system is amazing. I fully support anyone who is interested in joining this group.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The OUTMemphis LGBT Center would like to thank Denise Spivak and Julia Landis for their hard work in sourcing and securing its new Executive Director. The process took much longer than planned due to delays on our part and we thank Denise for her patience and persistence. Once we got on track, Denise and Julia ushered the process thoughtfully and responsively. Everyone was happy with the results and OUTMemphis is off and running!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CenterLink is an incredible resource for LGBTQ2S Centres across North America. As a community centre in Saskatoon, SK, Canada, membership in CenterLink has been invaluable. It has provided leadership support, guidance in the areas of fundraising and strategic planning, and most importantly, it has linked us with other LGBTQ2S Centres in Canada! CenerLink's staff go above and beyond, building one-on-one relationships with organizations and their EDs and working to ensure that even the smallest centers have the resources and support that they need.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Centerlink is an incredible support resource for LGBTQ organizations big and small throughout the US and Canada. They are providing best practices, shared resources, training and support for the many centers serving the community. They are able to disseminate tools and resources from large centers to help small centers to grow. They are available to answer questions, trouble shoot and provide boards and staff with the resources to thrive.

Center on Halsted

Donor

Rating: 5

CenterLink is the leader in supporting LGBTQ community center across the country. They have the resources and knowledge that meets the needs of any size community center. Their expertise range from program design and outcomes, CEO coaching, Board best practices and so much more.

Sharon P.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Diversity Center, where I am the executive director, is a long-time member of Centerlink. I give them my highest recommendation because they are an incredible resource for LGBT Centers around the country. I value them as effective conveners and experts in leadership, LGBTQ+ Community building, organizational development, and as valued thinking partners. Centerlink has been instrumental in growing the leadership of the LGBTQ+ movement.

Client Served

Rating: 5

CenterLink is an amazing resource and network for the many LGBTQ+ community centers throughout the country. CenterLink has gathered best practices, offers sample documents for center operations and board governance, and is tackling advocacy at a national level with resources to assist centdrs with local community advocacy.

Kevinlish

Board Member

Rating: 5

All Under One Roof was started a little over 6 years ago, one of the first things we had the good sense to do was to join CenterLink. CenterLink was invaluable in structuring our organization correctly from the beginning. Their dedicated professionals have continued to provide information, guidance, and support since opening our doors. We have made sure board members have attended the annual Summit and have had the CenterLink team conduct board retreats several times in the last six years. Lora, Denise, Julia, and of course Terry have all been integral partners in our success and we plan to keep the relationship strong between All Under One Roof and CenterLink.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I utilize CenterLink often to help connect with other LGBTQ Centers to learn about their programs and services, gain new insight into best and emerging practices, and provide other Centers with knowledge I have gained over the years. CenterLink is a vital resources for our community!

dkimunoz

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have been connected with Centerlink since I started my Youth and Outreach position with my center in February 2019. Working for a small, but growing nonprofit as the only person in my position/field comes with its challenges. However being connected with Centerlink- and specifically Youthlink has changed the game for me. Being able to be so readily connected with my peers who are having similar experiences and facing the same struggles has helped me find resources, be connected and be affirmed in a way I absolutely wasn't expecting.

Deborah Levine who is currently the director of Youthlink has also worked with me 1-on-1 in free coaching sessions once a month. I was blown away at the offer to have someone with her experience help me settle into my position in a different way, than what my supervisor and coworkers have been able to provide.

This extra support has proven to be extremely valuable. I have been given feedback that has allowed me to push and expand the limits of my skill-set and help me brainstorm how to achieve what I want to in my position, as well as better shape my big picture dreams for moving forward. My supervisor has commented on how I always seem to come out of my sessions realigned and more invigorated for my work and its true! I cannot sing the praises to Youthlink and Centerlink loud enough. Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Coastal Bend PRIDE Center is a proud member of CenterLink and has benefited from our membership in so many ways! We've found the online resource library very helpful as well as the YouthLink online community for consultation as questions arise.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Centerlink has been crucial in my work at an LGBTQ youth center. As the sole staff member in our space for several years, it can often feel like I don't always have the support that I need. Deborah has devoted her time to a monthly video session to support any needs that I have when it comes to working with LGBTQ youth. The technical assistance and support offered by CenterLink/YouthLink has supported me through some difficult challenges.

The connections that I have been able to make with other LGBTQ centers across the US, as a result of being a CenterLink member, have been invaluable. The listservs and resources that are accessed when you are a member of CenterLink have been immensely helpful.

Thanks to CenterLink for all of the supportive resources and TA provided. The staff is comprised of dedicated, passionate individuals and I look forward to continued work with CenterLink.

Lanie D.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Deborah at Centerlink has been a guiding light for our agency as we expand our youth program. She was able to offer advice, as well as tons of resources, making the process way less overwhelming. We were able to expand our program, the age limit and gear activities towards different groups of youth depending on their needs. I know that whenever I need help, I can drop Deborah an e-mail and she will be there to help.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I serve as the Programs Director for an LGBTQ youth center in the south. Working in a field where you can feel like you are alone doing the work, having a resource like CenterLink has been incredible!

CenterLink resources have helped me stay connected with other folks across the country doing similar work, find new program ideas and stay on top of current trends in the field.

In addition to their incredible resources, their team is absolutely top-notch. Working with their youth engagement staff has been phenomenal and has allowed our Center to be a part of piloting programs that will have a huge impact for other LGBTQ youth who can not access spaces like ours.

If you are a non-profit, or group, working with LGBTQ communities, then CenterLink is a vital resource to support your work!

Julie S.5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I know what your thinking..another membership and dues to put in the budget? Yes, if you are an organization, national or local, that provides services to the LGBTQ Community, Centerlink is worth it! More than just emails and newsletters, more than an annual conference —-a supportive organization meant just for us Executive Directors, CEOs and Board members; CenterLink is a true network of visionaries and advocates that work with you, not against you. When I first became Executive Director, the first call I made was to CenterLink and then the support just came flooding in. This work is not for the faint of heart-creating safe spaces for others leaves little room for further cultivation, empowerment and education of those individuals who need it the most. Whether you are a staff of one, or a staff of one hundred, a newbie or a veteran, you have a skill and a story that’s worth sharing and deserve to invest in yourself. Our organizations and our communities are stronger together through CenterLink.

Client Served

Rating: 5

CenterLink has been a great asset to us at the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center for many years. Most recently, they provided valuable assistance in helping us hire a new Executive Director. In addition to providing information and resources, they were more than willing to jump on the phone and talk over issues with our search committee chair. Finally, they are staffed with great, fun people that you actually want to talk to and spend time with when you have the opportunity to meet.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CenterLink is a really important organization. It helps all of the LGBTQ+ community centers around the county stay connected, get information, and work together. The workshops and trainings offered are vital to our organizations and provide much needed information and support. What is really wonderful is the staff of CenterLink., They are dedicated and extremely supportive of organizations ; always providing time for calls, helping information, general advice. This organization serves as a mothership to connect all of the community centers across the country. I really enjoy being a member of CenterLink and support all of the work they do.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CenterLink is a wonderful organization supporting LGBTQ community centers and staff across the United States (and really worldwide!). They provide invaluable technical assistance and coaching, as well as ongoing leadership development and training for folks starting a center all the way to folks who have been operating large centers for decades. They welcomed me to their offices for a full day of technical assistance, and helped me get started and get my footing in a large and daunting process.

Adriana O.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Love CenterLink and the great work that they do!!!

Roz Gould K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My first experience with Centerlink was as an attendee/participant of the ED Leadership Bootcamp. It was invaluable. There are numerous resources and Lora, Denise and Julia are wonderful.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CenterLink is an invaluable resource for the LGBTQ+ community. Not only does it connect and support all of the amazing community centers across the country to each other and help us work better together and learn from each other, but also offers trainings, resources, and even grants to ensure that our LGBTQ+ nonprofit sector is strong and addressing the needs of our community. Can't imagine doing LGBTQ+ community organizing without CenterLink.

Michael J.6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CenterLink has been a phenomenal resource. They have created wonderful learning opportunities for our executive director and board leaders. Through engagement with CenterLink we have built our fundraising, financial management, and risk management capacities. CenterLInk members are quick to share resources and best practices as well as support one another.

We have attended the leadership summit, participated in executive director boot camp, used their expertise to conduct a community needs assessment, and had them facilitate our centre's strategic plan, TWICE!

CenterLink staff are knowledgeable, friendly, and collaborative.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Centerlink was an invaluable resource when we were preparing to conduct an executive search. The examples they provided of job descriptions, interview questionnaires and other tools gave us a huge running start. Although we were not hiring CenterLink to actually conduct the search, the organization could not have been more supportive of our board members and other volunteers who carried out the process.

Client Served

Rating: 5

CenterLink is an exceptional resource for LGBTQ Centers of every size and scope. There is something unique about how LGBTQ Centers are positioned in the nonprofit environment, serving a population with needs as diverse as the communities around them, which binds us by the values we hold and the hope for the future of our communities. When we joined CenterLink, our organization was barely on life support with a small budget and only two staff members. WE have since grown to 34 staff positions, a multi-million dollar budget, and dozens of programs and services that are changing the lives of thousands LGBTQ people in the Sacramento Region every day. The support CenterLink continues to provide our board and staff leaders with personalized technical assistance, annual Leadership Summit, ED Bootcamp, online resource library, funding opportunities, model program sharing, and the mentorship and support of other LGBTQ Center leaders through CenterLink's network is invaluable. The depth of their experience and the effort they put in to reach out to us with new opportunities or to support us in a crisis has been incredible. They really care how you're doing and want every Center larger or small to reach its full potential.

sbruemmer

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a new Executive Director of an LGBTQ+ youth center, the resources, support, and expertise of CenterLink are all invaluable. In managing my leadership transition and needing to ramp up as quickly as possible to do the critical work, I can not thank Lora, Denise, Julia and the entire staff enough. Take advantage of all they do!! Trainings (ED Bootcamp, Leadership Summit), the online resources, providing consultants, and the personal attention if you just need help - all ah-mazing!

Client Served

Rating: 5

CenterLink provided an awesome planning retreat for my organization. My Board walked away with a greater understanding of their roles and responsibilities and I walked away with a realistic short term strategic plan.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was lucky and happy to attend CenterLink's 2018 Executive Director Boot Camp earlier this year. Throughout four days of intense training, I created deep connections with other ED's of LGBTQ Centers from around the U.S., and came away with a whole notebook full of ideas and brilliant statements made during the training.

Denise, Lora, and everyone at CenterLink were wonderfully warm, welcoming, and willing to share their decades of experience and expertise with those of us newer to the field. The work of CenterLink is critical for our LGBTQ movement.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As the interim Executive Director of an LGBTQ community center located in Upstate New York. I have found CenterLink membership to be a very important asset. The support of the CenterLink staff for me as well as my entire staff has been invaluable to our agency. When our Center is facing an issue, CenterLink is the first resource we reach out to. The staff is quick to respond, always helping us find a solution. Another invaluable resource is having the entire membership on-call via email. When a problem arises, one email reaches the entire membership who quickly offer support.

Cynde A.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CenterLink is an amazing organization providing much need services unlike anyone else in the field. We truely wouldn’t be where we are today without their ongoing commitment to our community and support. Youth OUTright WNC will be forever grateful to the staff at CenterLink for all they do!

George A. W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of beginning my career as an LGBT community center executive. I attended CenterLink's ED Boot Camp which has proved invaluable. The team at CenterLink are a wealth of knowledge. I look forward to a continued partnership. GW, LGBT Center, Orlando

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was lucky enough to be chosen as part of the Executive Director Bootcamp 2018. The experience was amazing. The speakers that Centerlink brought in were all top notch. I returned to my organization energized and excited. The amount of information was overwhelming at times but the experience was beyond my wildest expectations.

Lora, Denise and Julia did a fantastic job of organizing the whole event. From the moment I arrived until we left 4 days later everything was perfectly thought out and executed.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are so glad that we contacted CenterLink when our Pride Center was looking for a consultant to help with our strategic planning retreat. It was fantastic to work with someone who was experienced in what we do and who had a frame of reference for what was happening at other Pride Centers. CenterLink was able to provide us with two days of consulting for less than others would have charged us for one. The investment was well worth it and helped our organization carve out priorities and make a usable plan for advancing our organization to the next level.

Robert S.6

Client Served

Rating: 5

CenterLink has been a wonderful resource for me personally as a new executive director and for our organization. Their leadership and mentorship has been transformative. Thank you, CenterLink!

Robert Salcido
Pride Center San Antonio

Oscar G.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Thank you for leveraging your knowledge and for helping new executive directors gain much needed skills :)