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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Lesbian & Gay Rights, LGBTQ

Mission: Champions for LGBQT Life and Culture. Our vision is a future where all members of the greater Rochester LGBTQ communities, at all stages of their lives, are free to be fully participating citizens, living lives in which they are safe, stable, and fully respected.

Results: Since 1973 we have been working to make Rochester a better home for everyone. Our success on improving the lives of LGBTQ people is nearly immeasurable. From helping City, business and civic leaders to be inclusive, to working in schools and on campuses around the country to be "safe places" for students. Our Library is the largest LGBTQ specific library on the East Coast with nearly 25,000 items. Our newspaper, The Empty Closet is the longest continually published LGBTQ community paper in the State- The Smithsonian Institute recently requested a complete collection for their archive.

Direct beneficiaries per year: nearly 600 people a month visit the Rochester LGBTQ Resource Center

Geographic areas served: “Western NY”

Programs: Youth services - objective: provides lgbtq youth with crisis intervention, social activities and leadership development. The program provides consultation, intervention and education to youth serving providers to ensure lgbtq inclusion. The program provides a safe place for youth ages 13-21 to discuss issues, make friends and get support. Services include support groups, health chats, evening and after school activities, leadership opportunities, crisis intervention and tutoring to support educational goals. This program is funded by contributions.

community education - objectives: the gay alliance strives to make rochester a safe zone for all lgbt and allied individuals. For forty years we have provided education and training that is proven to be effective, relevant and age appropriate in any setting and tailored to the needs of any group. Our programs focus on youth, community safety, lgbt history, aging issues for the lgbt community, creating a safe campus, becoming a straight ally, and more. The education program also provides lgbt community outreach which includes an on-line directory of nearly 1500 resources, three on-line community calendars as well as coordinating agency volunteers.

The empty closet: for over 40 years it has been the newspaper for the Rochester area LGBTQ community. The paper provides local, state, national and international news, entertainment features, op/ed pieces, interviews, columnists and community information in an effort to help build a stronger lgbt and allied community. Eleven issues are published each year, February to December. The paper also has a news blog site, and each issue, in full color, is available for viewing on-line. The paper also maintains a facebook page, and selected news stories are available on twitter. Advertising sales amounted to $60,655. Continued on schedule oeach month copies are mailed to all members and donors of the gay alliance and a distribution service delivers the paper to dozens of locations in the rochester area and throughout western new york, where it is available for free. Between 5,000 and 6,000 copies are printed each month.

rainbow sage - provides social and education programs to enhance the lives of lgbta elders, including monthly potluck dinners, season dances, monthly euchre games, men's and women's social groups. Library and history - the library and archives has a collection over 6,000 items. Shoulders to stand on is a history project that captures the stories, struggles, and achievements of local lgbta pioneers.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked for the Gay Alliance for 3 years as a volunteer and for ten as a staff member. This agency has guided me through my journey as a pretty clueless ally with no ties to the LGBTQ communities to my current role as the Director of the LGBTQ Academy (our education department). This has become my life’s work and I am so proud of this agency. I continue to be amazed at all that we are able to offer with such a tiny staff and a committed bunch of amazing volunteers. I have never worked with such passionate, generous and committed co-workers and volunteers in my life.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Gay Alliance's LGBTQ+ Academy is extraordinary! Their trainings are interactive, engaging, relevant and inclusive of people at all levels of LGBTQ+ awareness and knowledge. Their trainers create a safe environment to learn, ask questions and grow at your own pace. Whether you're a queer activist or someone confused by our "alphabet soup" of identities, you will learn something and feel valued and respected in the process.



Rating: 4

I didn't know much about the Alliance aside from the fact they existed, but once I began volunteering, I discovered the wide variety of programming offered, the outreach they perform to all members of the LGBTQ community, and the influence and impact they have on LGBTQ life in Rochester. Truly amazing!



Rating: 5

Rochester is very lucky to have the Gay Alliance. This is the first stop for anyone to learn more about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. Their training is nationally recognized and very much in demand, whether it is to create a 'Safe Zone' in your school or workplace, or learning how to correctly speak about issues that impact the LGBT community. You can't go wrong with the Gay Alliance training.