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2023 Grant Funding

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Pony Barnes Foundation is pleased to announce the opening of the application period for grant funding. Funding is available through the generosity of our late co-founder, Virginia ‘Pony’ Barnes (1924 - 2020), as well as through individual donations from our PBF community.

We award funding to organizations to achieve me
asurable impact in providing camp experiences that improve the lives of LGBTQ+ youth and their families. Grants are available through a competitive process.



Eligible organizations are:

  • Based within California

  • An established camp with 3+ years in operation

  • A registered 501c3 organization in good standing across state and federal entities

    • Note: Applicants must ensure they are in good standing with California’s Attorney General’s Office, Secretary of State, Franchise Tax Board, and the IRS. Applications who are out of compliance with any of these entities will not be considered.

  • Aligned with PBF’s organizational values

  • Priority will be given to camps who have ACA accreditation.

  • Funding must be used in 2024.


Pony Barnes Foundation will fund proposals that fall within one of the grant program areas: The Dr. Barnes Learning & Leadership Fund and The Rainbow Family Camp Fund. Each funding opportunity possesses its own objectives & requirements. Read below before applying.

Applicants must complete the online application by September 22nd, which includes project details, a budget outline, a timeline of key project milestones & metrics, and an upload of your IRS determination letter indicating your current nonprofit status.

Special Note: Grant categories have changed from last year. Read descriptions below for more information.

Grant requests should focus on activities and cannot be used solely for material items. Funding requests should directly address grant objectives with funds primarily allocated towards programs, initiatives, and activities.

Collaborations with local LGBTQ+ organizations, educational institutions, and community groups are encouraged to enhance the impact and reach of the funded initiatives.

The grant application period begins July 24th and applications are due no later than September 22nd. Funding will be announced and awarded to successful applicants during November 2023.

Organizations will be notified of any decision via email. All funding decisions are final and will be awarded before December 31st, 2023. If an organization is approved, grant checks will be mailed directly to the recipient’s address.

Should organizations receive funding, they will be expected to provide quarterly updates to Pony Barnes Foundation outlining financial overview, program implementation updates (key milestones achieved, etc.), outcomes, and more. Reporting details will be provided to recipients in tandem with their award. PBF will also list grant recipients via the PBF website, newsletter, and other forms of organization communication. 

For additional questions about the application process, contact


The Dr. Barnes Learning & Leadership Fund

Pony Barnes Foundation carries on the legacy of Dr. Virginia Barnes whose life’s work inspired youth and their families to reach new levels of personal potential and kindle their desire to engage in lifelong learning.

In line with her vision, this Dr. Barnes Learning & Leadership Fund aims to empower camp directors, staff, and campers through fostering leadership skills, enhancing understanding around LGBTQ+ concepts, and implementing innovative strategies to make camp a place of community, connections, and belonging for LGBTQ+ youth and their families.

Click here to learn more.

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The Rainbow Family Camp Fund

This fund is dedicated to providing more opportunities for LGBTQ+ youth and families to experience the magic of family camp. Eligible camps must offer or plan to use funding to offer a family camp program serving LGBTQ+ families. 

Click to learn more. 

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