Thank you for making 2012 our most fantastic year yet! Here are some highlights of the past year to get you excited for the potential of 2013, our fourth year engaging and mobilizing the LGBTQ community to advance social and environmental sustainability. Excited? Then be sure to connect, donate, and/or volunteer!
April of 2012 was our largest Earth Gay yet, with over 300 volunteer shifts cleaning the shores and trails of Lake Union in Seattle, restoring a vital alternative transportation link. We also planted a rooftop garden for those in need, coordinated bike parking at Seattle Pride, spearheaded beach cleanup in Ocean Shores, WA as part of International Coastal Cleanup Day, and more. For 2013 OUT4S is expanding the number of volunteer projects in and beyond Seattle.
Coming Out Local was a huge success for us this year. We brought together 100 champions of local economy and diversity for a night of great food and drinks, an auction, and speakers including Jill Bamburg and Senator Ed Murray. We also gathered to launch the new logo, tour alternative energy with Seattle Steam, and tour OUT4S friend Thor Peterson’s deep green home remodel. In 2013 look for many ways to connect socially in Seattle (and soon beyond).
We’ve loved the interaction on our growing Facebook and Twitter presence, with articles shared and updates posted. In addition in 2012 we co-presented the panel Gay Rights Are Human Rights, and kicked off our Sustainability and Society Series (SaSS) Salon’s with Preservation of LGBT Places. Not a bad start, and in 2013 we’ll have even more SaSS including salons, socials, and a summit or symposium!
Locally OUT4S championed the trail around Lake Union with our Love the Lake campaign and it’s just getting started. Nationally, we’re building connections. In 2012 OUT4S President Gerod Rody spoke on behalf of OUT for Sustainability at the EPA in Region 9 (San Fransisco) and 10 (Seattle), and was on the sustainability panel at the Reaching Out MBA Conference. And potential for even great activity is growing through conversations with brilliant individuals around the country. It’s exciting!
In 2012 we relaunched our branding and website. This major project has built a solid platform and voice for the LGBTQ sustainability movement. We also grew the OUT4S board this year, adding Matt Landers and John Carroll to our group. They were there as we reflected on the year and planned for the future at our annual retreat. 2013 marks the fifth year since we started planning OUT4S. We’re taking this year to look at past success and get more specific on our target future impact.
In 2012, after two years of working and waiting, the IRS granted our nonprofit 501(c)3 Status! This big step will help us grow, opening up a great host of funding opportunities to take us to the next level of impact. Related, we again doubled our revenue from 2011, building our cash reserves to expand new projects. Our partners have played such a huge part in making this possible – thank you! We are a true community and so grateful for all your contributions. Happy 2013!!