The Queer Philanthropy Circle (QPC) celebrated its first birthday on November 15. In just under a year, the nation's first LGBTQ+ centered giving circle has already achieved multiple accomplishments, from meeting their first matching gift to having three of their founding members—Mike Shumate, Jim Fielding, and David Jacobs—awarded the Indiana University Foundation Presidential Medallion.
The matching gift of $200K announced in January 2020, and according to Jessica Wootten, senior associate director, LGBTQ+ Philanthropy, was met with enthusiasm from IU alumni, friends, and members of the LGBTQ+ community who came together and oversubscribed the gift by eventually raising roughly $203K thanks to 80 individuals gifts. During this process, the QPC also saw an increase in membership at the active, partner, and associate levels.
“These early members have joined at a pivotal time for the circle,” Wootten said. “Through their hard work, they have built a sustainable foundation for years to come.”
Currently, QPC has 43 members including three ex-officio members. These early members have worked to pass by-laws, form committees, and create guiding principles for the QPC.
David Jacobs, chairman of the QPC, was quoted saying. “Thank you to our founding members for joining us at this crucial and exciting time. The momentum we are experiencing has been nothing short of amazing and we’re showing no signs of slowing down. How incredibly fortunate we are to persevere through pandemics, injustices, court battles, and wild fires. This is a reminder that when we focus our energy for good, together, we can uplift our LGBTQ+ siblings fearful and hurting, and send a message of hope for better days.
In response to the work of the QPC, the IUF awarded three founding members the IUF Presidential Medallion, an award for individuals whose extraordinary commitment, character, and counsel have advanced philanthropy and enabled Indiana University to excel in transforming lives, communities, and society.
Jim Fielding noted that during IU Foundation President & CEO Dan Smith’s presentation of the award, he was completely unaware he would be receiving an award and was “incredibly humbled.”
Fielding is well known for his non-profit and philanthropic efforts, providing numerous scholarships to IU undergraduate and graduate students.
“It is indescribable how it feels to give your time, talent, and treasure,” Fielding said. “When I meet people who have received a scholarship and thank me for giving, I say ‘no, thank you. Your energy, your intelligence inspires me to give more and keep giving.’ It’s amazing how small, random acts of kindness can make a difference in other people’s lives.”
“From the enthusiasm and momentum I’ve seen, the QPC members are extremely committed to IU’s queer population,” Wootten said. “They have been able to make wonderful progress in just under a year and the impact is already being felt around the university.”