How to Apply for Grants

The OPEN GATE is a nonprofit organization formed in 1987 to provide funding for activities at Harvard University that benefit gay and lesbian students, faculty, staff, and alumni.


The OPEN GATE's goals are:

  • to encourage scholarship, research, and educational activities in the field of sexual orientation, including the funding of research projects and conferences
  • to support student, faculty and employee groups that further a climate of open discussion on issues related to sexual orientation
  • to recognize distinguished contribution in the field of sexual orientation through awards, memorials, cultural events, and related activities

$100 to $1,000 for:

  • Student groups, both for their operating expenses and special projects
  • Publications originated by student groups or Harvard affiliates
  • Undergraduate research expenses
  • Travel, other expenses, or honoraria for speakers on scholarly, scientific, or cultural topics
  • Performances, generally by students or nonprofessionals affiliated with Harvard
  • Training or educational sessions on issues related to sexual orientation

$500 to $2,500 for:

  • Graduate or faculty research expenses (not salaries)
  • Film series

$2,000 to $5,000 for:

  • Symposia on legal, political, medical, and cultural subjects
  • Conferences on topics related to sexuality
  • The undergraduate QSA Resource Center for operating expenses

 Applications should be submitted by e-mail to and should provide the following information:

  • In the subject line: “FUNDING REQUEST FOR (brief title)
  • Name, address, telephone and e-mail address of group or individual applying
  • Contact person
  • Detailed description of activities to be funded
  • Statement of how the proposed activity advances the purposes of the Open Gate
  • The name(s) of qualified reviewer(s), such as thesis advisors, faculty sponsors, or other knowledgeable people
  • Budget of income and expenses
  • Amount of funding requested from the Open Gate and the amount expected to be raised by other means
  • Date funds are needed
  • To whom the check should be made out and the address to which it should be sent

Applicants can expect acknowledgment of a request within 48 hours; a longer delay warrants an inquiry as to whether the application has been received. Applicants should allow approximately one month for review and approval of applications, which are reviewed by the board of directors of The Open Gate. The review process may include requests for more information or for supporting recommendations from independent sources. In an emergency, small grants can receive expedited approval. The Open Gate does not ordinarily approve applications for retroactive funding and does not give grants that are intended primarily to provide refreshments for social events or meetings.

Applicants are encouraged to discuss their plans on a preliminary basis prior to submitting applications. Current members of the board of directors of The Open Gate are