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 LGBTQ+ students, faculty, staff, and alums. We support a wide variety of requests, all in furtherance of scholarship, understanding, or celebration, in the fields of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.


The OPEN GATE's goals are:

  • to encourage scholarship, research, and educational activities, including the funding of research projects and conferences
  • to support student, faculty and employee groups that further a climate of open discussion on LGBTQ+ issues
  • to recognize contributions through awards, memorials, cultural events, and related activities
  • to promote broader understanding and discourse on campus by funding the invitation of outside speakers, performers, and panels


While we consider any and all requests, here are some guidelines to consider:

$100 to $1,500 for:

  • Undergraduate research expenses
  • Student groups, both for their operating expenses and special projects
  • Performances, generally by students or nonprofessionals affiliated with Harvard
  • Training or educational sessions

$100 to $2,000 for:

  • Travel to academic conferences or leadership training
    • Preference is given to those presenting a paper or poster session, or serving on a panel
    • Attendance-only participation will be considered if the aim is to bring shareable learnings back to Harvard
    • In all cases, a letter of recommendation is required from a faculty advisor

‚Äč$500 to $2,500 for:

  • Publications originated by student groups or Harvard affiliates
  • Graduate or faculty research expenses (not salaries)
  • Film series
  • Honoraria of up to $1,000 for speakers on scholarly, scientific, or cultural topics, plus reasonable expenses for travel, lodging and meals

$2,000 to $10,000 for:

  • Symposia on legal, political, medical, and cultural subjects
  • Hosting conferences on LGBTQ+ related topics

Additionally, you may download a list of recently approved grants at this link:  2023 Open Gate Grant List.  


 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
    • Applicant should request a recommendation from a qualified reviewer, to be sent by e-mail to the same address 
  • 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 and supporting recommendations, 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