Tennessee Equality Project Foundation
PO Box 330895
Nashville TN 37203
Mission Statement
The Tennessee Equality Project Foundation strives to eliminate prejudice and discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons by promoting and advocating equality through education, collaboration and victim advocacy.
 
 
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Chris Sanders
Board Chair Ms. Ginger Leonard
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 2005
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
 
 
Projected Expenses $82,000.00
Projected Annual Revenue $82,000.00 (2017)
Statements
Mission
The Tennessee Equality Project Foundation strives to eliminate prejudice and discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons by promoting and advocating equality through education, collaboration and victim advocacy.
 
 
Background
Tennessee Equality Project Foundation and the Tennessee Equality Project are Tennessee's leading organizations promoting the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender equality on a state and local level. 
 
Founded in 2005, the TEP Foundation offers educational and advocacy programming.  We are organized by a board, executive director, and regional committees that give us a presence throughout the state.
Impact
Accomplishments from the past year
 
1. We successfully launched Boro Pride in Murfreesboro in 2016.  This LGBT Pride celebration welcomed over 800 guests to the town square for a celebration.  2017 saw the return of the event with over 2000 guests.
2. Our program Tennessee Equality Voice saw us represented in over 150 media articles or stories over the last year, shaping a media message for equality and inclusion in Tennessee.
3. We launched the TEP Williamson County Committee to extend our service in Middle Tennessee.
 
Goals
1. In Middle Tennessee, we will launch new TEP committees in Montgomery County, Franklin County area, and Sumner County.
2. We will include more advocacy training sessions around Middle Tennessee, especially for Nashville and Murfreesboro.
3. We will add media training workshops for Sumner County, Davidson County, Franklin County area, Montgomery County, and Williamson County.
 
 
 
Needs

1.  Volunteers for administrative and clerical tasks in Nashville so the executive director can spend more time on programming.

2.  Volunteers to help develop more advocacy training offerings.

3. Middle Tennessee businesses to join Tennessee Open For Business--a program at no cost to the business that shows they support the principles of equality

4. Donors who can provide sustaining financial support to our efforts.

5. Collaboration with local governments, businesses, and nonprofits seeking diversity training focused on the LGBT community.
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer Checks made out to the Tennessee Equality Project Foundation may be sent to P.O. Box 330895.  Volunteers in the Nashville area, the Murfreesboro area, Gallatin area, the Franklin area or the Clarksville area may contact us at info@tnep.org to find out how you can help.  A primary way of volunteering in Rutherford County is to help with Boro Pride.   Also in the Nashville area, volunteers can help with clerical responsibilities in our office located at OutCentral on Church St.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy / Lesbian/Gay Rights
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Davidson
TN
TN - Rutherford
TN - Montgomery
TN - Sumner
TN - Williamson
TN - Franklin
The TEP Foundation serves the entire state of Tennessee.  In Middle TN, we work primarily in Rutherford County, Sumner County, Williamson County, Metro Nashville, Franklin County, and Montgomery County.
CEO Statement

To have a staff of one full-time person requires great volunteers in order achieve the TEP Foundation's goals. Volunteers are making a real difference for equality as leaders in our regional committees, as board and advisory council members, and as event managers.

Despite low staffing, we have delivered programs that don't exist anywhere else in the country like Tennessee Ready for Marriage on DAY ONE. We are also adapting programs used in other states to the Tennessee setting such as Tennessee Open For Business that identify safe spaces for our community.

The TEP Foundation is for everyone--whether you're gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or any ally. We have a volunteer role that will use your skills and passions to advance equality in a state that desperately needs it.

Programs
Description The TEP Foundation provides training sessions that give citizens the tools to understand the basics of how state and local government work, how bills become law, and how they can effectively communicate with their lawmakers in person, on the phone, or through correspondence.  These seminars have been offered in Nashville, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, and Cookeville in Middle Tennessee as well as cities in East and West Tennessee.
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Lesbian & Gay Rights
Population Served Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered, General/Unspecified,
Short Term Success Short-term success is measured by the number of individuals equipped to engage in the process of advocating for themselves with elected officials.
Long term Success Long-term success of the program is measured in a change in the legislative conversation about equality issues.
Description
The TEP Foundation offers a one-day diversity training session focused on understanding the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.  Sessions are offered to government departments, non-profit organizations, and businesses.  In addition, the TEP Foundation periodically offers a two-day train-the-trainer session that equips individuals to become a certified diversity trainer.
 
We also have launched an initiative called Tennessee Open For Business for area companies that commit to the principles of equality and inclusion.  It is designed to encourage more workplaces to treat their gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees and customers equally.
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Lesbian & Gay Rights
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short Term Success Short-term success is measured by the number of trained facilitators equipped to offer diversity training as well as a change in the attitudes of individuals who participate in diversity training sessions.
Long term Success Long-term success is measured by a change in the climate of a particular workplace where the diversity training is offered.  We seek to foster greater understanding and acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in Middle TN workplaces.  It is also measured in terms of the number of companies signing up for Equality Means Business.
Description The TEP Foundation fields hundreds of media requests throughout the year on issues such as marriage equality, safe schools, workplace equality, hate crimes, etc.  The TEP Foundation seeks to promote accurate information about Tennessee's gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community and seeks to shape a message around the values of equality and inclusion as part of the public discussion.  In addition, the TEP Foundation offers training sessions to prepare citizens to engage the media around equality issues.  These training sessions have been offered in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Clarksville, and Cookeville in Middle Tennessee, as well as cities in East and West Tennessee.
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Lesbian & Gay Rights
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short Term Success Short-term success is measured in the number of media calls handled in which the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community is able to define itself, provide accurate information, and articulate our own goals and aspirations.  Short-term success is also measured by the numbers of individuals trained to engage the media competently with respect to equality issues.
Long term Success The long-term success of the program is measured in the decline in negative stereotypes about the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community in the mainstream media as well as media pieces helping shape the understanding of the "moveable middle" or those individuals who have not yet made up their minds fully about equality issues.
Program Success Monitored By Our monthly media analysis report would be a way to monitor this success.
Examples of Program Success In 2009 and 2011, we were able to overcome the common "churches vs. gay people" theme in the media by aligning congregations and faith leaders with the aims of the 2009 and 2011 Metro non-discrimination ordinances and getting clergy and congregations to speak out in support of the values of equality and inclusion.  Those efforts reshaped the media narrative.
Description The TEP Foundation monitors state and local public policy that affects the LGBT community and we make the public aware of relevant policy implications.
Category
Population Served , ,
CEO Comments Execution of programs with only one full-time employee can be a challenge.  Contract staff and volunteers have been helpful in meeting the need.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Ginger Leonard
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term July 2017 to June 2018
Email breckrider1@gmail.com
Board Members
NameAffiliationStatus
Ms. Virginia Awkward Memphis Police DepartmentVoting
Ms. Amanda Bolton Ray Rico FreelanceVoting
Mr. Jonathan Cole Voting
Mr. Brian Copeland Voting
Mr. Ryan Ellis State of TennesseeVoting
Ms. Carla Fenswick Waller LansdenVoting
Dr. Leticia Flores University of Tennessee-KnoxvilleVoting
Mr. Brendon Holloway University of MichiganVoting
Mr. Pablo Juarez Vanderbilt UniversityVoting
Ms. Odessa Kelly Voting
Mr. Jeff Kirwan Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Virginia Leonard Voting
Ms. Carla Lewis Community Volunteer
Dr Lois Prislovsky Voting
Mr. Dale Reifschneider Voting
Mr. Kal Rocket Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Aurora Sexton Community VolunteerVoting
Mr. HG Stovall Voting
Mr. Nathan Travis Voting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 3
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 10
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 73%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 91%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 91%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Finance
CEO Comments The new board has taken an active role in shaping the job description and expectations for the permanent executive director and they are actively working with the executive director in seeking fundraising for the organization.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Chris Sanders
Term Start July 2013
Email chris@tnequalityproject.com
Experience
Founding board member of Tennessee Equality Project and Tennessee Equality Project Foundation.  Former chairman of the board and president of the Tennessee Equality Project (July 2006-June 2010 and July 2012-July 2013). Former president of the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce.  Current advisory board member of the New Leaders Council Nashville.  Member of the Mayor's Council on Gender Equity.
 
Extensive experience with media relations for the Tennessee Equality Project including handling media calls, writing op-eds, and training citizens in basic media relations.
 
Extensive social media experience, having grown the TEP Facebook page to the largest progressive advocacy page in Tennessee.  
 
Extensive experience with grassroots organizing around issues such as workplace equality in Tennessee cities and safe schools issues at the state level.  
 
Extensive experience with event management including fundraising events, rallies related to issues, and training sessions.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Staff
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 200
Contractors 1
Retention Rate 100%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Under Development
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 3
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? Under Development
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? No
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Power of InclusionNashville CABLE2011
BASU Legacy AwardsBrothers United Network, Inc.2017
 
 
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2017
Projected Revenue $82,000.00
Projected Expenses $82,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$75,340$58,717$44,085
Administration Expense$6,063$9,361$7,937
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.080.751.13
Program Expense/Total Expenses93%86%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$30,413$23,768$44,583
Current Assets$30,413$23,768$44,583
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$1,982$1,699$5,195
Total Net Assets$28,431$22,069$39,388
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities15.3413.998.58
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, Gifts and Grants $87,765Contributions, Gifts and Grants $50,759Contributions, Gifts & Grants $58,644
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Investment Income $2
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires June 2018
Solicitations Permit
TEP Foundation Solicitation Permit
Organizational Budgets and Other Documents
TEP Foundation 2017 Budget2017
TEPFoundationBudget20162016
Organization Comments Individual support has been growing for the TEP Foundation.  Foundation and corporate support are areas of growth for the organization.  The Development Committee is working on a diversifying our sources of revenue. We are exploring a contract with a fundraiser in 2018.
GivingMatters.com Financial Comments Financial figures taken from Form 990.
Form 990 was prepared by Carson & McKinney, CPAs, PLLC.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 11/6/17.
Nonprofit Tennessee Equality Project Foundation
Address PO Box 330895
Nashville, TN 37203
Primary Phone (615) 390-5252
Contact Email info@tnep.org
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Chris Sanders
Board Chair Ms. Ginger Leonard
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Year of Incorporation 2005

Related Information

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender

Negative, prejudicial public attitudes are the root cause of many social and legal struggles experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Middle Tennessee and across the country. These struggles can range from marital and family rights issues to cases of employment and housing discrimination. Community prejudice likewise gives rise to violence, school bullying, and hate crimes. Resources are needed not only to meet the unique needs of LGBT persons, but also to support important work designed to change the harmful attitudes that encourage and maintain damaging social attitudes and public policies.