Metro Weekly

Brother, Help Thyself is accepting applications for grants and awards

Applications for grants and non-grant awards will be accepted through Aug. 31

Recipients at BHT’s 2017 Grant Awards Ceremony.

Brother, Help Thyself has begun accepting applications for grants and other awards, and will continue to accept them until 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 31.

Each year, BHT, a local organization designed to support nonprofits dealing with the LGBTQ community and groups affected by HIV, doles out thousands of dollars in grants to help those smaller nonprofits carry out their mission or undertake special projects. To qualify for consideration for a grant, an organization’s 2017 gross revenue must have been below $2 million.

BHT’s awards grants from three funds: the Richard Van Der Karr Memorial Fund, which explicitly benefits programs related to HIV/AIDS services, prevention, or education; the Medford Fund, which is used for the purchase of tangible capital goods, such as computers, refrigerators, and air conditioners, that will be used in association with a nonprofit’s mission of serving LGBTQ or HIV/AIDS communities; and the General Fund, for all other programs that don’t meet the requirements of the Van Der Karr or Medford Funds, such as athletic, cultural, educational, health, historic, or social programs.

Once an application is accepted and a nonprofit has been designated as “qualified,” grant applicants will be invited to grant hearings in the fall. At these hearings, the nonprofit will make its best case for why they should be considered for a grant, how much money they need, what it will be used for, and how the infusion of cash will benefit the larger LGBTQ or HIV communities in D.C. or Baltimore.

BHT board members will then deliberate and make final decisions throughout the fall before notifying grant recipients in early December. The grants will be awarded at a reception in early 2019 in Baltimore, Md.

BHT has awarded 1,098 grants totaling more than $3.1 million to 194 nonprofits in both Baltimore and D.C. since BHT was founded in 1978.

This year, BHT will also be awarding two non-grant awards of $2,500 to organizations that specifically serve LGBTQ youth, from the Billy McCoy Thompson, Jr. Memorial Fund. The application process is the same as for grants. Additional information on requirements for the Thompson awards will be announced by the end of July.

“We encourage those who intend to apply for a BHT grant this year to do so early,” BHT President Andrew McCarty said in a statement. “While we understand everyone is busy serving the needs of our community, waiting until the last couple hours of our cycle to hit that send button can jeopardize your application’s being accepted, particularly if the application is not complete or needs clarification, or if technical issues arise.  We look forward to receiving and reviewing the many great programs and services that our grantees always present.”

To apply for a grant, or for more information about Brother, Help Thyself, visit

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at

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