Family Equality Council looks ahead: Possible Consolidation & Strategic Planning

Dear Family Equality Council Supporters,

I am writing to share exciting news; with your help and input we
are nearing the end of our strategic planning process. I wanted you
to be the first hear about Family Equality Council’s new vision
for our future together.


In August 2007 the Family Equality Council began a strategic
planning process to re-envision our work in the next 5 years. No
one else knows your families like you do; because of this, we knew
that your input would be invaluable in setting our organizational
goals and objectives. To ensure that your voices were heard, we set
up focus groups, on-line surveys, personal interviews and a working
group of LGBTQ current and prospective parents, donors,
collaborators, faith leaders and other stakeholders.

We were thrilled by your responsiveness. Altogether, 553 of you
responded to our online survey. Individuals from a variety of
different sectors were personally interviewed and we conducted
three focus group sessions. The result was rich input for our
strategic planning working committee (called the Catalyst
Committee) to examine and incorporate in its planning.

The Catalyst Committee, was formed in October 2007. Members of the
Catalyst Committee were carefully selected to give voice to the
diversity of Family Equality Council members. We are grateful to
the hardworking individuals of the Catalyst Committee and I thank
them for their service to the organization:

  • Alan Bernstein, a gay single father of three children
  • Terry Boggis, Director of the Center Kids program at the NYC
    LGBT Center
  • Patrick Council, a gay father of two children
  • Fran Lichtman, a lesbian mom and a Family Equality Council
    Board member
  • Rob Keeling, a gay father and a Family Equality Council Board
  • Jamie Marks, gay father of twins
  • Kara Suffredini, the state legislative director at the National
    Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
  • Ken Mosesian, former Development Director of Family Equality
    Council, and Executive Director of American Fertility

Through their conversations with members, focus groups, online
survey, data collection and analysis – the Catalyst Committee has
identified several key areas of importance to you. This is what you
told us was of greatest importance to your families:

  1. Community & Connection—You articulated a
    desire to connect in community and to share best practices in
    parenting, dealing with discrimination and supporting our
  2. Services for All Points of Life—You, our
    powerful and passionate supporters, expressed the need to see a
    continuum of services, support and advocacy at every phase of your
    lives as LGBTQ families.
  3. Raising Family Voices—You want us to
    continue expanding our role as the leading voice and advocate for
    our families in the national LGBTQ movement We value your support
    and will continue to expand into all 50 states so that we will have
    more voices guiding us in the future. With your help we will ensure
    that all families can access our help, support, information, and
    the collective power of our community in order to create and
    maintain strong and healthy families.


Rainbow Families is one of the country’s strongest regional LGBT
parent organizations with over 2,000 members, three full time staff
and an annual budget of approximately $350,000. In addition,
Rainbow Families is well known for it annual LGBT parenting
conference with over 1,000 attendees. As a regional organization,
Rainbow Families was looking for a partner to help sustain their
local infrastructure and office support, while helping them grow
the scope and impact of their programming. With this in mind,
Family Equality Council was invited to participate in conversations
about our organizations joining together.

Family Equality Council recognized this potential consolidation as
an opportunity to have a stronger presence in the Midwest, to help
expand the reach and impact of Rainbow Families’ important work,
to collaborate with other regional organizations serving LGBTQ
families and to pilot new and innovative programming at the local
level. We know that there is much to learn from Rainbow Families’
broad volunteer support network and robust community involvement.
We are very excited to be engaging in this important discussion
regarding our two organizations and we will continue to keep you
all appraised of future developments. We hope to have a formal
announcement in mid-April.


Our new strategic plan will be announced in May. Over the next
couple months the Catalyst Committee, Board and Staff will be hard
at work putting this plan into action and ultimately laying the
foundation necessary to carry the organization into the future so
we can continue to ensure that all loving families are recognized,
respected, protected and celebrated.

As always, we welcome your feedback and input. Please do not
hesitate to send us your thoughts via email to