Raquel Evita Saraswati, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations
As the year comes to a close, we at Family Equality are taking a moment to reflect on the many supporters who have made our work possible. From individuals to grantmakers and corporate sponsors, Family Equality’s work to advance legal and lived equality wouldn’t be possible without the support and sincere commitment of so many.
Our National Corporate Sponsors are an important part of the Family Equality story. Some of them have been with us for years, others have joined us more recently: but all of them play a unique role in supporting LGBTQ+ families and those who seek to form them.
This year, Family Equality introduced new medal-based levels to recognize our National Corporate Sponsors. Some of our longest supporters stand apart, however, and their legacy with us predates and supersedes these levels. They include:
Growing Generations is a world-class surrogacy and egg donation agency. Growing Generations has done so much to build and strengthen both Family Equality and the community of LGBTQ+ parents nationwide. Simply put, we would not be where we are today without their generous and steadfast support. We are especially grateful to Dr. Kim Bergman (also a 2019 Night at the Pier Honoree), and Family Equality board member Erica Horton.
International Reproductive Law Group – legal experts in the field of surrogacy and egg donation, IRLG has been at the forefront of the surrogacy and egg donation legal field for almost two decades. We are especially grateful to Family Equality emeritus board member Will Halm.
The Nederlander Organization is an extraordinary institution in American entertainment; a legacy on and off Broadway and a leader in theatre and the performing arts. With over 50 years, more than 100 Broadway shows and countless awards and contributions to a better world, we remain in awe of the support we receive from The Nederlander Organization. We give special thanks and our deepest affection to Nick Scandalios, emeritus board member, Night at the Pier host committee member, Tony-award winner, beloved dad, and husband to the late Ric Swezey. The Ric Swezey Memorial Fund alone has raised over $500,000 for Family Equality’s storytelling work; and Nederlander’s support of Family Equality has done so much to make our work possible.
California Cryobank joins Family Equality in celebrating its 40th year in helping to make dreams possible. As a worldwide leader in donor sperm, cryopreservation and other services relied on by many in our community, California Cryobank has been integral to the family formation work Family Equality does. Through our joint panels on building families with donor sperm, to the generous guidance California Cryobank offers to so many of our prospective families – we are thrilled to have California Cryobank with us for years to come. For their sincere and tireless commitment to supporting LGBTQ+ families and those who seek to form them, we named California Cryobank an honoree at our 2019 Los Angeles Impact Awards.
International Fertility Law Group specializes in helping clients navigate the exciting but often intimidating world of assisted reproductive technology (ART). IFLG’s global network of legal professionals guides parents and intended parents through processes like second parent adoption, navigating surrogacy law, understanding parental rights, and so much more. Richard Vaughn, founder of IFLG, is an emeritus board member of Family Equality, a dedicated supporter and a devoted dad – along with his husband Tommy Woelfel.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is an international law firm with decades of experience, over 1,400 attorneys around the world, and an impressive record of supporting its clients in hundreds of practice areas. Every day, Family Equality counts itself as deeply blessed to have the pro-bono support of BCLP, which has made so much of our groundbreaking policy work not only possible – but wildly successful. A 2015 Night at the Pier honoree, Bryan Cave was instrumental in the creation of Family Equality’s 2013 Voices of the Children Amicus Brief to which Justice Anthony Kennedy referred during oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court in 2013 on California’s Proposition 8; and in the brief submitted to the Supreme Court which helped to secure marriage equality nationwide. For ten years, BCLP has been an essential part of the work we do – and we are deeply grateful for their incomparable expertise and deep generosity.
Clockwork is a digital services agency that has made sharing our mission and work possible! By creating our website and supporting us in the optimization of our web content, Clockwork has done so much to support LGBTQ+ families and those who seek to form them. Nancy Lyons, Clockwork’s owner and CEO – also serves as the Chair Emeritus of Family Equality’s board of directors. She and her wife Laura are moms to 13-year old Merrick, and theirs is one of the most extraordinary stories of devotion, love and the power of indefatigable resilience in the creation of a beautiful family.
Playbillis a long-time supporter of Family Equality – and a legendary institution in the world of Broadway (did you know? The first Playbill was printed in 1884!). It is such a tremendous honor to have the support of our extraordinary friends at Playbill, who support our events and share our message in the over four million issues of Playbill that find their way to theatergoers.
CCRM is an industry pioneer in fertility science, research and advancement – and a new supporter of Family Equality in 2019. We introduced you to them back in October, and continue to be grateful for their generous support and enthusiasm for helping LGBTQ+ build loving families.
Johnson & Johnson – the household name responsible for items our families need and use all the time, like Band-Aids, baby shampoo, Tylenol, and so much more – is one of Family Equality’s star supporters. We honored Johnson & Johnson Care with Pride at our 2018 Los Angeles Impact Awards, and continue to be so grateful for their continued support. For those who attend Family Week, the largest gathering of LGBTQ+ families in the world, you’ll recognize Johnson & Johnson as one of the brands that have provided generous and swag and fun activities to our families every year!
HBO, a subsidiary of WarnerMedia, has been a huge part of Family Equality’s success over the years. With HBO’s generous support, we have been able to expand our Family Week programming (with the always jam-packed HBO Kid’s Camp, and so much more), and advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families. It is a point of pride and love for us to have the support of HBO. We are especially grateful to Dennis Williams, SVP of corporate social responsibility for WarnerMedia, who has championed Family Equality as a gay dad and hero to LGBTQ+ and all marginalized people. It was an honor to share Dennis and his son Élan’s story for the first time at Night at the Pier 2019. To meet Dennis and his son, click here.
Barry’s Bootcamp has equality at the heart of its origin story – and that legacy continues under the leadership of CEO Joey Gonzalez, gay dad and board member of Family Equality. Along with their annual support, Barry’s Bootcamp has hosted classes benefitting Family Equality, and spread awareness year-round. Thanks to the support of Barry’s Bootcamp, we’ve been able to support so many more LGBTQ+ families and future families.
Target’s mission is to bring joy to all families – and they certainly live that out in their generous support of Family Equality. As one of our most dedicated supporters, Target has been instrumental in helping us to grow our programs and create meaningful experiences for LGBTQ+ families, as well as successful galas in New York City and Los Angeles. Target’s support has been key to our success, and their volunteer team for Night at the Pier has become an integral part of that special event.
RMA-IVI is a global leader in assisted reproductive technology. RMA-IVI became a national corporate sponsor of ours in 2019, demonstrating a sincere, passionate commitment to supporting LGBTQ+ family formation. RMA-IVI was among the first to have several of its clinics participate in our new Open Door Professional Training Program, which over 1,500 providers have now completed. We are grateful for RMA-IVI’s support and excited for what is to come.
EMD Serono is a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Germany, and a division of Merck focused on biopharmaceuticals. EMD Serono pioneered some of the first fertility treatments available, and continues to improve lives in multiple areas of medicine. We are thankful to Family Equality board member Don Hribek, EMD Serono’s Head of Patient Program Operations, U.S. Patient Access, Reimbursement and Support, for bringing his 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry to our work.
Carrot Fertility helps employers design comprehensive, innovative, and accessible fertility coverage plans for their employees. This is especially helpful for small businesses and organizations, and a wonderful service for our community.
Nature’s Bounty creates products to boost the wellness and health of our families, and we were delighted to have them as a national corporate sponsor this year!
Christopher Street Financial handles life and wealth management for the LGBTQ+ community – and has done so since 1981. CSF is an important part of the Family Equality Family – from providing us with office space to supporting our programming, we are grateful to them for their support and friendship.
Family Equality is grateful to have the pro-bono support of several communications partners, who support our important work by lending their talents, time and guidance. With their help, we’ve been able to refine and share our message further than ever before. These partners include:
Interactive Strategies is a full-service web design agency and digital marketing firm based in Washington D.C. with a long list of non-profit and for-profit clients. Family Equality is grateful to receive pro-bono support from the team at Interactive Strategies, who provide strategic guidance around digital marketing, advertising campaign management, and search engine optimization. We look forward to deepening this relationship in 2020!
Hail Mary PR: Family Equality teamed up with Minneapolis-based agency Hail Mary PR in 2019, taking advantage of founder Mary Clare Jensen’s generous offer of pro-bono media relations support in 2020. We’re energized by the Hail Mary team’s creative approach to media strategy and story pitching, and we’re excited to share more stories about LGBTQ+ families in 2020 with their support.
Friend of a Friend PR is an influencer relations boutique agency focused on building meaningful and impactful relationships between brands and influencers. Family Equality is delighted to accept founder Christine Scherping’s offer of pro-bono support in 2020 as we deepen our relationships with those that can serve as ambassadors for our work with LGBTQ+ families, ensuring our resources reach as wide an audience as possible.
Corporations have their pick of so many worthy causes to support. We don’t take the fact that they’ve chosen to support us for granted. We are grateful to these national corporate sponsors for helping to make our work possible – and are excited to continue working with them in the year to come!
In the words of our CEO, The Rev. Stan J. Sloan – “Tenacity! Courage! Hope!”