Making an investment in tomorrow, today...

Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund

It has been more than 25 years since the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock established The Long Island Unitarian Universalist Fund (LIUUF), a donor-advised fund, at the Long Island Community Foundation (LICF). Guided by an advisory committee who represent Unitarian Universalist congregations throughout Long Island, the LIUUF has awarded millions of dollars to nonprofits in Nassau and Suffolk counties to advance grassroots progressive social change. Often taking bold leadership, LIUUF has supported projects that build power among marginalized groups, advocate for policies and practices that level the playing field and make Long Island a more equitable and peaceful place for all of its residents.

“The LIUUF is committed to strengthening social justice on Long Island by using the power and resources of philanthropy,” explains Sol Marie Alfonso Jones, LICF senior program officer managing the Fund. “It opens pathways to civic participation among the region’s most vulnerable.”

 Focus Areas:

  • Immigrant Rights
  • Community Organizing  
  • GLBT Advocacy
  • Educational Equity
  • Racial Equity/Justice
  • Legal/Leg Advocacy
  • Leadership Development 
  • Environmental Justice
  • Women's Rights

Some of the goals of LIUUF grants include protecting the civil and human rights of people of color, immigrants, women, GLBT individuals, and disadvantaged people; amplifying the voices of and providing concrete benefits to vulnerable populations; promoting an inclusive vision of social, economic, and environmental justice; and ensuring that the people most affected by injustice are involved in decision-making and action for all of the above.

   As of December 2019  

Number of grants: 570

Total awarded: $6,273,150

Average grant: $20,000


Advisors use these seven Unitarian Universalist principles to guide LIUUF grantmaking decisions:

  1. A belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  2. Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement of spiritual growth;
  4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process;
  6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.


LIUUF Grantmaking Impact

Building the power of immigrants on Long Island


  • Helped to establish the Long Island Immigrant Alliance and Long Island WINS.
  • Helped to build pathways to citizenship.
  • Initiated the LI Haitian Support Funders Collaborative - to address the needs of the local Haitian communities affected by the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.
  • Advanced Language Access Executive Orders in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
  • Advanced Law Enforcement Reforms.


Protecting and advocating for the civil and human rights of the LGBTQ community


  • Created Gay Straight Alliances in over 120 Long Island Schools.
  • Organized the Nation's first suburban gay prom.
  • Established the Nation's first PTA to focus on issues facing LGBT students.
  • Building public awareness and support of transgender and gender non-conforming community.



Promoting racial justice




  • Advocated for the passage of housing laws in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
  • Facilitated racial equity training and student leadership programs in numerous school districts.
  • Created a racial equity council of black community leaders to advance policies and systemic changes to close racial equity gaps.
  • Released 'The Equity Profile of Long Island', a groundbreaking report of the state of racial disparities on the Island.


Change not Charity

Many charitable people respond to people in need, giving, for example, to nonprofits that help the homeless and the hungry. The LIUUF supports those who deal with the underlying causes of deep-rooted social problems and work to change these conditions. The power that social change organizations bring to the table is their ability to organize, to educate and to mobilize.

“The LIUUF has had an important impact on Long Island nonprofits,” said Marian Russo, Chair of the LIUUF Advisory Committee. “Monies have been granted to grassroots groups, which are battling injustices every day that keeps people from having equal access to resources. This social justice grantmaking brings UU principles to life.” 

LIUU Advisors and Their Congregations 

  • Marian Russo, Chair - Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Great South Bay - Sayville
  • Linda Anderson, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook
  • Ilene Corina, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Freeport/South Nassau
  • David Holstein, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork
  • James Monnier, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Huntington
  • Terry Bain, Veatch Partner - Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock
  • Mark Potter, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork
Watch this inspiring video, which begins with a historical look at social justice movements and leads to the current work of the LIUU Fund grantees...

Long Island Community Foundation | A Division of The New York Community Trust
900 Walt Whitman Road | (Rt. 110) Suite 205 | Melville, NY 11747
P (631) 991-8800 | Directions | Staff | Comments on the Website

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