MSF 2017 Annual Report

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Matthew Shepard Foundation's

Annual Report 2017

Photo Credit: Gina van Hoof

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annual report table of contents

02 A message from Judy & Dennis Shepard 03 Our year in numbers 06 Traveling the map 08 2016 hate crime stats 10 Why I give to MSF 11 2016-17 Leadership Council 12 How we invest donor dollars




13 Ways to contribute to MSF

staff Jason Marsden Executive Director Joshua Anderson Development Director Cynthia Deitle Programs & Operations Director



Sara Grossman Communications Manager Logan Shepard Controller Brennan Johnson Development Associate



Leah Szelest Executive & Development Associate

board Judy Shepard President

Shirley Potenza Treasurer

Doug Sanborn

Louis Sisneros Legacy Projects Coordinator

Greg Miraglia Vice President

John Sullivan Secretary

Charlotte Sweeney

Dennis Shepard Emeritus

Annual Report


Fall 2017


ineteen years. When people stop to think about how long it’s been since the horrific hate crime that took our son’s life, they tell us they can’t believe it. They look at us with tears in their eyes. We can’t count the number of people who have broken into tears upon meeting us. To them, we say: thank you, but please don’t overlook those who are being discriminated against now. There is nothing more that we can do for Matt, but we can continue to do good work in his memory, and try to prevent the same thing from happening to other people’s children. Nineteen years ago, our family suffered a tremendous loss, one that the entire world shared with us through the media. It was the first of many somber Octobers to come. It was a senseless act of violence that changed the course of our lives forever. But you stood with us, and have continued to stand with us for almost two decades now. We are, once again, experiencing the awakening of a collective grief and outrage that countless decades of cruelty and exclusion had built up in the LGBTQ+ community and among its allies and loved ones. We are seeing that collective outrage finding its way back into the mainstream today. Between the rolling back of Title IX obligations for transgender youth to be able to use the bathroom of their choice in school to Trump’s heavy-handed (or in this case, thumbed) transgender military ban tweets, and many other similar attacks, it is difficult to not feel like this community is being targeted again. During this time, we think of Matt. He came to represent all those who were discriminated against or whose lives were stolen from us too soon. We know all-too-well that the legislation that the current administration is trying to pass or has already passed is a direct hit to our community and useless discrimination.

That fateful October, we were surrounded by this love. We were surrounded by your cries for justice. And we turned that into work– good work that is helping people every day. We all have embraced diversity and continued to tell our stories, which is something that helps many more people than you could imagine. What started as a single family experiencing and trying to heal from tragedy has grown into a proud and dignified tribute to all who have experienced discrimination, harm, and loss at the hands of bigotry and bias. With your support and strength, we will continue this work as long as this message is needed. We see every day how, despite amazing advances, the civil rights and dignity of all who differ from society’s expectations still are threatened by ignorance and hatred. So thank you for standing with us as we continue to try and persuade people to make a difference every day–to erase hate in their corners of the country or the world. We are succeeding because of your support. With Love,

Judy and Dennis Shepard

But because of you, and the work that you have put in to help erase hate–we have a renewed strength for this fight. Your efforts are the coals into the fire. And our base is fired up. Because of the love, determination, the thundering cry for justice, and the support that the friends of this foundation have put forward into the world, we will persevere.

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In addition to Judy Shepard's nearly two-decade-long ongoing speaking tour, the Foundation focuses its work on three major programs in its effort to Erase Hate: is a unique Web resource--a storytelling site by and for LGBTQ+ youth who use their voices to promote understanding and compassion for all. From pop culture to politics to financial and physical health, our writers tackle a gambit of topics. The Hate Crimes Reporting and Prevention Initiative aims to improve the rate at which hate crime victims report the crimes committed against them; law enforcement agencies conscientiously investigate and prosecute these offenses, and accurately report them all to the FBI; and ultimately, the improved reporting leads to awareness and prevention of these needless tragedies Laramie Project Support continues to reach audiences all over the world by making sure productions of this provocative play about one community's response to hatred become community discussions, sources of inspiration for promoting diversity, and an educational tool about the deep price of hatred. MSF's outreach to productions reached across the U.S. and the globe last year on the strength of the resources, guidance, and creativity MSF lends to these shows.

Matthew's Place This year, we moved to the blog hosting website Medium. We are testing whether a hosted WordPress site or Medium page is better for our writers and viewership. Total Unique Posts: Twitter Follower Increase:

27,369 63 17.7%

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Hate Crimes Reporting and Prevention Initiative This year, under our current administration, we had to get creative. Formerly, we had been invited by the Department of Justice to present all over the country and the world. Now, we contact regional law enforcement agencies across the country to review the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and educate officers on how to participate in and improve hate crimes reporting practices. We are also leading trainings for at-risk communities, teaching folks how to stay safe and report. We also held a local hate crimes reporting survey in Denver and found just how difficult it is to get folks to report. This reflects the national averages.



Carbondale, IL

March 1

Hate Crimes: Laws and their Use

SIU School of Law

Fort Collins, CO

April 21

Hate Crimes & Bias Motivated Incidents: Panel

May 4

Stay Proud, Be Loud! Hate Crime Forum

CSU Pride & NoCo Equality MillerCoors & Dallas Tavern Guild

July 12

Hate Crime Training & Outreach

Marshall Regional Law Enforcement Center

Dallas, TX Battle Creek, MI



Denver Hate Crime Denver LGBTQ Commission Town Hall & US Attorney Office Hate Crime Regional Law National Museum Enforcement Seminar of Civil Rights

Denver, CO

August 1

Memphis, TN

October 23

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

November 9

Queens, NY

November 14

Hate Crime Prosecutions Forum

Queens District Attorney Office

Lima, Peru

November 15

JusticeWorks Workshop: Hate Crime Laws

American Bar Association

Berlin, Germany

December 1

Gay-Straight Allies, Hate Crimes & Bullying

MANEO/ City of Berlin

Stay Proud, Be Loud! Hate Crime Forum

MillerCoors & Pride Resource Center

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Laramie Project Support MSF supports productions of The Laramie Project all over the globe. When we can, we make on-site visits. When we can't physically be there, we answer questions and debrief with cast members via Skype. We also provide general resources to productions (news articles, letters, photos of Matt, etc.)

Productions supported:


Community 24%

High Schools 51%

Colleges 25%

The Laramie Project made its way even further within communities around the world thanks to our Spirit of Matthew award winner, Alyssa Sileo. She started the initiative The Laramie Project Project to help honor each of the 49 Pulse victims by having a LP performance sign on to honor each person. She completed this in May and is now on to phases 2 and 3 of the initiative, which includes honoring each of the victims whose crimes were prosecuted under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act!

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Judy & Dennis Shepard

Hate Crimes Training

Laramie Project Support

Foundation Staff Appearance

Judy and Dennis Shepard, along with the Foundation staff, have the fortunate opportunity to reach dozens of communities across the country and around the globe. From personal visits and Laramie Project productions to hate crimes trainings and panel discussions, the Foundation's message to Erase Hate reaches far and wide to help change hearts and minds in the quest to ensure a future free from discrimination. 303.830.7400 | |

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Judy & Dennis Shepard

Hate Crimes Training

Laramie Project Support

Foundation Staff Appearance

Support of The Laramie Project spanned the entire globe this year and is in no sight of stopping. We are currently speaking to schools in South Korea, Canada, Australia, and Germany! Since the State Department no longer supports our work, the Shepards and Foundation staff were not asked to go overseas. This is changing, however, with hate crime conferences coming up for us in Berlin and Lima.

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2016 HATE CRIME STATISTICS This year, the Foundation hired former Special Agent Cynthia Deitle, who used to oversee the Civil Rights Division of the FBI. Through her expertise and guidance, we continue to expand our reach to those who truly need it. Annually, the FBI releases statistics for a variety of offenses the country from the prior year, including hate crimes. The stats cover a wide variety of crimes that local law enforcement agencies concluded through investigation were motivated by bias against a victim's race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and other categories. The types of hate crimes covered range from vandalism, to simple assault, to rape and murder. It is voluntary for each of the nation's almost 19,000 law enforcement agencies to file these reports. In any given year, as many as 20% do not file, and many more file reports counting ZERO hate crimes, in some cases despite independent reports from victims or advocates. The Foundation uses these reports to benchmark the continued need for law enforcement training and community outreach in specific states and localities as well as in determining where to press for better data collection.

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2016 HATE CRIME STATISTICS The option to participate in the Uniform Crime Report program presents the concern of potential gaps in reporting coverage. The graph below shows the percentage of incidents that happen versus the number that are actually reported. As you can see, the difference is staggering. Often, victims don't report out of fear of being re-victimized. Sometimes the report gets lost in the shuffle between the victim and ultimately making it to the FBI. Sometimes law enforcement labels an incident as inconclusive. As noted on page 4, our local Denver hate crime survey shows similar issues.

We received 61 responses to the local Denver hate crimes survey 14 of the respondents reported they had been a victim of a bias motivated incident 6 of the incidents were reported to police The breakdown by type of bias motivation for the 14 incidents is reflected in the chart:

Orientation 7%

N/A 7%

Religious Bias 7%

Gender Bias 14%

Sexuality 64%

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"Why I Give to MSF" Mike Stillman & Steve Williams | Philadelphia, PA While planning a cross-country road trip in 2015, we contacted Jason Marsden and asked about the opportunity to meet with Judy and Dennis. We told him we were happy to alter our driving route, and that we'd appear wherever necessary in order to meet them. We drove into Casper, Wyoming on a blustery winter night. We thanked the Shepards early in our meal, for their sustained advocacy for equality, and argued that without their efforts we would never have been allowed to legally marry. They were characteristically humble and supportive as any parents we've ever met. These are lovely and endearing people. We first supported the Matthew Shepard Foundation to help advance an LGBTQ-affirming agenda. We've come to understand, however, the breadth of the organization's mission and the continued and relevant work that they accomplish. How it opens cross-community dialogues about inclusion and fairness that have recently become particularly important. We are proud to have attached ourselves to this right-minded group, and have encouraged our friends and family to do so, as well.

Shirley Potenza | Denver, CO The first sheriff on scene of Matt's murder said the only place on his face not covered in blood were the tear streaks left on his cheeks. When I first read about his senseless murder, I knew I could no longer live in the comfortable shell afforded to me because I look like a white, straight, American woman. I could no longer ignore crimes of hate, born out of prejudice and ignorance. President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act on October 28, 2009. At that time, many people thought the Matthew Shepard Foundation no longer needed the level of donations once necessary to fight the war on hate and prejudice that took Matt’s life. Although this step was certainly momentous, it was just one of many steps needed. There are still states that do not include sexual orientation or gender identity in their hate crimes legislation. This is not okay. It is still legal to fire someone for their sexual orientation, gender identity, or preference in over half the states in our Country. This is not okay. You have all heard or read hateful and discriminatory things DT has said which has divided this Country and has empowered some to treat others that do not look, think or act as they do with hate and discrimination. THIS IS NOT OKAY. These are all reasons why now, more than ever, I must donate to a cause whose mission it is to empower “individuals to embrace human dignity and diversity” and to “strive to replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance.” There is still much work to do. Please join me in committing to donate to the Matthew Shepard Foundation in continue the fight to ERASE HATE.

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2016-17 Leadership Council Amy Flakne Andrew Lampkin Anonymous Anthony Aragon & David Westman Anti Defamation League Arleen & Dave McGlade Arthur Spellissy, Jr. B.W. Bastian Foundation Blain & Ann Myhre Blanca Leos Brenda J Monette Brian Ziegler Carl Heintz Carmen Irizarry Carolyn Keith Chad McConathy Charles Brayshaw Charles Rozanski Charlotte Sweeney Chavez for Charity Chris Ross & Ed Cannon Christopher Clark Christopher Fill Chuck Middleton & John Geary Cindy & Mike Nelson Coastal Community Foundation Colleen & Paul LaFontaine Community First Foundation Corey Smith & Jason Jacobson Crutch Crutchfield Cynthia Deitle & Kristina Norris D Scott Henderson PASCO Daniel Conrad & John Ehlers David Kuebler David Poole Dennis Dougherty Estate Dinyar Mehta Dominique Bischoff-Brown Don W. Taylor Edith Cofrin Employment Compliance Solutions LLC Eugene & Paul Ebner-Page Everett Schneider & Robert Phifer Family of Christ Presbyterian FedEx Fran Collman Frank Foos Gareth Clark Gina Navani Greg Miraglia & Tony Pennachio Hawthorn PNC Family Wealth Human Rights Campaign Hyde Family Charitable Fund International Court Council

James H. Stone The Stone Family Charitable Foundation James W Cunningham Jason Marsden & Guy Padgett Jason Richter Jason Rusk Jeanne Martineau Jeff Haass Jeffrey Hillis Jeffrey & Jennifer Kustok Jeremy Fortin Jessica Powell Joanne Miller Revocable Trust Joe Solmonese John Sullivan Jonathan Schmugge & Jon Terry Joshua Anderson & Eric Thorson Joshua Marquette & Casey Nicholaw Judy & Dennis Shepard Karen Hohnecker Karen Zeile Katherine Chill Katherine Ott Katz Marshall & Banks, LLP Kellogg Community College Keith Vogt Kerry and Simone Vickar Family Foundation Kim Johnson Kim Poast Kristen Junius Kwang-Wu Kim Laura Hazen Laura Rutland Level 3 Communications, LLC Linda Karn Lorenzo Montoya Lynbrook Union Free School District Lyt Harris Manilow Fund for Health & Hope Marie Drake Marjorie Harriet Bobzin Trust Marlene Price Marty Lewis & Ben Tautges Matt Metros Matthew Ellis Matthew Jenner Metropolitan Tennis Group, Inc Mike Stillman & Steve Williams Mike Sawaya MillerCoors LLC Minnesota Vikings Football, LLC MLK Committee Moreno Valley Unified School District Moxie Luxe Events

Nathan Lane Neil Mitro NP Energy Nevada Inc Patrick Kearney Paul Fallon Paul Holtz Paul Tetreault & Jon Jeter Phyllis M. Coors Foundation Potenza-CPA, LLC Richard Grieve Richard Kellejian Robbie Barr Robert Lieberman & Brian Schneider Ronald Meddock & Patrick Stonebraker Ronald Selfe Rose Family Fund Russ Rauchfuss Sarah Bergamy Sawaya Foundation Scott Booth Scott Case Scott Coors & David Hurt Sean P. Hayes & Scotty Icenogel Shannon Gilroy Shauna Knight-Major Shawn Monaghan & Greg Plotnikoff Sheila Kleofkorn Sherry Corday Shih-Fang Frank Hwang Shirley Potenza Simon & Amy Davies Si Foster Skaggs Catholic Center, LLC Speros Livieratos Stanley Zareff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company Sue Boynton Susan Lasher & Chris Pfister Sweeney & Bechtold, LLC Terrence Bean The Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation The Helene Foundation Tonamora Foundation Toni Castiglioni United Healthcare Service Inc Utica National Insurance Group Velva Price Vic Basile Warren Greene & Chris Frankland Westfield High School Theatre Department William Peace University Zeina Barkawi

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The Foundation's fiscal year changed in 2016 to run from July to June. During the transition, we posted a short year of 9 months. An independent CPA audits each year's financial date before we report to the IRS. Audits and tax forms are usually complete by January 15. To ensure accurate information, this report uses audited, publicly reported fiscal year 2016 data. Feel free to request more detailed information by contacting us at or calling 303-8307400.

October 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016 (Fiscal 2016-17 data available January 2018)

Total expenses: $774,774 Administrative 12%

Programmatic Work Breakdown 50 40 30

Fundraising 24%

20 10

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Programs 64%

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Ways to Contribute to the Foundation DONATE NOW


Visit to set up a one-time secured gift to the Foundation. Gifts in Memory Of and in Honor Of will be specially noted, and Recurring Gifts (annual, quarterly, monthly) may also be established. In addition to making a gift online, we have many other means to support the foundation via the contribute page of our website.

Celebrate your birthday, anniversary, local 5k run, or marriage registry with us. There are many everyday opportunities to seek support for your favorite charity. For more info, visit or call 303-830-7400.


All federal employees wishing to contribute to the Foundation through your work, please use reference number 28121.


Many companies contribute to the Foundation. Please check with your employer about their mechanism and if they offer matching contributions to the nonprofit organization of your choice.

Do your Amazon shopping through and select the Foundation as your charity of choice. CO Gives Day is a year-round website encouraging charitable giving on December 5th. Give where you live! Gifts may also be set-up prior to this date and will count towards our total.

Shopping through ensures that a percentage of your purchase is automatically donated. Visit

Proceeds from select bracelets benefit the Foundation. Visit our selection at makes bands created to promote love & equality. A percentage of their profits benefit the Foundation.

Every purchase of our Erase Hate apparel helps the Foundation continue its work to ensure a future free from discrimination. Visit

Sales of the Love+Pride MSF pendant benefits MSF. Visit our selection at

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