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Tax status leads to scrutiny of leather nonprofit

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The San Francisco Bay Area Leather Alliance, serving as fiscal sponsor for the massively successful Queer Nightlife Fund that raised nearly $400,000 over 2020 and 2021 for LGBTQ folks thrown out of work by the COVID pandemic, may not have had its financial house in order when it told would-be donors their financial gifts were tax deductible.

In March, 2020, following the collapse of the hospitality and nightlife industry because of the outbreak of COVID-19, several LGBTQ community leaders in San Francisco agreed to launch what would become the Queer Nightlight Fund, or QNF, in an effort to get money to hundreds of queer nightlife workers who were suddenly without jobs.

The endeavor was incredibly successful, raising $399,641, which was dispersed in 511 grants through eight rounds of giving.Like COVID, the fundraising project went on much longer than originally anticipated."When Phil Hammack [also known as Pup Turbo] first reached out to fellow community leaders in March 2020 concerned about the future of local queer nightlife workers, the steering committee and QNF nonprofit that resulted had no idea we'd still need to be around for so long," according to QNF's website. "QNF thought perhaps after a few months passed things would return to normal.

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