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How You Can Help

How You Can Help

The Straight Spouse Network is non-profit organization, dedicated to helping Straight Spouses when they discover their husband or wife is not straight.

The majority of time spent supporting the Straight Spouse Network and its mission comes from dedicated volunteers. Our Support Group Facilitators and Support Contacts volunteer countless hours supporting  people who feel alone and confused when their spouse comes out as LGBTQ. They take the time to email and call those who reach out, and they organize and moderate support group meetings. And they do all that for free.

We have a small, dedicated paid staff. They provide professional services and oversee the overall operation of the network.  And they’re Straight Spouses themselves. Many times they do not bill for all the hours they put in. They are also volunteer Facilitators themselves. They make every effort to operate very efficiently in order to continue providing the highest level of support possible during these difficult times. Their work to support the organization is only as strong as the support we give one-another. If you are fortunate enough to have the ability to give back, you know it is for an amazing cause.

Every donation counts, no matter the size. To make a donation online, see SUPPORT THE STRAIGHT SPOUSE NETWORK on our Home page.

As the Straight Spouse Network is a 501 (c)(3) organization, all donation are tax deductible.

 

An Important Message

“A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.” Walt Disney’s Hercules

The term “life-saver” comes from Straights like you. “To suggest that the Straight Spouse Network is a ‘lifesaver’ is not hyperbole. It is a fact. I am living proof. When my former husband of nearly 30 years told me he was gay, I prayed to die in my sleep….
My life changed in so many ways as a result of my relationship with Straight Spouse Network” –Patti.

“Straight Spouse Network
helped me move through a
very difficult process. It is
an extremely isolating situation.
The fact that some wonderful
Straight person is willing to be
on the other side of a screen
or the other end of a phone
conversation is invaluable.
Being able to cry and laugh
about the circumstances
that arise is so important.”

Sadly, we know that every day there will be more people who discover their wives are lesbian or their husbands are gay. Many spouses who come to us have transgender spouses. With societal changes, gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals and transgenders are more comfortable coming out. When they come out to their straight spouses, more pleas for help come to us.

The Straight Spouse Network has over 150 Support Group Facilitators and Facilitator Contacts worldwide. We have Support Contacts in areas where there are no Facilitators close by. Groups and Support Contacts are key in helping Straight Spouses cope with emotional devastation. It’s a revelation to many Straight Spouses when they realize they are not alone, meet others share the same challenges and find support and hope.

One straight spouse writes: “Straight Spouse Network helped me move through a very difficult process. It is an extremely isolating situation. The fact that some wonderful Straight person is willing to be on the other side of a screen or the other end of a phone conversation is invaluable. Being able to cry and laugh about the circumstances that arise is so important.”

The Straight Spouse Network maintains an international, virtual online community; this website, www.straightspouse.org; chat rooms, message boards, blogs, newsletters and bulletins, Triage online and phone teams, group leader training and ongoing research.

 Thank you Volunteers,  for being life-saving heroes in the lives of so many other straight spouses. 

 

Other Ways to HelpVOLUNTEER

Straight Spouse Network
BOARD OPENINGS
If you are interested in becoming more involved with The Straight Spouse Network, please consider applying to be on our Board of Directors.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS  positions are available
Applicants should have experience in: Development • Communications • Grant Writing • HR • Finance • IT
The Board meets via teleconference for monthly business meetings and more often when necessary. For a complete list of a Board Member’s responsibilities click Board-Roles-and-Responsibilities-approved-2011-04-12. To apply, please contact Ron Exler, rexler@straightspouse.org

Become a Qualified Straight Spouse Network Support Group Facilitator 
To be a group facilitator, you should be a straight spouse who ideally has been in one of our support groups or in communication with one of our support contacts for at least two years, and have reasonably resolved your marital issues. You should have a strong desire to help and support others. You agree to respond to all of our messages and directives. You’ll receive the Facilitators Handbook which is your training guide, answers your questions and includes important policies. Our veteran facilitators are always willing to help you along the way. Apply to volunteer as a Straight Spouse Network Contact / Straight Spouse Network Group Facilitator.

  • Become a Straight Spouse Network Volunteer – If you have a specific skill or experience in areas like accounting, fund raising, media connections, writing/research or other attributes, please contact us for volunteer opportunities.
  • Talk to Us:  We value value your feedback and comments, so please use our Contact Us form to let us know your ideas, suggestions, feedback, etc.
  • Distribute Brochures:  We have brochures and other collateral material available to distribute at appropriate locations.  Use the Contact Us form to let us know if you are interested.
  • Be a Speaker –  The Straight Spouse Network Speakers Bureau is looking for straight spouses willing to speak on our behalf. We are regularly contacted by media looking for individuals to be interviewed. We also have speaking opportunities at conferences and other events. You don’t have to be a professional to share your experience, you just need to be comfortable speaking publicly and the content of your presentations must be appropriate. All speaking engagements must be approved. If you are be interested, please email our Communications Director, Janet@straightspouse.org.

WHERE YOUR DONATIONS GO:

Work of the Central Staff (99% volunteer). What the money buys, in descending order of cost.

  • Part-time paid work of four staff (salaries, taxes) – Executive Director, Technical Director, Communications Director, Creative Services.  Total FTE: Less than two. Note: These staff members put in far more hours on a volunteer basis than those for which they receive salary.
  • Insurance (required by law) for directors of non-profit corporations.
  • Part-time work of an accountant for IRS 990 report (required by law).
  • Maintenance of main website, which contains incredible amounts of information which requires constant updates (www.straightspouse.org).
  • Production and editing of monthly News Blast and semi-annual newsletter News&Notes.
  • Postage for fund raising appeals, newsletter, thank you notes for donations, brochures, and Founder’s research articles (majority now sent electronically).
  • Maintenance of communication services for Board, Advisory Council, Facilitators, Contacts, and Staff so each can always stay in contact.
  • Maintenance of database on all of the above so each can be contacted.
  • Workroom for Facilitators, Contacts, Advisory Council, Board and Staff including a Facilitators Handbook, brochures, etc.
  • Responses to inquiries from media (newspapers, radio, television) for speakers, Speakers Handbook.
  • Press releases, Facebook groups, other Social Media communication efforts.
  • Maintenance of the Straight Spouse Network Blog which gets us out there (on website).
  • Responses to an average of 2,000 help requests yearly. Each of you has had referrals from First Responders.
  • Maintenance of donors, subscribers and facilitators database
  • Post Office box
  • Miscellaneous supplies

The Straight Spouse Network benefits when you use one of these fine services:


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