Freedom to Marry Ramps Up for Big Push, Adds Juan Barajas as Development Director

7/22/2013

Press Contact:

Angela Dallara
Communications Associate
angela@freedomtomarry.org
646-430-3925

New York – Shortly after rolling out the “Roadmap to Victory – Finishing the Job,” an ambitious movement plan for the next push in the campaign to win marriage nationwide, Freedom to Marry announced a new development director as part of its commitment to raising the hefty price-tag required for victory. Juan Barajas, formerly the director of philanthropy at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and deputy director of development at GLAAD, will oversee the campaign’s call to raise millions of dollars to be strategically channeled into public education, state campaigns, and federal work. Barajas has nearly 15 years’ experience in nonprofit management, fund development, and work dedicated to supporting the LGBT community.

“As Freedom to Marry propels our movement forward with our Roadmap to Victory winning strategy, we have called on others to step up and help us do the heavy lifting and meet the hefty price-tag victory will require.  We are upping our game, too, and part of our ramp up is bringing on seasoned fundraiser Juan Barajas to spearhead the smart and effective fundraising needed to get the job done,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry.  “Fresh from wins in the states and at the Supreme Court, it’s a time to redouble our efforts and finish the job -- multiplying the number of Americans who live in freedom to marry states, growing national public support beyond 60%, and fully ending federal marriage discrimination, all in order to create the climate for a win as soon as possible in the Supreme Court.  We will all need to engage in more conversations and more campaigns, and conversations require commitment and campaigns require fuel.”

In his role at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Barajas led and managed individual, corporate, and foundation giving. During his tenure at GLAAD, Barajas secured more than $2 million in major gift and individual giving, and managed GLAAD’s volunteer leadership in 8 cities across the country, securing over 100 Leadership Council members. He also worked previously as executive director for the Pacific Center for Human Growth and director of the Outlet Program, which are Bay Area-based centers that provide support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

“Following June’s historic Supreme Court victories, I knew I wanted to make a difference and be part of the next chapter in the campaign to win marriage nationwide, helping Freedom to Marry and its supporters raise and channel the money strategically in the best opportunities to win,” said Barajas. “After working hard on the marriage campaign in California and knowing firsthand the pain when Proposition 8 passed, I want to make sure the next wave of needed campaigns have the resources they need to win. Freedom to Marry’s plan and team are smart and strategic, and will bring home the national victory that we all know is within reach. We all have to do our part, and I am grateful to be able to do mine with the A-team at Freedom to Marry.”

Freedom to Marry rolled out a plan earlier this month detailing the work that comes next in the Roadmap to Victory, which draws on the history of other U.S. social movements to shape the winning strategy for marriage nationwide. Through the Win More States Fund, which launched last year to raise, channel, and invest resources into key battleground states, Freedom to Marry has invested nearly $6 million directly into states to date. Freedom to Marry invested more than $1 million into priority states this calendar year alone, and seeks to raise and invest at least an additional $2 million under Barajas’ new leadership. Based on work to date nationally and in the states, including what it takes to do public education groundwork and build and run successful ballot campaigns, Freedom to Marry estimates the cost of the push to finish the job of winning marriage nationwide to be more than $100 million, of which Freedom to Marry is determined to raise and contribute one quarter or more, building on its success at becoming the nation’s largest funder of marriage work.

Barajas will be based in Freedom to Marry’s New York City offices, while spending substantial time in California and with Freedom to Marry supporters nationwide. He can be reached at juan@freedomtomarry.org.

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Freedom to Marry is the campaign to win marriage nationwide. We are pursuing our Roadmap to Victory by working to win the freedom to marry in more states, grow the national majority for marriage, and end federal marriage discrimination. We partner with individuals and organizations across the country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and the protections, responsibilities, and commitment that marriage brings.