The Pride Foundation was founded on August 8, 1973 in San Francisco and operated by a board of directors. A partial list of the organization's founders include Zane Thomas, B.J. Beckwith, George Mendenhall, Roberta Buba, Charlotte Coleman, John Wahl, Perry Wood, Larry Littlejohn and Paul Hardman. Lee Mentley served on the board's executive committee. Their initial application for tax exempt non-profit status was met with resistance when the Internal Revenue Service concluded that "[the Pride Foundation's] activities carry a serious risk of contributing to a more widespread development of homosexual tendencies among certain segments of the public and a consequent increase in the general prevalence of what is still generally regarded as deviant sexual behavior. As such your activities are contrary to public policy and are therefore, not 'charitable.'" The Foundation disputed that judgement, however, and their tax exempt status was eventually granted. The Foundation served the gay and lesbian community by providing direct legal assistance, especially in cases of discrimination and defamation, engaging in educational research, conducting classes, and providing assistance in social and health services. It provided services such as gay legal referrals, a senior citizens program, a gay tourist and visitors information bureau, health referrals, a coalition to defend gays in the military, art classes, drop-in facilities for youth, job placement, and a social group for older men known as G40+. The Foundation also operated the Top Floor Gallery for local gay artists.
Beginning in 1976, Foundation Chairman Paul Hardman began requesting the use of 330 Grove Street, which was under the ownership of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. A signed agreement of occupancy was negotiated between the Foundation and the Redevelopment Agency, and the Foundation began operating the Pride Center at 330 Grove, their gay and lesbian community services center, in December of that year. Pride Center served as the Foundation's offices and also provided low-cost meeting spaces for other neighborhood organizations. Due to disputes over funding and occupancy of 330 Grove, Hardman, who had been president and chairman since the organization's founding, was pressured to resign in 1979, increasing internal conflicts in the Foundation's board. Pride Center later moved to a location at 890 Hayes, and the Foundation attempted for years to raise funds to secure a permanent site for the Center.
The Pride Foundation discontinued operations in the mid-1980s.
Pride Foundation Records, Coll2011-071, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.