The Laughing Gull Foundation is a left-leaning private foundation that makes grants in the areas of LGBT interests, higher education in prison, and environmentalism. The Durham, North Carolina – based foundation was founded in 2012 and focuses its mission in America’s southern region. 
Hez Norton is the Executive Director of the Laughing Gull Foundation. Norton is a graduate of Duke University and holds a Master of Public Administration from Northeastern University. Norton is part of the National LGBTQ Task Force and is a board member on numerous LGBT-interest advocacy groups. 
Meg Baesmith is a co-founder of the Laughing Gull Foundation and has served as its board president since 2013. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and later earned a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. In her career she has held leadership positions with the Merck Family Fund, Resource Generation, Bolder Giving, the Food Project, the Farm School, and Waltham Fields Community Farm. 
The foundation supports educational opportunities for imprisoned convicts. University of North Carolina Asheville was granted $195,000 from Laughing Gull to provide credit-bearing college courses to inmates at Avery-Mitchell Correctional Institution in 2019.  The University of Utah’s Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison was one of the grantees of a $3,658,000 donation that intends to fund postsecondary education to inmates throughout 2020. 
LGBT-interest advocacy is among the focal points of the foundation’s philanthropic efforts. In 2019, Laughing Gull Foundation donated nearly $4 million to 24 LGBQ advocacy groups, and sponsored Give OUT Day in April 2019, which raised over $1 million for LGBT advocacy.   The Laughing Gull is also a member of Funders for LGBT Issues, a network of over 75 philanthropists focused on supporting LGBT interests. 
The foundation held the Laughing Gull Reception at the 2020 Creating Change Conference. The conference described President Trump’s policies as harmful towards the LGBT community and accused the administration of emboldening white supremacy in America. The conference also claimed that the religious right has worked to undermine healthcare access for people of color.