Colin Higgins is an acclaimed screenwriter, director, and producer of films such as Harold and Maude and 9 to 5. He established the Colin Higgins Foundation in 1986 to further his humanitarian goals.


The Colin Higgins Foundation is dedicated to supporting LQBTQ youth in underserved communities and the programs and organizations that foster and build their leadership and empowerment. In addition to its occasional grantmaking activities, the Foundation annually awards the Colin Higgins Youth Courage Awards for bravery in the face of discrimination, intolerance and bigotry based on sexual orientation and/or gender. Since 1988, the Foundation has awarded over 660 grants totaling over $5.8 million dollars to further the humanitarian vision of its founder, Colin Higgins.

As of 2021, the Colin Higgins Foundation is no longer affiliated with the Tides Foundation. We would like to thank Tides for nearly thirty years of excellent service in handling our affairs. Together we have left a legacy of which all of us should be proud. With Tides’ help, the Colin Higgins Foundation has handed out $5.8 million in grants to a wide variety of institutions, groups and individuals. In the last decade, the foundation has focused primarily on LGBTQ youth.

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2021 Honorees

Meet Willow, 18

Earlier this year, transgender youth activist Willow Breshears bravely testified before lawmakers…

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Meet Jaz, 18

As a queer, nonbinary, sexual health educator, Jaz merges creativity and intersectionality with advocacy…

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Meet Sameer, 19

After being bullied throughout elementary and middle school, at age 14, Sameer founded his school’s first-ever GSA club…

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Since the inception, the Colin Higgins Foundation has handed out $5.8 million in grants to a wide variety of institutions, groups and individuals.


Colin Higgins Youth Courage Awards were established in 2000 to further the spirit and lifework of Colin Higgins. All of his films celebrate honesty and integrity in the face of adversity: Harold and Maude find love despite the objections of family and society, the heroes of Nine to Five find fulfillment and save the company by learning to appreciate their individual talents and differences, and the shunned madam of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas transforms the lives of many through her kindness. Like the characters in his films, Colin Higgins Youth Courage Award recipients have endured overwhelming hardships, yet have handled themselves with the utmost grace and dignity.

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