Black Tie Dinner begins its 36th by opening its application process for new and returning beneficiaries. For the first time, new applicants will be allowed to participate with fewer seat, raffle ticket, auction and volunteer hour requirements.

Even long-time recipients of Black Tie funds must re-apply each year and discuss new goals, past goals met or missed, and submit financials. Each year, the Black Tie Dinner Board of Directors selects up to 20 LGBT-supportive organizations from the North Texas area.

Beneficiary applications are now available on the Black Tie Dinner website. To be eligible, candidates must have a tax-exempt status as determined by the IRS, be able to demonstrate significant service to the North Texas LGBT community and must use a majority of these funds for direct programs and services.

The First-Year Beneficiary program will allow new organizations to participate with fewer requirements in their first year. Along with decreased requirements, the organization’s share of the financial distribution will be proportionally less, but will give newer participants to ease into the process and learn what’s needed to be a full participant.

After the first year, they will have to apply as a full beneficiary. First year and returning beneficiaries will not be in competition with each other for slots.

“We are excited about the launch of our new First-Year Beneficiary Program, as we feel it will further out outreach into the North Texas Community,” said Black Tie Dinner Co-Chair Nathan Robbins.

“At the end of the day, we want our Dinner to make a major impact on the community, and we hope this brings our reach to newer, up-and-coming organizations that our vital to our success,” added Black Tie Dinner Co-Chair David Robinson.

In its 35-year history, the dinner has distributed more than $21 million. Beneficiaries will be selected in April.