Report: LGBT Nonprofits See Increase in Philanthropic Funding

Print Share on LinkedIn More



December 31, 2014; ThinkAdvisor

There has been substantial momentum in the LGBTQ movement over the last several years, and a new report by the organization Funders for LGBTQ Issues shows that there is a substantial increase in the funding of causes associated with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues. The following highlights the momentum behind the funding of the U.S. LGBTQ community in 2013:

  • Increased Giving: There were “4,152 grants to organizations and programs focused on LGBTQ issues, totaling $129 million, a 6.3 percent increase over 2012.” Additionally, grantmaking for LGBTQ issues grew by 6.3 percent while foundation funding in general grew by 5.6 percent. Total LGBTQ grantmaking in 2013 amounted to $144.8 million—including re-granted dollars, detailed below. The report outlined that over the past decade, foundation funding for LGBTQ issues had grown by more than 250 percent while general foundation funding grew by less than 75 percent during the same period.
  • Growth in Re-granting: Foundations granted $15.7 million to public foundations and other intermediaries, a $3 million increase from 2012. Twelve percent of LGBTQ funding was re-granted through an intermediary or funding collaborative, which, the report stated, demonstrated “an exceptional degree of collaboration and coordination among LGBTQ funders.”
  • Funding Focus: Advocacy “continued to be the most funded strategy in 2013, representing 48 percent of all funding.” Direct services increased by five percent to 18 percent.

The top funder of LGBTQ causes was the Arcus Foundation at $16.8 million, while the organization Freedom to Marry was the largest funder (without re-granting) at $3.6 million. The top 20 funders of LGBTQ organizations and programs funded 78 percent of all LGBTQ funding, with 331 foundations and corporations making grants to LGBTQ organizations.

The Northeast continued to be the most funded region relating to LGBTQ causes, at nearly $20 million, with New York receiving nearly of half that funding. The Mountain region of the United States received the least amount of funding, just under $3 million. Wyoming received just $25K for the funding of LBGTQ issues. As it happens, Wyoming was ranked the least tolerant state by the Daily Beast, with ratings that incorporated issues relating to the LBGTQ community.

While the above is encouraging, there is still a lot of growth to be had amongst funders. Of the approximately $55 billion foundations are estimated to have granted in 2013, only 0.2 percent went to LGBTQ organizations and programs.—John Brothers