The Top Funders of LGBTQ Communities of Color

The Top Funders of LGBTQ Communities of Color

By: Andrew Wallace on August 22, 2017

In the wake of recent events in which racially motivated hatred and bigotry have been on full display, many funders and leaders in the public sector have been wondering how to fight this latest wave of racist and white supremacist activity. With this list of the top ten foundations supporting LGBTQ communities of color in the United States, we want to acknowledge those grantmakers who have made a significant commitment to address racial inequality through their grantmaking for LGBTQ communities.

Between 2014 and 2015, $39.4 million in philanthropic funding was directed towards LGBTQ people of color in the United States. Funding for communities of color decreased slightly from 16% of total LGBTQ funding in 2014 to 14% in 2015. In this two-year period, $22.6 million came from the top ten funders of LGBTQ communities of color.

Top Funders of LGBTQ Communities of Color 2014-2015*

1) Arcus Foundation $5,862,100
2) Elton John AIDS Foundation     $2,875,000
3) Ford Foundation    $2,569,030
4) Gilead Sciences   $2,441,300
5) Foundation for a Just Society   $2,385,000
6) Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice $1,487,009
7) H. van Ameringen Foundation $1,480,000
8) ViiV Healthcare $1,227,763
9) Gill Foundation $1,202,500
10) Anonymous Donors $1,100,000

This funding supported a range of communities and a variety of grantees, from national organizations like Forward Together and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, to regional and local organizations such as Southerners on New Ground (SONG) and FIERCE. Funding for civil and human rights topped the list of issues funded, exceeding $17 million in the two years sampled here. Health and wellbeing was the second most funded issue, with a majority of that funding dedicated to support and advocacy for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

In the wake of the violence in Charlottesville we called for all philanthropic and government leaders to recognize the continuing impact of slavery, anti-Black racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia in our communities and to take proactive steps to address prejudice and inequity both within our own institutions and in the world. Many members of the Funders for LGBTQ Issues network have been leading funders of LGBTQ communities of color and of racial justice in general. We applaud these efforts and reaffirm our commitment to furthering a conversation about racial justice and equity among our members.

*For the purpose of this research, funding for communities of color includes grantmaking specifically directed to African American/Black, Asian Americans/Pacific Islander, Latinx, Native American, and Middle Eastern communities. For detailed funding data broken down by demographic category, consult our annual Tracking Reports available on our research pages.


Image note: Photo by Sara Rampazzo on Unsplash

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