In 2013, we launched what has since become known as our Out in the South Initiative with the goal of increasing funding for LGBTQ communities throughout the US South. In 2014 we released Out in the South, Part One: Foundation Funding for LGBTQ Issues in the U.S. South, the first report that looked specifically at philanthropic support for LGBTQ communities in the South. In 2015, we hired our Out in the South Project Director, Chantelle Fisher-Borne, and continued our networking and outreach efforts throughout the region. Earlier this month we announced the first round of Out in the South Fund Grants. We are excited with our progress so far!
As our Southern work has moved forward, the landscape has changed dramatically over the past three years. When a group of our members first asked us to explore LGBTQ issues in the South, we looked at 2012 data for foundation funding in the U.S. South and found that it only amounted to $4.8 million for the entire region. In 2013, as Funders for LGBTQ Issues and our members began elevating the need for more resources for Southern LGBTQ communities, we saw funding for the region increase to $8 million. In 2014, the funding increased another $3.2 million to $11.3 million.
Funders for LGBTQ Issues and our partners in the Out in the South initiative have together set the ambitious goal of bringing $60 million to LGBTQ communities in the South over five years. With the 2013-2014 increase in funding for Southern LGBTQ communities, we have begun to make progress toward our goal and toward improving the lived experience of Southern LGBTQ communities.
Top Funders 2013-2014
The LGBTQ issues philanthropy supports in the region have also become a bit more diversified, with significant gains in funding for: civil rights; strengthening communities, families, and visibility; and economic issues.
We’re incredibly grateful to the Arcus Foundation, The Chartrand Family Foundation, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the Freeman Foundation, the Gill Foundation, Laughing Gull Foundation, The Amy Mandel and Katina Rodis Fund, the Palette Fund, and an anonymous donor for their generous support of the Out in the South Initiative
If you are interested in learning more about the Out in the South Initiative, check out www.outinthesouth.org or contact Chantelle Fisher-Borne, Project Director for the Out in the South Initiative, at [email protected].