On the occasion of our 30th anniversary, Funders for LGBTQ Issues is pleased to announce the publication of Forty Years of LGBTQ Philanthropy: 1970 – 2010, a new report documenting the first 40 years of U.S. foundation support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. This unique and seminal work details how LGBTQ grantmaking has played a significant role in the fight for LGBTQ rights and equity across four decades.
Since 1982, when 10 foundations provided $215,000 for LGBTQ issues, Funders for LGBTQ Issues has been advocating within philanthropy for increased resources for LGBTQ communities. We have published annual reports since 2002 on the amount and character of U.S. foundation support to LGBTQ communities, and in 2010, there were 318 foundations giving $97.2 million. Like its predecessors, this latest publication describes the strategies, issues, and populations that have been funded, and the foundations that have made those investments. Forty Years… builds on our annual reports by providing a cumulative overview of the trends and predominant issues that have shaped LGBTQ foundation funding in its first four decades, and goes on to describe emerging issues in LGBTQ communities and concerns for LGBTQ philanthropy in the years ahead.
“This report documents the incredible progress made by LGBTQ philanthropy in its first 40 years,” says Karen Zelermyer, President and CEO Funders for LGBTQ Issues, “while foretelling the work still undone. To go from virtually nothing to just under $100 million dollars annually in four decades is hugely significant. Yet at the same time, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people continue to face complex and multiple barriers in today’s society. Given this, the fact that only 0.2 percent of all philanthropic dollars goes to support our communities should be of concern to all of philanthropy. So efforts to mobilize resources for LGBTQ rights and well-being remain critical.”
Among the reports findings:
• In total, 799 U.S. foundations have invested more than $771 million and nearly 36,000 grants in LGBTQ issues from 1970 – 2010.
• At 44%, national organizations received the majority of LGBTQ funding from 1970 – 2010.
• Funding for LGBTQ civil rights received the greatest level support, 20%, of issues addressed by LGBTQ funding from 1970 – 2010.
• LGBTQ people of color projects and organizations received 9% of all LGBTQ funding from 1970 – 2010.