By: Andrew Wallace on November 6, 2016
Minnesota foundations awarded more than $1 million to LGBTQ organizations and programs throughout the state in 2007, according to an upcoming report co-produced by Funders for LGBTQ Issues, a national philanthropic group based in New York City, and the LGBT Funders Network of the Minnesota Council on Foundations.
“State of Funding: LGBTQ Grantmaking in Minnesota”—which examines foundation giving and organizations addressing LGBTQ communities across the state—will be released September 25 at a daylong convening of Minnesota funders and nonprofits, hosted by the Minnesota Council on Foundations.
The report is the culmination of a yearlong research partnership between the Network and FLGI.
“This study, as well as the convening, provides an opportunity for Minnesota grantmakers and organizations to reflect on how LGBTQ efforts throughout our state can strengthen their capacity, especially in the midst of an economic downturn,” said John Larsen, chair of the LGBT Funders Network.
Robert Espinoza, author of the report and director of research and communications at Funders for LGBTQ Issues, will open the convening with a presentation on LGBTQ foundation giving in Minnesota. In the afternoon, the day’s participants will examine how racial inequities affect their communities—the focus of a structural racism presentation and workshop led by Espinoza.
“Because of the role that state and local public policies play in helping define the political and economic realities of LGBTQ communities, it’s crucial that foundations in a given state draw a more local lens on their communities,” said Espinoza. “This report is a major step forward for Minnesota grantmaking.”
Among other findings, the study found that most LGBTQ dollars in Minnesota went to groups working in their cities or towns and based in the Twin Cities. Further, grant dollars tended to support strategies such as advocacy and direct service, as well as issue frames such as community building and civil rights.
Most of the nonprofits that responded to this study focused on addressing the general LGBTQ population—and few focused on LGBTQ subgroups such as seniors, people of faith, or people of color.
Additionally, on September 24, the day before the daylong convening, Espinoza will lead a discussion on how social movements, LGBTQ rights and race, class and gender inequities intertwine. The dialogue is being hosted by the Headwaters Foundation for Justice, a social justice foundation based in Minneapolis.
The final report will be available at http://lgbtqfunders.wpengine.com on October 16.