Research Adaptations & Commitments

2020 Data Request Image Post

2020 Data Request Image Post

Research Adaptations & Commitments

By: Andrew Wallace on September 20, 2021

Research is a critical practice at Funders for LGBTQ Issues that helps us share the stories of LGBTQ philanthropy, stateside and abroad, as well as, advocate to increase the scale and scope of philanthropic investments in our communities. Centering research practices in the midst of COVID-19, and its many impacts within LGBTQ communities, offered our team the opportunity to engage in reflection and learning. It was an invitation to consider how we needed to pivot to respond to the needs of the LGBTQ community, and ensure our work is sustained for the long term.

Our resource tracking work and related research are critical advocacy tools for us. We know that our reporting on trends and gaps in funding is also utilized by advocates within and beyond the sector to access and mobilize resources. Funders for LGBTQ Issues is committed to evolving and strengthening our research program to continue to meet the needs of our members and the movements we serve. Our research team has pursued critical adaptations in response to the pandemic and its resulting capacity setbacks, investing in innovations and building our capacity to sustain resource tracking work for years to come. There are several key updates I am excited to share with our community:

  • We’ve modified our Tracking Report release schedule and will share the next edition of our annual tracking report in Spring 2022. This next release will document detailed foundation giving trends covering calendar years 2019-2020. We are grateful to funders who already submitted data for CY 2019, and are currently seeking submissions for CY 2020 grants data. You can learn more about submitting CY 2020 grants on our data collection campaign page.
  • For nearly a year, we have worked closely with the brilliant team at Strength in Numbers consulting to evaluate our research processes and explore innovations to increase the capacity and sustainability of the resource tracking project. The scale and complexity of this work grows year over year as more donors are included in the report. New methods and adaptations will ensure we can continue our research efforts and take best advantage of technologies and trends in the field. Additionally, this summer we welcomed Alyssa Lawther to the research team as our Research & Communications Officer. Alyssa’s skills and experience will add needed capacity to to implement these adaptations.

For over two decades, Funders for LGBTQ Issue has invested energy and resources to gather the most comprehensive data possible to trace the evolution of funding for LGBTQ communities. This sustained commitment to resource tracking has documented a remarkable growth in funding for LGTBQ communities. But this growth is not the full story. Each year we review and analyze each grant in our data set that is specifically focused on LGTBQ communities. We code for a range of variables using an intersectional analysis, synthesized in our annual Tracking Report series and associated research. While increases in funding are certainly worth celebrating, our research also tells us that persistent and concerning trends remain.

As we look ahead to the forthcoming 2019-2020 Tracking Report and beyond, we are actively building opportunities to engage our members and stakeholders in the planning for the future of our research program. Our board, staff, members, and partners have already offered valuable feedback, and we are building additional opportunities to gather input in our planning process moving forward. I am also grateful for the rich ecosystem of researchers among our PSO partners and others in the field who are actively pushing the sector to center equity in data analysis and research through inspiring organizing, innovation, and practice. The CHANGE Philanthropy Research & Data Sharing Working Group as well as our friends at the Global Philanthropy Project (GPP) are just two examples of key values-aligned partners working to propose new norms of philanthropic data collection and analysis. Together we can advance a global sector research agenda that centers of racial and gender justice and is inclusive of LGBTQ communities and issues.


Image note: Photo by Morgan Housel on Unsplash

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