Between 2009 and 2011, foundation funding for LGBTQ issues in Oregon exploded, increasing from $920,000 to $3.9 million (that’s a nearly 325% increase!). During the same time period, foundation support for LGBTQ issues across the board increased by a more modest 32%. So how is Oregon attracting new funds? Who are these Oregon funders?
The second question is easier to answer. Between 2009 and 2011, the top 10 funders of LGBTQ issues in Oregon were:
The first question can in part be answered by the above list. Much of the recent rise in LGBTQ grantmaking for Oregon has come from more national funders investing in policy and advocacy work in the state. Over 75% of funding between 2009 and 2011 came from grantmakers outside the state. Some of this recent investment is because Oregon has become a key battleground state in the struggle for the freedom to marry. Some of it is also likely because the state’s LGBT equality organization -Basic Rights Oregon, the top recipient of LGBTQ grants in the state – has developed a nation-wide reputation for grassroots community organizing, sophisticated policy campaigns, and exceptional alliance-building and intersectional work on racial justice and immigrant rights.
But despite the impressive growth in LGBTQ funding, significant needs remain unmet in Oregon’s LGBTQ communities. Out of the $6.8 million invested in Oregon these past three years, nearly $4.5 million or two thirds of the funds have been invested in fighting for marriage and civil rights. There have been significantly less grant dollars awarded for health, human services, and youth, and for the rural areas of the state. Between 2009 and 2011, HIV/AIDS work received less than $100K in funding and anti-violence work received less than $10K in funding. Even in well funded areas like marriage, with a ballot battle likely to happen in the near future, the state’s marriage equality battle is far from over.