Who Made the 2018 LGBTQ Funding Honor Roll?

Who Made the 2018 LGBTQ Funding Honor Roll?

By: Funders for LGBTQ Issues Staff on June 23, 2020

This June marks 50 years since the first Pride Marches took place to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969. Intentionally labeled as marches, not parades, these marches sought liberation. Today, 50 years after the first official marches and 51 years after Stonewall, we are still seeking liberation. We are still resisting police violence. And we are still fighting to make sure Black Trans Lives Matter.

But as we march this year to address the scourge of anti-Black racism and advance a broadly progressive agenda, we also celebrate the incremental progress we have made. We rejoice in victories like the recent Supreme Court decisions affirming nationwide nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in the workplace and preventing Trump from arbitrarily and capriciously terminating DACA.  And at Funders for LGBTQ Issues, we take this opportunity to honor the grantmakers who are helping drive record growth in LGBTQ funding.

Our latest research examining the scale and scope of philanthropic support for LGBTQ communities, the 2018 Tracking Report: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Grantmaking by U.S. Foundations, reported United States-based foundations and corporations awarded 6,636 grants totaling $209.2 million for organizations and programs addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer issues around the world. This 13 percent increase over 2017 grantmaking pushed philanthropic support for LGBTQ issues past the $200 million marks for only the second time since we began reporting. The first time was reported in 2016, when the philanthropic response to the Pulse Nightclub massacre drove annual funding to $202.3 million.

This 2018 report includes a record number of surveyed institutions, increasing the number of funders by 32 percent to a new high of 450. Yet the growth in funding captured here is not only a consequence of the increase in reporting institutions. In fact, all new funders to this report (those that were not included in the 2017 report) collectively account for less than 5 percent of total support. The field of LGBTQ grantmaking continues to be incredibly top-heavy with the top 10 funders accounting for 46 percent of annual giving to LGBTQ communities, and the top 100 accounting for a full 89 percent of all LGBTQ grantmaking.

While we celebrate these large donors as important fuel for our movement, we also  recognize the importance of smaller increases from a far greater number of foundations. In 2018, 117 Foundations increased their contributions to LGBTQ organizations. Of these, 88 foundations increased their grantmaking to LGBTQ communities by 25 percent or more.


AARP Foundation Foundation for Healthy St. Petersburg Our Fund
Advocates for Youth Foundation For The Carolinas – Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation
Ahmanson Foundation Freeman Foundation Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
AIDS United Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation The Pittsburgh Foundation
Akron Community Foundation Gilead Sciences Proteus Fund
Anonymous Donors Grand Rapids Community Foundation Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
The Anschutz Foundation William T. Grant Foundation Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
Astraea Foundation – International Trans Fund Guilford Green Foundation Richmond Memorial Health Foundation
AT&T Foundation Walter and Elise Haas Fund Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Barr Foundation Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund Robin Hood Foundation
B.W. Bastian Foundation Hagedorn Fund Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Bread and Roses Community Fund Keith Haring Foundation San Francisco Foundation
Otto Bremer Foundation Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis Santa Fe Community Foundation
Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation The Heinz Endowments The Seattle Foundation
Bush Foundation Hill-Snowdon Foundation The Simmons Foundation
Calamus Foundation (New York) Horizons Foundation Southern Vision Alliance
Campaign for Southern Equality Human Rights Campaign Foundation Spartanburg County Foundation
CareOregon Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies Contribution Fund Tawani Foundation
Annie E. Casey Foundation Just Fund Kentucky Texas Pride Impact Funds
Columbus Foundation Kaiser Permanente Third Wave Fund
Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta Laughing Gull Foundation Trans Justice Funding Project
Community Foundation for Northeast Florida Leeway Foundation Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan Levi Strauss Foundation Urgent Action Fund
Community Foundation for Southern Arizona M.A.C. AIDS Fund Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee John D, and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Washington AIDS Partnership
Con Alma Health Foundation Moody Foundation Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
Delaware Valley Legacy Fund Ms. Foundation for Women Wild Geese Foundation
District of Columbia Bar Foundation New York Women’s Foundation Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
Foundation for a Just Society Northwest Area Foundation Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation
Omomuki Foundation


While these increases are welcomed and should be celebrated, we also know much work remains. Based on updated research from Funders for LGBTQ Issues and Candid., we know that for every $100 awarded by U.S. foundations, only 25 cents specifically supports LGBTQ issues (less than the 28 cents we reported in the 2018 Tracking Report). We also know $209 million is not nearly enough to fuel our fight for justice. It is less than half of what Mike Bloomberg spent on his roughly three month presidential campaign. It would only cover the operating expenses of the Art Institute of Chicago for 9 months.

So we at Funders for LGBTQ Issues continue to work to increase philanthropic resources that advance LGBTQ wellbeing and racial, economic, and gender justice.

For a deeper analysis of the scope and distribution of funding, the full 2018 Tracking Report is a great resource.

Image note: Photo by Tim Bieler on Unsplash

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