U.S. foundation funding for efforts to address gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues reached a record high of $129.1 million in 2013, up 6.3 percent from 2012, a report from Funders for LGBTQ Issues finds.
According to the affinity group's 2013 Tracking Report (64 pages, PDF), 331 foundations awarded 4,146 grants in support of LGBTQ issues in 2013, with significant increases registered by a handful of funders. Indeed, of the top twenty LGBTQ funders, eight significantly increased their grantmaking. They include the MAC AIDS Fund, which more than doubled its support for LGBTQ issues; the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice (up 80 percent); the California Endowment and the Ford Foundation (up more than 30 percent each); the Tides Foundation (up nearly 25 percent); and the Arcus Foundation, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights. The top five funders of LGBTQ issues — the Arcus, Ford, and Gill foundations; the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund; and anonymous donors — accounted for 48 percent of foundation funding for LGBTQ issues.
The report also found that an additional $15.7 million was awarded to public foundations and other intermediaries to be re-granted to LGBTQ communities, up from $12.7 million in 2012. Approximately 12 percent of funding for LGBTQ issues in 2013 was re-granted through a funding collaborative or intermediary, which, according to the report, demonstrates a high degree of collaboration and coordination among LGBTQ funders. Among strategies funded, advocacy work received 49 percent of total grant dollars, followed by capacity building and training (14 percent), direct service (13 percent), and research (10 percent). In terms of issues addressed, civil and human rights received 43 percent of the grant dollars awarded for LGBTQ issues, followed by health and well-being (16 percent) and strengthening communities (13 percent).
The report further notes that while foundation funding for LGBTQ issues has increased 250 percent over the last decade, compared with a 75 percent increase in foundation grantmaking generally, funding for LGBTQ issues remains a tiny fraction of foundation support, totaling just 0.24 percent in 2013.