U.S. Foundation Funding for LGBTQ Issues Total $185 Million in 2017

U.S. Foundation Funding for LGBTQ Issues Total $185 Million in 2017

U.S. foundation funding to address gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues totaled $185.7 million in 2017, a report from Funders for LGBTQ Issues finds.

According to the 2017 Tracking Report: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Grantmaking by U.S. Foundations (56 pages, PDF), the total was down from 2016, largely due to the more than $30 million distributed in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting that year, which pushed the amount given to a record $202.3 million. When grantmaking by the OneOrlando Fund is excluded, 2017 funding for LGBTQ issues increased by $10.8 million, or 6 percent, on a year-over-year basis. 

For the first time since the organization began tracking LGBTQ funding by region, the report found that the South received the most grant dollars, more than $22 million, a year-over-year increase of 27 percent. At the same time, foundation funding per capita for LGBTQ adults in the South — where more than a third of the country's LGBTQ adults live — lagged the Northeast and Pacific regions. The study also found that funding for trans communities in the United States reached a record high of $22.6 million in 2017, a 33 percent increase. 

According to the report, the top ten funders of LGBTQ issues — led by the Arcus ($17 million), Ford ($12.4 million), Gill ($9.5 million), and Open Society ($7.8 million) foundations and Gilead Sciences ($11.7 million) — accounted for 43 percent of the total, or $86.2 million, up some $1.2 million from 2016 (excluding OneOrlando Fund grants). Private foundations awarded $93.4 million ($87.3 million, excluding funds for re-granting), up $4.7 million from the record high reported in 2016, with non-LGBTQ-focused private foundations accounting for $4.3 million of the increase. 

The study also found that the top twenty recipient organizations — which included the New York LGBT Center ($3.4 million), the Human Rights Campaign ($3.1 million), African Men for Sexual Health and Rights ($3 million) in South Africa, the Transgender Law Center ($2.86 million), and the Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network ($2.84 million) — received $40.4 million, accounting for 22 percent of the total. Non-LGBTQ-focused organizations received 35 percent of total grant dollars, the largest share since the study began tracking funding by organization type.