Foundation Grants to LGBTQ Causes Top $100 Mil. in 2012; Youth Benefit Most

Children and youth causes received $20.4 million in 2012 as overall funding for LGBTQ issues fell slightly from the previous year.

BY Alex J Davidson

December 19 2013 11:32 AM ET

Foundations gave more than $100 million to LGBTQ causes in 2012, and the leading beneficiaries of those funds were children and youth, according to a new report.

Funders for LGBTQ Issues released its "2012 Tracking Report: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Grantmaking by U.S. Foundations" and found child- and youth-related causes received $20.4 million in funding.

"This report documents how funders are responding to a range of issues and needs in LGBT communities, from marriage equality and gender identity rights to safe schools and HIV/AIDS," said Ben Francisco Maulbeck, president of Funders for LGBTQ Issues. "It also helps us identify gaps and serves as a barometer for our progress toward engaging more funders in LGBTQ issues."  

Domestic foundation funding for LGBTQ issues exceeded $100 million for the first time while overall LGBTQ funding was largely stable in 2012. The report’s findings are based on data on 4,068 grants awarded by 399 foundations.

The report finds that foundation funding of LGBTQ issues totaled $121.4 million in 2012, a slight decrease from the 2011 record high of $123 million. The Funders for LGBTQ issues says this decrease is likely a temporary pause in LGBTQ funding's overall trajectory of rapid expansion in recent years.

The report’s other major findings include:

  • The top five funders in 2012 were: Anonymous, Ford Foundation, Gill Foundation, Arcus Foundation, and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, which collectively provided 45 percent of all LGBTQ funding for the year.  
  • Corporate funders increased their grantmaking by 26 percent; public funders increased their grantmaking by 20 percent.  
  •  25 percent of recipient organizations in the U.S. were not exclusively LGBTQ-focused, the other 75 percent were.     
  • New York received $11.7 million, the most local and statewide funding of any state.
  • International funding for LGBTQ issues totaled $20.2 million in 2012, down from its record high of $27 million in 2011.
  • Refugees, asylees, and migrants were the top-funded subpopulation for international funding, receiving $3.4 million.
  • Of funding devoted to international LGBTQ issues, 43 percent (or $8.8 million) went to organizations based in the U.S. The second most funded region was sub-Saharan Africa, which secured $3.4 million.   

The report also includes an infographic summarizing its findings.

Contact reporter Alex Davidson on Twitter at twitter.com/adwildcat

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