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Foundations’ LGBTQ Grant Making Grew 6.3% in 2013

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The number of foundation grants and the total amount given to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning issues set new records in 2013, according to a report released this month by Funders for LGBTQ Issues.

The report found that U.S. foundations in 2013 awarded 4,152 grants to organizations and programs focused on LGBTQ issues, totaling $129 million, a 6.3% increase over 2012.

In addition, foundations granted $15.7 million to public foundations and other intermediaries for re-granting to LGBTQ entities, up $3 million from 2012.

Total LGBTQ grant making in 2013 amounted to $144.8 million, with re-granted dollars included.

Some 12% of LGBTQ funding was re-granted through an intermediary or funding collaborative, “demonstrating an exceptional degree of collaboration and coordination among LGBTQ funders,” the report said.

The report’s research found that foundation funding for LGBTQ issues had grown by more than 250% over the past decade, while foundation funding generally had grown by 75% over the same period.

In 2013, it found, grant making for LGBTQ issues grew by 6.3%, while foundation funding in general grew by 5.6%.

However, context is important here. The report said foundation funding for LGBTQ issues represented just 0.2% of the approximately $55 billion foundations are estimated to have granted in 2013.

According to the report, advocacy continued to be the most funded strategy in 2013, representing 48% of all funding—perhaps not surprising with same-sex marriage the headline issue of the day.

Most strategies saw funding similar to the year before, with the exception of funding for direct services, which increased by five percentage points to 18%.

The report said several funders’ significantly increased investment in LGBTQ issues drove growth in 2013. The top five funders accounted for nearly half of foundation grants.

Following are the top 20 LGBTQ funders in 2013 and the top 10 grant recipients.

The top 20 funders of LGBTQ issues by dollar amount in 2013.

These accounted for 78% of this year’s total grant making. Eight were LGBTQ-specific funders. 

  1. Anonymous, various locations, $17.1 million
  2. Arcus Foundation, New York, $16.8 million
  3. Ford Foundation, New York, $15.3 million
  4. Gill Foundation, Denver, $7.1 million
  5. Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, San Francisco, $6.1 million
  6. Pride Foundation, Seattle, $5.3 million
  7. Open Society Foundations, New York, $4.5 million
  8. Wells Fargo Foundation, San Francisco, $3.7 million
  9. Tides Foundation, San Francisco, $3.4 million
  10. American Jewish World Service, New York, $2.6 million
  11. M.A.C. AIDS Fund, New York, $2.5 million
  12. H. van Ameringen Foundation, New York, $2.5 million
  13. Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, New York, $2.1 million
  14. Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, Chicago, $2 million
  15. The California Endowment, Los Angeles, $2 million
  16. Proteus Fund—Civil Marriage Collaborative, Amherst, Mass., $1.7 million
  17. Calamus Foundation, New York, $1.7 million
  18. Elton John AIDS Foundation, New York, $1.7 million
  19. Henry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Owing Mills, Md., $1.6 million
  20. Levi Strauss & Co. Foundation, San Francisco, $1.4 million

Top 10 LGBTQ Grantees (excluding re-granting).
Eight of the 10 groups are dedicated almost exclusively to LGBTQ issues. 

  1. Freedom to Marry, New York, $3.6 million
  2. National LGBTQ Task Force, Washington, D.C., $3.2 million
  3. Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders, New York, $2.6 million
  4. Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, New York, $2.5 million
  5. National Center For Lesbian Rights, New York, $2.2 million
  6. American Civil Liberties Union, New York, $2.2 million
  7. Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Boston, $2.1 million
  8. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, New York, $1.6 million
  9. African Men for Sexual Health and Rights, Johannesburg, S.A., $1.6 million
  10. Palm Center, San Francisco, $1.5 million