This holiday season, I have a helpful tip on how to get more things done: make a resolution to invite a gay to your next fundraiser or committee because we know how to fundraise and plan stuff.
By this time of year, space in our schedules and our holiday energies may be feeling depleted, but end of the year and non-profit giving remains on the rise. In working with donors the last 8 years, and as a donor to several causes myself, I feel something special still happens when the LGBT community strives for causes outside of the gay community. So, are we mainstreaming our philanthropy?
While its true LGBT donors give more than the general public, seeking out recipients who embrace equality, only half of our contributions actually go to LGBT causes. The other half goes to mainstream (non-gay) causes. Think about it. Someone you know is affected by cancer? We form a team and walk for cancer research. Someone needs help due to tragedy or our local kids don't have gifts for the holidays? We host a fundraiser and collect for toy drives. Gay and lesbian donors are, for the most part, intentional. We give for many of the same reasons everyone else does. We give tocauses we are passionate about and giving helps us to communicate who we are and what we believe in.
Responding to a growing maturity of the movement, our advocacy organizations have gained currency within mainstream politics and our giving has become personal, political and powerful. A huge sense of pride and a powerful statement is made when openly LGBT people donate their time and money to issues not specific to the LGBT community.
While these ideas are nothing new, advocacy through philanthropy can be very effective in pushing our horribly sneaky, gay agenda. Simply put: we are not Satan's spawn, the LGBT population is absolutely a part of the overall community and we're not going anywhere.
So happy holidays to all of our hetero community members and while it's mid- December and you are still detangling the lights? All of our Christmas decorating and shopping has been done for weeks.
Certainly marriage equality, employment non-discrimination and an overall commitment to equality are all very important to us and organizations that support the LGBT community still continue to be a priority for most of us. But when it comes to an important and selfless cause? Let's face it, the gays know how to rally like no other and we can get shit done.