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Study reports just under $130 million in funding to LGBTQ issues

This is about 2013, not 2014, but here’s the lead-in: According to a report with a boring-sounding name, “funding for LGBTQ issues reached a record high of $129.1 million in 2013,” which is actually really, very exciting.

Here’s the not-so-excellent part, though: “While the growth in 2013 represented a 6.3 percent increase, slightly outpacing the 5.5 percent increase in foundation funding in general, LGBTQ issues still only received 24 cents for every $100 foundations awarded.” In other words, we beat the national averages, but we only got .0024 of a penny on each dollar funded.

The numbers come from Funders for LGBTQ’s Tracking Report: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Grantmaking by U.S. Foundations. Funders identifies itself as a “network of foundations, corporations, and other donors seeking to mobilize philanthropic resources that enhance the well-being of LGBTQ communities.”

"I'm delighted 2013 proved to be a record year for foundation funding of LGBTQ issues," said Ben Francisco Maulbeck, president of Funders for LGBTQ Issues. "However, we still have a lot of work to do to expand LGBTQ funding—to make sure that the resources reaching our communities are commensurate with the tremendous challenges that we face and with the great scale of our dreams for the future."

Here are the researchers’ highlights from the report:

  • Funding for trans communities reached a record high of $8.3 million, up from $5.3 million in 2012.
  • For the first time, a grantee from the Global South made the list of top ten grantees. Located in Johannesburg, South Africa, African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR) received $1.5 million in funding for LGBT issues.
  • California was the top funded state, receiving $11 million in funding for LGBT issues. The previous year, New York was the top funded state.
  • Outside of the United States, Sub-Saharan Africa was the top funded international region, receiving nearly $6.9 million in funding for LGBT issues. While Sub-Saharan Africa was the top funded international region last year, in 2012 it only received $3.4 million in funding for LGBT issues.
  • Seven of the top twenty funders for LGBTQ issues increased their funding for LGBTQ communities by 25 percent or more.

And, of course, here are the “top 20 funders of LGBTQ issues by total dollar amount,” according to the report:

1 Anonymous
Various locations

2 Arcus Foundation
New York, NY

3 Ford Foundation
New York, NY

4 Gill Foundation
Denver, CO

5 Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
San Francisco, CA

6 Pride Foundation
Seattle, WA

7 Open Society Foundations
New York, NY

8 Wells Fargo Foundation
San Francisco, CA

9 Tides Foundation
San Francisco, CA

10 American Jewish World Service
New York, NY

11 M.A.C. AIDS Fund
New York, NY

12 H. van Ameringen Foundation
New York, NY

13 Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice
New York, NY

14 Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
Chicago, IL

15 The California Endowment
Los Angeles, CA

16 Proteus Fund – Civil Marriage Collaborative
Amherst, MA

17 Calamus Foundation
New York, NY

18 Elton John AIDS
New York, NY

19 Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
Owing Mills, MD

20 Levi Strauss & Co. Foundation
San Francisco, CA

For more information on Funders, go to