A new report finds that spending for LGBTQ programs by U.S. grantmakers is at an all-time high: $123 million in 2011, a 27 percent increase.
The organization Funders for LGBTQ Issues released the report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Grantmaking by US Foundations, which analyzed grants given by U.S. foundations toward LGBT programs. Among this report's encouraging findings: LGBTQ grantmaking to international organizations increased by a whopping 50 percent, from $19 million to $28.5 million, accounting for nearly one-third of the total increase in LGBTQ funding. LGBTQ grantmaking for transgender communities rose by 63 percent, from $3 million to $5 million. And, children and youth received 16 percent of all LGBTQ grant dollars, the largest of any sub-group.
"This increase in foundation giving is a sign of the growing momentum for equality regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity," says Ben Francisco Maulbeck, president of Funders for LGBTQ Issues. "LGBT-focused funders like the Arcus Foundation are growing in number and size, and more and more mainstream funders like American Jewish World Service are integrating LGBTQ communities into their grantmaking strategies."
What's most encouraging about these findings is the diversity of the LGBTQ issues represented within the funding programs. There is no one issue that is addressed more than others, and the general increase in funding for LGBTQ interests presents hope that the trend will continue.