Funding for LGBTQ+ organisation small but growing fraction of American philanthropy


Alliance magazine


Support for LGBTQ+ organisations in the US has grown in recent years, but it makes up just 0.1 per cent of American philanthropy, new research from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.

The research from the recently released LGBT+ Index, a comprehensive measure of philanthropic support for LGBTQ+ organizations from individuals, foundations, and corporations in the U.S. and provides a baseline for helping practitioners, policymakers, funders, journalists, and scholars better understand giving to this under-resourced group. The Index is supported with funding from

LGBTQ+ organizations received approximately $560 million in philanthropic support in 2019, just 0.13 per cent of overall charitable giving that year, which was estimated to be over $426 billion, according to Giving USA 2022. However, the rate of growth in philanthropic support for LGBTQ+ organizations was nearly double that of non-LGBTQ+ organizations (46.3 per cent and 24.9 per cent, respectively) from 2015 to 2019.

‘We are pleased to launch the inaugural LGBTQ+ Index as part of our school’s commitment to better understanding charitable giving to under-served communities,’ said Una Osili, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and International Programs at the school. ‘The Index provides groundbreaking insights that enable people and organizations in the LGBTQ+ community to see themselves in charitable giving data. This new research shows that LGBTQ+ organizations are operating with relatively low levels of philanthropic support and other financial resources while still achieving powerful results for the diverse communities they serve.’

The report also highlights the diverse and widespread nature of LGBTQ+ organizations – reflecting the varied interests and concerns of the LGBTQ+ community. These organizations appear in every nonprofit subsector (e.g., health, human services, arts), and each U.S. state has at least four LGBTQ+ organizations.

Although philanthropic support for LGBTQ+ organizations has grown in recent years, LGBTQ+ organizations are, on average, substantially smaller than non-LGBTQ+ organizations in terms of financial measures like revenue, expenses and assets. For example, LGBTQ+ organizations held an average of $0.73 million in assets in 2019, compared with an average of nearly $5 million in assets held by non-LGBTQ+ organizations.

The researchers hope the Index can be used by a variety of audiences, including to advocate for greater financial support, to inform funding strategies and search the Index database to identify specific organizations to support, and to answer a range of questions about LGBTQ+ nonprofits and philanthropy.

For the full database, visit The Index will be updated annually.

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