While many predicted that funding for LGBTQ issues would drop in the wake of the big victory on marriage equality in 2015, there is still a lot more money out there for nonprofits in this space than was the case a decade ago. Some areas, such as trans issues and LGBTQ people of color, have attracted more attention from funders in recent years. There is also new funding available for work in the U.S. South and for global efforts to promote LGBTQ rights.
While LGBTQ philanthropy is still dominated by a few big players like the Arcus and Gill Foundations, the breadth and nature of donors involved in this area is expanding. Many corporations give money to LGBTQ issues through their philanthropic arms. More individual donors and family foundations are also entering this space, as well as community foundations. Anonymous donors have given huge amounts of money to LGBTQ issues, which is perhaps unsurprising.
The Alliance for Full Acceptance supports LBGTQ organizations that address the emotional health and well-being of LGBTQ youth.
The Alphawood Foundation funds organizations that address the LGBTQ Chicago community’s human rights.
The H. van Ameringen Foundation supports LGBTQ organizations that address stigma against the LGBTQ community and fighting for equality.
The Arcus Foundation, now in its second decade of operation, specializes in defending LGBT rights and protecting the world's great apes. Awarding millions of dollars annually in domestic and international LGBT-related grants, Arcus is a huge player in this field. Arcus's LGBT funding emphasizes outreach to youth, people of color, and faith communities.
Astraea is both well-funded and accessible to initial grantseekers, even those of modest name recognition. Astraea prioritizes advocacy for lesbians, transgender individuals, and the arts.
The Susan and Donald Babson Charitable Foundation funds an array of LGBTQ causes across the United States.
Founded in 1997 by tech entrepreneur Bruce Bastian, the Bastian Foundation's areas of focus include the performing arts, LGBT rights, and HIV/AIDS advocacy. The foundation is not currently accepting unsolicited grant requests; grantseekers must first contact Executive Director Michael Marriott with ideas or proposals. Prioritizes projects based in the U.S. Intermountain West region (Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana).
Blachford-Cooper offers modest-sized grants to LGBTQ organizations across the United States.
The David Bohnett Foundation's LGBT funding focuses primarily on LGBT equality and access to technology. Grants are also awarded in several additional funding areas that include the arts (particularly in the Los Angeles area), gun violence, animal language, and municipal leadership.
Borick funds LGBTQ organizations that promote equality.
The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation supports artists that engage LGBTQ issues in their work.
Brother, Help Thyself prioritizes LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS organizations in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas.
The New York-based Calamus Foundation offers general operation and program-specific grants for charitable organizations providing "care and support" for individuals with HIV as well as those working on the LGBT community's identity and rights. In a recent year, the foundation awarded a total of over $2 million in grants. Calamus does not accept unsolicited grant proposals, and all inquiries must follow an "organization introduction" via the foundation's web site.
The Donald and Carole Chaiken Foundation broadly funds LGBTQ causes across the United States.
The Collingwood Foundation supports LGBTQ organizations across the United States.
The Crawford Idema Family Foundation restricts its LGBTQ grantmaking to organizations that serve South Santa Barbara County in California and Concord, Massachusetts.
The Crossroads Fund supports community-based LGBT organizations in the Chicago area.
The Esmond Harmsworth 1997 Charitable Foundation broadly funds LGBTQ organizations.
The Samuel Fels Fund invests its LGBTQ-grantmaking in Philadelphia youth.
The Ford Foundation is one of the stalwart funders of progressive causes and issues of social justice. Owing to a recent restructuring, the foundation will continue to support LGBTQ issues internationally, but has ended its support for U.S.-based LGBTQ work.
The Foundation for a Just Society advances the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQ people.
Freedom House offers grantees emergency assistance for defending human rights, activism, civil society organizations, survivors of religious persecution, and defenders of religious freedom.
FRIDA seeks young women and trans led organizations combatting oppression, violence, and inequality.
The David Geffen Foundation supports equal rights and nondiscrimination advocacy and policymaking for LGBT populations.
The Denver-based Gill Foundation has awarded millions of dollars annually in grants for "organizations working on policy and advocacy efforts to achieve equality in the United States for all people, including sexual orientation and gender identity or expression" both nationally and in founder Tim Gill's home state of Colorado.
The Global Fund for Women funds organizations that address women’s sexual, reproductive, economic, social, and political rights.
The Guildford Green Foundation broadly supports LGBTQIA organizations across South Carolina.
The Haas Fund is a pioneer in marriage equality and awards large-scale grants for a range of LGBT-related work. However, grant proposals are accepted by invitation only.
The Texas-based Hollyfield Foundation broadly supports LGBTQ organizations across the country.
Horizons, led by Executive Director Roger Doughty, is more accessible than many LGBT funders. Most of its funding consists of small grants to organizations working at the grassroots level.
The Johnson Family Foundation focuses LGBTQ grantmaking on sustainable projects that build equality movements and foster a greater understanding of mental health issues faced by the LGBTQ community.
The JP Morgan Chase Foundation supports local, regional, and national LGBT organizations.
The John Steven Kellett Foundation supports LGBTQ organizations serving the Greater Houston, Texas area.
The John C. Kish Foundation supports LGBTQ organizations across the United States.
The John Larsen Foundation funds efforts to address inequality and discrimination amongst LGBTQ populations, especially youth.
The Laughing Gull Foundation supports LGBTQ organizations that address discrimination and oppression of LGBTQ people living in the southern United States.
The Liberty Hill Foundation supports LGBTQ organizations based in the Los Angeles, California area.
The Marguerite Casey Foundation funds organizations that advocate for a more just and equitable society.
The Silva Watson Moonwalk Fund awards grants to organizations across the country; however, the majority of grants go to support LGBTQ organizations located in California.
The Ms. Foundation for Women seeks organizations fighting for broad policy change for women’s rights.
The New Harvest Foundation only funds LGBTQ organizations located in or serving the South Central Wisconsin region.
The New Prospect Foundation broadly funds LGBTQ organizations across the United States.
The NYCT is a powerhouse funder for causes of social, economic, and environmental justice. NYCT supports organizations that provide legal assistance, aid individuals with HIV/AIDS, and provide a number of services to elderly, minority, and economically disadvantaged LGBTs.
The Nexus Fund's LGBTQ grants seek to support work that combats hate speech in the United States and abroad.
The North Star Fund concentrates its LGBTQ grantmaking in New York City and its five boroughs.
NoVo invests in organizations combating regressive policies against marginalized populations, including LGBTQ communities.
The Oak Foundation invests in organizations that support the fundamental rights of vulnerable groups.
The New York-based OSF focuses on a wide range of domestic and international human rights and social justice issues, with a particular focus on developing countries. The LGBT program at Open Society is part of its Human Rights Initiative.
Overbrook's work is split into two categories: human rights, which includes LGBT issues, and the environment. Supports marriage equality and other issues affecting LGBTs both domestically and internationally. A small number of repeat grantees receive funds each year; unsolicited calls or proposals are discouraged.
The Palette Fund supports organizations across the United States that actively break down barriers for the LGBTQ community.
The PFund awards grants to LGBTQ community organizations that advocate for sustainable, systematic change.
The Point Foundation awards scholarships to LGBTQ students across the United States.
The Pride Foundation supports organizations that address discrimination, protect gains made, and advocate for equality in LGBTQ communities in the Northwest region of the United States.
The Civil Marriage Collaborative is Proteus's major contribution to LGBT funding. This program provides major funding to a small number of grantees each year, and proposals are by invitation only.
The Rainbow World Fund supports LGBT and non-LGBT communities in need around the world.
Resist broadly funds grassroots and local LGBTQ rights organizations.
The Rosenberg Foundation seeks organizations that address low-income communities and communities of color in the areas of criminal justice reform, workers’ rights, immigrants’ rights, and public safety
The Bob A. Ross Foundation award LGBT grants to organizations located in and around San Francisco, California.
This U.K.-based funder supports organizations that address homophobia and LGBTI discrimination.
The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation awards grants to local, regional, and national LGBT organizations.
The San Francisco Foundation only invests grants in the Bay Area.
The Small Change Foundation funds projects that benefit disadvantaged and vulnerable populations.
The Stonewall Community Foundation funds an array of LGBTQ causes.
Snowdon's LGBTQ grantmaking prioritizes New York City. LGBTQ grantmaking spans advocacy and policy, health and more.
Third Wave supports organizations that address youth-led gender justice activities and programs.
Trans Generations focuses its grantmaking for LGBTQ issues on the needs of trans girls and women.
The fund supports NGOs working in women’s and transgender rights.
The Verizon Foundation takes a broad-approach to funding LGBTQ rather than maintaining a program dedicated to them; however, it offers grants to LGBT organizations across the country.
The Wild Geese Foundation supports organizations that provide safe havens for LGBTI individuals.
The Reid Williams Foundation funds organizations that advocate for social and economic justice.