A new report from the independent think tank Movement Advancement Project includes some shocking statistics about how the battle for LGBTQ rights is funded. The report, redesigned for 2017 to be graphical with an emphasis on visually showing the key trends, also includes some positive news about the financial health and diversity of staff at the organizations. (You can see the full report below.)
The 2017 National LGBT Movement Report provides a comprehensive snapshot of the financial health of most of America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) social justice organizations. 39 groups participated in this year’s report and includes organizations focused on national, regional and state issues.
Based on the number of donors to participating organizations (and assuming they are all LGBT and there are no duplicates) compared to the number of LGBT adults in the United States, only 2.8% of LGBT people contribute $35 or more to participating organizations.
While the groups reported an aggregate increase in revenue of 11% from 2015 to 2016, over $13 million of that came from corporations. Individual contributions were the largest share of revenue, with foundation contributions and fundraising events also adding to the mix.
While individual contributions increased, the numbers show that the people who are donating aren’t your average Americans. The number of small money donors (those who give between $35-$999 annually) actually decreased by 5% between 2012-2016, while large donations from individuals ($25,000 or more) increased by 55%.
“The decrease in small donors (under $1,000) is concerning as they comprise the vast majority (94%) of the total number of donors,” the reports warns. “However, the increase in medium and large donors offset this decrease, as individual contributions increased 16% from 2015 to 2016.”
The report shows that the vast bulk of income for the organizations went directly to programs and services.
The staff and board make up of the participating organizations are becoming more diverse according to the report. While the majority (60%) of staff at participating organizations identify as Caucasian, 39% identify as as Hispanic/Latino(a), African American/Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, multi-racial, other, or Native American.
Slightly less than half of staff (47%) identify as women and 45% as men. One in ten (11%) staff identify as transgender. The majority (60%) of staff are between the ages of 30 and 54.
Of the 25 participating organizations to report on sexual orientation, 54% of staff identified as gay or lesbian, 8% as bisexual, 20% as another orientation, and 11% as straight.
“While there has been a cumulative increase in revenue from individual contributions, the data continues to reiterate findings from previous years that very few LGBT people contribute to LGBT organizations,” the report cautions.
“The results of the November 2016 election will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the future of LGBT organizations – especially their fundraising capacity and expenses. Despite the 12% increase in government funding last year, it is likely that government funding may decrease in 2017 given the change in administration.”