Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues

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Where we Live and Where we Fund: The Highest Funded (LGBTQ) Cities in America

Author: Naa Hammond

It’s almost Pride Month in the U.S., and dozens of cities will soon host LGBTQ pride marches, parties, and demonstrations that attract millions of people each year. As our urban areas prepare, we thought it would be interesting to look at the top funded cities.

Historically, LGBTQ funding and non-profits have tended to concentrate in metropolitan areas. This may mirror larger queer migration trends of LGBTQ communities and/or movement resources over the last century (though the lack of historical data on LGBTQ communities makes tracking these geographic patterns difficult).

In 2013, much of the local funding for LGBTQ issues concentrated on the two coasts, with the Northeast receiving the highest ‘Grant Dollars per Queer’ (GDQ) at $11.04 and the Pacific states receiving the second highest GDQ of $10.07.

Of course, there was substantial variation from state to state within each region, and certain cities with high GDQs increased the perception that funding for their entire region was much higher than reality.

The Highest Funded Metropolitan Areas in 2013 were:

  1. New York, NY
    ($10,281,944)
  2. San Francisco and Oakland, CA  
    ($3,620,821)  
  3. Los Angeles, CA  
    ($2,739,635)   
  4. Washington, DC  
    ($1,969,574)   
  5. Chicago, IL  
    ($1,774,643)    
  6. Seattle and Tacoma, WA  
    ($1,428,019)   
  7. Boston, MA  
    ($1,018,439)   
  8. Philadelphia, PA  
    ($799,063)    
  9. San Diego, CA  
    ($645,333)   
  10. Dallas, TX  
    ($637,544)  
  11. Fort Lauderdale and Miami, FL  
    ($594,929)   
  12. New Orleans, LA  
    ($469,907)   
  13. Houston, TX  
    ($467,860)   
  14. Cleveland, OH  
    ($448,225)   
  15. Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN  
    ($403,623)  
  16. Sacramento, CA  
    ($353,430)   
  17. Denver, CO  
    ($335,211)   
  18. Atlanta, GA  
    ($314,554)   
  19. Milwaukee, WI  
    ($299,993)   
  20. Portland, OR  
    ($282,092)   
The Williams Institute recently released a scan that compares available data on LGBTQ rankings by metro area. The top 10 metro areas with the highest percentage of LGBT-identified people, between 2012 and 2014, were 1. San Francisco, CA; 2. Portland, OR; 3. Austin, TX; 4. New Orleans, LA; 5. Seattle, WA; 6. Boston, MA; 7. Salt Lake City, UT; 8. Los Angeles, CA; 9. Denver, CO; and 10. Hartford, CT.

While it’s exciting to note the growing social acceptance that has led to bigger LGBTQ populations in cities, LGBTQ people live and build vibrant communities in many places not on these lists. Several funders have recognized the funding disparities between urban, rural and suburban areas and have committed to increasing support for rural and suburban LGBTQ communities.

Regardless of where we live, LGBTQ people everywhere are advancing work to address our needs, resist unjust conditions, and create communities that honor our whole selves. Philanthropy has an important role to play in achieving this vision.

Category(s): Philanthropic Sector