Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues

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Everything You Wanted to Know About LGBTQ Funding in Minnesota

Author: Lyle Matthew Kan

Next week, Funding Forward - Funders for LGBTQ Issues’ annual gathering of grantmakers committed to LGBTQ issues - will convene in Minneapolis, MN. So what does funding for LGBTQ issues in Minnesota look like?

In 2014, Minnesotan LGBTQ communities were awarded $854,500 – a marked decrease from the approximately $1.8 million it received in both 2012 and 2013 when the state was first fighting off a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and then working to legislatively pass marriage equality. (Minnesota was the recipient of marriage equality funding totaling more than $550,000 in 2012 and more than $700,000 in 2013.)

At its current funding level, Minnesota ranks in the top third of all states for local and statewide LGBTQ funding. More impressively, the state has the third largest 2014 GDQ (grant dollars per queer), at $14.97, behind New York and Maine. In fact, its 2014 GDQ is more than double the national average of $7.09.

So who is providing the funding? A disproportionate amount of the funding is coming from private foundations – nearly 75 percent. The top ten funders in 2014 included:

  1. Tawani Foundation ($160,000)
  2. Otto Bremer Foundation ($130,000)
  3. Bush Foundation ($100,000)
  4. Kevin J. Mossier Foundation ($79,000)
  5. John Larsen Foundation ($75,000)
  6. Pfund Foundation ($46,000)
  7. Minneapolis Foundation ($45,000)
  8. Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock ($40,000)
  9. Saint Paul Foundation ($30,000)
  10. Women's Foundation of Minnesota ($25,000)
Funding predominantly focused on civil rights (38 percent), health and wellbeing (27 percent), and strengthening communities, families, and visibility (23 percent). However, while health is normally about half HIV/AIDS funding and half “other” health funding, Minnesota only received $19,000 for LGBTQ-specific HIV/AIDS work in 2014.

Funding Forward 2016 marks the first time this conference will be held in the Midwest. As our Money for the Midwest infographic notes, the Midwest is home to 20 percent of LGBT adults but only receives 14 percent of state and local funding for LGBTQ issues.

It’s not too late to register for Funding Forward 2016. Click here to see this year's schedule and click here to register today!

Category(s): Philanthropic Sector