New York — Funders for LGBTQ Issues recently released a new report, which found that U.S. foundation funding for GLBT communities grew by 27 percent in 2011, reaching a record-breaking high of $123 million.

The report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Grantmaking by US Foundation (2011), is the latest edition of the funding network's annual tracking report on the scale and character of U.S. foundation giving to GLBT communities based on available data for the year 2011.

The increase far out-paced the 2.2 percent growth of overall foundation grant dollars in the same year, pushing GLBT grantmaking over one quarter of one percent for the first time. "This increase in foundation giving is a sign of the growing momentum for equality regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity," says Ben Francisco Maulbeck, President of Funders for LGBTQ Issues. "LGBT-focused funders like the Arcus Foundation are growing in number and size, and more and more mainstream funders like American Jewish World Service are integrating LGBTQ communities into their grantmaking strategies."

Among this report's findings:

  • GLBT grantmaking to international organizations increased by 50 percent, from $19 million to $28.5 million, accounting for nearly one-third of the total increase in GLBT funding.
  • GLBT grantmaking for transgender communities rose by 63 percent, from $3 million to $5 million.
  • Children and youth received 16 percent of all GLBT grant dollars, the largest of any sub-group.

"I am heartened to see this growing response to the urgent civil rights and livelihood needs of LGBTQ people both nationally and abroad," Maulbeck said. "We look forward to working with an increasingly diverse array of funders to expand LGBTQ funding even more, so that the scale of resources at our disposal is commensurate with the great challenges and opportunities before us." Thus, Funders for LGBTQ Issues remains committed to working in collaboration with a variety of grantmakers to both increase the number of foundations that support GLBT issues overall and to ensure that the full diversity of the GLBT community is resourced. The report is now available for download at www.lgbtfunders.org.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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