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New research finds charitable giving to LGBTQ+ organizations is a little more than 0.1 percent of philanthropy in the U.S., but support has grown in recent years

originally posted on May 23, 2023

LGBTQ+ Index from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy provides a baseline for understanding the LGBTQ+ charitable giving landscape

Just ahead of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, new research looks at charitable giving to U.S. nonprofit organizations that primarily serve the LGBTQ+ community. A new LGBTQ+ Index and research report released today by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI shows philanthropic support for LGBTQ+ organizations accounted for 0.13% of total U.S. charitable giving in 2019, the latest year for which data are available.

The LGBTQ+ Index, made possible through anchor funding from, is the most comprehensive measure of philanthropic support for LGBTQ+ organizations from individuals, foundations, and corporations in the U.S. and provides a baseline for helping practitioners, policymakers, funders, journalists and scholars better understand giving to this under-resourced group. The Index includes nonprofits active from 2012 to 2019; the report focuses on the years 2015-2019.

LGBTQ+ organizations received approximately $560 million in philanthropic support in 2019, just 0.13% of overall charitable giving that year, which was estimated to be over $426 billion, according to Giving USA 2022*. However, the rate of growth in philanthropic support for LGBTQ+ organizations was nearly double that of non-LGBTQ+ organizations (46.3% and 24.9%, respectively) from 2015 to 2019.

“We are pleased to launch the inaugural LGBTQ+ Index as part of our school’s commitment to better understanding charitable giving to under-served communities,” said Una Osili, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and International Programs at the school. “The Index provides groundbreaking insights that enable people and organizations in the LGBTQ+ community to see themselves in charitable giving data. This new research shows that LGBTQ+ organizations are operating with relatively low levels of philanthropic support and other financial resources while still achieving powerful results for the diverse communities they serve.”

Giving to LGBTQ+ organizations grew at a particularly strong rate in 2017 (11.7%) and 2018 (12.2%), which corresponds with documented growth in giving to LGBTQ+ causes following the 2016 presidential election. Among LGBTQ+ organizations, civil rights and advocacy are key focus areas. Over half of philanthropic support for LGBTQ+ organizations goes to those whose missions include civil rights and advocacy (52.9%). Transgender-specific organizations saw especially strong growth in giving in recent years, increasing by nearly 200% between 2015 and 2019. (continue reading)