December 5, 2012
DENVER—Following several years of declining revenue, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) social justice organizations experienced a 17% revenue increase from 2010 to 2011 according to a new report by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP). Organizations are reaping the benefits of improved efficiency during the belt-tightening years, with increased funding, primarily fueled by an increase in individual donations, helping secure historic victories in the 2012 election.
According to the 2012 National LGBT Movement Report, LGBT organizations are projecting combined 2012 expense budgets of $158.4 million, which will represent an 11% increase from 2011, while 2011 expenses increased by 15% from 2010. The report provides a comprehensive and standardized look at the LGBT movement’s finances across 40 major LGBT organizations which collectively represent 69% of the budgets of all LGBT social justice organizations.
“Individual donors are increasing their giving to LGBT organizations—and seeing results,” said Ineke Mushovic, executive director of MAP. “There is still a lot of work to be done, but the election left no doubt that Americans support equality for LGBT people. The time for change is now, and it’s heartening to see more and more donors supporting the organizations who are working tirelessly to make that change a reality. ”
The 2012 election brought historic gains with three states—Maine, Maryland and Washington—passing voter-approved ballot measures that extended the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Minnesota rejected a constitutional amendment banning the freedom to marry, another watershed moment in the LGBT movement. However, 38 states have constitutional amendments or statutes banning marriage for same-sex couples, while federal and most state law still fails to protect a worker from being fired just because they are gay or transgender.
The report also uncovered some other challenges:
Despite these challenges, the overall news is positive:
“Our recent success has been tremendous,” said Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center. “The increased support from individual donors will also help us drive forward with other critical work. For example, LGBT youth continue to experience bullying and high suicide rates. Transgender adults face pervasive discrimination in the workplace and in our daily lives. We’ve proved, however, that strong organizations can and will make a difference.”
Founded in 2006, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) is an independent think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and analysis that help speed equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.