Denver, CO & Wilton Manors, FL; June 5, 2012 — Despite the slow economic recovery, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community centers manage to provide vital resources to 1.7 million people annually according to a comprehensive report released today by CenterLink and the Movement Advancement Project (MAP).
The 2012 LGBT Community Center Survey Report: Assessing the Capacity and Programs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Centers surveyed 79 LGBT community centers nationwide. Centers showed good revenue growth over the past two years, resulting in combined 2011 revenue of $106.8 million. However, centers remain thinly staffed, with almost one in five relying on no paid staff at all.
“In many regions, community centers are the only resource where LGBT community members can access not only indispensable services but also break isolation and build a network of support,” said Terry Stone, Executive Director of CenterLink. “This report surfaces how centers serve the most vulnerable members of our communities, especially LGBT youth, and enrich the lives of LGBT people in multifaceted ways.”
In many regions, local LGBT centers are the only organizations serving the LGBT community, offering a variety of much-needed resources including:
Many LGBT centers rely on a small number of staff to provide these services. Of the 61 centers that provided information about staff, 18% have no staff and rely entirely on volunteers, and 41% have five or fewer paid staff. Small centers face particular staffing challenges; 46% have no paid staff, and the remaining 54% have between one and five staff.
Both large and small LGBT centers reported revenues increases from 2010 to 2011; small centers experienced a 20% increase in revenues from 2010 to 2011, compared to a 13% increase for large centers. Forty-six percent of 2011 revenues were from government grants, followed by 18% from individual donors and 10% from fundraising events.
“From health education and policy advocacy to employment counseling and legal services, community centers provide lifelines to many underserved LGBT communities,” said Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director of MAP. “We’re encouraged to see growing financial support at so many centers, and hope to see even greater investment in the vital role these centers play in the lives of LGBT people across the country.”
About the Authors
CenterLink was founded in 1994 as a member-based coalition to support the development of strong, sustainable LGBT community centers. A fundamental goal of CenterLink’s work is to help build the capacity of these centers to address the social, cultural, health and political advocacy needs of LGBT community members across the country. For over a decade, CenterLink has played an important role in addressing the challenges centers face by helping them to improve their organizational and service delivery capacity, access public resources and engage their regional communities in the grassroots social justice movement. www.lgbtcenters.org.
MAP's mission is to provide independent and rigorous research, insight and communications that help speed equality and opportunity for all. MAP works to ensure that all people have a fair chance to pursue health and happiness, earn a living, take care of the ones they love, be safe in their communities, and participate in civic life.