New Democracy Maps

National LGBT Movement Report

The Bottom Line

The National LGBT Movement Report, published annually by MAP, examines revenue and expenses, fundraising and fundraising efficiency, and other indicators of financial health for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) social justice advocacy, issue, legal, research and public education organizations.


The 2016 National LGBT Movement Report provides a comprehensive snapshot of the financial health of LGBT social justice organizations. The 36 organizations examined in this year's report collectively represent 45% of the budgets of all LGBT social justice advocacy organizations. Among the key findings in the 2016 report:

Revenue and Expenses

  • Participating organizations reported an 8% increase in revenue for 2015 over 2014. In comparison, the top 100 nonprofit organizations nationwide reported a combined growth of just 2.6%. Expenses for participating organizations also increased 4% from 2014.
  • Individual donor and corporate contributions continue to grow. Individual donor revenue, the greatest share of cumulative revenue, grew 5% from 2014 to 2015. Organizations raised a combined total of $6.8 million from corporate contributions in 2014 and $9.6 million in 2015, a 41% increase. Notably, among the 33 organizations reporting this data, the number of donors giving $25,000 or more increased by 45% over five years.
  • Participating organizations have robust working capital and have kept fundraising costs low. Of total expenses, 79% were dedicated to programs and services and only 11% to fundraising, well above nonprofit standards.
  • The indicators of financial health show a movement poised for the work ahead in the near future. The average liquidity ratio is healthy, and long-term debt is down for participating organizations, however, so are long-term assets.

Staff and Boards

  • Organizations have diverse staff that mirror the overall population. 38% of paid staff at participating organizations identify as people of color. Among senior staff, 36% identify as people of color.
  • Slightly less than half of staff (48%) identify as women, 46% as men, and 6% as genderqueer or another gender. Slightly more than one in ten staff (11%) identify as transgender. Of the 31 non-transgender-specific organizations that reported this data, 11 have more than 10% of their staff who identify as transgender.
  • For the first time this year, participating organizations were asked to report on the sexual orientation of their staff and board members. Of the 24 participating organizations to report this data, 59% of staff identified as gay or lesbian, 7% as bisexual, 0.2% as asexual, 24% as another orientation, and 10% as straight.

The report also uncovered some challenges ahead:

  • While there has been a cumulative increase in revenue from individual contributions, LGBT organizations continue to rely on contributions from a small fraction of the LGBT community. The total number of people who gave $35 or more to a participating organization represents approximately 3.1% of the total number of LGBT adults in the United States.
  • For the 33 organizations reporting this data, donors giving $35 to $999 decreased 7% from 2014 to 2015, while donors giving $1,000 to $24,999 increased 2% and donors giving $25,000 or more increased 6%. Compared to 2011, the number of donors increased across all categories. Most notably, the number of donors giving $25,000 or more increased by 45% over five years.
  • A few organizations experienced steep revenue decline despite steady growth overall for participating organizations. Fourteen organizations experienced revenue declines, with an average decline of 20% for these organizations. Participating organizations also experienced an aggregate 11% decrease in government funding, which comprised just 2% of total revenue in 2015. This number is likely to decline further given the shift in administration.

2016 Participating Organizations

Basic Rights Oregon
Equality California
Equality Federation
Equality Florida
Equality Maine
Family Equality Council
Funders for LGBTQ Issues
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Leadership Institute
Gay-Straight Alliance Network
Human Rights Campaign and Foundation (HRC)
Immigration Equality
Lambda Legal Defense
Log Cabin Republicans & Liberty Education Forum
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE)
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
PFLAG National
Point Foundation
Reconciling Ministries Network
Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
Sylvia Rivera Law Project
The National LGBTQ Task Force
Transgender Law Center
The Trevor Project
True Colors United
(One organization preferred not to be listed.)


  • Movement Advancement Project

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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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