New Democracy Maps

2016 LGBT Community Center Survey Report

The Bottom Line

The biennial LGBT Community Center Survey Report provides a detailed picture of centers’ staff and boards, program priorities, constituencies and services, infrastructure, fundraising, budgets, and technical assistance needs. The 2016 report finds that local community centers serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people provide vital information, education, and health services to over 43,500 people each week.


The LGBT Community Center Survey Report, prepared jointly by MAP and CenterLink and published every two years, provides an overview of local lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community centers, including their capacity, their programs and services, the people they serve, and their technical assistance needs.

The 2016 report analyzes data from 143 LGBT community centers LGBT community centers from 40 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Among the report’s key findings:

  • LGBT community centers serve over 43,500 people each week and refer over 6,000 people weekly to other organizations or agencies for services and assistance.
  • Both large and small LGBT centers reported increased revenue, for combined 2015 revenue of $176 million, and smaller centers, often operating in locations and communities that are least accepting of LGBT people, experienced a 17% increase in revenue over the course of 2014 to 2015 compared to a 6% increase for large centers.
  • Despite the increase in average center revenue, many centers still struggle with a lack of funding and resources; 31% of all surveyed centers have no paid staff and rely solely on volunteers; and 63% have five or fewer paid staff. More than half of center staff (53%) identify as people of color.
  • LGBT community center clientele is diverse and community centers often offer tailored programming: 82% of LGBT community centers offer specific programming for LGBT youth, 88% for transgender people, 61% for LGBT older adults, and 51% for LGBT people of color.
  • The demographics of LGBT community center patrons vary greatly among centers. On average however, center patrons are disproportionately male, people of color, transgender, and/or low-income.
  • LGBT community centers tailor their programs to meet the diverse needs of their community: 82% of LGBT community centers offer specific programming for LGBT youth, 88% for transgender people, 61% for LGBT older adults, and 51% for LGBT people of color.

Stay Informed

Be the first to know about new reports and MAP news by signing up for our newsletter

Request User Access

A limited set of materials is restricted to the staff and board members of LGBTQ movement organizations. Click below to request user access.

Join MAP

View our privacy policy.

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.

Choose an Issue

Choose an Issue