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The Top Ten Asian American and Pacific Islander LGBTQ Funders

Author: Lyle Matthew Kan and Alice Y. Hom

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. According to the Williams Institute, there are an estimated 325,000 "out" LGBT AAPI individuals in the U.S. Between 2011 and 2012, AAPI LGBTQ communities received nearly $2.7 million in foundation funding - which accounts for approximately 1.4 percent of the total $196 million in domestic LGBTQ funding.

During that time period, the top ten AAPI LGBTQ funders included:

  1. The Paul Rapoport Foundation - $512,000
  2. Arcus Foundation - $457,500
  3. Anonymous - $300,000
  4. Ford Foundation - $250,000
  5. Levi Strauss & Co. Foundation - $208,000
  6. Liberty Hill Foundation (includes Queer Youth Fund grants) - $196,500
  7. Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy - $175,500
  8. Gill Foundation - $150,000
  9. Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice - $124,650
  10. Horizons Foundation - $58,950
While roughly 40 percent of domestic LGBTQ funding focuses on civil rights, nearly 60 percent of AAPI LGBTQ funding focused on civil rights.

Less than 30 percent of AAPI LGBTQ funding supports advocacy work, while comparatively 45-50 percent of all LGBTQ funding is awarded for advocacy work. More than 30 percent of AAPI LGBTQ funding supports capacity building and training, while approximately 15 percent of all LGBTQ funding is awarded for capacity building and training. The recent report "At the Crossroads: The Future of the LGBT Movement" is a useful resource on capacity building and training for LGBTQ people of color organizations and communities.

Organizations based in California received nearly $1.5 million in foundation funding, which accounts for 55 percent of all funding for AAPI LGBTQ communities. New York-based organizations received nearly $600,000 in foundation funding. While no other state received more than $500,000 expressly for AAPI LGBTQ communities between 2011 and 2012, it should be noted that California and New York are home to the largest AAPI populations.

Between 2011-2012, the annual LGBTQ grant dollars per AAPI LGBT adult is $4.09, which is below the national grant dollars per queer (GDQ) of $5.78.

For those interested in more information on funding in AAPI LGBTQ communities, check out the Queer Justice Fund at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.

Category(s): Philanthropic Sector, General LGBTQ Community

Topic(s): People of Color/Ethnic Communities