In 2017, a mere 12 foundations invested $5.6 million dollars into securing non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans, a slight dip from the record high of $7.4 million in 2016. They made these grants against the backdrop of no nationwide protections for LGBTQ people, an erosion of the Obama-era protections for federal contractors and those receiving federal services, and a set of pending Supreme Court cases that will determine whether or not LGBTQ people are protected under title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Funding specifically supporting efforts to secure non-discrimination protection accounted for only 4 percent of the $52.6 million awarded for the projection of civil rights for LGBTQ people in 2017.
Two funders in particular – the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and Gill Foundation – awarded significant funds to address the issue. Together they account for nearly 80 percent of the funding for securing non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people between 2016-2017.