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Giving and sexual orientation

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Funding for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues has tripled over the last decade, but still lags overall philanthropic funding, accounting for only 0.1 percent of foundation giving, a new study says.

The study, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Grantmaking by U.S. Foundations,” was conducted by Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues, which plans to conduct similar studies annually.

The report, which analyzed information from more than 200 public and private foundations, found 139 funders made a total of 1,570 grants totaling almost $30 million in 2002 to support related issues.

Nearly three in 10 of the 50 largest foundations made grants in support of such programs, the report says, with groups working on civil rights, including gay marriage and civil unions, receiving almost a quarter of the funding, more than any other issue.

Private foundations, led by the California Endowment, provided the majority of funding.

Much of the increase over the last 10 years is due to work by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, which started six of the 10 largest foundation givers, with two of those 10 public foundations that fund only related issues, the study says.

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