Queer Dreams and Nonprofit Blues: Dilemmas of the Nonprofit Tradition in LGBT Politics

Published on Oct 4, 2013

Join Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice on October 4th and 5th for two panels at Queer Dreams and Nonprofit Blues. The conference explores the ways in which the nonprofit structure and its logics inform the scope, agenda, forms, and aspiration of queer and LGBT politics. Today, formally constituted nonprofits perform the bulk of the work of advocacy, research, litigation, service delivery and organizing on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity both in the US and around the world. But questions persist about the nature of the gains made, the agendas being promoted, whom they have benefitted and which populations they leaves behind.

USA- New York

Queer Dreams and Nonprofit Blues: Dilemmas of the Nonprofit Tradition in LGBT Politics

Jerome Greene Hall, Columbia Law School
435 West 116th Street | New York, NY 10027

Can Philanthropy and Democracy be Reconciled?
Friday, October 4th
2:00 – 3:30 pm
Gara Lamarche, David Barr, Gabriel Foster, Christine Ahn.
Moderator: J. Bob Alotta

The queer movement has been built and sustained through the time, services and money given by queer and trans individuals. Historically, philanthropic institutions and large individual donors have provided a small fraction of the support for LGBT organizations and activism. This section of the program looks at (1) the impact and focus of funding for LGBT movement work today; (2) innovative models for building and sustaining organizations; (3) and at mechanisms to address the impact of economic inequality and class differences inside nonprofit organizations. A 40 year report on LGBT philanthropy, Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues detailed that the first grant formally made by a Foundation to an LGBT group was in 1970. From 1970-1976, foundations gave about $224,935 to LGBT groups. By comparison, from 2006-2010, $389,840,052 in funding was given from 560 different foundations to 3,242 unique grantees. What are the challenges presented to social movements in their dependence on foundations? Can the private foundation process be democratized to allow inputs from communities served?

The Coming (and Present) Funding Crisis in LGBT Work
Saturday, October 5th
11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Mara Keisling, Trishala Deb, Ben Francisco Maulbeck, Sangeeta Budhiraja.
Moderator: Frances Kunreuther

This roundtable discussion looks ahead at the funding horizon for nonprofits to consider if there is a funding crisis for LGBT work, and if so, what are its contours? How does funding get distributed and how will it cascade over the next decade? Where is the funding focused and how does it in turn focus the work of the LGBT movement? What is the impact of trends or fads in philanthropy (like venture philanthropy, measurable outcomes or project support) on which populations in the movement are served and which are not? What is the correlation between what is funded and what is moved? If public support decreases how will nonprofits working to provide services meet the needs they serve? What will happen to the nonprofits working on issues other than marriage once that issue is resolved? How are POC and trans focused groups impacted by present funding decisions and by the coming funding crisis?

Visit Queer Dreams and Nonprofit Blues’ website for the full schedule.