How much philanthropy is going towards LGBTQIA?

December 12, 2019

Written by Duncan Matthews, Treasurer, Rule Foundation

Earlier in 2019, the Rule Foundation in collaboration with the Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust, set out to answer the question, how does philanthropic funding that goes towards Rainbow (or LGBTIQA+) causes in Aotearoa stack up against that given internationally?

A report from the Global Philanthropy Project found that $0.17 of every $100 given via Philanthropy goes to LGBT causes internationally.

A brief summary of the methodology used was to send a survey out to funders (including via PNZ Giving Matters!) and funding recipients. From this survey, we captured a view of approximately 10-15% of total philanthropic giving in Aotearoa, and supplemented that with data from the Charities Services register for funding recipients.

Of funders who responded to the survey, the percentage of their total funding that went towards Rainbow causes ranged from 0.5% in 2016 to 1.1% in 2019, with a clear rising trend over the four years. In considering that those funders who responded to the survey were more likely predisposed to fund Rainbow causes already, we anticipate that the overall figure for Aotearoa is much lower.

This is borne out when we started to look at the sources of funding for recipient organisations. There was a strong increasing trend for income from the Regional Community Trusts and DIA funds (Lotteries, COGS), and fairly consistent income from what we termed ‘Donor advised and Private’ (including Donor advised funds, Private and Family Trusts, etc), and the total percentage of income for our Rainbow organisations derived from these sources was largely consistent with the percentage of total philanthropic giving in Aotearoa by type of funder (as reported in the PNZ 2014 Giving Report).

A notable exception was the amount of funding derived from gaming and energy trusts. While gaming and energy trusts represented almost 50% of all philanthropic funding given in Aotearoa in 2014, only 2% of our recipient organisations income was derived from these sources from 2016 – 2019.

Another key finding was that the amount of funding given to Rainbow causes by funders significantly outstrips the total funding received by funding recipients in the survey, $2.0 million given vs $1.2 million received in 2019, with the trend showing the gap growing. One possible explanation for this is that an increasing number of mainstream (i.e., not Rainbow specific) organisations that are doing work in the Rainbow space. This is excellent news, as more organisations doing work in this area will increase the overall wellbeing for Rainbow communities. There is a caveat however, to ensure that organisations doing Rainbow work are doing so competently.











A positive finding is that Rainbow community organisations have well diversified sources of income. As seen in the chart, fully one third of income is derived from ‘other’ sources (being personal donations/bequests, or fee for service activities), with the remaining income a good balance between Philanthropic, Government and Business sources.

The findings presented here are preliminary, with the full report to be available in February 2020 – including a full answer to our initial question. A copy of the report will be made available to all PNZ members. Please feel free to contact Duncan on if you have any questions or interest in this area!