The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) is proud to be identified as the top funder for LGBTQ health issues according to a new report by the Funders for LGBTQ Issues, the sole organization dedicated exclusively to increasing institutional giving for LGBTQ issues.
The analysis, which examined LGBTQ health disparities and LGBTQ philanthropy, found that EJAF, along with the Ford Foundation, topped all other giving for LGBTQ health issues at over $4 million.
The report, Vital Funding: Investing in LGBTQ Health and Wellbeing, assessed the scale and character of foundation giving for the health and wellness of LGBTQ communities and is one of several special reports by Funders for LGBTQ Issues that tracks domestic foundation giving to LGBTQ causes. The report also provides critical information for mainstream and LGBTQ funders to push both groups to make donations and investments in LGBTQ health issues.
“This groundbreaking study by Funders for LGBTQ Issues shines a light on how far we’ve come and how far we have left to go,” said EJAF Executive Director Scott Campbell. “We are proud to be the largest funder and stand with strong allies like Ford, but believe that the foundation community and corporate funders can and must do more. Every foundation on this list should see this as a challenge to help even more people gain access to the healthcare they need. We will continue to work every day to mobilize resources to create creative and courageous programming that advance LGBTQ health rights.”
Sir Elton John created EJAF over twenty years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. Through hard work and with the help of a network of kind, amazing, creative, and generous friends and supporters, the two foundations together have raised more than $300 million over the past two decades to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS.
In addition to granting more than $4 million annually to a cross section of national and local HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations – including Positive Women’s Network, the ACLU National Prisons Project, SERO, the Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP), the Transgender Law Center, the National Black Justice Coalition, and the Point Foundation, among others – EJAF has been particularly invested in funding grants that address the needs of people living in the rural south and the health disparities rampant in the African-American community. Currently, EJAF allocates more than one third of its annual investments to the Southern U.S., and in 2013, EJAF supported the establishment of the first LGBTQ health clinic in Mississippi.
The report found that while over $50 million has been donated to LGBTQ health issues, there is still vital work to be done. Beyond looking at the infection rates and health disparities, the report also looked at the stigma and tangential needs that impact people living with HIV/AIDS. Some of the report’s key findings include:
• Despite making up only 2 percent of the population, gay and bisexual and other men who have sex with men account for 64 percent of new HIV infections
• LGBTQ people are more likely to lack health insurance: 18 percent have none, compared to 13 percent of the general population
• $23.2 million, or nearly half of all LGBTQ health funding goes to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, however, only 21 percent of HIV/AIDS funding targets LGBTQ communities
• 41 percent of transgender people report having attempted suicide compared to 1.6 percent of the general population
• On average, less than half of one percent of foundation funding for health is for LGBTQ communities
Source: Elton John AIDS Foundation