Best LGBT-related charities/nonprofits?
July 9, 2016 12:27 PM   Subscribe

Two gay friends are getting married (finally! yippee!) and have requested no presents. Lots of us (the buddies, including the wedding party) want to respond by making donations to organizations that have supported marriage equality and other LGBT issues. Suggestions?

I don't really have any other parameters, other than that we're in the Los Angeles area. But we'd be interested in groups fighting the good fight, wherever they are.
posted by BlahLaLa to Society & Culture (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

are either of them from small towns originally? donating to a lesser known lgbt charity that has personal resonance might be a good touch.
posted by nadawi at 1:13 PM on July 9, 2016

Response by poster: They're not from small towns, nor have they ever been personally helped by such a group. (I mean, of course they've been helped -- it's now legal for them to be married -- but they never received the kind of direct or crisis assistance many of these groups provide.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:28 PM on July 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Trans Lifeline.
posted by ActionPopulated at 2:36 PM on July 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Point Foundation
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:05 PM on July 9, 2016

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project "works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence. SRLP is a collective organization founded on the understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice. Therefore, we seek to increase the political voice and visibility of low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming. SRLP works to improve access to respectful and affirming social, health, and legal services for our communities. We believe that in order to create meaningful political participation and leadership, we must have access to basic means of survival and safety from violence."
posted by ITheCosmos at 3:17 PM on July 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Not Human Rights Campaign.
posted by blackzinfandel at 3:46 PM on July 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

If you do look for smaller groups, I highly recommend Time Out Youth in Charlotte, NC. They are doing amazing work and I've worked with them personally.
posted by raccoon409 at 4:08 PM on July 9, 2016

The LA LGBT Center is very good. I would have no hesitation about giving to them.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:35 PM on July 9, 2016

The ACLU has been involved with LGBT rights since I believe the 1920s.
posted by mortaddams at 2:02 PM on July 10, 2016

Not Human Rights Campaign.

I'd be interested to hear why not. Perhaps it's obvious to those in the community -- HRC didn't get behind the marriage equality cause, or interfered somehow? Or perhaps it's become one of those, uh, inefficient charities, like Wounded Warriors?
posted by intermod at 3:05 PM on July 10, 2016

Your donations will get the most bang for your buck with local organisations, so yes to the LA LGBT Center. If they have some connection to the Bay Area or care about health, there's Lyon-Martin. (I'm not sure who does health stuff in LA... it might be the LGBT Center for that matter.)

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is generally pretty good (and doesn't just care about lesbians).

Perhaps it's obvious to those in the community -- HRC didn't get behind the marriage equality cause, or interfered somehow?

HRC has some of a track record of being blind on issues that aren't of big concern to their donor base, which is cis, gay, white and middle-to-upper class or corporations. So they're all over marriage equality and publishing corporate equality indexes, but throw trans people under the bus like clockwork, don't care about immigration, prisons, etc.
posted by hoyland at 5:33 PM on July 10, 2016

Best answer: Hey, great question!

LA has a ton. You can go with the big dog — the LA LGBT Center is the best funded LGBT organization in the country, for generally good reasons. They accomplish a ton of work in a ton of areas, and are definitely the big dogs.

There's also EQCA (disclosure: I used to work there), who do good stuff statewide, primarily through legislative advocacy.

There are also a handful of local organizations that do great work. Silvia Rivera Law, mentioned above, is one. Bienestar, which does great work for Latinx people in all sorts of ways, and really does help some of those most in need in LA. I also like The Williams Center, which is out of UCLA, and does hard social science research into LGBT issues — if you need facts about LGBT people, they're the best place to start, though I'd imagine that donations there may be a bit more complicated. Similarly, USC has the One Archives, with one of the best LGBT publication archives anywhere. There's also Triangle Square, which provides housing for older LGBT people, who (due to being excluded from things like marriage) often don't have the type of support structure that members of heterosexual couples do, especially if one of them has died.

Nationally, I'd also recommend the Movement Advancement Project (, since they do fantastic, undersung work in strategy for LGBT civil rights. And the Transgender Law Center is also pretty great, though they're based out of San Francisco.

Depending on the size of the gift you want to make, one thing that you can do is get tickets to one of the galas (EQCA's is usually in the fall) that all of them host around LA. It's a fun time (if you're not working) with generally a couple inspirational speeches and a mid-tier diva performance.
posted by klangklangston at 6:43 PM on July 10, 2016

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