In the midst of the summer sunshine and backyard BBQs, Pride Foundation set out to gather feedback from our donors about what inspires them and what their experiences have been as part of Pride Foundation’s family.
Knowing how much the movement for equality has changed in recent years, it was particularly important to ask for candor so that Pride Foundation can continue be the best partner to our donors, and advocate for equality for every person and every family, everywhere.
This being our first comprehensive donor survey in over ten years, the data and feedback have already been, and will continue to be, incredibly enlightening and helpful. If you’d like to review the report summary—please click here.
With 403 participants (a 16% response rate), people from our five-state region, (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington) and beyond participated, including supporters from North Carolina, Georgia, and Massachusetts. Key findings reiterated the importance of building strong and authentic relationships across geographic, age, educational, and cultural lines. A number of demographic data points were particularly noteworthy:
- 68% of supporters are over the age of 45
- 25% of supporters self-identified as straight allies
- 11% have prior service with a branch of the military
- 16% have children or minors for they are the legal guardian
One particular discovery filled us with profound gratitude—70% of those who completed the survey have been part of the Pride Foundation family for seven or more years; with a breathtaking 25% connected to us for 16 plus years. In a world that moves quickly, we were touched by this loyalty and more motivated than ever to continue to earn it and cherish it. Our donors’ trust is a great honor.
We were heartened to see that 84% of participants supported additional LGBTQ-focused projects. We also noted that a significant number of people indicated support for organizations focused on food security and poverty alleviation. As we collaborate with The Gates Foundation over the next three years on issues affecting LGBTQ homeless youth, it is reassuring to know that our donors share our concerns of supporting those most vulnerable in our community.
We were similarly excited to see that the top two motivations for supporting Pride Foundation were: 1) Knowing that a gift would make a difference for LGBTQ people and families and 2) An awareness that Pride Foundation cares about organizations, students, and leaders who may not be able to access support from any other source.
This emotion was reflected in open comments about what is the greatest motivator to being a donor at Pride Foundation. One participant replied: “Pride Foundation pays it forward, leaves a legacy for those to come and builds community…letting everyone know that there is hope for full equality.”
When reviewing the data in totality, we were able to immediately make some changes to our plans to meet your needs, including adding two new fall events to ensure accessibility across the region. Further, we are embracing the feedback to make it is easy for our current supporters to invite their friends to become a part of Pride Foundation.
At the same time that we were undertaking our donor survey, a group of funders launched a national research project focused on LGBTQ giving. Past research indicates that while the majority of LGBTQ people give to charitable entities, only 4% of that support is directed to LGBTQ organizations and projects. This presents considerable challenges to overcome as well as an incredible opportunity to strengthen and sustain the movement, permanently.
The first phase of the project evaluated existing messages and donor engagement strategies that LGBTQ organizations from across the country are employing. In addition, a series of focus groups were held with LGBTQ donors who both give, and do not give to LGBTQ-specific programs. The next phase of the research will include a first-of-its kind national survey to supporters of LGBTQ national and statewide advocacy groups as well as local community centers and social service organizations.
The goal is to determine what inspires and moves to action the diverse members of the LGBTQ community. With this knowledge, we can build a more vibrant future; organizations that are doing essential work to gain LGBTQ equality will have the resources they need to thrive and LGBTQ donors will be inspired to be engaged in news ways and wonder what else they can do to make a difference.
When the survey is ready, we look forward to sharing the opportunity to participate with you. Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your experiences, ideas, and vision with this inaugural research project.
Again, thank you to everyone who participated in Pride Foundation’s donor survey. Your ideas, feedback, and kindness will directly shape our future.
Jody Waits is Pride Foundation’s Director of Community Giving. Email Jody.