Monday, December 26, 2011

Op-ed: Let Your Money Talk to Help LGBT Organizations

via Advocate, by Jimmy Nguyen, op-ed contributor

I repeatedly hear and see criticism of LGBT organizations and their leaders.

The chatter machine gripes about why the Defense of Marriage Act hasn’t been repealed yet, why transgender persons are not always included in proposed legislation, and even why there is a glut of gay charity summer pool parties.

LGBT people sure like to talk about the work of gay social justice groups; but far too often, they criticize without doing much to help.

While serving on the board of directors for Equality California for the last few years, and while helping support other groups financially or otherwise, I found myself immersed in dialogue about the LGBT rights movement.

I’m all for constructive criticism. No entity or person is beyond reproach, and feedback from the community is always good.

But much criticism comes from people who donate no money to any LGBT group (let alone contribute time to serve).

In 2010, less than 3% of LGBT adults in the U.S. gave money to any national LGBT organizations; the number of donors who gave $35 or more to LGBT non-profits dropped 12%.

These disheartening statistics were reported by the Movement Advancement Project in its recently released 2011 National LGBT Movement Report. (Fortunately, the report found LGBT organizations remain fiscally healthy due to support from other sources.)

If the LGBT community wants progress toward full equality, the other 97% of us need to financially support the organizations that fight our fights.

With the holiday season and tax year-end upon us, now is the perfect time to contribute and let your money talk for you.

Why don’t LGBT people give money? Let’s debunk the most common reasons I hear.

Read the rest

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