New Research Highlights Top Nonprofits Advancing Equal Rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community

As the Giving Season Heats Up, Donors Are Urged to Research before They Give
Release date: December 19, 2012

Washington, D.C.—Philanthropedia, a division of leading nonprofit information provider GuideStar, today announced new rankings of the top 12 nonprofits advancing the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and supporting the issues that the LGBT community tackles—including discriminatory policies, violence against members of the community, and improving the health and well-being of those in the community—at the local level, and the top 19 nonprofits working in the same field nationally. The rankings are based on in-depth surveys and conversations with hundreds of experts, including academics, funders, grantmakers, policy makers, consultants, etc.

"It's not just important to support charities but to support the best charities," said Erinn Andrews, GuideStar's senior director of nonprofit strategy and the original chief operating officer of Philanthropedia. "We know that finding the nonprofits that are really having an impact can be daunting. Our rankings bring together the best thinking in any one cause area and provide an easy-to-use resource for those looking to donate to or otherwise sustain the important work of charities in that cause area."

The struggle to end discrimination against LGBT people has spurred action across the globe for more than two decades, captured national headlines, and become an issue in the U.S. political scene. Fewer than a third of all U.S. states have laws protecting people from discrimination based on sexual orientation, and only a handful prohibit discrimination based on a person's gender identity or expression. There are no federal protections for LGBT civil rights. According to USA Today, a recent study by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that hate incidents against LGBT people and HIV-affected persons increased 13 percent from 2009 to 2010, and murders of LGBT people during that period numbered 27, the second-highest total recorded. A variety of nonprofits organizations focus on social equality among the LGBT community and support the community as a whole.

"If you care about LGBT issues, our top experts have highlighted the nonprofits making the most gains for the community," added Andrews. "Make sure you give with your head as well as your heart when you support nonprofits working in this field."

Over the past two months, Philanthropedia surveyed 110 experts working in the field of LGBT, with an average of 13 years of work experience in the field, to identify the organizations that were making the biggest positive impact on a local and national level. Experts were asked to recommend up to four nonprofits making significant contributions in LGBT equality and support on the national level and up to three nonprofits making a significant contribution at the state and local level. Experts were encouraged to consider a range of nonprofits, including those working in policy and advocacy, research, public education, legal support, health and human services, community centers, social organizations, and more. The recommended nonprofits cover a wide range of issue areas within the cause, including health, marriage and family recognition, youth, elder support, transgender equality, anti-discrimination, and racial and economic justice.

Local High-Impact LGBT Nonprofits

These experts reviewed 103 organizations and identified 12 as performing the best when it comes to meeting their missions on a local level:

  1. L.A. Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center
  2. Basic Rights Oregon
  3. Pride Foundation
  4. BAGLY
  5. MassEquality
  6. Empire State Pride
  7. Equality Utah
  8. Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (tied for 8th)
    One Colorado (tied for 8th)
  9. Equality Illinois
  10. EqualityMaine
  11. San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Community Center

To learn more about each organization, meet the experts, and read the reviews, please visit

National High-Impact LGBT Nonprofits

The experts reviewed 80 organizations and identified 19 top nonprofits making an impact at the national level:

  1. Lambda Legal
  2. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  3. Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
  4. National Center for Lesbian Rights
  5. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
  6. National Center for Transgender Equality
  7. Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
  8. Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
  9. Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, &Transgender Elders (SAGE)
  10. Williams Institute
  11. Human Rights Campaign Foundation
  12. Transgender Law Center
  13. Southern Poverty Law Center
  14. Freedom to Marry
  15. The Trevor Project
  16. Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network)
  17. Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
  18. Sylvia Rivera Law Project
  19. CenterLink

To learn more about each organization, meet the experts, and read the experts’ reviews, please visit:

For the complete list of Philanthropedia rankings, visit For more information about Philanthropedia's ranking methodology, please visit:

About Philanthropedia

Philanthropedia,, is an online resource for donors who want to make a bigger difference with their charitable giving. Philanthropedia was founded on the belief that experts working in the field, such as foundation professionals, researchers, and nonprofit senior staff, are best suited to evaluate nonprofits in a more holistic way. In April 2011, Philanthropedia was acquired by GuideStar.

About GuideStar

GuideStar,, connects people and organizations with information on the programs and finances of more than 1.8 million IRS-recognized nonprofits. GuideStar serves a wide audience inside and outside the nonprofit sector, including individual donors, nonprofit leaders, grantmakers, government officials, academic researchers, and the media.

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