Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mid Week Mash Up

STUDY: Gays Spend More Money Partying Than Donating to LGBT Organizations

We've all seen the splashy LGBTQ targeted advertising beckoning individuals to flock to Miami, New York, Atlanta, and other big cities for gay pride festivities, White Parties, Las Vegas Mega destinations, Gay Days at Disney and even HIV centric cruises.

Not only is much of this advertising occurring in gay oriented media, you can see lots of it in more mainstream media outlets pitching everything from Cadillac's featuring fashion designer Jason Wu to former NFL player Michael Sam now turned golden boy pitchman for VISA and more recently Coke. However as all of steams forward even amidst anti-LGBTQ legislation rolling out all over the country, there continue to be studies as to the spending habits of the gay community as well as what portion of that spending power goes toward LGBTQ organizations.

The Movement Advancement Projected has been studying the financial documents from over 30 LGBT organizations – GLAAD, GLSEN, The Trevor Project, etc. – and releases their findings. Even as all of the organizations reported a combined expense budget of $165.6 million, a 10% increase from 2013 numbers  there is still a problem as less than 3 percent of the American LGBT population giving donations. Our top 10 anti-gay foes spend three times as much as all the LGBT advocacy groups in the analysis combined. No Arkansas agencies participated in the study.

Ultimately, this situation is directly affecting not only national organizations that are now refocusing or streamlining their missions such as the National Minority AIDS Council which has announced a new strategic direction including a new name, but also local entities that are struggling to survive as funding sources get smaller. The call to action," grow, merge or die," has been a reality check for community based organizations that find themselves competing with other agencies for the same funding pie.

MAP emphasizes, "The LGBT movement’s success will require that LGBT advocates, allies and funders understand the larger movement and work together to strategically apply their resources." This observation couldn't be more pertinent in lieu of the recent HRC Arkansas Business pledge in which local business could be a source in conjunction with other funding opportunities. Although this organization cites that " as a whole, the LGBT movement spends about $530 million each year and employs thousands of people in locations across the country," local organizations need as much donor and capacity building that can be mustered.

Now is the time to advocate for hygiene!

2015 is a critical year for the global community as the United Nations member states will agree to a new set of global development goals, known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While draft goals have been proposed, there is much work to be done to ensure that water, sanitation, and hygiene are properly included and tracked.

We believe that hygiene is essential to health and development. It has benefits that reach from nutrition to education, equity, and even economic achievement. But without inclusion in the SDGs, a great opportunity to make advancements in these areas will be missed.

Hygiene is not a controversial issue. However, far too often it is left off the agenda. If hygiene is not included in the SDGs, it won’t be because of vocal opponents. Rather, it will be because supporters were not vocal enough about its importance. 

We are advocating strongly for hygiene to be included in the SDGs, and we invite you to do the same. You can start by downloading our hygiene advocacy toolkit, which includes background on the process, information about why hygiene should be included in the SDGs, facts and messages about handwashing, information about key opportunities, and ideas for how you—no matter your location, sector, or background—can be involved.

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