Givebutter works nonstop to help young people raise money for causes that they care about, but we also think it’s important to take a minute to recognize charitable foundations that are giving better every day. Making a comprehensive list of all the great organizations making a difference in their communities would take some time, but we want to update you with a list of 5 LGBT organizations that are improving people's’ lives locally and nationally.
Lambda Legal is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit “committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.” Founded in 1973, they are the oldest and largest national organization of their kind. They rely solely on public donations, receive no government funding and don’t charge any clients for their legal services.
They aim to represent cases that will have the largest impact on the general LGBT community and those living with HIV, advocate for public policy at the local, state, and federal level, and support education and advocacy campaigns that raise awareness towards issues they care about and strengthen their lawsuits.
Lambda is one of the most accomplished LGBTQ organizations in the country, with their senior members meeting with President Bill Clinton in 1993, a first for the LGBTQ community, and the Midwest Regional Office being inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. They have challenged unjust laws all across the country, nullifying existing bans on antigay discrimination and preventing others from being enacted in Colorado in 1992, helping to legalize same-sex marriage in Iowa with a unanimous vote in the state’s Supreme Court in 2009, and working as co-counsel in Obergefell v. Hodges, which deemed barring same-sex marriage unconstitutional and thus made same-sex marriage federally legal.
Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is a national educational organization that focuses its efforts on teaching children respect and acceptance regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Their goal is to develop more vibrant communities that support schools that value difference and diversity. They create these progressive educational institutions through research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives.
What makes this particular organization unique is their recognition of education as the most important and effective way to push society towards a more accepting and diverse future. They have supported groundbreaking policies like the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act while working closely with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.
Family Equality Council
The Family Equality Council’s mission is to “advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change.” Their focus is on influencing local, state, and federal governments to recognize LGBTQ family institutions. The main way they do this is through adoption, by working to connect LGBTQ parents to children that they can welcome into their families.
They also have developed a variety of programs such as The Outspoken Generation, which works with LGBTQ parents and helps them advocate for their communities’ families, and Pearls of Wisdom, which strives to provide a platform for LGBTQ grandparents that want to be involved in advocacy for their communities.
The National Center for Transgender Equality
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is a small, intersectional nonprofit that focuses on changing and saving transgender people’s lives through social justice advocacy. They only have 17 people on staff but have been working hard to advocate for transgender communities for 15 years. Their mission is to end violence and discrimination against transgender people through the power of education while empowering community members and allies to influence policymakers.
Some the the NCTE’s most noteworthy projects are Racial and Economic Justice Initiative, which fights the injustices posed against transgender people of color or those impoverished in urban and rural areas, and the Trans Legal Services Network, which aims to connect transgender people with the 50+ organizations they are involved with that can provide them with any legal resource they may need.
The Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is one of the most easily recognized LGBTQ nonprofit organizations due to it’s easily identifiable logo, which is a blue square behind a large yellow equal sign. As the largest civil rights organization in the country, they support the LGBTQ community by working with policymakers to change discriminatory laws at the local, state, and federal levels.
Their most recent victory was pushing through a bill in Hawaii that banned conversion therapy and will protect LGBTQ youth from abuse and discrimination. They have been major players in the fight for marriage equality at every government level, invested $2 million in a 12-week campaign to get the Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed in 2013, and were essential in the repeal of the “Dont Ask, Don’t Tell” laws that discharged more than 14,000 LGBTQ service members from the military.
If you’re looking to give better towards your local LGBT community or cause, visit givebutter.com.