Title: Report into Rainbow Philanthropy in Aotearoa

Author: Duncan Matthews

Published: April 2020

Publisher: Rule Foundation and Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust

ISBN: 978-0-473-51574-4

The Rule Foundation and Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust (RNZCT) are proud to release a report on the state of Rainbow Philanthropy in Aotearoa. Conducted between August 2019 and April 2020, the report sourced data from some of the largest grant makers in Aotearoa, as well as a large number of Rainbow community organisations. In total, an analysis of the grants made/received by 32 organisations was completed, covering 2016 to 2019.

The report draws comparisons between funding to Rainbow causes here in Aotearoa, in the USA, and globally.

Acknowledgements

A big thank you to Philanthropy New Zealand, and the Global Philanthropy Project for providing the comparative data for the analysis, and generally support and promoting this initiative. Thank you to everyone in the 32 organisations who were able to be included in this report, some of who spent considerable time compiling data in order to be able to be included!

Key findings

The report uncovered a number of strengths, and areas to work on when funding Rainbow causes in Aotearoa:

Cover of Report into Rainbow Philanthropy Aotearoa

Click the image to download a PDF copy of the report

Strengths

RAINBOW COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS HAVE DIVERSE SOURCES OF FUNDING

Data from the grant recipients showed that Aotearoa’s Rainbow community organisations have diverse sources of income, including from philanthropy, government, business/corporate and ‘other’ – with ‘other’ likely to be largely comprised of personal donations and fundraising campaigns.

STRONG TREND OF INCREASING GIVING TO RAINBOW CAUSES

In the data from both grant recipients and grant makers, there was a strong trend of overall funding for Rainbow causes increasing over the four years that this research looked at.

INCREASE IN FUNDS FOR RAINBOW CAUSES IS OUTSTRIPPING FUNDS RECEIVED BY RAINBOW COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS

An unexpected finding of this research is that the funding being given by grant makers for rainbow causes significantly outstrips that being received by the Rainbow community organisations included in this research. This likely indicates that a number of mainstream organisations are securing funding for Rainbow causes. This can be positive and negative. Positive in that more programmes are being targeted to improve the wellbeing of Rainbow communities. A negative point of view could be to question if these programmes at mainstream organisations are ‘Rainbow led’, and if not, how do they ensure they are providing appropriate services for Rainbow communities?

THE PERCENTAGE OF GIVING TO RAINBOW CAUSES IN AOTEAROA IS COMPARABLE TO THE GLOBAL AVERAGE

An original driver for this research was to be able to compare giving in Aotearoa with the global average of 0.17% identified in the Global Philanthropy Projects Global Resources Report . It is great to be able to conclude that it is likely that philanthropic giving to Rainbow causes, as a percentage of overall philanthropic giving in Aotearoa, is in the same ballpark as the global average of 0.17%.

Areas to work on

LICENSING, ENERGY AND GAMING TRUSTS REPRESENT A TINY SOURCE OF FUNDS FOR RAINBOW COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS, YET REPRESENT A THIRD OF ALL PHILANTHROPIC GIVING IN AOTEAROA.

As evidenced in both the responses from grant makers and grant recipients, Licensing, Energy and Gaming trusts make up a tiny portion of income for Rainbow community organisations. This is significant as it effectively blocks nearly a third of all philanthropic giving in Aotearoa from being able to be accessed for Rainbow causes, limiting a significant source of potential income.

72% (13) OF RAINBOW COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS OPERATE ON LESS THAN $100,000 PER YEAR, AND 39% (SEVEN) OPERATE ON LESS THAN $20,000 PER YEAR

Another finding of this report was the number of Rainbow community organisations operating on very small annual budgets, and this didn’t include organisations that were not able to be included in this research based on the quality of their financial accounts. With increasing compliance requirements for the charities register, consideration must be given to how to make compliance and other operating requirements (such as Health and Safety) sustainable for these groups, alongside continuing to attract funding and deliver services to Rainbow communities.

FUNDING FOR OPERATIONAL COSTS

Both grant makers and funding recipients mentioned that a common need was for funding of operational costs something which few grant makers fund. Regional community trusts and Lotteries/COGS are two exceptions to this which perhaps is a reason behind their overrepresentation as a funding source for Rainbow community organisations.

RAINBOW IS NOT COMMONLY LISTED AS A PRIORITY AREA FOR MAINSTREAM FUNDERS

Both grant makers and funding recipients reported that Rainbow causes are not commonly listed as a priority area for mainstream funders. This requires people applying for Rainbow causes to fit their needs in under other criteria that the funder has, and/or spend more time justifying the need for funding of Rainbow causes.

MANY GRANT MAKERS DO NOT TRACK RAINBOW IN THEIR DATABASE

A number of grant makers who responded to the survey noted that they do not specifically track ‘Rainbow’, ‘LGBT’, or related terms in their grant making database. One grant maker indicated they had added a tag for this to their database as a result of this survey. It is commonly understood that little changes without the ability to easily measure, track and report on empirical data. In order to better understand the funding that goes to Rainbow causes, grant makers need to track grants made in this space.

Questions or want print copies?

All questions welcomed – please contact us.

No copies of this report have been produced in hard copy. Please contact us on the link above if you’d like a print-ready PDF (higher resolution with bleed lines) of the report.