Pride Month is almost here, y'all! (Is this year going by QUICK or is it just me?!) That means it’s time to start thinking about ways to help make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ people everywhere. We all know that pride isn’t just about parades, parties, and getting pretty in rainbow-inspired outfits (although I am ALL ABOUT those things). It’s about celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and fighting for equality, taking a stand for what’s right, and accepting people exactly as they are.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get involved and celebrate L♥VE in all its various forms. And there are plenty of organizations dedicated to making life a little bit better for those in the LGBTQ+ community—all of which could use your support. So many, in fact, that I rounded up some of the best ones below, so you can scan through them all in one place. (You're welcome!)
Pro tip: Do your research first and learn how an organization could best use your help before you get started. Some charities need gear, some need financial support, and some just need a helping hand at their next event. Whatever you have to give—whether it's time, money, or a shout-out on social media—there’s no better time to get involved than during Pride. You should absolutely still have a hell of a time partying it up in your ROYGBIV-colored gear, but just make sure that if you’re talking the talk, you’re also walking the walk. Got it? Great. Let's do this.
With that, I present to you 25 absolutely incredible LGBTQ+ charities to donate your time and/or money and/or voice to rn. Scroll through and spread the love.
Why you should donate rn: Lambda Legal has been in courtrooms fighting to protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and everyone living with HIV for over 50 years. The organization’s team of pro-bono lawyers uses their knowledge of the law to fight for what's right, and have won many high-profile, precedent-setting civil rights cases spanning from marriage equality to fair employment and gender identity. In addition to litigation, they also use their legal power to help push forward public policy and education campaigns. Because Lambda Legal never charges clients for their legal work, and they don’t take government funding, they rely on donations to keep the lights on and change a-comin'.
Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network
Why you should donate rn: The Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network is an organization connecting student-run Genders & Sexualities Alliances (or GSAs, for short) across the country. You may recall your high school having a GSA, but these groups have definitely evolved in the past several years—no longer just safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth and allies, but now also vehicles in which deep social change is made (think: intersectionality-focused advocacy and mobilization). Donating to the network will allow them to train youth leaders, fund campaigns, and organize GSAs across the country, making schools and communities safer for LGBTQ+ youth all the while. If you’re still a student, definitely consider joining your local GSA as well!
Why you should donate rn: Founded in 1985, the Pride Foundation is one of the largest organizations serving the LGBTQ+ community in the Northwest, with the belief that everyone should be able to live safely, openly, and genuinely. Donations allow them to help provide financial, technical, and community support to community members and students; partner with thought leaders across the Northwest to create strategies for progress; and advance public education, legislation, and ballot initiatives. They rely on a network of volunteers to keep them up and running, and are always looking for more help in their Seattle office or on regional volunteer action committees.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
Why you should donate rn: As the largest LGBTQ+ community center on the East Coast (and the second largest in the world!) NYC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center serves thousands of people every week. The multi-service organization—often described as the hub of NYC’s LGBTQ+ community—is designed to be a space where everyone can come and be celebrated for who they are. In addition to community connection, visitors are welcome to participate in a variety of programs and support groups, ranging from substance abuse treatment to career counseling. The center also hosts more than 15,000 events and activities every year, so community groups can find space to hold meetings and events. Donations are accepted in the form of money or time, as there are plenty of volunteer opportunities year-round.
Family Equality Council
Why you should donate rn: No matter how you slice it, family expansion is more challenging for the LGBTQ+ community—despite years of fighting to make it easier. One of the main organizations pushing for change in this arena over the past 40 years? The Family Equality Council. Per their website, they’re dedicated to making sure “everyone has the freedom to find, form, and sustain their families by advancing equality for the LGBTQ+ community.” Donations help support their work developing policies and programs; raising awareness and sharing the stories of LGBTQ+ families; and providing support, information, and resources to LGBTQ+ individuals hoping to start families of their own.
Why you should donate rn: The Point Foundation firmly believes that education is empowerment. That’s why they’re the largest scholarship-granting nonprofit for deserving LGBTQ+ students studying in the United States (for real: they’re supporting 552 students this year!). Their work is crucial, as nearly one-third of LGBTQ+ high-school students end up dropping out as a result of the harassment and isolation they face. Donations to the Point Foundation help support three types of scholarships: Flagship Scholarships (helping LGBTQ+ students pursue undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees), BIPOC Scholarships (supporting BIPOC students), and Community College Scholarships (helping LGBTQ+ students pursue community college degrees). In addition to scholarships, the Point Foundation also matches students with mentors, as well as providing internship opportunities, leadership development training, and a network to fall back on.
Why you should donate rn: The American Civil Liberties Union, aka the ACLU, steps in to make sure that all people—no matter who they are or who they love—are given the rights and liberties they are guaranteed under the law (which are legit under attack rn, so this work is even more important). That means they work in the courts and legislatures to uphold the Constitution, filing court cases when they see injustices and working with law and policymakers to make things right. One of their biggest fights is for LGBTQ+ equality, and donations help enable litigation, lobbying, and education.
Out & Equal
Why you should donate rn: The workplace should be a fair and equal place for all—but unfortunately, many people in the LGBTQ+ community do not have this experience. Out & Equal is a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all workplaces—across all industries—have a culture of belonging, so employees can feel safe, appreciated, and as worthy as they are while in their place of business. Your donation will help the Out & Equal team as they work with executives, HR and D&I professionals, and LGBTQ+ employee resource group leaders to train them on how to better their workplaces from the inside out.
Why you should donate rn: One segment of the LGBTQ+ community that often goes overlooked is LGBTQ+ older people, who may not be the people dancing on the floats in Pride parades. SAGE, based in New York, wants to change that. As the largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of elderly LGBTQ+ people and their caregivers, SAGE helps advocate for the community on federal, state, and local levels. Donations help members work with legislators to inform them on LGBTQ+ aging issues in the hopes of changing policies and create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ older people to come together and feel welcome.
If you don’t have a ton of extra $$$ to throw around, SAGE also asks for your support in the form of calling up your senators and telling them that you stand by the Equality Act.
The Attic Youth Center
Why you should donate rn: Starting as a weekly support group, The Attic Youth Center, located in Philadelphia, has since grown into one of the biggest community centers in the U.S. dedicated to serving exclusively LGBTQ+ youth and allies. With the slogan “OK2BU,” the center gives LGBTQ+ youth a safe space to go to find a sense of belonging, connection, and understanding, and thanks to donations from people like you (!), it’s completely free to every kid who walks through their door. Your hard-earned cash will go toward counseling, case management, social activities, and more.
Center for Black Equity
Why you should donate rn: The need for recognition and acceptance of our Black LGBTQ+ members is crucial now more than ever. The Center for Black Equity recognizes this and promotes itself as being the leading center of Black LGBTQ+ equality. The best thing about this agency is that it gets deep within communities and centers their issues with its own.
The best way to help is to spread awareness. Alongside Black-owned businesses, Black LGBTQ+ brands need to be lifted too. And help with donating cash whenever you can.
OutRight Action International
Why you should donate rn: If you didn’t know, LGBTQ+ protections are barely enacted in only 29 countries, including the U.S. The rest of the world has little to no protections for its LGBTQ+ citizens, and that’s where OutRight Action International comes in. It’s the only LGBTQ+ organization that has a presence in the United Nations, where it fights for rights of LGBTQ+ members around the world.
Why is it important to donate? OutRight works with securing rights in some countries where it’s illegal to even be LGBTQ+. Imagine being jailed for just being born yourself.
Why you should donate rn: It’s already been proven over and over again that trans people are more likely to be attacked, mentally abused, and killed. More specifically, trans women of color have been showing the highest numbers of those attacked. According to HRC, 2021 saw more than 57 trans deaths, with the majority of those deaths being trans women of color.
The first-ever crisis hotline for trans people was established in 2014, and it needs all the help it can get. With a monetary donation, you can help Trans Lifeline expand its programs to be even more diverse and inclusive of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color.
The Trevor Project
Why you should donate rn: The Trevor Project is one of the few organizations with a focus on real-time crisis interventions. Established to be a lifeline for any LGBTQ+ youth under the age of 25, the Trevor Project uses lifelines, chats, and texts to make sure whoever is calling/messaging/texting is okay. By donating, you can make sure this 24-hour service stays available.
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute
Why you should donate rn: If you don’t know the story behind Marsha P. Johnson, then you need to get on Netflix right now. The Marsha P. Johnson Institute defends the rights of Black transgender people all over. This type of service is needed right now. Johnson was a crucial piece of the Stonewall uprising in 1969 and lives on as an important part of BIPOC LGBTQ+ history.
Sylvia Rivera Law Project
Why you should donate rn: Another staple of LGBTQ+ history, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project was named after the late Sylvia Rivera. Rivera was an active demonstrator, activist, and LGBTQ+ hero in times when just looking a little different was invitation for harassment or even worse. SRLP provides legal aid to low-income transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming people of color living in New York City.
It Gets Better Project
Why you should donate rn: If you’ve watched Love, Victor on Hulu, then you know how difficult it can be for some of us to come out and truly be ourselves. The It Gets Better Project focuses on retelling the stories of LGBTQ+ members who may have had similar issues coming out. What this does is shows that we’re not all alone and that things truly can be better.
Audre Lorde Project
Why you should donate rn: The Audre Lorde Project is a community center based in New York City that services any member of the LGBTQ+ community. Named after the famed writer Audre Lorde, the center focuses on programs like 3rd Space, an important part of the project that helps lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, trans, and gender nonconforming people of color with education, employment, and immigration assistance.
While donations are gladly accepted, becoming a member and assisting with anything from administrative work to outreach is *extra* appreciated.
Why you should donate rn: Focused on the education and safety of LGBTQ+ youth, the Hetrick-Martin Institute is partially responsible for the creation of the Harvey Milk School. The Harvey Milk School is the first educational establishment catering to LGBTQ+ students and was created by HMI and the New York City Department of Education in 1985.
Today, it is responsible for assisting the LGBTQ+ youth community with education, health care, and much more. The best way to help is by being a donor. With just $25, you can make an impact in an LGBTQ+ youth’s life.
LGBTQ Freedom Fund
Why you should donate rn: According to the LGBTQ Freedom Fund, “Each day, tens of thousands of LGBTQ people are held in jail or immigration detention because they cannot afford bail—for immigration status or charges like sleeping in public.” What the Freedom Fund actually does is provide financial support for LGBTQ+ members who have been incarcerated in the form of bail money. What it does is extremely important, and donations are almost always welcomed.
Emy is a journalist and Florida native covering everything from lifestyle, travel, fashion, beauty and more.
Hannah Chubb is the associate lifestyle editor at Cosmopolitan, covering all things home, travel, food, health, career, and more. She spends pretty much every hour of every day curating the internet for the best new products, trends, and travel destinations. You can typically find her looking for houses she can’t afford on Zillow or Airbnb, planning her next meal before she gets to the restaurant, or taking all of the Justin Bieber classes over and over and over again on Peloton. Follow her on Instagram.
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