When it comes to finances, members of the LGBTQ+ community face many unique challenges, often as a result of discrimination or bias.
According to a 2023 report released by the Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement and Research (CLEAR) and the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), LGBTQ+ businesses were more likely to report experiencing all types of financial challenges in the last year compared to non-LGBTQ businesses. These challenges include:
- Lenders not approving financing
- Higher interest rates from lenders
- And unfavorable repayment terms
In addition, LGBTQ+ individuals often have unique financial needs, such as medical expenses for surgery or hormone treatments, a sudden loss of financial support from parents or guardians, and so on.
While progress continues to be made, discrimination and prejudice still permeate social and economic sectors. Fortunately, there are a number of resources, organizations, and financial tools available that are specifically designed to help LGBTQ+ individuals navigate financial challenges.
From free personal finance advice to scholarships and grants for those advocating on behalf of LGBTQ+ human rights, below is a list of financial resources created specifically for the queer community.
Financial Resources for the LGBTQ+ Community
Point Foundation’s scholarship programs offer qualifying LGBTQ+ students not only financial assistance but also mentorship and leadership development opportunities. The program’s purpose is to cultivate upcoming generations of LGBQT+ leaders who will continue to advocate and act for positive change in their local communities. Scholarships available include the Flagship Scholarship for accredited four-year universities and the Community College Scholarship for local community colleges.
2. LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance
The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance is a 501(c)6 non-profit membership organization committed to helping members of the LGBTQ+ community on their journey to homeownership. In addition to assisting with home buying and selling, the organization also offers resources for all aspects of home ownership and advocates for better real estate and housing policies to eliminate discrimination.
Run by a consortium of international human rights organizations, the Dignity for All: LGBTQI+ Assistance Program provides support to human rights defenders and civil rights organizations (CSOs) who are under threat or attack because of their work on behalf of the LGBTQI+ community.
The LBC helps LGBTQ+ businesses to connect with new customers and fellow business owners by providing online exposure.
Having contributed over $120 million in grants to socially active organizations, the David Bohnett Foundation is committed to “improving society through social activism.” They provide funding, technology, and technical support to organizations that meet their guidelines and share their vision.
The ARCUS Foundation’s social justice program aims to create safer, more inclusive communities through grantmaking and LGBTQ-led initiatives.
The Astraea Foundation supports LGBTQ+ groups that promote racial, economic, and gender justice. They focus on long-term partnerships, recognizing that true change takes time.
8. U.S. Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has several tools and resources for LGBTQ-owned businesses, from networking to inclusion and outreach.
This program helps LGBTQ+ business owners connect with mentors, experts, and investors to accelerate growth at any stage in their founding journey.
Gaingels is a venture investment syndicate that is dedicated to diversity and social change. While they initially focused on solely investing in LGBTQ-founded and led startups, they have since expanded to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion at all leadership levels.
Less than 10% of all venture capital deals going to women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ founders, and Backstage Capital is on a mission to change that. While they are not currently investing in new companies outside of their portfolio of 200, they provide many resources for underrepresented business owners and may reopen applications in the future.
12. Diversity VC
Diversity VC provides venture capital in an effort to help start-up companies improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.
13. LGBT Capital
Focusing mainly on the consumer segment, LGBT Capital provides macroeconomic data surrounding diversity and the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights on a global scale. They also offer LGBT Accreditation for companies seeking to become allies or cement their credentials.
14. American Association of University Women (AAUW)
While not exclusively LGBTQ+ focused, AAUW’s career development grants are for women with bachelor’s degrees who are preparing to advance or change their careers. Grant applications open every year on August 1st.
15. National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
The NGLCC is the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancement for LGBTQ+ people and their businesses. Their mentorship programs and initiatives empower LGBTQ-owned businesses to thrive, and they also have a grant program specifically for LGBTQ+ restaurants, bars, and eating establishments.
Unpopular Ventures focuses on investing in unconventional tech startups, making them the perfect partner for LGTBQ+ companies who are facing unconventional challenges! They believe in the untapped potential of underrepresented founders to solve problems that others may not even consider.
500 has invested in over 2,700 startups all over the world, specifically in the technology and innovation industry, and their DEI initiatives demonstrate a mission toward funding underrepresented populations.
18. Reach Capital
Focusing on minority-led startups in the education sector, Reach Capital believes that “investing in learning pays the best returns.” They fund companies on a rolling basis, so submit your idea now to be considered for future funding!
Previously AngelList Talent, Wellfound connects job seekers with startups and is a great resource for both startups looking to expand their DEI initiatives and LGBTQ+ job seekers.
Founded by alumni of AngelList, Republic is a private investment firm that connects investors with vetted startups by entrepreneurs of all races, genders, and identities.
This venture capital company invests in startups led by diverse founders who identify as women, people of color, immigrants, and/or LGBTQ+. They are an excellent funding option for tech startups in the pre-seed and seed stages.
22. Pipeline Angels
This community of investors is passionate about building a diverse community of angel investors identifying as female or nonbinary. With a diverse network of 400 founders and angels, this community has funded more than 90 companies so far!
Accessibility Is Key
Managing your finances is enough of a challenge in and of itself, but it becomes even more daunting when you have to deal with discrimination or unexpected costs. Access to reliable financial information and resources is essential for protecting vulnerable individuals and empowering future leaders.