We Fund Where It Matters Most

A photo of a group of people (2018 Sex Worker Giving Circle fellows, with current Director of Development Maryse Mitchell-Brody at the center) posing together and all holding pink roses.

"Quite frankly, we would not exist without Third Wave's investment in our vision. Third Wave has supported us fiercely to become the political force we were meant to be in a place where it was thought to be impossible. Because of Third Wave, still we specialize in the wholly impossible.'" – La'Tasha D. Mayes, former Executive Director of New Voices Pittsburgh

Third Wave resources youth-led gender justice activism to fill the major national funding gap. Multi-issue work often has few avenues for funding. And, movements led by women of color, trans and queer people, and low income communities are vital to justice and liberation, yet have the least access to funding. These groups are often the last to get funding and the first to lose it when the going gets tough.

National philanthropic support for gender justice is dismal:

  • Funding for women and girls' issues only accounts for 1.6% of philanthropic giving, and dollars reaching women and girls of color, and LGBTQ women, girls, and femmes are not even tracked.
  • It is estimated in a 2020 study that grants to women and girls of color totaled $356 million—about 0.5% of the $66.9 billion contributed by foundations in 2017.
  • Source: The Women & Girls Index 2020: Measuring Giving to Women’s and Girls’ Causes)

Within LGBTQ-focused philanthropy:

  • In their latest report, Funders for LGBTQ Issues found that funding for LGBTQ Issues fell from it’s record high in 2018. For every $100 awarded by U.S. foundations in 2020, only 23 cents specifically supported LGBTQ communities and issues.
  • Even more dire is the funding for trans communities. For every $100 awarded by U.S. foundations, less than 5 cents supported transgender communities in both 2019 and 2020. 
  • (Source: Funders for LGBTQ Issues 2019-2020 tracking report)
Photo of 2018 Sex Worker Giving Circles Fellows with Director of Development (and SWGC co-founder) Maryse Mitchell-Brody.