This blog post was written by Tara Spicer, a writer for our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness.
While we come together and celebrate Pride month in June, supporting LGBTQ+ communities and raising awareness around advocacy is important year-round. Barriers to equity persist, both socially and economically. But what does support and advocacy look like when it comes to everyday spending?
Our partners at BECU explain why intentional spending matters, and here at GreenPath, we’d like to suggest five ways you can spend mindfully this month–making sure your dollars go the distance when it comes to aligning with and empowering LGBTQ+ individuals.
1. Donate to organizations.
There are many LGBTQ+ nonprofits and organizations you can support during the month of June and beyond (and if you don’t have much room in your budget now, that’s okay! Bookmark this link and consider revisiting this resource in the coming months.) These organizations advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and elevate fair and equitable policy in both private and public sectors. Particularly this year, donations to these organizations can make a huge impact on those negatively impacted by recent legislative changes. Even small one-time donations or automatic deposits help sustain these organizations and their mission. Less than 1% of site visitors to Charity Navigator (which we shared above) decide to contribute, so any amount is a good amount.
2. Shop at LGBTQ+-owned businesses.
If donating isn’t financially feasible for your budget, consider supporting LGBTQ+ business in your everyday food and shopping purchases. Visiting these shops, restaurants, and cafes is an effective way to promote economic empowerment within your community, and you can make these establishments your go-to choices when making purchases, be it for goods or services. Not sure where to find this information? Many Yelp listings include the “LGBTQ-owned” search modifier, and you can also connect with your local chamber of commerce or the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce which provides a handy statewide map.
3. Make Pride purchases count.
Many businesses and brands that sell everything from clothing to beauty products to watches have product partnerships with LGBTQ+ groups. We’ve included The Trevor Project as just one example here. If you’re shopping for Pride merchandise this month or anytime, be mindful that optics aren’t everything. Some retailers sell Pride-centric merchandise while pocketing the profits. Whether it’s reading a company mission page or making a direct inquiry, it’s worth knowing that your dollars are funding more than just fashion.
4. Contribute to crowdfunding campaigns.
Crowdfunding platforms provide opportunities to directly support individuals who may be facing particularly difficult or dangerous situations and initiatives that support equality within the LGBTQ+ community. From supporting housing development efforts or critical healthcare services to helping small business owners keep their doors open during financial hardship, small contributions can have big reverb when combined with others. Popular platforms like GoFundMe have search filters that allow you to contribute to causes that resonate with you.
5. Invest in an inclusive stock portfolio.
For individuals who are financially able to contribute to a retirement fund now or in the coming months, consider investing in LGBTQ+ focused stock indexes or mutual funds. These investment options specifically select companies that demonstrate a commitment to inclusion and equality. The Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, released each year, provides a useful look at which companies are topping the list when it comes to prioritizing LGBTQ+ inclusion.