5 Companies That Donate to LGBTQIA+ Organizations
by Isabella Zollner
Pride Month is coming up fast, and even if we can’t shop in person, we know stores will still be rolling out their Pride collections. Here’s the thing — as Pride Month becomes more and more popular, so does ‘Rainbow Washing’. Rainbow Washing is a strategy companies use to sell more products without actually supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. A store may decorate with rainbow stickers and products for a month, but that won’t stop them from disregarding the LGBTQIA+ community.
To help you weed through what companies support the LGBTQIA+ community and what companies just want your money, I’ve assembled a list of companies that donate profits from pride products to LGBTQIA+ organizations.
No list of supportive companies is complete without M.A.C. who first rolled out their pride collection and AIDS fund in 1994 nearly 30 years ago. 100% of earnings from the VIVA Glam collection is donated to the AIDS fund. Even better, in 2018 M.A.C. pledged to donate $500,000 to GLAAD.
GLAAD is a LGBTQIA+ run media organization that aims to share queer stories. Over the 35 years since GLAAD was founded they have substantially increased LGBTQIA+ representation in the media.
M.A.C. has been an ally since the beginning and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to LGBTQIA+ charities. If you want to touch up your makeup collection M.A.C is the perfect place to do that. Not only do they have an excellent pride lipstick collection, you can rest easy knowing the profits will be going to LGBTQIA+ organizations.
During pride month, Lush donates 100% of their Charity Pot’s purchase price to LGBTQIA+ rights campaigns. The Charity Pot lotion is available year round and the sales go to human rights, animals rights, and the environmental protection organizations. It’s also vegan, cruelty free, and made of almost entirely natural products. Personally, this is one of the only hand lotions that I love. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an ethically sourced and 100% donated product.
During June Charity Pot profits are split between seven different LGBTQIA+ organizations: The National Center for Transgender Acceptance, Garden State Equality, Famillia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Unsilence, Transilient, Get Real Movement, and the South Carolina Youth Movement. Many of these organizations focus on empowering youth and trans people. Every one of them does very important work for the LGBTQIA+ community and can use every donation they can get.
Nike’s 2019 pride collection named ‘Be True’ blew it out of the park with beautiful clothing and shoes. But more importantly, every pride collection’s profits have gone to LGBTQIA+ charities. In fact, since 2012 Nike has donated $3.6 million to LGBTQIA+ charities. Nike funds these donations with their yearly limited edition Be True collection. From rainbow sneakers to bags you can get totally decked out in pride wear and fund plenty of LGBTQIA+ organizations.
Every June, Nike chooses LGBTQIA+ organizations to distribute grant money to and last year Nike awarded grant money to over 20 organizations. Nike focuses on organizations that work towards diversifying athletics, but will fund other organizations.
Nike isn’t just a great place to buy from if you want to support LGBTQIA+ organizations. It’s also an amazing place to work for people in the LGBTQIA+ community. Nike has been placed on the Human Rights Campaign’s list of Best Places to Work for 17 years in a row. Only a few hundred companies make it onto this list a year and it takes more than a little effort to make it on the list. If you’re looking for a place to work, and want to make sure it’s safe, the Human Rights Campaign’s Best Places to Work 2020 List will be an excellent reference.
The only other company in this article to make it onto the Human Rights Campaign’s Best Places to Work 2020 List is Levi’s. One of the biggest reasons Levi’s was placed on the best places to work list was it’s generous donations to OutRight Action International. Every year the net profits from Levi’s pride collection are donated to OutRight Action International. OutRight Action International’s mission is to provide accurate data and media coverage on the LGBTQIA+ community. During the Covid-19 break out OutRight Action International has been giving out grants as part of an emergency fund. So far they have raised $600,000 to give out to applicants in need of funding. Levi is both a great place for queer people to work and a beneficial place to shop.
The 2017, 2018, and 2019 the American Eagle Pride Collection had an array of clothing decorated with rainbows and empowering messages. The cost of the clothing ranged from $12 to $50 and, even better, 100% of profits were donated to the It Gets Better Project. By the end of June the Pride Collection raised $1.2 million using sales and customer donations. The It Gets Better Project uses donations like these to run a multi media campaign. They use their platform to share the ‘It Gets Better’ stories of all generations of LGBTQIA+ people. The It Gets Better Project also sponsors pride parades and educates people around the world on LGBTQIA+ issues.
Although some large companies are allies to the LGBTQIA+ community, we should also remember that plenty of small local businesses do as well. During COVID-19 local businesses are especially strained financially. So, if you can, support local business. Especially if they are actively supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.
About the Author:
After being subjected to homophobic harassment in the classroom, Isabella decided to try and use her writing to encourage others to stand up for each other and themselves. Isabella is a high school student in Lafayette, IN.