COVID & the LGBTQI Movement in 2021: Results from the Q2 2021 COVID Pulse Survey

Movement Advancement Project
3 min readOct 4, 2021

For more than 15 years, MAP has provided data about the capacity of LGBTQI and allied organizations. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact nearly every aspect of daily life, MAP continues to fill an important role by surveying organizations about their operations, finances, and programs.

Since the start of the pandemic, MAP has released a series of reports with data from organizations. Reports released in September 2020, January 2021, and June 2021 show the flexibility, creativity, and continued resilience of LGBTQI and allied organizations.

Our latest report outlines results from our 2nd Quarter (Q2) pulse survey conducted in August 2021. This new report summarizes organizations’ experiences thus far in 2021 and reflections on how they are planning for the rest of the year. Following the Q1 survey, it especially illustrates how quickly organizations’ expectations and experiences have changed in just a few short months.

Key Takeaways

The 2nd Quarter survey shows that organizations face ongoing challenges — particularly with new delays or cancellations as a result of the Delta variant of COVID-19, staff mental health concerns as the pandemic continues, and declining confidence in revenue amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic.

In the second quarter of 2021, the 50 participating organizations in this survey reported a decline in confidence about different revenue streams in corporate contributions, government grants, and especially event revenue, while reported confidence for individual giving and foundation funding remained relatively steady compared to Q1 2021. Most organizations report they had to delay or cancel office reopenings (52%). Even more organizations reported delayed or cancelled programs (58%), events (68%), and travel (75%).

When asked how COVID-19 is affecting the organization’s staffing levels thus far in 2021, more than two in five (42%) organizations reported they added new staff positions. Nearly one in five (18%) organizations also reported increases to staff benefits in 2021.

However, 30% of organizations also reported voluntary departures among staff, and roughly one in ten reported they eliminated staff positions (12%) or had leave(s) of absence among staff (10%) in 2021. These responses illuminate why staff burnout and mental health concerns remain a significant and widespread challenge.

As a collective force, movement organizations are staying nimble and resilient in the face of new and ongoing challenges of COVID-19. MAP will continue to survey and support organizations during 2021 and as the pandemic continues to shape how organizations operate, advocate for, and serve LGBTQ people.

Take Action

  • Read the report.
  • Visit the COVID-19 issue page.
  • Donate to support MAP’s work.



Movement Advancement Project

MAP is an independent, nonprofit think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and communications that help speed equality and opportunity for all.