Contact: Mary Morten
Chicago Community Trust Releases LGBT Community Needs Assessment
Morten Group Study Provides Data for Future Funding Initiatives
Chicago - A survey of the needs of Chicagoland's LGBT Community, the first of its kind in nearly 10 years, commissioned by The LGBT Community Fund, an initiative of The Chicago Community Trust, found that the three top needs of the Chicagoland LGBT Community are: affordable health services and care; sustainable employment; and access to government benefits, rights and services.
"This needs assessment provided an unprecedented opportunity for community members to share their perspectives on the LGBT community's greatest needs and strongest assets," said Mary Morten, president, Morten Group, which collected and analyzed the data. "Participants gave candid and thought-provoking responses that we anticipate will be very helpful in guiding The LGBT Community Fund's Steering Committee as it makes funding allocation decisions," she said.
The Steering Committee of The LGBT Community Fund, an identity-focused Fund of The Chicago Community Trust, commissioned the needs assessment to collect data to inform future funding decisions. Three organizations funded the study: The Chicago Community Trust, Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust and The Francis Beidler III and Prudence R. Beidler Foundation.
"The depth and breadth of the data, along with an insightful analysis, provide a strong foundation for the Steering Committee to develop an effective set of grant making priorities and procedures," said Prue Beidler, co-chair, LGBT Community Fund.
Among the survey's key findings:
• 66% of survey respondents ranked healthcare/health insurance as their number one concern; 33% ranked employment as their number one concern and 43% ranked issues related to access to government rights and services as their number one concern
• 63% of data card respondents have access to both physical and mental healthcare services
• 68% of data card respondents reported feeling safe at school/work but only 56% said they felt safe within the city at-large
The needs assessment team collected data using four data collection tools (surveys, data cards, focus groups and interviews) during a two and a half month period (October 7 - December 22, 2011). More than 60 community partner organizations and individual leaders assisted with data collection and nearly 2000 people participated via one of the data collection tools.
The data collection project was conducted in two phases. Phase I consisted of a comprehensive online survey (available in English and Spanish) completed by more than 1500 community members. Paper copies of the survey were provided to individuals without Internet access. In addition, the 60 partner organizations placed drop boxes in their buildings, where individuals filled out more than 300 brief data cards responding to questions about the Community's most critical needs. Data cards were available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Korean and Vietnamese.
Phase II consisted of in-depth phone interviews with more than 50 leaders in the LGBT Community, as well as 15 focus groups throughout Chicagoland. Several focus groups targeted specific demographic groups, such as youth, seniors, Spanish speakers, suburban residents and undocumented individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, neighborhoods and socio-economic levels.
About The Chicago Community Trust and The LGBT Community Fund
The Chicago Community Trust began The LGBT Community Fund in 2010 with a $500,000 matching challenge grant. The Fund's Steering Committee will oversee a fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $1 million over the next three years to match the Trust's challenge grant. The Steering Committee will distribute the $1 million during the same time period to nonprofits serving Chicagoland's LGBT Community; the Trust's $500,000 grant will become part of a permanent endowment for the LGBT Community.
About Morten Group
Morten Group was established in November 2001 to focus on clients in the nonprofit, for-profit, and foundation fields. Morten Group provides a customized approach to solve organizational and resource development challenges and to explore new opportunities. Morten Group offers expertise in building communities of inclusion and access, succession planning, trustee recruitment and retention, and film and video production.