Manchester Pride Festival 2017: This is what happens to YOUR donations to the LGBT community

As thousands of revellers recover from another fantastic Manchester Pride Big Weekender, attention turns to what happens to the charitable donations raised each year.

Back in 2014, MM revealed that donations raised in that year were £54k, however in 2016, the money donated settled at a record breaking £149k.

Manchester Pride, a charity which campaigns for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, issued an annual review of revenue and expenditures from the Festival in 2016.

From their unaudited accounts as of September 2016, revenue came from multiple sources: ticketing—equalling to a whopping £1m—as well as from trade activity, fundraising, grants and donations carried forward from previous years—the later amounting to about £589k.

The cost of holding the four-day event included:

  • operational: £325,739
  • content (Superbia, artists, dance, vigil, parade); £177,169
  • safety at £128,312
  • marketing: £81,465
  • trade areas (box office, Expo, VIP, ticketing area): £53k
  • site fees: £52,917

The Manchester Pride Community Fund includes the money raised during the Festival as well as money raised throughout the year.

Grants are then available to LGBT community/voluntary groups, organisations and registered charities in Greater Manchester.

Over Manchester Pride’s lifespan, the charity has dispersed a significant £1.3m to LGBT and HIV groups, many of which survive on grants alone.

Mark Fletcher, Chief Executive of Manchester Pride, said: “We have a huge responsibility to distribute the money from our fundraising pot to as many of the brilliant groups within the LGBT community as possible.

“We want to hear from as many groups as possible throughout the year to ensure that we are able to support a diverse selection of people.”

Also in the annual review, 63% of the 560 people surveyed said they would pay more if the tickets included a donation.

Three recipients who received money from January this year were Let’s Do Lunch, Mancunian Way and Gay Gordons Manchester.

Let’s Do Lunch is an organisation that provides a safe environment for lesbians to meet in Manchester’s Gay Village.

They chose to put their money toward advertising in gay press, website maintenance, business cards and other stationary equipment and meetups which happen every six months.

Another recipient, Mancunian Way is a group that specialises in street engagement and education of young people on personal safety and choice.

Finally, the Gay Gordons is a group of Scottish Country and Ceilidh dancers who welcome any LGBT person, as well as friends who are gay-friendly, to join their dancing ranks regardless of skill level.

With the fundamental idea of Manchester Pride being to promote opportunities for LGBT people, does the money raised aid the groups who receive it?

MM touched based with the Gay Gordons Manchester to see where they directed their money.

Dave Taylor, the founder of the Gay Gordons in Manchester, told MM: “The money helps with promotions of our performances with regards to leaflets and a banner and also last year we got a new microphone.

“We do dancing in the street throughout the year so we have our own laptop and speakers but lacked a microphone.”

Artists at this year’s Manchester Pride Festival include Clean Bandit, Mel C, Gok Wan, Ultra Nate, N-Trance and the cast of the new Take That musical The Band. 

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