On June 26, 2015, history was made when the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land. There were many forces at work in this historic change: tenacious leaders and litigators, coalitions of diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations, straight individual and organizational allies, elected officials, celebrities, and most important, hundreds of thousands of individuals, couples and families at the grassroots level.
Another force that played a critical but largely unknown role in all of this was philanthropy, especially the Civil Marriage Collaborative (CMC), a consortium of foundations that pooled and leveraged their resources and strategically aligned their grantmaking.
Over an 11-year period, their investments of $153 million enabled organizations in many states and at the national level to change hearts and minds on a massive scale – and ultimately help advance marriage equality.
This case study tells the story of the movement behind this historic change.