For the past five years, soccer supporters have come together during the month of June to demonstrate just why this sport and its community of fans are so much more than what we see at stadiums.
It’s all part of the annual Prideraiser campaign where community and changemaking take center stage across the soccer ecosystem in North America.
Prideraiser is a coalition of soccer supporters that raise money for LGBTQ+ causes and organizations in local communities every June. The initiative was founded in 2017 with the purpose of building larger, more inclusive supporter communities that foster a positive, local impact.
This year’s campaign saw record-breaking numbers across the board.
The 2021 campaign helped raise $201,952 through over 2,000 individual pledges in the U.S. and Canada.
A quick snapshot of the more than 77 campaigns that were launched:
In Portland, dozens of Thorns FC fans came together to raise $2,311 for GSAFE, an organization that increases the capacity of LGBTQ+ students, educators, and families to create schools in Wisconsin where all youth thrive.
In Detroit, the Northern Guard Supporters dedicated their 2021 efforts to the Ruth Ellis Center and pledged a total of $19,778 so far.
In Tampa Bay, 43 members of Ralph’s Mob and Rowdies supporters pledged $1,673 to support the organization Metro Inclusive Health.
In Chattanooga, nearly 100 supporters pledged money and together they’ve raised more than $6,000 for Sanctuary Performing Arts.
The list goes on and on.
The soccer philanthropy for LGBTQ+ organizations didn’t just stop with the supporter groups this month either.
Players are also in on the action through Playing for Pride, an initiative that brings together athletes, teams, and leagues to make sports inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community. Founded in 2017 by former North Carolina FC player Austin da Luz, this year’s campaign far surpassed its $25,000 goal by bringing in more than $39,000 so far.
Note: This article was updated on August 23 to reflect the updated Prideraiser 2021 totals.