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NEWS AND UPDATES

Grants made: We have moved our list of grants, with descriptions, to a separate Grants Made page. We've funded 24 projects as of May 2024.

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December 17, 2023

Our grants are increasing. As the Foundation becomes better known and lays down a track record, we are getting more good grant applications and were financially able to say Yes to many of them at least in part. In 2023 we issued $49,746 in grants to 13 applicants. That's about four times our grant-giving in 2022, our first active year.

 

Altogether we have given $59,517 in 18 grants so far.  Um... do you hear a hint that we could really use more donations? Or maybe writing us into your will. (If you do that we would appreciate knowing.)

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May 11, 2023

Having filed our IRS Form 990-PF for tax year 2022, we are again super proud of our expense ratio. We issued $11,771 in grants in 2022, our first active year, and took administrative expenses of...   wait for it...   $87. That's an administrative expense ratio of just 0.7%, practically unheard-of in the nonprofit world.

 

We could do it because first, our expenses are very low what with volunteer directors, volunteer staff, and no rented space, and also because your generous directors covered quite a few incidental expenses (filing fees, website hosting charges, postal expenses, etc.) out of pocket without billing the Foundation -- so that we could show donors like you a truly knockout expense ratio. Thank you!

May 20, 2022

Your President/Clerk filed the Foundation’s very first (2021) tax and other documents with state and federal agencies on time and in apple-pie order, including IRS Form 990-PF. The latter was relatively simple considering that by the end of 2021 we were still just setting up, had made no grants, and only received our 501(c)(3) tax status near the end of the year.

We're especially proud of one line in our 990-PF. Elsewhere on this site we say, “We are committed to keeping administrative expenses to the bare minimum to maximize the effect of donors’ dollars.” Even with all the complicated administrative stuff, legal advice, and filing fees for setting up the Foundation, its expenses in 2021 totaled only 0.75% of contributions received – thanks to your all-volunteer directors and officers covering a bunch of things out of pocket and not billing the Foundation. And we thank Diana Adams Law and Mediation, PLLC, for giving us a discounted rate for their legal help in setting up.

 

When Charity Navigator gets around to looking at us, we hope that this ratio makes their eyes pop.

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March 22, 2022

Our Origin Story, by Alan M.

 

The Polyamory Foundation's moment of conception came several years ago at the Poly Living convention in Philadelphia.

 

A pair of friends took me aside and said they wanted to discuss something over dinner. It turned out they were writing their wills, and one of them wanted to leave a substantial sum of money for polyamory education and support. But they weren't sure where, or how to guarantee that the money would be used as intended after they were gone.

I told them I was donating to Loving More (which puts on Poly Living) and also named the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, Woodhull, and a couple others. But what they were talking about was in a different league. In particular, they were not expecting to die and the money to come available for many years.

We were quite aware that activist organizations come and go and sometimes fall into unexpected hands. We knew of tragic stories where a benefactor willed a big pot to a beloved cause, and then when the bequest came through much later it was misused or flat-out stolen. A poorly guarded treasure chest will attract sharks, and the only winners may be the various parties' lawyers.

I'd also heard the story of a small progressive group that was destroyed by a benefactor dropping an unexpected bequest on it. Factions formed up and fought to mutual destruction for the pile of gold that each felt they ought to administer (for the purest of reasons, of course). When the stakes were low they had gotten along and accomplished things.

"What this movement really needs," I mused to the two over dinner at the convention, "is an independent granting foundation. It would give money for specific projects judged case by case. It would need an independent board that approves grants on their merits. It would need a mission and policies that were legally locked in. Lots of other movements have foundations like that, and we don't."

"Well, Alan..." said the will-writer, giving me a spreading grin....

"Ohhhhhh, shit," I thought.

Now, after several years of discussions in the community, team building, several offers of promising routes forward that petered out, lawyer brought in, incorporation and 501(c)3 and IRS and state regs navigated, i's dotted and t's crossed, it's real: The Polyamory Foundation is alive and accepting grant proposals from the community.

Along the way somebody none of us had heard of, Erez Benari, showed up out of Seattle, got enthused, and donated a one-time treasure chest of early money just like that -- enough to fund a respectable first year or two of grants. And we now also have a different pledge for annual, keep-us-going gifts for the next few years that should guarantee the Foundation will be making at least some grants each year for the next few years.

We're guessing this is a sign that there's more money out there that has been looking for a home like this.  (Yes, that's a hint.)

Since the modern poly movement began taking shape about 40 years ago, it has accomplished amazing success in public recognition and understanding on the barest of financial shoestrings. That has happened thanks to passionate volunteers all over. We hope to help. We intend for the Foundation to become an increasingly significant resource supporting creative choice in consensual relationship structures for decades to come.

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January 28, 2022

Aaaand, we are open for business! After several years of discussions and setting up, The Polyamory Foundation is finally up and taking grant requests. Thank you for your patience.

Have you nurtured an idea for advancing polyamory awareness and community but lacked the funds to carry it out? Are you running low on funding for things you're currently doing?

Have your plans to put on a conference run up against the large deposit that hotels require upfront? Have you been running a poly conference but it took a hit from the Covid era, and you need help to get it back on its feet? Do you want to offer scholarships for more low-income people to attend your poly education/support event, but you can't afford to? Looking to start a poly-supportive community center?

Talk to us. Whether your idea is large or small, if you have developed a plan but could use some targeted expense funds, that's what The Polyamory Foundation is here for.

Per our charter, we fund designated projects and activities. We can help you achieve your goals that fit our Statement of Purpose, especially if cost has been a problem. The polyamory-awareness movement has always had lots of great people with great ideas. If you've got it together, we may be able to help you carry out yours.

If you are a nonprofit organization, we can directly fund your work that advances our Statement of Purpose. If you're an individual or otherwise not a non-profit there's a bit more paperwork, but we've made it straightforward.

We are still new and small as foundations go. We are currently accepting applications for grants mostly in the range of $100 to $5,000. We hope to make 10 or more grants per year, and yes, we do take applications for as low as $100. For some effective, creative people even a hundred bucks -- for a printing bill, or expenses to give a presentation, or necessary materials -- can be a roadblock that it wouldn't be for someone with more means. We hope to even that up a bit.

 

We're off to our start thanks to early benefactors. If you can afford to help sustain and grow this ambitious project, please see the Donate pageWe are a US 501(c)(3) private grantmaking foundation, charitable and educational; your donation is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

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