Grant Program FAQ


Who can apply for a grant?

Anyone is welcome to apply, regardless of identity or background. The Effing Foundation focuses on supporting #ownvoices: that is, people who are members of disadvantaged groups doing projects grounded in their experiences. In particular, we are looking to fund projects by people with one or more marginalized identities, including women (cisgender and transgender), people who are members of gender/(a)sexuality/relationship minorities, people of color, people of size, neurodiverse people, and/or people with disabilities (mental illness, chronic illness, and/or other physical disabilities). We are also interested in funding #ownvoices projects that address intimate partner violence and/or sexual violence and projects that address financial accessibility issues.

We have published a table of our grant funding demographics, which includes data from our pilot grant projects as well as some of our goals for the 2018-2019 grant funding cycle.


Can I apply for funding if I am outside of the US?

Yes, but for the 2018-2019 grant cycle only 10% of our funding dollars will be available to projects taking place outside of the US (see our grant demographics page), so there will be more competition for those funds.


What types of projects are you looking for?

The Effing Foundation promotes sexuality education and artistic expression of sexuality, which can include many different types of projects. This can be an organization which does ongoing, sex-positive work, or it can be an individual or group of individuals doing a specific event or project. 

You could propose to host a conference, workshop, or other type of event; write or edit a book (fiction/non-fiction/comics/poetry/collection/zine/...); put on a play or storytelling event; make a film or short video series; do a photo shoot; create a podcast or vlog; make a game (videogame/boardgame/RPG/LARP); build an art installation; or create a website; to name just a few ideas.

The exact medium you use is less important to us than that your project is 1) artistic and/or educational in some way; 2) grounded in your own identity and experiences; and 3) sex-positive (and that your sex-positivity includes being respectful of people with marginalized identities). If you aren't sure what "sex-positive" means, check out "What I Mean When I Say I'm Sex-Positive" by Cliff Pervocracy and "10 Things Sex-Positivity Is Not" by Miri Mogilevsky.

We are also more likely to fund projects that have few other options for grant funding or government support. 


Can I apply for funding for my sex-positive product?

Our mission is to promote sex-positive art and education. If your product's primary focus is on teaching the user something and/or on helping the user make art, that might be within our mission.
If you think your product might be in one or both of those categories but you aren't sure, contact us with some more details about your product and we'll try to provide additional feedback.

How does the grant selection process work?

Our grant selection process has three major steps:

  1. Open Call for Proposals: Anyone who is interested in applying for an Effing Foundation grant completes an online questionnaire (called the "Open Call for Proposals") to let us know who they are and what kind of project they would like funding for. 
  2. Invitation to Submit Grant Application: Based on the responses to the Open Call for Proposals, our staff and Advisory Council will invite some (smaller) number of respondents to submit a grant application.
  3. Review of Grant Applications: Our staff and Advisory Council review the submitted applications and provide feedback to the applicants. Applicants have time to revise their proposals before they go back to the Advisory Council (who may update their reviews based on those revisions). The applications are then sent to the Board of Directors, who make the final decision about which applications are awarded a grant.

What is the timeline for the 2018-2019 grant cycle?

Our current schedule for the 2018-2019 grant cycle is as follows:

  • July 18 (optimistically) or July 25: Open Call For Projects (online survey) goes live
  • Aug 15: Open Call for Projects (survey) due (3-4 weeks)
  • Aug 16-Aug 26 (1.5 weeks): Kit/Advisory Council reviews responses & selects which applicants will submit full applications
  • Aug 27-Sept 16 (3 weeks, although includes Labor Day weekend): Applicants write full applications
  • Sept 17-Oct 7 (3 weeks): Advisory Council & Kit review applications
  • Oct 8-Oct 14 (1 week): Applicants receive their feedback, ask questions of reviewers, & start revisions
  • Oct 15-Oct 28 (2 weeks): Applicants finish revisions & submit final versions of their applications
  • Oct 29-Nov 4 (1 week): Kit & reviewers update reviews if anything changed significantly as a result of revisions
  • Nov 5-Nov 19 (2 weeks): Board reviews proposals
  • Nov 19-21: Board meeting

At the November Board meeting, the Board of Directors will decide which projects will receive grants. We'll let everyone know, and then begin fundraising. Funds disbursement will begin in early 2019, depending on how successful the fundraising campaign is.

These dates are available in the official Effing Foundation calendar; instructions on how to view it or add it to your own calendar are available through Google Drive.


Can I submit more than one project?

Yes. You're welcome to submit the survey once per project, but we will only fund one project per person or organization. (That said, we're a really small organization with limited resources. If you can narrow down your submissions your top couple of ideas, we'd really appreciate it!)


Are funds available to support projects by marginalized people?

YES. Because we don't want the Effing Foundation to perpetuate existing structural inequality, we have decided specifically that we want the demographics of our grantees to include people with (potentially multiple) marginalized identities.

We have published a table of our grant funding demographics, which includes data from our pilot grant projects as well as some of our goals for the 2018-2019 grant funding cycle.


My particular identity isn't named in any of your materials. Should I complete the Open Call for Proposals?

Yes! Everyone is welcome to complete the Open Call for Proposals. If you have another identity or marginalization which we don't mention specifically, please go ahead and include it in the question(s) where we ask you about yourself. 


Do I need to be a 501(c)(3) organization or have a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor to apply for a grant?

No. To facilitate greater equity in grantmaking, we absolutely do not require applicants to have any affiliation with a 501(c)(3) organization. 

Once grants are awarded, if your project is not affiliated with a 501(c)(3) organization, we will sign a fiscal sponsorship agreement with you. This agreement will specify that we will be overseeing the distribution and use of your grant funds, in accordance with best practices and IRS requirements. We have a disbursement process that specifies how you request funds and what documentation you need to provide.

Awardees who are with a 501(c)(3) organization or who have a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor are not required to sign a fiscal sponsorship agreement and do not participate in our financial oversight process.


How much money will be awarded?

We expect to give out around 8 to 10 grants worth a total of about $40,000 to $50,000. Since we don't already have a big pile of money to give away, this partly depends on how much money we can raise. 


How much money can I request?

Our round of pilot grants was for eight $5,000 grants ($40,000 in grant money total), so requesting $5,000 or less for one project or organization is encouraged. We don't have a large pile of money to give away: whatever grants are approved by our Board, we will have to raise that money before we can give it to our grantees. If you are an artist or educator who already has a large audience and/or you've run successful crowdfunding campaigns in the past, we can talk with you about requesting amounts larger than $5,000.


What can grant money be used for?

To support equity in our grantmaking practices, funds granted from the Effing Foundation to US-based projects can be used for literally anything that helps to accomplish the project. Our grantees have used their Effing grants towards travel expenses; stipends for grantees to be able to afford to devote time to their projects; supplies and equipment; venue rental; and payments for performers, video editors, and sound crew, to name a few. 

Due to IRS regulations, for non-US-based organizations we are only allowed to provide program funds (as opposed to general, unrestricted funds).


Is the information that I submit in the "Open Call for Projects" private?

Yes! The only people who will have access to the specific information you share with us as part of the Open Call for Projects are those individuals within our organization who will help decide which of the projects will be asked for a full proposal: this is our staff who reviews the survey responses (Kit), the Advisory Council, and the Board of Directors.

We may share non-personally-identifiable demographic information about the survey responses as a whole (such as how many projects were submitted by people of color or how many projects were submitted by people with disabilities), but no individual, organization, or project names will be shared in connection with that information.

If you are asked to submit a full grant application, we may later ask your permission to share specific excerpts of those materials, but by default everything is assumed to be private and is only shared within our organization to the staff who review proposals (Kit), the Advisory Council (who review proposals), and the Board of Directors (who review proposals and make final funding decisions).

See our Privacy Policy for more details.


What responsibilities do I have if my project is selected to receive a grant?

If your project is selected to receive a grant, we expect you to:

  • Help promote our fundraising campaign that will pay for your grant. 
  • Use your grant funds towards the project you submitted to us in your application.
  • Use inclusive language when possible, particularly in terms of distinguishing genitals from gender and including non-binary and/or trans and/or intersex people.
  • Follow our disbursement process to request funds and provide receipts.
  • Track impact data associated with your project: This might include things like number of website views, number of social media follows, or number of audience members, depending on your project.
  • Provide photos and/or testimonials for us to use to promote your work and the broader work of the Effing Foundation.
  • Reply to a check-in email once a month with your impact data and letting us know what successes and/or challenges you are facing.
  • Publicly acknowledge our support of your work. We'll work with you to figure out what method(s) make the most sense -- we may ask you give us a quick shout-out when you run your event, include our logo on print materials or videos, put up a sign, set out some of our flyers or include them in goodie bags, etc.
  • Pay it forward: We would like to establish a mentorship program between each group of grant recipients and the next. We would also appreciate your help promoting future Calls for Proposals and fundraising campaigns.

What responsibilities does The Effing Foundation have towards me as a potential grantee?

It is our responsibility to:

  • listen to you and respect your time and expertise.
  • answer your questions and otherwise communicate with you in a clear and timely fashion, particularly with respect to schedules and deadlines.
  • ensure that our needs for documentation and oversight result in processes that are easy to understand and not overly time-consuming or burdensome to you.
  • share your work with our community of donors and supporters. Right now this mainly happens through our monthly newsletter.