Grant Program FAQ


What's different applying for a grant this year from last year?

For the 2019-2020 grant cycle, our biggest changes from last year are:

  1. We aren't able to accept applications from individuals or groups located entirely outside the United States.

  2. We have a new selection of Special Topics: areas we are particularly interested in funding projects in. If your work fits into one of these topics, you can let us know in the Open Call for Projects survey. See "What is a Special Topic?" for more information.

Who can apply for a grant?

Unfortunately, at the time we are unable to accept submissions from individuals or groups located entirely outside the United States. Aside from that: 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 have published a table of our grant funding demographics, which includes data from our past funding cycles and our goals for the current cycle.


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

If you, your group, or organization is based entirely outside the United States, unfortunately we can't accept your application at this time. If your organization or group includes some people or offices inside the US and some outside the US, you are welcome to apply.


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 and read our values to get a broader sense of what sex-positivity means to us.

New for 2019-2020, we have a list of Special Topics to indicate areas we are particularly interested in.

We prioritize projects that do not have other options for grant funding or government support; we are not looking to fund public health or general LGBTQIA+ advocacy, for example.


What is a Special Topic and is my project included?

New for the 2019-2020 grant cycle, you'll be able to indicate whether your project fits into one of a set of Special Topics. This is completely optional. Special Topics represent areas that the Foundation is particularly interested in funding, but we will also be funding projects that are not in these areas.

Special Topics (2019-2020):

  • Intimate partner violence and/or sexual violence (IPV/SV): This includes (but is not limited to) projects that provide support, resources, or community by survivors for survivors.
  • Financial accessibility: This includes (but is not limited to) projects that target privileged folks to educate them/offer solutions for them to execute or projects that target marginalized folks to offer them possible solutions, submitted by economically disenfranchised people.
  • Asexuality: This includes (but is not limited to) projects that provide support, resources, or community by asexual-spectrum folks for asexual-spectrum folks; projects that may help educate the general public about asexuality; or projects that facilitate or showcase the self-expression of asexual people with respect to their asexualities.
  • Intersex people and their (a)sexualities: This includes (but is not limited to) projects that may help educate the general public about intersex people and their (a)sexualities or projects that facilitate or showcase the self-expression of intersex people with respect to their (a)sexualities.
  • Neurodiverse people and their (a)sexualities: This includes (but is not limited to) projects that may help educate the general public about neurodiverse people and their (a)sexualities or projects that facilitate or showcase the self-expression of neurodiverse people with respect to their (a)sexualities.
  • Religion/spirituality and sex-positivity: This includes (but is not limited to) projects that provide support, resources, or community by sex-positive religious/spiritual people for religious/spiritual people; or projects that help to educate the general public about sex-positivity and religious/spiritual tradition.

In order for your project to be considered for a Special Topic, it must meet the following requirements:

  • #ownvoices: The individual or group applying for the grant must be members of the community covered by the Special Topic. Examples:
    • An asexual person whose project is about educating the public on Asexuality would be a good fit for that Special Topic; a person who isn't on the asexuality spectrum would not.
    • A Jewish person whose project is about creating sex-positive spaces in Jewish communities would be a good fit for the Religion/Spirituality Special Topic; a Jewish person whose project is running an online workshop about kink would not be a fit for that Special Topic, although it would be totally fine for them to submit that project for a grant.
  • The work you would like us to fund is primarily about the topic. That is, if someone were to ask you what you're doing, you would say "We're doing a project on [Special Topic]" or "I'm making a [comic, show, video series, workshop, whatever] about [Special Topic]." If the Special Topic isn't central to the work, the work isn't a fit for that Topic. Examples:
    • If you are proposing to write a book on non-monogamy that includes a chapter on intimate partner violence, that's not a good fit for the IPV/SV Special Topic since the book isn't entirely focusing on IPV/DV.
    • If you are proposing to write a book on IPV/DV that includes a section on IPV/DV and non-monogamy, that would work since the book as a whole is about IPV/DV.
  • The work you would like us to fund is strongly related to sexuality or sex-positivity (see "What types of projects are you looking for?") Special Topics are focused on supporting people with particular identities doing (a)sexuality-related projects based in those identities.
  • We will ask you to choose just one Special Topic per submission. If you're debating between multiple Special Topics, please choose the one you think is most central to the project.

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 next grant cycle?

Our current schedule for the 2019-2020 grant cycle is as follows:

  • May 1: Open Call For Projects (online survey) goes live
  • July 31 (two months): Open Call for Projects due
  • Aug 1-Aug 25 (3.5 weeks): Advisory Council & staff review responses and select 16 applicants to submit full applications
  • Aug 26-Sept 20 (3.5 weeks, although includes Labor Day weekend): Applicants write full applications
  • Sept 22-Oct 13 (3 weeks): Advisory Council & staff review applications
  • Oct 15-Oct 22 (1 week): Applicants receive their feedback, ask questions of reviewers, and start revisions
  • Oct 15-Oct 30 (2 weeks): Applicants finish revisions & submit final versions of their applications
  • Nov 1-Nov 8 (1 week): Advisory Council & staff update reviews if anything changed significantly as a result of revisions
  • Nov 9-Nov 24 (2 weeks): Board reviews proposals & votes on grants
  • Sometime between Nov 25 - Dec 2: Grant candidates announced

By the end of November, the Board of Directors will have decided how much funding to award which projects. We'll let everyone know and continue fundraising. Funds disbursement will begin in early 2020 or as soon as we've raised enough funds.

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 past grant funding cycles as well as some of our goals for the current cycle.


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

Yes! Everyone eligible 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 12 to 14 grants worth a total of about $60,000. Most grants awarded are for $2,500 or $5,000. 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?

Most grants awarded are for $2,500 or $5,000, so we recommend that you plan for one or both of those amounts. Projects that are selected to submit full applications may be invited to submit budgets for larger amounts.

If you are an artist or educator who already has a large audience and/or you've run successful crowdfunding campaigns in the past, our partnership program might be a better fit.


What can grant money be used for?

To support equity in our grantmaking practices, funds granted from the Effing Foundation 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. 


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, 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, 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.
  • Conduct your project in a way that is in line with our values.
  • 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 or quarter (depending on the project/organization) 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 through our monthly newsletter and social media.