May 2014 Update

Published by christine on

Welcome to the new Digital Trust Foundation website. We will use this website to provide updates on the grant-making process, post requests for proposals, and accept grant proposals. 

Who am I?

This blog and website will be updated by Christine Fry. I am the newly-hired senior philanthropic advisor or, as other foundations might call this role, the foundation’s program officer. My job is to implement the funding priorities of the foundation’s board of directors. My background is in non-profit management and policy analysis. I look forward to working with the board, potential grantees, and foundation stakeholders to distribute the foundation’s approximately $6.7 million in assets over the next year.

Update on Foundation Activities

Over the last two months, the foundation’s board has been working to develop and refine its funding priorities. The board plans to prioritize 3-6 online privacy-related issues that it would like to explore through its grant-making. Once these issues are defined, we will develop grant-making strategies and guidelines for each priority area. We will likely have a mix of funding strategies, including competitive grants and foundation-initiated grants.

The board has also been working on administrative issues. It decided to hire a half-time consultant (me) to play the role of program officer for the foundation. The board is also working with an attorney to develop a conflict of interest policy. The conflict of interest policy is a standard requirement of the IRS for tax-exempt organizations. In addition to complying with federal law, the policy will help the board navigate potential conflicts of interest when making funding decisions. We will post the conflict of interest policy in the Governance section of the website once it’s approved.

Communicating with the Foundation

We have set up a contact form, which you can use to send questions and comments about the foundation. I may not be able to reply to every e-mail, but I will start an FAQ section to answer common questions that we receive. Keep in mind that I only work half-time and the board is entirely volunteer. Our goal is to keep administrative costs low, which means that we might not be able to communicate with the field as much as a larger foundation might.