We started this nonprofit to make it possible for people to become what they want to be. That is, to help them appear to others the same way they imagine themselves.
For the past several decades, medical professionals have started to realize that one’s sense of identity doesn’t necessarily match their appearance, and are beginning to respect that desires and goals might differ from expected norms. However, medical technologies still need to catch up. So we asked ourselves: how can we turn this growing recognition into tangible actions?
The overall path is clear – research.
But then the next questions come up. What sorts of research? Who will do the research? How will results be shared and used in applications?
Thankfully, the management and funding of research projects are already solved problems. Many of us are actively working in academia, and we are copying much of the standard research funding formula. We also have solid outlines on the types of research that should be most useful in achieving morphological freedom (described elsewhere on this website). While we don’t have all the answers, we know enough to say that, with more researchers and other experts working together, we can all help make our organization’s mission a reality.
With those matters settled, we took a deep breath and got to work.
Earlier in 2018, we incorporated in Massachusetts as a nonprofit corporation. We sent off a 1023 application to the IRS for 501(c)(3) status about a month later. We were quite busy while we waited to hear back! (1) We started building this website and other backend infrastructure; (2) we wrote up some more detailed whitepapers to help get the ball rolling for other researchers; (3) we put together more detailed strategic plans; (4) we sent off a grant application and have been planning some other fundraising processes; (5) we have been finding academic volunteers who can help us review and decide on research project applications we receive; and…most importantly… (6) we have been putting together more and more people who can directly perform research, generally in standard academic environments.
And finally, dated August 24th, 2018, we got the news we were waiting for – the IRS sent us our Determination Letter, officially recognizing us as a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. No uncertainties, no follow-up questions – it was a clear decision, so we’re good to go.
The Freedom of Form Foundation is open for business.
Two things are on our immediate agenda: fundraising of course, and hosting an inaugural public event.
We’ll get underway on broader fundraising after we clear up some final paperwork relating to various state registrations. It’s a bit complicated, but we’ll focus on the larger states first and hope to expand to all 50 states fairly soon as funds allow. Until then, we at least have permission to solicit for donations e.g. online in a few states.
Meanwhile, our first event will be an informal get-together during ScotiaCon, a small furry convention in Scotland. We’re excited to talk with attendees to get their thoughts on our goals and plans, and to start building excitement more broadly that our dreams are achievable with the right effort. More details to come soon!
We’re hoping to start funding research projects starting in 2019 – depending on finances of course! (So yes, your donations will help a ton!)
These have been some very thrilling developments so far, even though we are just now getting to the starting line. We hope that you share our excitement as we set out on this adventure!
Michael Norsworthy, PhD
President, Freedom of Form Foundation