Non-profit

Fledgling Fund

Website:

www.thefledglingfund.org

Location:

WILMINGTON, DE

Tax ID:

20-2450707

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $595,637
Expenses: $1,808,097
Assets: $13,085,785

Formation:

2005

Type:

Private Grantmaking Foundation

The Fledgling Fund was founded in 2005 by former Harvard professor Dianna Barrett. Since its inception, the Fledgling Fund has given $14 million to over 400 different projects.[1] The goal of the organization is to promote left-wing advocacy filmmaking. The organization has supported film projects promoting environmentalism and anti-agriculture conspiracies, supporting left-wing conceptions of gender politics, advocating for illegal immigrants, and defending other left-wing agenda items.

Environmentalist Projects

One of the most prominent films that the Fledgling Fund backed is the controversial Josh Fox film Gasland.[2] The film purports show how the practice of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction is unsafe.[3]

The anti-agriculture propaganda films Seed: The Untold Story and GMO OMG received a Fledgling Fund grant.[4][5] Seed: The Untold Story criticizes agricultural business and their development of genetically modified crops declaring them dangerous, contrary to the conclusions of scientific authorities.[6] GMO OMG by Jeremy Seifert similarly claims that genetically modified crops can be harmful and tries shed light on how many foods produced from these crops are in modern food.[7] A writer at Scientific American called the film “intellectually lazy and, at times, emotionally manipulative” and suggested that it “detracts from the public understanding of GMOs [genetically modified organisms].”[8]

The Fledgling Fund also supports the environmentalist project Sustainable Maine.[9] The goal of Sustainable Maine is to bring together Maine-based environmentalists through film.[10]

LGBT Advocacy

The Fledgling Fund supported the production of Real Boy, the story of Bennett (formerly Rachel) Wallace, a transgender person undergoing gender reassignment.[11] The film was supported by the Fledgling Fund and takes place during Rachel’s transition from a girl to a boy.[12] The film won numerous LGBT-focused film awards.[13]

The Fledgling Fund supports another project that tries to redefine gender: Youth and Gender Media Project.[14] The project attempts to change “the binary (male/female) concept of gender.”[15] One film backed by the project is I’m Just Anneke which “tells the story of a gender-fluid twelve-year-old girl who’s taking hormone blockers to delay puberty while she decides if she wants to be male, female, or somewhere in-between when she grows up.”[16]

Illegal Immigration

Don’t Tell Anyone is a film about the life of illegal immigrants in the United States supported by the Fledgling Fund.[17] The film tells the story of Angy Rivera, an illegal immigrant. The film advocates for legal status for illegal immigrants and works with the left-of-center United We Dream’s #HereToStay Network that fights deportation.[18] Don’t Tell Anybody and her project “Ask Angy” gained Rivera an interview with left-wing MSNBC because of her support for illegal immigrants.[19]

The Fledgling Fund gave a grant to Enemy Alien a film comparing the situation of Muslim Americans after the attacks of September 11, 2001 to Japanese interment during World War II.[20] [21] The film focuses on Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a Palestinian-rights leader who was arrested due to an active deportation order in 2002. While some, including the film, called Abdel-Muhti’s arrest politically motivated, the government countered that claim by pointing out that Abdel-Muhti was ”a convicted criminal several times over, he has twice unlawfully re-entered the United States after being deported, failed to surrender for his deportation or to appear at deportation proceedings, and again and again misrepresented under oath and in official documents his true identity and nationality.”[22]

Left-Wing Economics

The Fledging Fund supported the film Inequality for All which boasts a left-of-center economic agenda.[23] The film focuses on increasing income inequality in the United States.[24] In the film, left-wing activists, most prominently Clinton administration Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, proposes a number of anti-business proposals including increasing the minimum wage, public policy to promote labor unions, increased regulations, and increasing taxes.[25]

The Reel Economy residency was created and supported by the Fledgling Fund, Chicken and Egg Pictures, and Working Films.[26] Left-wing groups at Reel Economy included Green For All, Jobs With Justice, and MomsRising.[27] One of the instructors for the residency was Steve Schnapp of the left-of-center United for a Fair Economy.[28] The purpose of Reel Economy was to teach left-wing filmmakers how increase the impact of their film and strengthen partnerships with other organizations.

Abortion

The Fledgling Fund gave money to the film Trapped which advocates for increased access to abortion.[29] The film focuses on abortion providers and the lawyers that fight to allow more abortions in the United States.[30] The film is critical of pro-life laws and states that abortion providers should have no more oversight than other doctors.[31]

Policing

Do Not Resist claims to uncover how police departments have become more militarized in a Post 9-11 world.[32] The film talks about the increased use of SWAT teams over the decade following 9/11.[33] Do Not Resist is critical of the federal government’s policy of giving equipment to local law enforcement. The film received praise from left-of-center publications Mother Jones and The Guardian.[34] [35]

Finances

Fledgling Fund is organized as a private foundation; it reported approximately $14.3 million in assets and $1.1 million in grants paid in its 2015 tax year.[36] Funders of Fledgling Fund include the Dobkin Family Foundation and the Ford Foundation.[37]

References

  1. “The Fledgling Fund.” The Fledgling Fund. Accessed January 10, 2019. http://www.thefledglingfund.org/. ^
  2. Matthews, Cara. “”Gasland” Film-maker Takes Heat from Oil and Gas Industry for Trip to Capitol.” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. June 24, 2010. Accessed January 11, 2019. https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/politics/blogs/vote-up/2010/06/24/gasland-film-maker-takes-heat-from-oil-and-gas-industry-for-trip-to-capitol/2169949/. ^
  3. Stossel, John. “‘Gasland’ Lies Put a Plentiful Fuel at Risk.” Washington Examiner. May 17, 2011. Accessed January 11, 2019. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/gasland-lies-put-a-plentiful-fuel-at-risk. ^
  4. “Recent Grantees.” The Fledgling Fund. Accessed January 10, 2019. http://www.thefledglingfund.org/fund/. ^
  5. “Past Grantees.” The Fledgling Fund. Accessed January 10, 2019. http://www.thefledglingfund.org/past-grantees/. ^
  6. “About the Film.” Seed: The Untold Story. Accessed January 12, 2019. https://www.seedthemovie.com/about/. ^
  7. “About the Film.” GMO OMG. Accessed January 14, 2019. http://www.gmofilm.com/. ^
  8. Jabr, Ferris. “Film Review: GMO OMG SRSLY? An #EpicFail in Exercising Our Right to Know.” Scientific American Blog Network. September 09, 2013. Accessed January 14, 2019. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/brainwaves/film-review-e2809cgmo-omge2809d-srsly-an-epicfail-in-exercising-our-right-to-know/. ^
  9. “Sustainable Maine.” Points North Institute. Accessed January 12, 2019. https://pointsnorthinstitute.org/community/points-north-impact/sustainable-maine/. ^
  10. “Sustainable Maine.” Points North Institute. Accessed January 12, 2019. https://pointsnorthinstitute.org/community/points-north-impact/sustainable-maine/. ^
  11. “Recent Grantees.” The Fledgling Fund. Accessed January 10, 2019. http://www.thefledglingfund.org/fund/. ^
  12. “Recent Grantees.” The Fledgling Fund. Accessed January 10, 2019. http://www.thefledglingfund.org/fund/. ^
  13. “Awards.” Real Boy The Film. Accessed January 12, 2019. http://www.realboymovie.com/film/awards/. ^
  14. “About the Youth and Gender Media Project.” Youth & Gender Media Project. Accessed January 14, 2019. http://youthandgendermediaproject.org/about-the-youth-and-gender-media-project/. ^
  15. “About the Youth and Gender Media Project.” Youth & Gender Media Project. Accessed January 14, 2019. http://youthandgendermediaproject.org/about-the-youth-and-gender-media-project/. ^
  16. “About the Youth and Gender Media Project.” Youth & Gender Media Project. Accessed January 14, 2019. http://youthandgendermediaproject.org/about-the-youth-and-gender-media-project/. ^
  17. “About the Film.” Don’t Tell Anyone. Accessed January 12, 2019. http://www.nodigasfilm.com/about/. ^
  18. “Take Action.” Don’t Tell Anyone. Accessed January 12, 2019. http://www.nodigasfilm.com/take-actions/. ^
  19. Maule, Alicia, and Traci G. Lee. “Ask Angy: The Fearless Activist behind Undocumented Advice Column.” MSNBC. October 09, 2014. Accessed January 14, 2019. http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/ask-angy-the-fearless-activist-undocumented-advice-column?cid=sm_m_main_1_20141008_33127016/. ^
  20. “Past Grantees.” The Fledgling Fund. Accessed January 10, 2019. http://www.thefledglingfund.org/past-grantees/. ^
  21. Aderer, Konrad. “Enemy Alien.” Boston Palestine Film Festival. 2011. Accessed January 12, 2019. http://www.bostonpalestinefilmfest.org/films/enemy-alien/. ^
  22. Fisher, Janon. “Stateless, Man Avoids Deportation From U.S.” New York Times. April 14, 2004. Accessed January 12, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/14/nyregion/stateless-man-avoids-deportation-from-us.html. ^
  23. “Past Grantees.” The Fledgling Fund. Accessed January 10, 2019. http://www.thefledglingfund.org/past-grantees/. ^
  24. “Inequality for All.” Inequality for All. Accessed January 14, 2019. http://inequalityforall.com/. ^
  25. “Inequality for All.” Inequality for All. Accessed January 14, 2019. http://inequalityforall.com/. ^
  26. “Reel Economy Update.” Working Films. Accessed January 14, 2019. http://www.workingfilms.org/reel-economy-update/. ^
  27. “Reel Economy Update.” Working Films. Accessed January 14, 2019. http://www.workingfilms.org/reel-economy-update/. ^
  28. “Reel Economy Update.” Working Films. Accessed January 14, 2019. http://www.workingfilms.org/reel-economy-update/. ^
  29. “Recent Grantees.” The Fledgling Fund. Accessed January 10, 2019. http://www.thefledglingfund.org/fund/. ^
  30. “Trapped: A Film by Dawn Porter.” Trapped. Accessed January 12, 2019. http://www.trappeddocumentary.com/. ^
  31. “Trapped: A Film by Dawn Porter.” Trapped. Accessed January 12, 2019. http://www.trappeddocumentary.com/. ^
  32. “About Do Not Resist.” Do Not Resist. Accessed January 14, 2019. http://www.donotresistfilm.com/about/. ^
  33. Atkinson, Craig. “Director’s Statement.” Do Not Resist. Accessed January 14, 2019. http://www.donotresistfilm.com/statement/. ^
  34. Schatz, Bryan. “This New Film Shows the Shocking Excesses of Police Militarization.” Mother Jones. October 27, 2016. Accessed January 14, 2019. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/do-not-resist-police-militarization-documentary/. ^
  35. Miller, Stuart. “Do Not Resist: New Film Shows How US Police Have Become an Occupying Army.” The Guardian. September 30, 2016. Accessed January 14, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/sep/30/do-not-resist-film-documentary-us-police-militarization. ^
  36. The Fledgling Fund, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2015, Part I Line 25 and Part II Line 16 ^
  37. Data compiled by FoundationSearch.com subscription service, a product of Metasoft Systems, Inc. from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted January 16, 2019. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Diana Barrett
    President
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 2007

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form PF $595,637 $1,808,097 $13,085,785 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $976,326 $2,074,328 $14,298,245 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $2,520,391 $2,032,148 $15,396,247 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $765,263 $2,251,997 $14,908,004 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $650,250 $2,018,359 $16,394,738 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Fledgling Fund

    501 SILVERSIDE RD STE 123
    WILMINGTON, DE 19809-1377