PLF Budget Template (download)
Over 50 alternative funds have been established in the U.S. to serve as repositories for money which is not paid in taxes to the federal government. A portion of the money in each fund is then given away by its members for a broad range of positive, life-affirming purposes.
In 1971, war tax resisters in the San Francisco Bay Area formed the People’s Life Fund (PLF). Every year PLF members put out a call for proposals and select local projects that are doing the work we wish our taxes were supporting. Grants are made to groups whose work falls within one of the priority areas described below.
The PLF’s granting priorities are (in order of priority):
1. (Highest Priority) Provision of essential day-to day human services which the government is not adequately furnishing, together with educational or other work that identifies and seeks to change the root causes of the problem.
2. (Second Priority) Provision of essential day-to day human services, but not necessarily providing an explicit analysis of the problem.
3. (Third Priority) Education or action, in the spirit of nonviolence, aimed at social, economic or political change.
In addition to the above priorities, the People’s Life Fund favors projects serving the Northern California area, and small organizations with annual budgets of less than $200,000. Preference will be given to groups that challenge privilege and injustice and are led by the same constituencies that are being served. We are giving special priority to groups that are working in the areas of Youth, Economic and Racial Justice, and Environmental Sustainability. The PLF does not fund the same organization two years in a row.
Grants are given in a public awards ceremony on, or around, Tax Day, and recipients are expected to be present to receive their grant so that they can tell the community about the work they are doing. We also ask that recipients to list the PLF among their funders as: War Taxes Redirected by People’s Life Fund. A short report on the use of PLF grants by recipient organizations is requested once funds have been spent.
People’s Life Fund applications are screened and grants are made by any members of the PLF who choose to attend meetings in February and March of each year. Any person who, in the past two years, has made a contribution to Category C or has had a positive balance in Category B is a member of the PLF. In addition, one may become a member of the Fund by volunteering time or resources to the work of the Fund. Granting decisions are made by consensus of the members involved.
Loans are made on a limited basis from the People’s Life Fund to organizations whose overall purpose is to provide human services or aid to low-income persons, to promote nonviolent action or education, and/or to promote alternative economic projects and relationships. Please contact us if you want more info. on applying for a loan.