Family Policy Alliance (FPA) is a conservative Christian nonprofit that acts as the lobbying arm of the group Focus on the Family. Oriented around promoting socially conservative policies in the public sphere, this organization has produced many anti-trans works on its website and fundraised for many politicians, including Texas governor Greg Abbott.
Notably, FPA hosts the Statesmen Academy, a week-long educational academy that trains politicians how to enact anti-trans policies at the state level. It has been tied to anti-trans bills in states like Ohio, Arkansas, and Missouri.
FPA is also notable for their Help Not Harm campaign, which aims to prohibit gender affirming care services among minors in the United States. This has been tied to anti-trans bills in at least 20 different states and has been a notable campaign that influences public policy.
But ‘transition’ doesn’t address the real, underlying problems that cause someone to feel they are in the wrong body. And, we know that a vast majority of children who experience gender dysphoria will grow out of it by the time they reach adulthood.
The Family Policy Alliance was founded in 2004 by Focus on the Family as a lobbying organization. It was registered as a nonprofit in 2005 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where it has offices overlapping with Focus on the Family.
Of its stated purpose, it describes itself within tax filings as the following: “Family Policy Alliance is a family advocacy organization that inspires men and women to live out biblical citizenship that transforms culture. We provide resources that equip citizens to make their voices heard on critical social policy issues.”
Family Policy Alliance is a 501(c)4 organization that typically brings in between $1.3 million to $2.2 million per year since 2017. This is a substantial drop in revenue, as prior to 2017 FPA brought in between $7 million to $13 million a year.
It has a net loss on its profits, totaling between -$40,000 and just greater than -$986,000 a year. According to its most recent tax filing, this is due to standard business expenses, including $141,000 in information technology, $52,000 in office expenses, $152,000 in ‘other employee benefits,’ $53,000 in travel costs and other individualized prices. A precise breakdown of each of these expenses is unavailable. For other years, a significant portion of these expenses are taken up by “other expenses,” the specifics of which are currently unclear.
Sources of income for FPA include about $11,000 in membership dues and $25,000 in fundraising events, with the rest of its nearly $1.3 million coming from other contributions and gifts.
In terms of salaries, FPA pays out nearly $500,000 a year. The organization pays its CEO, Craig DeRoche, approximately $160,000 a year, its VP of Development Len Deo about $120,000 a year, its Chief of Staff Sonja Swiatkiewicz about $115,000 a year, its treasurer Larry Mathis $74,000 a year, and its treasurer Rhonda Bogner about $18,000 a year.
FPA also operates a 501(c)3 nonprofit known as the Family Policy Foundation and the Family Policy Alliance Foundation, which is its sister organization for educational activities. This organization receives around $2 million a year in revenue on average.
History of Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism
On their website, FPA features a transgender section with an abundance of articles written by staff at the website opposing transgender rights. These include state-based calls to “protect” children from transitioning, politicized messaging about Joe Biden, and pieces supporting Ron DeSantis.
Another feature on the FPA website is the “Save Girls’ Sports” campaign, dedicated to excluding trans women from women’s sports. This page includes a petition for lawmakers to vote against trans rights in sports, a graph detailing which states have anti-trans sports laws on the books, fundraising efforts for FPA, and options for sharing how people can additionally raise awareness.
This campaign is most influential as FPA claims it helped to inspire Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which has then inspired numerous anti-trans bills across the United States.
Part of what makes the Family Policy Alliance so influential is its parent organization, Focus on the Family, which has smaller, state-based branches known as Family Policy Councils. These are stationed across 40 states and have hundreds of members across total, each with their own share of anti-trans controversies.
One of the events that Family Policy Alliance, specifically their sister organization Family Policy Alliance Foundation, has gained particular fame for among conservatives is their Social Conservative Convention, known as ‘SoConCon.’ This convention, hosted from March 20 to March 22, 2023 in Charleston, North Carolina, functioned as a mass gathering for social conservative policymakers to discuss how they aim to impact public policy to be more in line with Christian, conservative values.
SoConCon featured sponsorship from anti-trans organizations Alliance Defending Freedom and Family Research Council, in addition to multiple other generalist right-wing organizations. The event included multiple discussions on LGBTQ+ topics, including two breakout panels discussing the “LGBT Agenda,” along with a panel on their “Help Not Harm” initiative to “Stop The Trans’ing of Our Children.”
Family Policy Alliance has also gained traction through its partnerships, which primarily consists of the Women’s Liberation Front. Together, they have filed amicus briefs and released joint statements opposing an expansion of gender identity protections.
FPA has provided millions in funding to numerous different extremist religious groups, with the goal of opposing LGBTQ+ rights and abortion rights across the United States. Others that they fund include political candidates they deem ‘pro-family,’ including Texas governor Greg Abbott.
The FPA hosts educational activities through their sister organization, the Family Policy Alliance Foundation. These educational activities are designed to foster an education of conservative Christian ideals within prominent individuals throughout the United States. One such campaign hosted by FPA is their Statesmen Academy.
The point of this academy is to bring together dozens of lawmakers and spouses together from across the country to learn about conservative Christian ideals. They attend a week-long seminar, and come away from it knowing what laws to enact and how in order to oppose transgender rights, among other conservative causes.
This educational program has been so successful that it has led lawmakers, such as Arkansas State Representative Robin Lundstrum, to create anti-trans laws in their states. Examples of representatives who graduated include Rep. Derek Merrin and Rep. Jena Powell of Ohio, Rep. Sara Walsh of Missouri, Rep. Scott Allen of Wisconsin, and Sen. Jeff Raatz of Indiana. Each of these politicians have sponsored or co-sponsored anti-trans legislation since the date of their graduation.
Another prominent initiative featured by FPA through their sister organization is their School Board Academy, a training program aiming to promote a biblical worldview in those who may be running for school boards across the country. Sex and gender issues are among those covered within the academy.
Help Not Harm
FPA is especially influential in the world of public policy, as they are the group tied to a majority of the anti-trans bills featured throughout the country. This is presumably in part through their Help Not Harm campaign, one which has provided model legislation for Wisconsin and North Dakota, among many other states - upwards of 20.
The point of this campaign is to prevent transgender children from accessing transitioning resources, and it has - in conjunction with teachings from the Statesmen Academy - been instrumental in spreading anti-trans bills across the country.
Help Not Harm even hosted a summit in 2021 that was dedicated to spreading the ideas of this campaign. This was a one day summit featuring a variety of different talks throughout its 6 hour runtime, with each talk archived on the FPA YouTube channel