Joining Threshold

If you answer 'yes' to many of these questions, we invite you to learn more about Threshold by reading our FAQs below, perusing the pages of our website and then proceeding with the new member sponsorship process.

Are you involved in progressive philanthropy, or do you have a desire to become more involved in leveraging wealth for social and environmental change?

Are you a person with significant wealth who is interested in exploring your relationship with money in this world of great need?

Do you have an attitude of stewardship toward the planet and care about its environment and inhabitants?

Are you willing to participate in personal growth work in a community setting?

Do you have the time and financial capacity to attend meetings, participate on committees, and engage in philanthropic giving?

Please click on a question below to see the response.

What are Threshold conferences like?

Threshold’s biannual conferences include a combination of philanthropic work, personal sharing, organizational business, guest speakers, music, movement, ceremony and fun. The network gathers once in the winter and once in the summer in different locations around the country and occasionally abroad. Threshold meetings offer opportunities for both novice and experienced donors and activists to learn about social change philanthropy and leveraging wealth, and to engage with allies, activists, thinkers, and fellow donors at the cutting edge of social change movements.

During our meetings, Threshold members deeply examine their inner lives, relationships, and lifestyles. Our meetings are less like formal conferences and more like ongoing experiments, retreats designed to encourage members to discover their most meaningful work and purpose, and to engage the world from that place.

Threshold meetings are kept purposefully intimate, and are open only to members, prospective members, and invited guest speakers. The content of our meetings and the list of participants are kept strictly confidential.

What are grant committee meetings like?

Grantmaking committees meet for two days before the biannual conferences to carry out their collective grantmaking. During their meetings, the committees engage in an innovative grant evaluation process in which Threshold members work hand-in-hand with community partners to educate and inform each other about pertinent issues, themes, priorities and the grantmaking process. The committees strive to be innovative, nimble, and brave in using Threshold’s grantmaking dollars to effectuate change in the world.

The Threshold grantmaking experience is non-hierarchical, volunteer-driven, and educational. Working together closely, committee members tackle the most pressing cultural and policy issues of our time.

What is the time commitment involved in being a member?

Threshold convenes two conferences each year, one during the summer and one during the winter. The conferences typically last five days. Attendance at the conferences is not mandatory to maintain membership in the Threshold network.

Threshold is a co-created volunteer community (with the exception of our staffing provided through a contract with the Tides Foundation). Threshold members make such commitments of time and energy to the Threshold grantmaking and community committees as their schedule and life circumstances permit. The time commitment that accompanies membership on a grantmaking or network committee varies greatly depending on the nature of the committee and the specific role the member takes on the committee.

What financial commitments would I be asked to make?

The financial commitments that accompany Threshold membership are three-fold: annual membership dues, conference fees, and contributions to the grantmaking pool. All of Threshold’s grantmaking is done from a pool of funds raised annually from Threshold members. Members are encouraged to contribute to the pool, yet fundraising is kept conscientiously low-key and low-pressure. A detailed breakdown of current membership dues and conference fees may be obtained by contacting the Threshold office . The Threshold office can also provide a list of the fees and contributions that are tax deductible.

How do I become a member?

The process of becoming a Threshold member begins with sponsorship by a current Threshold member. If you would like to become a Threshold member but do not have a sponsor you may contact the Threshold office and they will assist you in finding a sponsor. After being sponsored, you will receive more detailed information about our community and begin the interview process through Threshold’s Membership Committee.

How do I decide if Threshold is the right community for me?

This website is designed to give you an overview of both the Threshold foundation and the Threshold network. If you have questions about Threshold that are not answered on this website, or you’d simply like to have a conversation with someone about Threshold, contact the Threshold office and ask to be connected with a representative from the Membership Committee.

The best way to get to know Threshold is to engage in the sponsorship process and attend new member orientation followed by a biannual meeting. The Threshold experience is best discovered live and in-person. Your first meeting will serve as an important period of mutual discernment.

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