Part 2: I Need Help

What does The Marin Foundation do?

Quick Overview of The Marin Foundation:

The Marin Foundation (TMF) is officially recognized as a Federal Nonprofit Public Charity under tarrowhe 501 (c)(3) Internal Revenue Service organizational code. TMF promotes the strength and growth of religious understanding towards leveling the disconnected culture war between the various religious denominations and GLBT communities.

Mission Statement:

To strategically partner with religious and GLBT organizations in order to build a systemic bridge between the two communities through scientific research, and biblical and social education.

5 Pillars of The Marin Foundation: 

1. 26 Different Educational Classes: These classes are held bi-monthly in Chicago and throughout the country as well. 13 classes are specifically for the GLBT community (Track #1) focusing on full religious acculturation, as well as the social, political, historical and theological arguments to actively pursue ending the culture war. The other 13 classes are specifically for the straight religious community (Track #2) in learning how to peacefully and productively build a bridge with GLBTs; as well as focusing on social, political, historical and theological arguments to actively pursue ending the culture war.

2. Scientific Research: Current study is Religious Acculturation within the GLBT Community, to be completed Fall 2009. To date, this nationwide study is the very first of its kind to look at the acculturation levels of those within the GLBT community to their sexuality and how that ties in to their religious/spiritual acculturation both personally (internal) and outwardly (mainstream openness), if any exists. The results from this study will be published in a feature-length book in 2011 as well as in academic journal articles leading up to the books release.

3. Living in the Tension Community Gatherings. These forums are held twice a month in Chicago, as well as around the country, for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, ex-gay, celibate and straight (liberal and conservative) people to all willfully enter into a place of constructive tension, intentionally forming a community that peacefully and productively takes on the most divisive topics within the culture war that is faith and sexuality. Culture wants to resolve conflict—we want to use our different communities’ filtration systems to elevate the conversation through the tension. Get past the stereotypes. Learn and practice what it means to live in unanswerable questions. Shift the paradigm away from a ‘fix it’ culture to one that turns hearts onto Christ amongst the most uncomfortable places. Our slogan is to “Commit. Stay. Reconcile. Grow.”

4. Dissemination. This includes any speaking at churches, organizations or universities, media (TV, radio, internet) appearances, written academic journal articles, magazine articles, or feature-length books such as Andrew Marin’s book, Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community (InterVarsity Press, 2009).

5. Re:Creation. TMF works with conservative, liberal and GLBT churches, organizations and universities across the country to facilitate a variety of trainings, classes and forums that equip each institution (curriculums, research, immersions and unique knowledge) to create self-sustainable bridge building communities in their own local community. TMF’s goal is to make a systemic difference between the GLBT and religious communities, and this can only happen through various local communities across the country coming together within their own local context to intentionally move forward in leveling the disconnect between these two traditionally opposing factions.

Here are a few other organizational thoughts:

My bad for naming it “Foundation” in conjunction with my last name. Usually “Foundation” with a last name means a ‘family foundation’ that is rich and gives other organizations money. That is not me. The reason I named it The Marin Foundation is because every name I could think of, one of my gay or one of my straight Christian friends gave me reasons why others like them wouldn’t want to be a part of this bridge building effort because it either sounded ‘too Christian ministry’ or sounded ‘too gay’. So the only thing I could think of in which people would have no clue what we did unless they already knew what we did, was The Marin Foundation. In order to start my organization, I cashed out everything I had, sold a bunch of stuff and used all of my checking/savings and dumped it all into The Marin Foundation. More on this tomorrow.

The perception is that people on national news must be rich. Most people or organizations on national news are financially well off. That is not me either.

Here is a really big confession:

I never said anything about finances because, on top of what I said yesterday regarding my motives for putting bridge building first and not money, I was scared that if I let people know I was broke I would lose the voice and impact God gave me.

Backwards, I know. But an honest statement. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.

If you would like to keep updated with the work and needs of The Marin Foundation, please email us at or send us your address if you prefer a hard-copy and we’ll add you to our bi-monthly mailing list.

Please spread the word to all you know who have been impacted by The Marin Foundation or Love is an Orientation.

Much love.

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  • “I never said anything about finances because, on top of what I said yesterday regarding my motives for putting bridge building first and not money, I was scared that if I let people know I was broke I would lose the voice and impact God gave me.”

    Gee, it makes perfect sense that you would feel that way, Andrew. FWIW, I share the broke part with you. But you DID ask God not to make it easy. It’s like the old adage, never pray for patience. 🙂

    God does not abandon those He has called. Step out in faith and put your foot into the Jordan. He will part the waters.

  • Thanks for continuing to share, Andrew. This is important work. I’m supporting you with prayer and $$. I’m going to write a blog post about it tonight too… Maybe I can help influence others on my little corner of the web.

  • Mrs T

    Tha Marin Foundation is a good name. Marin Ministry sounds too religious, so this was a good compromise. It also probably was not used eslewhere. You don’t want to get sued for having the same name as another group.
    The word Marin lends itself to the words mariner, marinate, marinade, marina, & Marinthon for running the race. Make sure you have a legal search done(or get a lawyer’s advice)about your name. I think the “Mariners” would be a cool name, but I bet someone else is using it!
    OK, friends, any suggestions for this? It’s amazing how the Lord uses names & who He gives certain names to. Andrew got a good one that he can do something with. I had a horrible maiden name & have a weird(but cool) married name. God uses it all. WuHuuu!!

  • Person

    Hello Andrew. I’m enjoying reading these updates.

    I just want to say that I don’t think The Marin Foundation is a horrible name, but now that you bring up those other points it may be good to change it. Ironically, the mission organization my parents are with is changing its name right now and they are changing it to a name which they feel is more reflective of what they do as a ministry. Perhaps then, if you were going to change the name, my suggestion is you can change it to something such as The Crossing the Gap Initiative or The Bridge Foundation or something else that puts an image in people’s minds of the kind of work you do. If you say generally what you do (I recommend including a verb if possible since verbs imply action), then it’s not obviously Christian or gay and just by the name people can get a little picture of what you are all about. But you don’t have to change the name, that’s up to you. However, if you did change the name, then that’s my suggestion.

  • DD

    How should be donations be made … to whom … and where should they be sent?

    I think if you ask people to partner with you at, say, $50 a month you will be pleasantly surprised at the generosity of hundreds of people who believe in what you are doing.

  • You can click on the “Donate” button above and donate via credit card or paypal. You could probably also mail checks directly to the Marin Foundation (5241 N. Ashland Ave. 1st Floor; Chicago, IL 60640).

  • Jon – you hit both of those donation options right on the mark! I’ll be outlining my fundraising strategy and what I’m asking of people to give, in a post later this week. Much love!

  • Leneita Fix

    Also, do not forget that because you are a non-profit all donations are tax deductible.

    On another note. I remember well the days of living on bags of white rice. Sometimes we too end up back in the place of the empty pantry. It is hard to ask for help. It is hard to admit our place of need. We spend so much time thinking that we have to go it alone and just let “God” take care of us. Finally, out of desperation we break down and ask. We feel pitiful. (Believe me I am totally speaking out of my own experience here.) But, it is never the case. Every time it gives those who really believe in us the opportunity to step up and step in and let us know that they love us and what we do. Every time it shows us that we are not going this alone even when our walk can feel lonely. God does take care of us. Sure he could dump a bucket of gold on our heads. But, most of the time it is the person who we think has nothing who gives us $5 that inspires us. It lets us know that others truly do care. It matters. What you do matters, who you are matters more. The foundation reflects who you are….