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Empty Closets is asking for your help.


A Brief History

Many of you who have been part of the EmptyClosets.com online community have heard or read about our organizational history: The community was started in 2004 by three individuals (Bryce, John, and Shannon) who, remembering their own struggles coming out, were seeking to provide a safe online community in the hopes of making the process easier for others.

For the first seven years of its existence, EmptyClosets was simply a website, owned by the media company run by its founders, and run by a loosely structured group of people who shared a common interest in helping others to get information and support on coming out and other LGBT-related issues.

In 2011, the three founders and several of the current volunteers at EmptyClosets started discussing creating a more formal organizational structure to support the continued growth of the site and the community that had grown up around it. The founders generously agreed to fund the creation of a nonprofit public charity, and to donate the site, domain, and all of the other assets that made up the EmptyClosets online community to the charity, once created.

Empty Closets Community Services was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in September of 2011. In July of 2014, we received official recognition of our charitable status as a 501(c)(3) public charity from the IRS. We received formal recognition from the State of California in October, 2015. (You can verify here by choosing "Corporation" and entering "Empty Closets Community Services").

Current donations and operating budget

2014 was the first year we accepted public donations. Throughout the years, we are pleased to say that we've been extremely fiscally conservative and our donations have exceeded our (very modest) expenses, allowing EC to maintain a small surplus to cover our operating costs and at least some unexpected expenses.

The costs of maintaining Empty Closets thus far have been extremely low; EmptyClosets site lives on its own dedicated web servers that are generously donated to us by the wonderful folks at Mojohost.com, who also donate all of the bandwidth, technical support, server management, and technical upgrades, troubleshooting, and other services required to keep the site operating.

Much of the cost of our platform software (Xenforo and its plug-ins) were donated by the companies that produced them. Our minimal annual expenses (corporate filing fees, trademark renewal, domain registration, etc.) are paid for by the donations we receive. The expense in terms of time spent moderating and maintaining the site and community is donated by the dozen or so volunteers that comprise our staff, admin team, and Board of Directors.

Our sole expenditures in 2021 are filing fees, some software upgrades, and minimal office supplies and services, totalling less than $500.

Our all-volunteer staff donates over 400 hours of time each month keeping the community a safe and welcoming place. In short, we've operated on a budget very close to zero for many years.

Our Growth and Future

Even thought we've (intentionally, so far) done no advertising and no outreach to speak of, EmptyClosets continues to attract new members, participants, and viewers. Most of our new members learn about us from word-of-mouth or from web searches, and we now have 90,000 members and almost 3.5 *million* posts to the community!

However, the online world is changing, and we need your help to continue growing and supporting our members in the best ways possible.
Help is needed from those of you that are able to give back to ensure that EC is able to continue to reach and help those who most need it.  With your help, EC plans to

  • Develop and launch a beautiful, modern front end with articles and media
  • Improve staff training and skill sets through better training and mentoring
  • Develop a modern, feature-rich, and mobile-friendly version of EC, possibly an app
  • Possibly bring on a part-time paid staff member to support our volunteer staff
  • Locate additional professional consultation staff (medical, psychological) to support and consult with our volunteer staff
  • Continue developing partnerships with bricks-and-mortar organizations to provide more resources and options for our members
  • Develop an advertising policy to make use of Google's generous donation of advertising to support our mission
  • Develop ways to expand EC into the social media world, while maintaining the safe "walled garden" that provides our younger members with a safe place to chat

By making a year-end, tax-deductible gift to Empty Closets Community Services, you will be supporting the valuable services the Empty Closets online community provides to individuals all over the world. Your donation will go directly to paying for the services, expertise, and other expenses necessary to carry out our charitable mission that we cannot otherwise get from our existing staff members or in-kind donations.

Any donation at all is welcomed and appreciated. If you need a last-minute, year-end tax deduction, we would be honored to be the recipient of your generosity!

Whether or not you are able to donate, the entire staff and Board of Empty Closets Community Services thanks you for your continued suppolrt of our community. It is the messages, advice, support, and other contributions that our 90,000 members make to our community every day that have made EmptyClosets what it is.




Board of Directors:


You can donate via PayPal below. If you prefer to donate via check, please email us and we'll be happy to arrange that. We can provide receipts for your tax records if needed.

Copyright © 2004-2015, Empty Closets Community Services, a California nonprofit organization
The Empty Closets name and logo are registered trademarks of Empty Closets Community Services