Crime, Legal Related

Polaris Project

Freedom Happens Now

aka Polaris

Washington, DC

Mission

Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris systemically disrupts the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate.

Ruling Year

2002

Interim CEO

Ms. Nancy McGuire Choi

Main Address

PO Box 65323

Washington, DC 20035 USA

Keywords

human trafficking, sex trafficking, slavery, trafficking, labor trafficking

EIN

03-0391561

 Number

4382543461

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Protection Against and Prevention of Neglect, Abuse, Exploitation (I70)

Women's Rights (R24)

International Human Rights (Q70)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Human trafficking is a $150 billion criminal enterprise that robs 25 million people around the world of their freedom. Due to the clandestine nature of human trafficking, there exists a scarcity of real-time, actionable information on the operations of trafficking networks. As a result, the anti-trafficking ecosystem, including nonprofits, government and law enforcement partners, is ill-equipped to fight trafficking at scale because it lacks the necessary tools, data, and insights to drive large-scale systemic and social change. Polaris fills this information gap by serving as the data-backbone of the anti-trafficking field, providing essential data and analysis that equips, informs, and enables a collective impact model that will effectively deter and disrupt the crime.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline

Survivor Empowerment

Sex Trafficking

Labor Trafficking

Policy Advocacy

Financial Institutions

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of Cases Reported per Year

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Since 2007, The National Hotline has handled 51,919 cases, comprising one of the largest publicly available data sets on human trafficking in the United States.

Number of Contacts per Year

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

This metric includes data that is generated from information communicated to the National Human Trafficking Hotline via calls, texts, online chats, emails, or webforms.

Number of Survivors Identified per Year

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

This metric measures the number of individual survivors who have contacted the NHTH. Since 2007, the Hotline has connected more than 12,000 survivors to support and services

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Polaris’ mission is to combat human trafficking and restore freedom to survivors.

The way we think about our mission and the impact we make is framed by two overarching concepts: [1.] working upstream to transform systems that allow trafficking to flourish in order to prevent future victimization, and [2.] working towards downstream responses that disrupt and deter the crime while supporting those who have already been victimized or who remain vulnerable to a cycle of re-victimization. Through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, a 24/7 helpline that connects victims and survivors to readily accessible resources and support systems, Polaris continues to help those impacted by human trafficking rebuild their lives. Additionally, Polaris analyses data and intelligence systems, financial systems, and models of sex and labor trafficking in order to maximize social and systemic change to determine and pilot possible responses.

As the operator of the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline for over 11 years, Polaris has built partnerships with thousands of service providers and law enforcement entities across the country. Today, the Polaris brand is well known and trusted by communities, municipal and state leaders, corporations, and across Capitol Hill. As the nerve center for the anti-trafficking movement, Polaris has generated one of the largest data sets on human trafficking in the country, derived in part from our work on over 50,000 cases of human trafficking through the hotline. Plus, in a field divided by those that work on either sex trafficking or labor trafficking, Polaris focuses on all forms and types of victims and defines its mission broadly and inclusively, enabling a bridging an unifying role that few others play.

Polaris uses qualitative and quantitative evaluation tools to measure results across the organization. For example, with the NHTH, we systematically track and analyze the number of victims and trafficking cases. We also track and evaluate feedback provided by signalers relating to their experiences with the NHTH, effectiveness of referrals or resources provided, and responses by law enforcement. Polaris continues to develop new monitoring and evaluation processes such as data collection and benchmarking, as well as new tools that can help establish quarterly targets and improve how we measure program effectiveness.

Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has learned of and responded to 50,000 instances of human trafficking across the United States. As a leader in the global fight to eradicate slavery, Polaris works to equip other actors across the anti-trafficking field, including service providers, law enforcement, and corporate leaders on how to identify and stop trafficking. While reaching victims and survivors of human trafficking with critical help and resources is a major focus of the hotline, Polaris also works to understand and eliminate the root causes of trafficking at scale. In 2017 Polaris released the ground-breaking report, “The Typology of Modern Slavery: Defining Sex and Labor Trafficking in the United States,” becoming the first organization to identify the 25 major types of trafficking present in the U.S. In the following year, we released our “On-Ramps, Intersections, and Exit Routes: A Roadmap for Systems and Industries to Prevent and Disrupt Human Trafficking” report, which details how legitimate industries and businesses contribute to human-trafficking and what these entities can do to better combat trafficking at scale. Our expertise has enabled us to play a framework-shaping role for hundreds of communities and stakeholders in the field. Moving forward, we are building programs focused on data and intelligence systems, financial systems, and deep dives on different models of sex and labor trafficking in order to maximize social and systemic change.

External Reviews

Financials

Polaris Project

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable