Polaris Project

Freedom Happens Now

aka Polaris   |   Washington, DC   |  www.PolarisProject.org

Mission

Named after the North Star, an historical symbol of freedom, Polaris works to reshape the systems that make sex and labor trafficking possible and profitable in North America. For more than a decade, Polaris has assisted thousands of victims and survivors through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline and built the largest known U.S. data set on the crime. With the guidance of survivors, and working with public and private-sector partners, we use that data to understand and improve the way trafficking is identified, how victims and survivors are assisted, and how we can prevent this abuse at the scale of the problem - 25 million people worldwide robbed of the basic right to choose how they live and work.

Ruling year info

2002

Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Catherine Chen

Main address

PO Box 65323

Washington, DC 20035 USA

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EIN

03-0391561

NTEE code info

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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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline

The Polaris-operated U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline provides survivors of human trafficking with vital support and options to get help and stay safe. These options could include connecting callers with emergency shelter, transportation, trauma counselors, local law enforcement, or a range of other services and support. The National Hotline operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Population(s) Served

Polaris believes that survivors of human trafficking should be the key strategists and leaders of the anti-trafficking movement. To turn that commitment into action, we seek out opportunities to work with survivors in all our programming, leveraging their insights to offer guidance to the anti-trafficking field and empower service providers, policymakers, business leaders and law enforcement with crucial insights.

Population(s) Served

Between 2007 and 2017, the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline received reports of 34,700 situations of sex trafficking in the United States. Internationally, 4.8 million people are trapped in forced sexual exploitation. Polaris works to eradicate sex trafficking by illuminating the hidden trends, risk factors, methods of control, and other variables that make this crime both possible and profitable.

Population(s) Served

More than 20 million people around the world are trapped in forced labor in industries like agriculture, construction, domestic work, and manufacturing. Polaris works to understand the systems that allow labor trafficking to flourish, develop and strengthen counter-measures, and connect victims and survivors to services in order to get help and stay safe.

Population(s) Served

Polaris provides credible, nonpartisan expertise to help policy makers identify and enact legislation that reduces human trafficking, holds traffickers and those who profit from their deeds accountable, builds and sustains the anti-trafficking field, and provides relief and support to survivors.

Population(s) Served

Human trafficking is a $150 billion global industry that operates within and around legitimate businesses and systems. Polaris partners with financial institutions to create robust systems to help detect suspicious activities associated with human trafficking, money laundering, and other financial crimes.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Cases Reported per Year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
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

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
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

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
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

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

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.

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.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
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Financials

Polaris Project
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Polaris Project

Board of directors
as of 9/24/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Gregory Moore

Roy Austin, Jr.

Lisa Benenson

Boris Gartner

Gail MacKinnon

Frederick Reynolds

Angel Swift

Jean Gilbert

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 09/24/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

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Race & ethnicity

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Gender identity

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Disability

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