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IFVP Institute

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The IFVP Institute was formed in 2019 as the 501(c)(3) arm of the IFVP. 

The IFVP Institute is formed for charitable and educational purposes. More specifically, the IFVP Institute is organized and operated to promote the development and application of visual thinking and practices, such as graphic recording and graphic facilitation, through sponsored research, public education programs, and related activities.

Visual practice is a rapidly growing field with applications in business, government, nonprofit, and educational sectors. The origins of this field date back to the beginnings of human civilization when cave paintings and hieroglyphics served as the early means for humans to express and spread ideas and to communicate. In modern times, as organizations grew in their size and complexity, there has been a resurgence of interest in the visual practice field, as companies struggled to apply whole system approaches to increasingly complex problems. The broad appeal of the visual practice medium rests in its characteristic combination of visual and verbal elements, which work to support a shared understanding and collaboration. 

The IFVP Institute will conduct these activities both domestically in the United States and internationally, particularly in countries in which IFVP has an established presence.  The IFVP Institute will bring together students, teachers, and practitioners in the visual practice community.

The current board is composed of a president (Phil Bakelaar), a secretary (Raquel Benmergui) and a treasurer (Renatta Algalarrondo). 


On June 15th we received our Letter of Determination from the US Internal Revenue Service which allows us to receive tax deductible donations as well as grants.

You can make a tax deductible donation at this link.

If you would like to become more involved, contact us at


Why do we need a 501(c)(3)? The IFVP was originally chartered in 1995 as a 501(c)(6) organization. This is used for a business promotion association that may do lobbying on behalf of the interests of its members. It does not qualify as a tax deductible organization for donations or grant purposes. As the field has grown, it is clear that we would be well served by being able to offer tax deductions to corporations and businesses that appreciate our practice and would want to be associated with our development as a field. A 501c3 will also allow us to support the yearly annual conference with corporate sponsors and begin to plan research projects and accept applications for charitable grant projects, many of which are already done by our members but either as pro bono or for nominal pay.

What expenses does the Institute have? None of the board are paid. We have basic organizational needs such as DO insurance and bookkeeping expenses for annual filings and audit. There are no paid staff at this time, although we envision a time when there will be an Executive Director and support staff (perhaps a building!). 

What can I do to help? There are a variety of opportunities to help. 

  1. When you are doing GR/GF work, you can have materials on hand to promote the IFVP and the Institute to clients.
  2. Consider serving on a committee
  3. Consider applying to serve on the board

What is the relationship of the Institute to the IFVP? The Institute is a separate corporation. The board of the Institute is appointed by the IFVP Board of Directors.

What are the tax benefits to non-US donors? We are continuing to research this. It appears that non-US donors can receive tax benefits for any US taxes due.