The Sum of Our Parts - A glimpse into IFS Institute Operations

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**The below message was emailed to our community on 09/29/2020. Click here to subscribe to our email list.



Dear Friend,


On behalf of Dick and the staff at IFSI, I’m pleased to share with you a glimpse into the Internal Family Systems Institute’s operations and processes, and to provide greater clarity and transparency into the work we do behind the scenes to provide IFS services and access to people around the world. It is a task that we take very seriously and it is always our intention to provide excellent customer service while doing so with fairness, equity, and the highest quality in all of our services.

We feel it’s important that we share information about our service pricing while providing a glimpse into what we do with revenues we receive. In this reporting we will provide insights into our operating costs and rationale for the choices we make; choices which we feel are fair and represent great care for you and all who have felt the beneficial impact of IFS.


We will “follow the money” when a person signs up for an IFS training, and share where that money goes. In addition we’ll describe ways in which the revenues we’ve incurred have been reinvested to improve technology, create a better customer experience, and to broaden access to more people worldwide, especially to those who might otherwise lack the exposure and access to IFS services.

We also want to express our gratitude for your past and continued support of IFSI, especially during this challenging and trailhead-generating time.

We have had inquiries about why we charge as much tuition as we do so we will answer those here. We recognize that it’s a big commitment you make when you sign up for an IFS training and want you to know more about what happens to your money, particularly since, now that we’re online, we no longer have site and travel expenses.


Here, for example, is the breakdown for an Online IFS Level 1 training:



Tuition: $3,400 (reduced from $4,000 pre-COVID)

Number of students: 33

Total revenue per training (including application fee): $114,015



  • One Lead Trainer, one Assistant Trainer, and 11 Program Assistants for 18 program days. (note: we have recently shifted to paying all Program Assistants for what began as a volunteer role) : $53,550
  • Zoom Tech: $2,700
  • Scholarship/equity payment (average per training): $10,300

Total Expense: $66,550

Profit: $47,465


From that profit, the organization pays the salary and benefits of 14 IFS Institute employees who do all the tasks it takes to run a small to mid-size business and to create new content and services. We also reinvest portions of that profit into our operations infrastructure—for example creating a new website last year and additional technologies to help as we scale.


Administrative tasks that go into planning each training include:

● Program Application review and processing.

● Scholarship Application review and processing.

● Distribution of Level 1 training manuals.

● Continuing Education coordination and fulfillment

● Attendance tracking and certificate of completion documentation

● Payment and Payment plan processing and administration.

● Bookstore sales and fulfillment

● Trainer coordination

● Zoom technician coordination and support.


In addition, this money makes it possible for IFSI to maintain our dedication to providing access to IFS throughout the world at little or no cost. In particular, IFSI provides the following:

● Organizational Training Programs which are IFS Level 1 Trainings we provide at low or no cost to agencies that work with minority and marginalized populations. We have done 9 of these in the past 5 years.

● A $40,000 annual grant to The Foundation for Self Leadership to help them nurture IFS research and accessibility.

● Support to our International Partners who run IFS Trainings around the world - IFS Institute makes a 6% royalty on the revenue of these programs. Those royalties do not cover the salary we pay a full-time person to coordinate these programs, so we lose money on those programs.

● Free online programming production

● Donations to additional non-profit organizations aligned with IFSI’s vision for a more just, equitable, and sustainable world such as our $10,000 commitment to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and co-sponsorship of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society’s upcoming Virtual Forum “The Case for Reparations in a Time of National Crisis”


The point of this information is to share with you where the money you spend on trainings goes and to give some sense of the broader scope of IFSI. We hope this information provides a glimpse into the generous nature of our organization and the care we extend to share IFS with the world while remaining solvent and operational. We’re grateful to you for your ongoing support. We now can invest in new projects and in improvements to IFSI while increasing IFS access to more people everywhere, all of which are designed to bring IFS and Self leadership to the world.


Jon Schwartz

CEO, IFS Institute