The Influence Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in New York in 2017. Our mission is to advocate through journalism for rational and compassionate approaches to drug use, drug policy and human rights.

    Board of Directors

    (President / Executive Director) Will Godfrey is the editor-in-chief of Filter




    (Vice President & Secretary / Deputy Director) Sarah Beller, LMSW is the deputy editor of Filter




    (Treasurer) Phil Hur’s experience includes 13 years working at Ernst & Young, where has was an actuary and senior manager for People Advisory Services, with specializations including pensions risk management strategy, and mortality and annuity calculations. He was previously an expatriate tax services specialist. He has a BA in Economics from NYU.


    Ben Beller is an attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP focusing on corporate restructuring, insolvency, bankruptcy and related litigation. Ben also regularly represents non-profit organizations, tenants, and criminal defendants on a pro bono basis. He has a B.A. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.


    Archie Brodsky is Co-Founder of the Program in Psychiatry and the Law, Massachusetts Mental Health Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. He has co-authored 16 books, including Love and Addiction and The Truth about Addiction and Recovery


    Lieutenant Diane Goldstein (Ret.) is an executive board member of Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), an organization of current and former law enforcement officials opposed to the War on Drugs. She spent over 20 years in law enforcement, retiring as a Lieutenant for the Redondo Beach, CA Police Department. 


    Dr. Sheila Vakharia is the policy manager for the Office of Academic Engagement at the Drug Policy Alliance where she works to help bridge the research and policy divide. She was previously an assistant professor in the department of Social Work at LIU’s Brooklyn campus and has worked as a clinical social worker in both traditional abstinence-based and harm reduction treatment settings.

    Our Fiscal Sponsor

    The Influence Foundation is proud to be fiscally sponsored by the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (formerly Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), a U.S. Internal Revenue Service 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization. LEAP is composed of police and other law enforcement professionals dedicated to educating the public about the harms of drug prohibition, and advocating for better solutions across a broad range of drug policy and criminal justice issues.


    Donate to The Influence Foundation

    As a nonprofit organization, The Influence Foundation is funded entirely by donations and grants. If you wish to support our work of reporting on drug use, drug policy and human rights, please donate using the button below. We’re grateful for your support.


    Our funding

    Filter is an independent nonprofit organization that is funded wholly through grants from foundations and donations from individuals and corporations. Filter is committed to journalistic values and the editorial independence of its editors and reporters.

    We seek and accept financial support from a wide range of entities and individuals. Some funders support us on the basis of our past work, or because of their belief in our mission. 

    As a matter of policy, funders exercise no control over Filter’s editorial decisions, and all funders above $1,000 are publicly identified.

    Our supporters in 2018

    We are grateful to all of our supporters. The organizations and individuals listed below have donated or granted sums of $1,000 or more. Many other supporters have kindly donated smaller amounts.

    All donations and grants are unrestricted unless otherwise stated.


    Altria Client Services

    The American Vaping Association


    Daniel and Lynn Beller

    Claudia Hammerman

    Barbara Kleinberg

    Knowledge Action Change*

    Proteus Fund**

    Reynolds American, Inc.  

    * Restricted grant to support reporting on tobacco harm reduction; Global Tobacco Harm Reduction Scholarships are a Knowledge Action Change (KAC) initiative funded by a grant from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, and independently designed and run by KAC.

    ** Restricted grant to support reporting on prosecutors.