It was originally started as a philosophy by two guys (working in IT Security, both Government and Private companies, domestic and international) at Yale University back in 2006. Initially it was just a manifesto, but then more people were interested and the network (by invite only) was developed through personal contacts and old school letters (hard to infiltrate) and has operated without Social Media until 2020. At that time it was re-formed as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation chartered in Nevada (public record). We’ve only been on Social Media for a couple months.
We have some outside interest when it comes to funding. Social media has been problematic, opening us up to nut-jobs and trolls, something we did not experience with our referral only approach; but to scale we needed an online presence. Anyone positioned or holding any significant role in the organization will have a background checks run on them, similar to the way American Contingency does it. Most of our support is from Sheriffs, Law Enforcement, Vets, and Active Duty. We vet pretty hard – no criminal record, good character, responsible credit, etc.