Following Sludge Report, Coalition Launches Campaign to End Hate Group Funding

More than 20 philanthropists, foundations, and donor-advised fund providers launched their “Hate Is Not Charitable” campaign on March 20.

Following Sludge Report, Coalition Launches Campaign to End Hate Group Funding
A contingent from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence participates in the annual LGBTQI Pride Parade on June 25, 2017 in San Francisco, California.

Following Sludge’s report on the funding of hate groups by some of the nation’s biggest charities, a coalition of over 20 philanthropists, foundations, and donor-advised fund providers launched the “Hate Is Not Charitable” campaign, an effort to pressure giant charities to develop policies barring donations to nonprofits considered to be hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center and other extremism experts.

“In light of recent events, there is an increased urgency for the funding community to be unequivocal in its opposition to hate,” Anna Fink, executive director of the Amalgamated Foundation, said yesterday when announcing the campaign. “It is time for the philanthropic sector and its many stakeholders to hold ourselves to a higher standard that fulfills our responsibility to the public interest.”

The campaign targets several large donor-advised funds that Sludge identified as some of the biggest funders of hate groups since 2014. Donor-advised funds, which are often linked to major banks and investment firms, offer clients the ability to easily donate anonymously to 501(c)(3) nonprofits of their choice while enjoying generous tax breaks.

[Read our ongoing series on donor-advised funds and hate groups.]

The Amalgamated Foundation is a donor-advised fund, linked to the union-owned Amalgamated Bank, with a strong anti-hate policy in place. “Specifically, the Foundation prohibits any support of organizations engaged in ‘hateful activities’ defined to mean activities that incite or engage in violence, intimidation, harassment, threats, or defamation targeting an individual or group based on their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.”

The foundation will neither send money to hate groups nor accept money from potential donors who “intend to support or engage in hateful activities, whether online or offline.”

By setting an example and spearheading a pressure campaign, coalition members—who collectively represent $1 billion in assets—could end up persuading the donor-advised fund giants to change their ways, potentially halting tens of millions of dollars from flowing to anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim, anti-Immigrant, and white nationalist groups each year.

Coalition members include the Brooklyn Community Foundation, East Bay Community Foundation, Liberty Hill Foundation, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, North Star Fund, Stonewall Community Foundation, Women Donors Network.

The campaign’s web page reads, “We call upon donors of conscience to demand their donor-advised fund providers enact policies to ensure charitable resources do not flow to hate groups, or to move their donor-advised funds to a provider who is willing to do so.”