FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 9, 2023
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Brooklyn, N.Y. — The OptOut Media Foundation, in partnership with The New Republic, published an investigative report this morning detailing the stream of funding going from major U.S. charities to Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate groups.
OptOut co-founder Alex Kotch documented over $200 million that dozens of donor-advised fund sponsors, including charities linked to well known investment firms Fidelity, Schwab, and Vanguard, and community foundations have given to 60 hate groups since 2014. These types of charities manage individual charitable accounts for their donor-clients and pass along their clients' money, often anonymously, to a variety of 501(c)(3) nonprofits. The fund sponsors and community foundations have the legal right to decide where the money goes, yet few ever decline clients' requests to fund anti-LGBTQ and racist organizations.
Top recipients of donations from these mainstream charities, as well as from ideological ones such as the National Christian Foundation and the rightwing DonorsTrust, include the Christian legal powerhouse Alliance Defending Freedom, which is behind much of the anti-trans state legislation proposed this year, the white nationalist hate group VDARE Foundation, and the Center for Immigration Studies, an anti-immigrant organization tied to extremist Trump adviser Stephen Miller.
"At a time in the U.S. when hate and extremism are on the rise, it's imperative that we let the public know who is bankrolling notorious hate groups," said Kotch. "We hope that this story will get out to those who care and will put pressure on the donor-advised fund sponsors to finally address their role in spreading hate across the country and around the world."
The OptOut Media Foundation is raising money to put a searchable, filterable, and exportable database of hate funding online so journalists, academics, activists, and the public can quickly access this information and hold the funders of hate accountable. OptOut is a nonprofit tech startup that developed a news aggregation app for financially independent media, OptOut News. Donors can contribute here.
The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.