Funders of the Left & Right

Funders of the Left & Right


This section of DiscoverTheNetworks examines the immensely wealthy charitable foundations that provide financial backing for leftist groups and causes. These foundations — sometimes called endowments or charitable trusts — are nongovernmental, nonprofit entities whose assets are provided by donors and managed by their (the foundations’) own officials, who earmark portions of their assets each year for what they consider to be socially useful purposes. Most of these foundations can be classified under the following categories:

  • Community Foundations, which build their endowments through contributions from many donors within a given geographic region, and typically focus on local needs
  • Corporate Foundations, which are private foundations established by for-profit corporations but legally separate from the parent corporations
  • Family Foundations, in which the original donor or the donor’s family plays a significant role in governing the foundation
  • Independent Foundations, which are private foundations, usually endowed by one source such as an individual’s bequest
  • Operating Foundations, which are private foundations that use most of their income to provide charitable services or programs of their own, rather than making grants to outside organizations
  • Public Foundations, which are public charities that operate significant grantmaking programs

The DiscoverTheNetworks database currently identifies and profiles scores of major foundations whose political and philanthropic orientations are generally leftist. Some of the foundations described in this section are so large that they have single-handedly shaped entire cultural and political movements. (See, for example, the Ford Foundation‘s role in underwriting The Open Borders Lobby.

Several of the massive, tax-exempt entities profiled in this section — most notably the Tides Center, the Liberty Hill Foundation, and the Proteus Fund — are pass-through operations designed to mask the relationship between donor and gift. That is, they take money from donors who specify the precise groups and causes for which they want it earmarked, and in turn funnel that money to those recipients, allowing the donors avoid being publicly associated with the groups being funded. The funds transacted in this manner are called donor-advised funds. (The JEHT Foundation, which closed its doors permanently in 2009, was yet another pass-through.)

Many recipients of foundation money today are the immensely influential activist organizations popularly known as Section 527 Committees. Dedicated to promoting political candidates and agendas, 527s are, by definition, private, nonprofit groups that are less regulated and require less disclosure than other types of nonprofit groups engaged in electioneering. They need not register with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as “political organizations.” Consequently, they do not have to observe the FEC’s strict limits on political contributions. The 527s may collect as much “soft money” as they like from individuals and corporations.

This section of Discover The Networks examines the assets and the grant-making patterns of many foundations that are among the leading donors to leftist causes. It also documents the degree to which donations made by such foundations exceed those made by their conservative counterparts. Moreover, this section examines the diverse and interrelated agendas of leftist foundations and the organizations they bankroll. These include such agendas as:

  • promoting the view that America is institutionally an oppressive nation
  • portraying Israel as an apartheid state that grievously violates the human rights of its Arab neighbors and residents
  • promoting the election of leftist political candidates throughout the United States
  • opposing virtually all post-9/11 national security measures enacted by U.S. government, particularly the Patriot Act
  • depicting American military actions as unjust, unwarranted, and immoral
  • advocating America’s unilateral disarmament and a steep reduction in its military spending
  • promoting open borders, mass immigration, and a watering down of current immigration laws
  • promoting a dramatic expansion of social welfare programs funded by ever-escalating taxes
  • promoting social welfare benefits and amnesty for illegal aliens
  • defending suspected anti-American terrorists and their abetters
  • financing the recruitment and training of future activist leaders of the political Left
  • promoting socialized medicine in the United States
  • promoting the tenets of radical environmentalism, whose ultimate goal is the demolition of technological/industrial civilization
  • bringing American foreign policy under the control of the United Nations
  • promoting racial and ethnic preferences in academia and the business world alike
  • promoting socialism as an economic system preferable to capitalism

Finally, this section contains resources about the funding of leftist groups and causes by corporations, labor unions, and governments.

Additional Resources:

Agendas of Leftist Foundations & Their Grantees

Guide to the George Soros Network
By Discover The Networks

Organizations Funded by George Soros & His Open Society Foundations
By Discover The Networks

Open Society Institute: Top 150 Grantees
By Tina Trent
October 19, 2011

Bill Gates, Philanthropy and Social Engineering
By Michael Barker
July 2009

“Charitable” Foundations: ATMs for the Left
By Ben Johnson
March 2, 2004

The Billions of Dollars that Made Things Worse
By Heather MacDonald
Autumn 1996

Charities Funding Liberal Causes Accused of Straying from Founders’ Visions
By Evan Moore
July 7, 2008

How Left-Wing Foundations Control Politics
By John Henke
May 16, 2016

The Foundations Behind The Left
By John Henke
January 19, 2016

Who Funds The Left?
By Fox News
January 16, 2003

June 23, 2014

Do More Than Give: A Particularly Dangerous Book [a look at the agendas of leftist funders]
By Jeff Cain
August 31, 2011

How We Got Here: Foundations Fund Open Borders Agenda
By Phil Kent
June 21, 2007

Corporate Funding of the Left

Funding Liberalism with Blue-Chip Profits
By David Hogberg and Sarah Haney
August 2006

Patterns In Corporate Philanthropy: Corporate America Gets Failing Grade for Funding Liberal Activism
By Christopher Morris
August 2002

Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy: A Mandate for Reform
By Mona Charen and Christopher Yablonski

Corporate Giving: The Case for Enlightened Self-Interest
By Edward H. Crane

The Green Counter-Establishment: How It Holds Power
By Bonner R. Cohen
June 6, 2006

The Permanent Shakedown Left
By David Hogberg
November 10, 2005

Government Funding of the Left

Government Funding of the Left
By Michael Bauer
May 2011

Government Funding of the Left (spreadsheet)
By Michael Bauer
September 2011

Funding of the Left vs. the Right

Left vs. Right Funding Summary
By Michael Bauer

Top Funders of the Left (Spreadsheet)
By Michael Bauer

Top Funders of the Right (Spreadsheet)
By Michael Bauer

Funding of the Left & Right by Foundations, Corporations, & Unions
By Discover The Networks

Additional Charts Examining Left & Right Funding
By Discover The Networks

Additional Charts Examining Left & Right Funding (Spreadsheets)
Compiled by Michael Bauer

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