Amalgamated Foundation Launches Hate is Not Charitable Campaign

Amalgamated Foundation and its partners today launched the Hate is Not Charitable Campaign, an initiative to prevent funding groups that promote hatred.

The campaign includes more than 20 donor networks, foundations, and Donor Advised Funds (“DAF”) providers that collectively represent over $1B in assets and growing. The campaign is calling for DAF providers to exercise their legal discretion over grants recommended by their donors and adopt pro-active policies to ensure that funds do not flow to organizations that promote hatred. Additionally, the Hate is Not Charitable Campaign calls for “donors of conscience” to demand that their own donor advised providers adopt such policies.

The initiative follows a recent investigative media report exposing the use of DAFs to finance hate groups. The report found that, between 2014 and 2017, major donor-advised funds including Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, Schwab Charitable Fund, and Vanguard Charitable provided nearly $11 million in grants to 34 organizations that have been deemed hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The organizations listed in the report include anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and anti-LGBTQ groups.

“In light of recent events, there is an increased urgency for the funding community to be unequivocal in its opposition to hate,” said Anna Fink, Amalgamated Foundation Executive Director. “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.”

“Foundations, like financial institutions, must be responsible in shepherding financial resources and consider the risk associated with supporting organizations that promote hatred,” said Keith Mestrich, Board Chair of Amalgamated Foundation and President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank. “In the wake of the 2017 white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Amalgamated Bank helped draw attention to the banking sector’s transactions with hate groups and we’re glad to see the Foundation taking on this issue in the philanthropic sphere.”

Amalgamated Foundation has enacted a policy and hopes to serve as a model for other DAF providers and foundations. This change includes adjusting the due diligence process to ensure no funding flows to organizations identified as hate groups.

The growing list of nationwide partners in the Campaign include the Women Donors Network, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Stonewall Community Foundation, North Star Fund, Liberty Hill Foundation, East Bay Community Foundation, and Brooklyn Community Foundation.

“The campaign gets at a central issue in the intense debate that’s been swirling around donor advised funds: do sponsors truly exercise discretion in making grants, or do they simply function as a pass-through and make whatever grants donors advise?” reflected Aaron Dorfman, President and CEO of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, a signatory to the Campaign. “Enacting policies to block support for hatred is more than a best practice, its common decency.”

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