Here’s Another Resource to Combat Hate-Funding

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Mar 10, 2020

When people think of philanthropy, most don’t pair the thought with hate groups, but that is what the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said is happening in some sectors of the philanthropic world, in a white paper published March 10.

Titled “Hate-Free Philanthropy,” CAIR and SPLC found that hate groups have raised money through philanthropic organizations by exploiting the tax code and remaining anonymous, particularly by using Donor-Advised Funds. Last year, CAIR published “Hijacked by Hate: American Philanthropy and the Islamophobia Network,” which noted that many mainstream philanthropic foundations were being used by anonymous donors to fund almost $125 million to anti-Muslim hate groups between 2014 and 2016.

"This white paper aims to help decision-makers accelerate existing efforts to address the complex problem of hate-funding in philanthropy—efforts that are slowly converging in different parts of the country and that demonstrate varying degrees of progress," read the report. 

The report notes that “by adeptly using the tax code to provide a veneer of legitimacy and respectability, hate groups in recent years have raised millions of dollars to fund their rallies, websites, recruitment and indoctrination efforts, and other activities. The New Century Foundation, for example, a self-styled white nationalist think tank that promotes pseudo-scientific studies that purport to show the inferiority of African Americans, raised more than $2 million in tax-deductible donations since 2007.”

As a result, today’s report—which was compiled by more than three dozen practitioners from the field who met in August 2019 to discuss the problem—offers ways that community foundations can combat the disturbing trend. Some examples of how to proactively get the hate out of philanthropy include: learning from other sectors; supporting the Hate is Not Charitable campaign; cross-sector collaboration; expanding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies and programming to specifically condemn hate activity, among other practices. 

To learn more about how organizations can safeguard against funding hate groups, read the complete paper here