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FYI: Here’s How Major Charities Are Blacklisting Conservative Groups And Cutting Them Off From Donations

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(Daily Caller) Charitable foundations across the country are using lists compiled by left-wing organizations to prevent donors’ funds from going to conservative and faith-based groups, according to a review of public records and documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

When screening grant recipients, some community foundations that run donor-advised funds (DAFs) rely on lists put together by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Horizon Forum that label mainstream conservative and faith-based organizations as “hate” groups. This designation effectively blacklists conservative groups, potentially cutting them off from funding they would otherwise be eligible to receive.


“‘Hate group’ is a serious charge, one very few donors would be keen to have their names associated with,” Robert Stilson, a research specialist at the Capital Research Center, told the DCNF.

Stilson said that while most conservatives “know not to automatically defer” to the groups’ designations, “the bigger risk is that charitable intermediaries and facilitators such as DAFs will continue to substitute the SPLC’s biased views for those of the donors themselves.”

‘Standard Protocol’

The DCNF identified 11 community foundations, collectively controlling more than $12 billion in assets as of 2022, using the resources produced by the SPLC or Horizon Forum to shape their donation policies.

These community foundations operate donor-advised funds, which is a type of charitable account that allows individuals to donate stock or cash to a foundation to distribute at a later date. After establishing one of these funds, donors can then advise the community foundation to disburse some or all of its assets to another organization of their choosing.

The charity administering the DAF, however, reserves the right to deny a donor’s recommendation. Several major community foundations use the lists created by the SPLC and Horizon Forum to reject donor recommendations, according to grant policies and public statements reviewed by the DCNF.

For example, a May 2023 letter obtained by the DCNF shows the Pittsburgh Foundation denied a donor’s request to send a $5,000 grant to Turning Point USA (TPUSA) because Horizon Forum had flagged the organization as a “hate” group.

Horizon Forum offers foundations a “research tool” that flags organizations “widely considered by academic, journalistic and advocacy organizations [to be] involved with hate activity,” the letter says. Horizon’s research tool, per the letter, flagged TPUSA as “an organization that is considered to be involved with hate activity.”

The letter did not lay out why, specifically, TPUSA was flagged as a hate group nor did it expand on the methodology used to arrive at that designation.

TPUSA is a conservative political advocacy organization that has worked with several elected officials. Running proposed donations through Horizon Forum’s database is the “standard protocol” for the foundation, according to the letter.

A spokesperson for the Pittsburgh Foundation told the DCNF that it “decide[s] an organization’s qualification for funding on a case-by-case basis” and does “not keep a list of organizations for which funding requests have been declined through that assessment.”

Similarly, several other community foundations say they use SPLC’s “Hate Map” or other materials produced by the organization to determine whether or not they will approve a donor’s grant recommendation.

Charities that reference SPLC materials when making decisions on where to send grants include the Greater Washington, Delaware, Fox Valley RegionWestern MassachusettsNapa Valley and Stonewall community foundations, according to materials produced by the charities. None of these foundations responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

The Cleveland Foundation, Boston Foundation and Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation also use SPLC materials to shape their grant-making policies, according to the charities’ websites. None of these foundations responded to requests for comment.

“The SPLC’s ‘hate map’ may discourage would-be donors from contributing to mainstream conservative and Christian causes, as it suggests these causes are hateful along similar lines to the Ku Klux Klan,” Daily Signal Managing Editor Tyler O’Neil, author of “Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” told the DCNF.

The SPLC’s hate map is published annually, plotting the approximate locations of organizations the SPLC flags as hateful on a map of the United States.

Some charities, like the East Bay Community Foundation, Hartford Foundation and the Connecticut Foundation “may” consult SPLC materials to determine if a donation recommendation will be approved, according to material on their websites. None of these foundations responded to requests for comment.

A spokesperson for Chicago Community Trust told the DCNF that it uses the SPLC’s hate list to ensure that it denies grant recommendations to “nonprofits that engage in hateful activities.”

Chicago Community Trust controlled $4.2 billion in assets as of 2022, according to its tax disclosures. None of those funds can flow to groups flagged by the SPLC.

‘Genuine Extremists’

Conservatives and libertarians have criticized the SPLC’s list for placing mainstream conservative and faith-based organizations, like the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), alongside infamous extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party. ADF is a conservative Christian legal foundation that supports parental rights, free speech, religious freedom and traditional marriage.

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