Clinton's 'Resistance' Nonprofit Raised Only $3M in Donations During First Year

$800K was transferred from Clinton's presidential campaign committee

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December 12, 2018

The nonprofit launched by Hillary Clinton to allow her to be a "part of the resistance" following her defeat raised just $3 million during its inaugural year and disbursed $1.1 million to left-wing organizations, filings show.

Onward Together, Clinton's 501(c)4 that is dedicated to "advancing progressive values" and encouraging people to "organize, get involved, and run for office," was incorporated on April 24, 2017, by Marc Elias, a partner at the Washington, D.C., office of the Perkins Coie law firm and Clinton's former top campaign lawyer, filings show.

The Washington Free Beacon reached out to a number of individuals who work directly with the group or who are close to Clinton—including Kelly Mehlenbacher, the chief operating officer of Onward Together, and Nick Merrill, Clinton's spokesperson—to get its 2017 tax forms, but have yet to receive a response in relation to the request.

However, state filings from the group shed light on its financial situation for its first year in operation.

According to filings in the state of North Carolina, the group reported $1,858,451 in unrestricted direct contributions while $1,300,000 in donations was secured through a third-party channel. The group also reported $3,077,460 in program service revenues.

A sizable portion of the $3.1 million in contributions that Onward Together collected during its first fiscal year came from Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign committee.

On May 1, 2017, an $800,000 transfer was made from Hillary for America, Clinton's presidential committee, to Onward Together, the Free Beacon previously reported. The donation was made from the campaign to nonprofit less than a week after its incorporation. Mehlenbacher, Onward Together's chief operating officer, is also the treasury manager of Clinton's campaign committee.

Clinton's website shows that her group partners with 12 other left-wing groups including the likes of Latino Victory, Color of Change, Demand Justice, and Indivisible, all prominent anti-Trump groups.

Some of the donations that were made from Onward Together to other liberal groups can be gleaned if the supported organization's funding was made to a connected PAC, which was the case for a few of the groups.

Onward Together disbursed $100,000 to Swing Left in May 2017, FEC filings show. The group sent $100,000 the Color of Change PAC in November of last year.

While not included with 2017's totals, a search of the FEC database shows hundreds of thousands more in contributions for the 2018 fiscal year to Swing Left, Color of Change PAC, and the Latino Victory Fund.

While Onward Together's website contains virtually no information about the group's internal members—such as who sits on its board of directors—some of this information is also contained within the state filings.

Minyon Moore, principal at the D.C.-based Dewey Square Group, is listed as the president of Onward Together. Moore previously served as Assistant to the President and Director of White House Political Affairs under President Bill Clinton, acting as an adviser to both President Clinton and Hillary as First Lady.

Charles Baker, the president and co-founder of the Dewey Square Group, acts as Onward Together's treasurer. Baker was the chief administrative officer for Hillary for America from 2015 to 2016.

Dennis Cheng, the chief development officer of the Clinton Foundation from 2011 to 2015 who became the national finance director for Clinton's 2016 campaign, is listed as a member of the board of directors of Onward Together.

Huma Abedin, Clinton's longtime aide, is listed as an officer for the group.

Six months after Clinton was defeated by President Donald Trump, her campaign committee began disbursing payments to ZFS Holdings LLC, a Delaware-based entity that was registered to manage her speaking and book income just days after she left the State Department in 2013.

Eight payments were ultimately made from Clinton's campaign to the Delaware-based entity ranging from $9,617.87 to $36,369. 39 and totaling $149,456.78, the Free Beacon previously reported.

"During the campaign the office was a campaign office," Nick Merrill, Clinton's spokesperson, said of the payments earlier this year. "After the campaign, the office served as a personal office, a campaign wind-down office, and an office for Onward Together, so rent is split up accordingly."

In addition to the Onward Together nonprofit, Clinton launched the Onward Together Committee, a political action committee, to help fund Democratic campaigns.

Throughout the 2018 midterm election cycle, the committee reported receiving $368,832.12 in contributions and disbursing $215,000 to a number of campaigns.

Merrill did not respond to an email inquiry on the group's financials by press time.