Dark Money Behemoth That Hosts BLM Foundation Received $16 Million in Government Grants

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December 23, 2020

The dark money network that houses the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation received nearly $16 million in taxpayer-funded grants last year, financial filings reveal.

The Tides Center, a California-based nonprofit incubator, reported the government grants on its 2019 tax forms. It operates by acting as a fiscal sponsor to several left-wing nonprofits, including the BLM Global Network Foundation, which has advocated for abolishing the nuclear family and defunding the police. This arrangement lets the nonprofits avoid disclosing their financial activity, and thus makes it difficult to know where the taxpayer-funded cash ultimately ends up.

The center's 2019 windfall adds to the $170 million it has received in government grants since 2001—grants that have drawn criticism from nonprofit watchdogs. Scott Walter, president of the Capital Research Center, has called Tides as "liberal and politically active as they come" and questioned whether American tax dollars should be awarded to groups housed at such networks.

The new filings show that the center took in $155 million in anonymous contributions on top of the $16 million in government grants it received in 2019, a $34 million increase over its 2018 totals. It also cut nearly $20 million in grants to outside groups, including the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability and the New Venture Fund, a separate nonprofit incubator that is part of a $715 million secret money network managed by Arabella Advisors.

The Tides Center was launched in 1996 as an offshoot of the Tides Foundation. It has incubated numerous social justice, environmental, gun-control, and abortion-rights groups. George Soros's Open Society Foundations, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation have all pushed funding through the network.

The Tides Center did not respond to a request for comment.