At Tides, our vision, mission, and approach are the North Star that guides the work that we do, the priorities that we hold, and the lens with which we view the world and our place in it. During this time of increasing social volatility and the rise of hate in America that runs counter to Tides’ purpose, Tides is proud to join leaders of other philanthropic institutions, fiscal sponsors, and individuals to take a stand against using charitable funds to support organizations that foment hatred.
We believe donor advised funds (DAFs) are a valuable tool to thoughtfully develop a giving program that supports a healthy society. Granting funds to groups that promote hatred has no part in that. We call upon other DAF providers to join us in taking a stand against funding hate as well.
Tides’ Participation in the Hate Is Not Charitable Campaign
Tides envisions a world of shared prosperity and social justice, founded on equality and human rights, a sustainable environment, healthy individuals and communities, and quality education. In support of this vision, Tides is proud to join leaders of other philanthropic institutions, donor advised fund providers, fiscal sponsors, and individual philanthropists to take a stand against using charitable funds to support organizations that foment hatred.
We are deeply concerned about a report earlier this year that donors, through several large commercial donor advised fund providers, contributed nearly $11 million to 34 organizations between 2014-2017 that the Southern Poverty Law Center considers to be hate groups. These organizations include anti-LGBTQ groups, anti-Muslim groups, anti-immigrant groups, and a white nationalist group, among others.
Donors who utilize donor advised funds receive significant tax advantages, and the ability to make grants anonymously. We believe donor advised funds can be a valuable tool to thoughtfully develop a giving program that powerfully supports the public good. Granting to groups that promote hatred has no part in that.
Tides works with more than 300 philanthropic partners to make over $300 million in grants per year. Our impact is felt in more than 100 countries worldwide. To ensure that our grant funding is aligned with our values, we currently deploy a two-step due diligence process. First, before we commit to working with a new philanthropic partner, we discuss their intended philanthropic priorities and screen them for alignment with Tides’ Vision, Mission and Approach, which envisions a world of shared prosperity and social justice. If their goals align with ours, we agree to work with them. Second, before grants are made, our in-house team reviews a potential grantee’s mission and current programs to ensure alignment with Tides’ VMA, and cross-checks grantee organizations and associated individuals with Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) watchlists. We don’t fund projects that aren’t mission-aligned. Our grant award letters prohibit using funds to promote terrorism, violence, and unlawful discrimination, and we are updating them now to make more explicit the restrictions on “hateful activity”, as defined below. We are constantly refining our process; we aren’t perfect, but we are committed to ensuring that no Tides’ funding supports hate groups.
We call upon other donor advised fund providers to exercise their legal discretion over grants made by donor advised funds and reject donor recommendations to organizations engaged in hateful activities. In addition, we call upon donors of conscience to demand their donor advised fund providers enact policies to ensure charitable resources do not flow to hate groups, or to move their donor advised funds to a provider who is willing to do so.
Hatred is the opposite of charity. Please join us.
Tides’ Policy Against Funding of “Hateful Activities”
Decisions regarding grant distributions made from a charitable fund at Tides Foundation or from a Tides Center project, and the investment of assets, are made at the sole discretion of Tides in furtherance of its charitable and educational mission. Tides Foundation and Tides Center prohibit grants to, or other support for, organizations engaged in “hateful activities,” defined to mean activities that incite or engage in violence, intimidation, harassment, threats, or defamation targeting an individual or group based on their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. These activities are contrary to Tides’ mission and its charitable status.
Tides will not accept funds from donors or make contributions to grantees that Tides believes, based on its diligence and in its sole discretion, intend to support or engage in hateful activities, whether online or offline. While not everyone agrees on what constitutes hate, at a minimum we will not fund activities that are explicitly racist, misogynist, anti-LGBTQ, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, or anti-immigrant.
In addition to its current due diligence efforts to ensure grantmaking and related activities are aligned with Tides’ vision of shared prosperity and social justice, Tides will implement this policy through heightened due diligence to ensure that hateful activities are identified and steps are taken to avoid any Tides Foundation or Tides Center support for them. As part of its review, Tides may consult resources created by third-parties, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and others, to identify and update information regarding organizations potentially engaged in hateful activities.