Largest U.S. Christian Charity Reportedly Donated $56.1 Million to Hate Groups
According to Newsweek, National Christian Foundation, which is the largest Christian Charity in the U.S., donated $56.1 million to hate groups from 2015 to 2017. The foundation, which identifies as one of the largest donor-advised funds in the country, has become a vehicle which allows individuals to anonymously send money.
With donor-advised funds, people can send tax deductible contributions which will remain anonymous from the IRS. Many payments that have gone through NCF have been gifted to 23 organizations labeled as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Most of the groups opposed LGBT rights, and the NCF also donated to anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant organizations.
Alliance Defending Freedom is one of the organizations which has received the most money from NCF. The Alliance advocates for sterilizing transgender people. Another organization receiving notable amounts of funding from the NCF is the Family Research Council, which advocates for conversion therapy.
According to the NCF website, it has "accepted over $12 billion in contributions and made over $10 billion in giver-recommended grants to more than 55,000 charities."
"NCF is a national network of givers who are working to further the generosity movement in the areas they care about the most. Like other donor-advised fund sponsors, NCF helps thousands of generous people give to the charitable causes they care about, and we help them do so in the most efficient and effective manner possible," Steve Chapman, a spokesperson for NCF, said. "In 2018, we sent $1.7 billion in grants to more than 26,000 charities who are bringing clean water to the thirsty, homes to the homeless, food to the hungry, healing to the hurting, and much more. We are solely focused on helping people give generously and wisely to their favorite charities."
Legislative director of watchdog organization Common Cause, Aaron Scherb, said that in the past conservative religious groups have donated to groups that further their cause.
"The Religious Right and certain conservative religious groups have significant resources at their disposable. As we detailed in a 2015 report, they often flex their political muscle to further enhance their ability to spend big money in politics to drown out the voices of dissenting views," he said.
"It’s interesting to me that big donors have a mechanism to give money to causes that would be unpopular, like going after gay rights.... It’s not always so much about the total amount as it is about the mechanisms for funneling money into politics," Lisa Gilbert, the vice president of legislative affairs at consumer advocacy group Public Citizen noted. *"*This is like a shell-game funnel of corporate money. So it might be an organization that has an innocent name, that sounds like a good, upstanding, innocent group" but is backed by wealthy donors, she continued.