Philanthropy Notes: August 2015

Through its Iran Project, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has been promoting President Obama’s pie-in-the-sky nuclear nonproliferation pact with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Bloomberg News reports. The fund, which rushed to provide aid and comfort to America’s enemies after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has given around $3.3 million to the San Francisco-based Ploughshares Fund, an anti-American philanthropy devoted to undermining U.S. national security. Ploughshares has spent $4 million in the past five years to push a pact with Iran and coordinated with the so-called peace groups and think tanks on its payroll to support the U.S.-led negotiations. “We’re trying to leverage our investments to play on our strengths,” said Ploughshares president Joseph Cirincione. The deal also obligates the U.S. government to lobby state and local officials to remove policies that prevent state and local governments from investing in companies that have interests in Iran. Florida and California, for example, have laws that prevent state pension funds from investing in corporations that do business with Iran.

Although Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has recently been criticizing Wall Street in scathing terms, the street’s financial masters-of-the-universe keep throwing money at her. Her campaign released a list of 120-plus “Hillblazers,” meaning supporters on Wall Street and in Hollywood who have raised a minimum of $100,000 for her campaign by hosting fundraising events. At least two members of the Democracy Alliance, George Soros’s billionaires’ club, made the list: fashion magnate Susie Tompkins Buell and media tycoon Fred Eychaner. A Washington, D.C. lobbyist for mega-corporations, Steven Elmendorf, also made the list.

The Ford Foundation, America’s second-largest philanthropy, announced it will shift all of its grant-making to programs fighting inequality. “Not only will Ford direct all of its money and influence to curbing financial, racial, gender, and other inequities, but it will give lots more money in a way grantees have been clamoring for: It hopes to double the total it gives in the form of unrestricted grants for operating support,” the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports. The foundation’s president, Darren Walker, said Ford will create a “social-justice infrastructure” that will resemble the support Ford gave nonprofits during the civil rights era.

Patricia Driscoll, ex-girlfriend of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, has quit as executive director of the Armed Forces Foundation after allegations surfaced that she mishandled foundation money, ESPN reports. FBI and IRS found “a host of questionable practices during her 12-year run leading the Washington, D.C.-based entity, which has ties to multiple sports-related entities and athletes.”

GOLDMAN SACHS WATCH

Worried about death-by-overworking, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. put its investment-banking interns on notice that they won’t be allowed to work past midnight, the Wall Street Journal reports.  The new guidelines forbid interns from being in the office between midnight and 7 a.m.  This new policy came after a junior Goldman banker was found dead in his San Francisco office earlier this year.

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