Organization Trends

Breaking: Arabella’s Left-wing Activist Network Raked in $1.7 Billion in 2020—a “Dark Money” Blowout

If there was any doubt that the Left’s biggest “dark money” network had its way with the 2020 election, this should silence it.

Newly obtained filings reveal a record-smashing $1.7 billion haul in 2020 for the activist network run by Arabella Advisors, the shadowy consulting firm behind what is arguably the world’s most powerful and influential “dark money” empire.

The company oversees a set of four nonprofits known as the “sisters,” all run from its swanky headquarters in downtown Washington. Since the network’s creation a decade-and-a-half ago, these four groups—the Sixteen Thirty Fund, New Venture Fund, Hopewell Fund, and Windward Fund—have poured out a combined $3.3 billion into countless groups that fight for the Left on a wide array of public policies, including court-packing, environmentalism, gun control, and abortion.

The Capital Research Center was the first to expose Arabella’s vast empire in 2019, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned after nearly three years of reporting on this behemoth it’s this: Wherever Arabella’s involved, you’re sure to find the Left’s deepest pockets and top operatives.

That goes for the 2020 election, with left-leaning Politico noting last week that the Sixteen Thirty Fund—Arabella’s sole 501(c)(4)—aided “Democratic efforts to unseat then-President Donald Trump and win back control of the Senate” using “massive get-out-the-vote and issue advocacy campaigns” as well as “attack ads against Trump and vulnerable Republican senators.”

In a single year, this “dark money” network more than doubled its revenues, from $731 million in 2019 to a stunning $1.68 billion. In total, the Arabella network’s revenue increased by roughly $945 million, or 129 percent.

  • 2019 Revenues: $730,540,020
  • 2020 Revenues: $1,676,151,019

At this point almost nothing is known of the major donors behind this staggering ocean of money. But we’ve identified huge sums shuffled between the various “sisters,” with roughly $91 million flowing to the advocacy group Sixteen Thirty Fund from its siblings and another $13 million distributed among the other three nonprofits.

The North Fund—a mysterious Arabella-linked group which pushes for D.C. statehood, packing the Supreme Court with “progressives,” and abolishing the Electoral College, among other causes—pulled in $30 million from New Venture Fund and Sixteen Thirty Fund.

Activism Inc.

Arabella Advisors itself netted over $45 million for providing “consulting” services to its in-house nonprofits in 2020. Nice work, if you can get it.

Nearly as massive as the network’s revenues was its spending: More than $1.2 billion, roughly $896 million of which went to left-of-center groups active in tilting elections, warping the 2020 Census, and pushing “progressive” policy in Congress and state legislatures.

So far we’ve traced grants from Arabella groups to state-level leftist groups totaling at least $10 million in Pennsylvania, $3.6 million in Arizona, $3 million in Georgia, $2.5 million in North Carolina, and $2 million in Michigan—all of which were crucial to the outcome of the 2020 election.

Other grant highlights include:

  • Almost $174 million from the Sixteen Thirty, New Venture, and Hopewell Funds to America Votes, a massive get-out-the-vote mobilization and voter registration group which lobbies for “reforms” intended to weaken election integrity and help Democratic turnout.
  • $25 million from the New Venture Fund to the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), which used $350 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to effectively privatize the 2020 election in thousands of local government elections offices across the country.
  • $10 million from the Sixteen Thirty Fund to the NeverTrump group Defending Democracy Together (DDT), founded by former Republican operative Bill Kristol.
  • $8 million from the Hopewell Fund to ACRONYM and $3 million from Sixteen Thirty Fund to its associated PAC, PACRONYM. Both are key voter mobilization groups targeting likely Democratic voters in conjunction with Democratic Party apparatuses such as Eric Holder’s gerrymandering group, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.
  • $4 million from the Windward Fund to the Tides Center, one of the Left’s premier “dark money” pass-through funders created to incubate new activist groups.

Stay tuned for further analysis and reporting on this left-wing spending spree to be released in the coming weeks.


CRC intern Joe O’Reilly contributed to this article.

Parker Thayer

Parker Thayer is a Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. A native of Michigan, he recently graduated from Hillsdale College.
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Hayden Ludwig

Hayden Ludwig is the Director of Policy Research at Restoration of America. He was formerly Senior Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. Ludwig is a native of Orange County, California,…
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