The Democracy Alliance, a donor collective that steers contributions to left-of-center organizations, holds semi-annual conferences for donors and organization representatives. InfluenceWatch now has a detailed profile on these conferences.
The Democracy Alliance has held these conferences twice a year since its founding in 2005. In addition to providing a forum for speakers and panelists to discuss liberal policy priorities and strategy, the conferences perhaps more importantly facilitate networking between wealthy prospective donors and representatives of organizations (typically nonprofits) that the Democracy Alliance has vetted and recommended to its members.
Members (also known as partners) are asked to contribute at least $200,000 a year to recommended groups. According to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon in 2019, Democracy Alliance partners have moved roughly $1.83 billion toward progressive causes since 2005.
While confidentiality and secrecy are the order of the day at the conferences—the organization even provides locked bins for disposing unwanted conference materials for shredding—details of past conferences often make their way into the open. The vast sums of private money that the Democracy Alliance channels in order to influence issues of public importance and the frequent participation of elected officials in its conferences make the organization’s operations a topic of distinct public interest. Accordingly, news outlets such as the Washington Free Beacon and Politico have posted documents obtained from past conferences, which are now freely available online.
InfluenceWatch has aggregated information on themes, attendees, speakers, and session hosts from these conference materials in a new profile, available here.
Watch a related CRC video: How Rich Elites Influence Our Politics—The Democracy Alliance.