Organization Trends

InfluenceWatch Friday

January 12, 2024

InfluenceWatch, a project of Capital Research Center, is a comprehensive and ever-evolving compilation of our research into the numerous advocacy groups, foundations, and donors working to influence the public policy process. The website offers transparency into these influencers’ funding, motives, and connections while providing insight often neglected by other watchdog groups.

The information compiled in InfluenceWatch gives news outlets and other interested parties research to use in reporting on significant topics that are often overlooked by the American public.

CRC is pleased to present some of the most significant additions to InfluenceWatch in the past week:

  • The Dream Keeper Initiative is a grantmaking initiative of the City of San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission. The group was founded in 2021 after the city’s Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton called for “reparations” for San Fransisco’s black community. The director of the Dream Keeper Initiative, Saidah Leatutufu-Burch has described herself as an “activist and disrupter of anti-black racism and systems rooted in White supremacist ideology.”
  • Free and Fair Elections USA is a Democratic Party-aligned activist organization which supports get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts in the United States. The group is a trade name of the North Fund, one of several large left-of-center non-profit organizations operating under the philanthropic consulting firm Arabella Advisors. Free and Fair Elections USA has encouraged engagement with GOTV groups including and VoteAmerica, the latter having previously received donations from another Arabella-managed nonprofit called the New Venture Fund.
  • The Defund Hate Coalition is a joint project of dozens of activist groups seeking to defund border security agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The coalition is managed by anti-immigration law enforcement group Detention Watch Network (DWN), with other notable members including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and MoveOn Civic Action. The group claims to have helped blocked close to $12 billion in funding to ICE and CBP.
  • The Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) is a research and advocacy think tank with offices in multiple countries that seeks to influence environmental policy and land use to align with left-of-center climate change priorities. Its donors include the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation.
  • The Southern Partners Fund (SPF) is a grantmaking organization that funds groups that advance critical race theory-influenced concepts of environmental justice, racial equity, and economic equity. In 2023, MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, donated $5 million to the SPF through her Yield Giving project. In addition, MacKenzie donated $10 million to the SPF in 2020.

Jonathan Harsh

Jonathan Harsh holds a master’s degree in political science from James Madison University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from  Beloit College. He is a content editor at the…
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