Organization Trends

InfluenceWatch Friday

May 10, 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:

  • Injustice Watch is a left-of-center media outlet focused on judicial issues within Cook County, Illinois, including local races, judicial activism, and corruption. According to lawyer and blogger Jack Leyhane, InjusticeWatch has “a definitive point of view; a commenter in the last election cycle called Injustice Watch about as neutral as Bernie Sanders’ birthday party.” The outlet has received grants from several left-of-center groups including the MacArthur Foundation, the Tides Foundation, and Jennifer Pritzker’s Tawani Foundation.
  • The Fund for Guaranteed Income (F4GI) is an advocacy group created to facilitate the research and deployment of universal basic income (UBI). Several partner organizations that have signed their pledge to back UBI programs include the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, One Fair Wage (OFW), and the Essie Justice Group. F4GI has received funding from several left-of-center groups including the Heising-Simons Foundation, the California Wellness Foundation, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
  • Cor Strategies is a center-right political consulting firm that operates in the state of Illinois. Formed In 2009, the group’s website claims that it has since grown to work with more than 850 campaigns, organizations, and businesses. In 2023, the firm conducted a statewide poll in which 53% of those polled opposed the establishment of a new electric vehicle lithium battery plant, with only 27% in favor of the plant.
  • Catalyst4 is a grantmaking foundation created by Sergey Brin, a Russian-American billionaire and the co-founder of both Google and its parent company Alphabet. Brin was an early investor in electric vehicle company Tesla, but he sold his shares in 2021 due to allegations that Tesla owner Elon Musk had an affair with Brin’s then-wife Nicole Shanahan (both Musk and Shanahan deny the affair allegations). Catalyst4 was established with the proceeds from that sale. In 2022, Catalyst4 gave $7 million for “environmental programs” to the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a nonprofit operated by consulting firm Arabella Advisors.
  • The Indian American Impact Project is a left-of-center nonprofit and the educational arm of lobbying group Indian American Impact, which advocates for electing more Indian American and South Asian politicians in the United States. One of the group’s projects, a voter registration tool called, was launched in collaboration with several other left-of-center groups including Asian Americans Advancing Justice, South Asians for America, and Democracy Labs. The Indian American Impact Project and its sister group are led by Neil Makhija, an attorney and one of 13 activists invited to the White House in 2021 to advise President Joe Biden (D) on voting rights.

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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