Organization Trends

InfluenceWatch Friday

May 24, 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 Center for Story-Based Strategy is a nonprofit that advocates for using narratives and literary elements to advance left-of-center policies including opposition to nuclear energy and support for the Green New Deal. The group claims to operate under “anti-oppression principals,” which allege that “racism is the single most critical barrier to building effective coalitions for social change.” Partner organizations include Climate Justice Alliance, the New Economy Coalition, and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance.
  • Sierra Club Independent Action is the Super PAC/527 arm of the Sierra Club, an environmental activist group. In June 2023, the organization jointly endorsed President Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign, along with the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters Action FundNextGen PAC, and the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund. During the 2020 election cycle, the group spent $2.1 million to support then-candidate Joe Biden’s campaign and $960,769 opposing then-President Donald Trump’s campaign.
  • Gideon’s Promise is a left-of-center legal advocacy group that trains public defenders. It has been a grant partner of the National Football Leage (NFL) since 2019. The group has also partnered with several law schools including Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. It was reported in 2024 that District of Columbia (D.C.) Magistrate Judge Lloyd Nolan Jr., who was criticized for releasing on bail a man accused of firing a rifle in a D.C neighborhood, had previously contributed an unknown amount to a Gideon’s Promise fundraiser.
  • Back Office for Organizing in Michigan (BOOM) is a firm that provides accounting and other services for left-of-center groups in the state of Michigan. The group was partially formed by election advocacy group Movement Voter Project, and was highlighted during a Funders Committee for Civic Participation(FCCP) conference on increasing spending for groups in politically-competitive states leading up to the 2024 election. BOOM’s executive director, Mary Brady-Enerson, previously held state-level positions with left-wing groups including Clean Water Action and State Voices.
  • Forward Justice is a left-of-center advocacy group that supports changes to the criminal justice system and voting laws within the southern United States. In 2020, the group issued a “Statement of Solidarity” calling for the defunding of police in the United States, while decrying what it called “400 years of oppression and state-sponsored violence that this country has waged against Black Americans.” The group has received funding from left-of-center groups including the Ford Foundation, the Z Smith Reynolds Foundation, and the Clean Slate Initiative.

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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