Foundation Watch

The Ford Foundation’s Ugly, Warped View of America:
Funding for Politics

The Ford Foundation’s Ugly, Warped View of America (full series)
Megaphones and Militancy | Funding for Politics
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This Is Who They Are

Funding for Politics

In addition to all of the groups mentioned so far, Ford has given an additional $54 million since 2022 to several dozen other groups and causes involved in motivating and organizing left-wing political activists.

On the main page of its website, the People’s Action Institute asks: “How can we build a multiracial and pluralistic democracy with an inclusive economy to defeat the rise of authoritarianism?” Ford thinks People’s Action has the answer and has given them more than $6.4 million since September 2022.

According to CNN exit polls, non-white voters accounted for 34 percent of 2020 presidential election voters, up from 29 percent in 2016. The Democratic data firm Catalist found that Joe Biden in 2020 had done slightly better with white voters than 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (up 3 percentage points), but lost ground with Black voters (down 3 points), Latinos (down 8 points) and Asians (down 1 point). Democrats paying attention are growing concerned that Republicans held onto their new Latino supporters in 2022.

From 2009 until 2016 the president of the United States was an African American. The United States is by any reasonable definition a very competitive “multiracial democracy,” but the Ford Foundation isn’t convinced.

The Asian American and Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Fund (AAPI Fund), another group claiming to be saving our unthreatened multiracial democracy, is a fiscally sponsored project of the New Venture Fund. AAPI Fund banked more than $3.9 million from the Ford Foundation in 2022.

The New Venture Fund is one of several nonprofit donor funds managed by Arabella Advisors. Arabella was described in a 2021 profile in The Atlantic as a “massive progressive dark-money group,” and in 2020 alone it spent nearly $1.3 billion on programs and grants.

The Local Progress Policy Institute also lays claim to “fighting for” a multiracial democracy, and has received more than $2.4 million from Ford since 2022.

In November 2022, Race Forward held a conference on how to save multiracial democracy from what was portrayed as America’s “rapid march towards white authoritarianism.” The group received more than $1.2 million in grants from Ford during 2022.

In July 2022, Ford gave $4 million to Bend the Arc, a Jewish left-wing group that claims to be “building the multiracial democracy that’s been promised in America but never achieved.”

Gerrymandering congressional and state legislatures is one way to bend the arc of democracy to the left. Since March 2022, Ford has given at least $1 million to the New Venture Fund’s Fair Representation in Redistricting project. According to Ford, the grants were to support “education and training for grassroots organizations to increase engagement, transparency and accountability in state redistricting.”

With Arabella loot washing in, these “grassroots” groups were really rich.

Many other lefty nonprofits have received tens of millions from Ford to manufacture movements and train the activists.

Ford gave $2 million to the Advancement Project Education Fund in July 2022. The purpose, according to the Ford grant description, was “support to build a racially just democracy and support grassroots movements for change.” A logo used by the group features the words “organize,” “protest,” and “vote,” displayed above the images of megaphone and a raised fist. Among its more peculiar left-wing causes, the Advancement Project supports removing police officers from public schools.

The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice is a Louisiana voter mobilization group that opposes voter ID laws and promotes left-leaning economic policies such as increasing the minimum wage. In December 2022, Ford gave the group $3 million to “engage low-income and communities of color to address policies that perpetuate inequality across Louisiana.”

The Color of Change Education Fund also received more than $2.6 million from Ford in December 2022. The nonprofit is the issue education arm of Color of Change, a left-wing protest organizer that once claimed a membership of 7 million activists. Color of Change was co-founded in 2005 by Van Jones, who left the group in 2009 to join the Obama administration and later became a CNN commentator.

A May 2023 report in the Insider news website, which cited “more than two dozen” current and former Color of Change employees as sources, revealed multiple accusations of sexual harassment and serious mismanagement concerns. In July 2023, Color of Change announced it was imposing heavy budget cuts and layoffs.

Representative examples of other political organizing and pressure groups funded by Ford since 2022 include a $2.5 million grant to the Rockwood Leadership Institute to “strengthen and network social justice leadership in the United States,” $1.8 million for the Faith in Action network’s “racial and economic justice organizing,” $1 million to the New York Foundation’s Youth Organizing Culture Change Fund, $600,000 for Repairers of the Breach in North Carolina, and $600,000 to ProGeorgia.

In the next installment, the Ford Foundation has given tens of millions of dollars to left-leaning labor, economic, and technology policy nonprofits.

Ken Braun

Ken Braun is CRC’s senior investigative researcher and authors profiles for and the Capital Research magazine. He previously worked for several free market policy organizations, spent six…
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