Organization Trends

The Progressive International: Members


The Progressive International (full series)
The “Left of the Left” Goes Global | Israel the Enemy
Members | Leadership


Members

The Progressive International thus sits at the very ideological fringes of global leftism, and this in turn says much about the true nature of those American activist groups that have joined the coalition during the first few years of its existence. What’s more, several Progressive International members are generously funded by some of the most prominent foundations and other nonprofit grantmakers in the United States.

As of January 2024 the Progressive International lists more than 70 organizations as members. Those based in the United States include:

  • Arab Resource and Organizing Center. The center is a San Francisco activist group that fights against what it calls “global militarism and racial capitalism.” It released a statement blaming the “Israeli regime” and its “unrelenting colonial aggression” for being “entirely responsible” not only for the October 2023 Hamas terrorist attacks, but also for all associated violence “across historic Palestine.”

The Arab Resource and Organizing Center is a fiscally sponsored project of the Tides Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that brought in over $281 million in 2022 and which is a principal constituent member of one of the largest left-of-center nonprofit funding networks in the country. Known grants made through the Tides Center or the affiliated Tides Foundation that were specifically earmarked for the Arab Resource and Organizing Center have come from the California Community Foundation ($552,000 in 2019) and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center ($408,357 from 2018 to 2021).

  • Brandworkers. A labor union–aligned activist group located in New York, it sees its efforts to unionize the local food production industry as a method of furthering broader “collective liberation.” Brandworkers had total revenues of $920,377 in 2021, and some of its larger funders that year included the Amalgamated Charitable Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and the Daphne Foundation.
  • Code Pink. A mainstay of anti-American agitation since its founding in 2002, Code Pink considers the United States to be “a decadent, declining empire stumbling blindly into its agonizing death spiral”—though it heaps plenty of praise on the authoritarian communist regimes governing Cuba and China. In 2023, the New York Times reported on the extensive ties between Code Pink’s president Jodie Evans—largely through her husband Neville Roy Singham—and the Chinese Communist Party’s global propaganda efforts. The Times noted that Evans “stridently supports China” in public, and that she once claimed she could not think of a single negative thing to say about the country—save for a minor complaint about its electronic payment applications.

Code Pink reported total revenues of $1,230,357 in 2023. Major funders include the Benjamin Fund ($952,600 from 2017 to 2020)—which is headed by another of Code Pink’s co-founders, Medea Benjamin—and a donor-advised fund provider called the Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund ($1.03 million from 2017 to 2021).

  • Debt Collective. A self-styled “debtors’ union,” the Debt Collective advocates not only for the abolition of various forms of personal debt but also for doing away with the entire capitalist economic system—which it charges with fostering supposedly negative values such as “competition, profit, and efficiency.” Instead, the Debt Collective favors a socialist economy in which entire sectors (e.g., housing, health care, education, and finance) are controlled through direct participation by the state. Strategically speaking, it “aim[s] to dismantle racial capitalism with militance, disobedience, and radical imagination.”

Details about the Debt Collective’s financials are scant due to its status as a fiscally sponsored project of the Sustainable Markets Foundation (2022 revenue of $42 million). The group acknowledges that the vast majority of its funding comes from foundations and individual grants, while admitting that it is “hard to be an anti-capitalist organization asking foundations and funders for money!” Large grants specifically earmarked for the Debt Collective have come from the Ford Foundation ($1.05 million from 2017 to 2023), the Amalgamated Charitable Foundation ($250,000 from 2019 to 2020), the Merle Chambers Fund ($350,000 from 2021 to 2022), the Way to Win Action Fund ($250,000 in 2021) and the Foundation to Promote Open Society ($200,000 from 2019 to 2021).

  • Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). For decades one of the most well-known political organizations on the American far-left, the DSA has taken a decidedly radical turn over the past several years to the point where it now boasts multiple revolutionary communists on its national political committee. Its official platform calls for the abolition of police, prisons, immigration controls, fossil fuels, and capitalism—alongside a litany of other leftist policy proposals, the sheer breadth and extremism of which defy easy description.

The DSA operates as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit and had total revenues of $6.85 million in 2021, primarily from membership dues. It reported having approximately 78,000 members as of August 2023, though this was prior to a series of high-profile public resignations following the group’s reprehensible response to the October 2023 Hamas terrorist attacks upon Israel.

  • KC Tenants. A renters’ association and activist group located in Kansas City, Missouri, it has endorsed an expansive national Homes Guarantee program that would dramatically increase the federal government’s role in the real estate sector and socialize vast swaths of America’s housing market. The group’s director Tara Raghuveer also serves on the Progressive International’s governing council.

KC Tenants had total revenues of $971,931 in 2021, more than a third of which came from the New Venture Fund, which is managed by Arabella Advisors. Other important funders include the Amalgamated Charitable Foundation, ImpactAssets, and the People’s Action Institute.

  • Palestinian Youth Movement. Identified by the Anti-Defamation League as one of the most notable groups in North America “that has expressed support for terrorism against Israel,” the Palestinian Youth Movement declares that it “will not rest until Palestine is free from the river to the sea.” It is a fiscally sponsored project of the WESPAC Foundation, a relatively obscure 501(c)(3) charity located in New York that reported total revenues of $1.07 million in 2022.
  • Post Growth Institute. An advocacy group that sees economic growth as problematic, the Post Growth Institute wants to replace capitalism with what it calls a “post-growth economy” so that humanity can exist “within ecological limits.” Its total revenues in 2022 were $344,134. One of its biggest funders is the NoVo Foundation ($75,000 from 2021 to 2022, plus an additional $100,000 approved for future payment), which is rather ironically controlled by Peter Buffett, son of legendary investor and dyed-in-the-wool capitalist Warren Buffett.
  • Sunrise Movement. Probably the group most widely associated with proposals for a radical Green New Deal, the Sunrise Movement’s “demands” extend beyond the total elimination of conventional energy sources. They encompass a full spectrum of left-wing policy proposals such as abolishing the police, paying race-based reparations, and dramatically expanding the federal government’s direct role in the economy. The group’s former executive director Varshini Prakash also formerly sat on the Progressive International’s governing council. The Sunrise Movement is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that had 2021 revenues of about $4.1 million, though there is also an affiliated 501(c)(3) charity called the Sunrise Movement Education Fund, which brought in $14.6 million that year. The Education Fund’s revenue dropped to about $5.1 million in 2022.

By far the single largest funder of the Sunrise Movement Education Fund in recent years has been an obscure private foundation called the Cabin Road Foundation, which reported giving the group a full $10 million from 2020 to 2021. Other seven-figure grantors since 2020 include the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program ($2.65 million), the Sequoia Climate Fund ($1.5 million), the Hewlett Foundation ($1.22 million), the Packard Foundation ($1.155 million), the Silicon Valley Community Foundation ($1.035 million), the MacArthur Foundation ($1 million), and the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund ($1 million).

These are deeply radical organizations. They would fairly be described as such based solely on their membership in the Progressive International, to say nothing of their own activities. This leads to some natural questions for their funders in Big Philanthropy. Do these foundations consider the United States and Israel to be unequaled forces for global evil? Do they believe that the very system of free market capitalism that built and sustains their vast endowments is a “virus” that must be eradicated? Do they seek to align themselves with Hamas terrorists, Cuban communists, and Marxism’s murderous legacy in the Soviet Union and elsewhere? These will be fair questions to ask so long as they continue to finance organizations like those that have joined the Progressive International.


In the next installment, the governing council includes former heads of state and other high-ranking politicians.

Robert Stilson

Robert runs several of CRC’s specialized projects. Originally from Indiana, he has a B.A. from Hanover College and a J.D. from University of Richmond School of Law, where he graduated…
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