The Tides Foundation and The Tides Center



Introduction


The Tides Foundation is a large progressive foundation that supports a broad array of liberal causes. Since its founding, the Tides Foundation has doled out billions of dollars to progressive organizations.[1] The Tides Foundation has a unique operation. Donors give vast sums to Tides, and then Tides funnels the money to other organizations. In this structure, Tides essentially functions as a pass-through operation.[2] This system allows the donors’ gift to evade transparency as the recipient will report the gift as coming from Tides.[3]

Tides also supports liberal groups with fiscal sponsorship & nonprofit management, shared spaces & services, consulting, global services, mission related investing, advocacy and integrated services.[4]

The Tides Foundation has spawned a network of affiliated groups. In 1996, the Tides Foundation officially formed the Tides Center.[5] The Center works to “nurture[] new nonprofit activities."[6]


History/Founding


Drummond Pike founded the Tides Foundation in 1976.[7] Pike served as Tides’ President and Chief Executive Officer from 1976 to 2010.[8] Pike was a 1960s anti-war protestor while a student at the University of California Santa Cruz.[9] According to Discover the Networks, one of Pike’s main goals in establishing the Tides Foundation was to allow rich liberals to anonymously contribute to extreme organizations.[10] Pike has close connections with George Soros, the Democracy Alliance and the now-defunct group ACORN.[11]

Pike holds some very liberal views. Discover the Networks explains, “[v]iewing the United States as a nation infested with ‘structural racism’ that limits opportunities for nonwhites, Pike favors a highly progressive tax structure… as a necessary means of redistributing wealth. Pike also supports socialized medicine.”[12]


Mission


In its 2009 tax forms, Tides explains its mission: the “Foundation’s primary exempt purpose is grantmaking. We partner with donors to promote economic justice, robust democratic processes, and the opportunity to live in a healthy and sustainable environment where human rights are preserved and protected.”[13]

According to Trevor Loudon of the Capital Research Center, “the Tides Foundation and Tides Center are the radical left’s best kept secret. Together they provide tens of millions of dollars annually to some of the most extreme, destructive charities in America.”[14]


Work


According to its website, “to date, Tides has managed project and grantmaking activities totaling more than $2 billion. We have fiscally sponsored more than 800 nonprofit projects, and we are proud to have helped launch a number of important organizations such as Conservation International, Environmental Working Group, the Garden Conservancy, The Story of Stuff, and the League of Young Voters Education Fund. Our growth is a testament to the joint commitment among our partners and staff to supporting positive social change."[15]

Tides’ vast network is constructed in a unique way. According to Activist Cash:[16]
Tides does two things better than any other foundation or charity in the U.S. today: it routinely obscures the sources of its tax-exempt millions, and makes it difficult (if not impossible) to discern how the funds are actually being used.

In practice, ‘Tides’ behaves less like a philanthropy than a money-laundering enterprise … taking money from other foundations and spending it as the donor requires. Called donor-advised giving, this pass-through funding vehicle provides public-relations insulation for the money’s original donors. By using Tides to funnel its capital, a large public charity can indirectly fund a project with which it would prefer not to be directly identified in public.

This anonymity has serious consequences. Since the money is in a sense laundered, groups that are attacked are at a disadvantage when responding to liberal assaults. Activist Cash explains:[17]
For corporations and other organizations that eventually find themselves in these grantees’ crosshairs, there is practically no way to find out where their money originated. For the general public, the money trail ends at Tides’ front door. In many cases, even the eventual recipient of the funding has no idea how Tides got it in the first place.

Tides also helps start and grow left-wing non-profit offshoots. For a fee (typically eight percent of the group’s income), Tides provides start-ups a tax shelter under its non-profit umbrella.[18] Additionally, writer Trevor Loudon explains, “[b]esides giving a new project its seal of approval the Tides Center performs a notable service in showing new groups how to run an office, apply for grants, conduct effective public relations, and handle the many personnel, payroll, and budget problems that might baffle a novice group.”[19]

Tides works with certain kinds of groups. Writing for the Capital Research Center in 2003, Gretchen and Tom Randall explained that Tides has promoted an array of liberal issues including:

  • “environmental extremism
  • exclusion of humans from public and private wildlands
  • anti-war protest
  • opposition to free trade
  • banning firearms ownership
  • abolition of the death penalty
  • abortion rights
  • gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy”[20]

The following are additional Tides groups. Some are Tides partners and others are current or former Tides projects:

  • A Call To Men: The National Association of Men and Women Committed to Ending Violence Against Women:[21] [22] A Call To Men pushes social justice and seeks to redefine manhood. The project's “vision is to shift social norms that define manhood in our culture, and produce a national movement of men committed to ending violence against women.”[23]

  • Campaign to Defend the Constitution:[24] The Campaign to Defend the Constitution’s description states, “[t]he current erosion of the separation of church and state and the public’s lack of understanding is at the heart of this project.”[25] The phrase “separation of church and state,” is nowhere in the United States Constitution.[26] [27]

  • Catalyst Project:[28] [29] The Catalyst Project description states, “[s]ocial justice struggles have long been undermined and divided by racism. Our mission is to develop anti-racist analysis, practice, and leadership in white communities in order to help build grassroots, mass-based, multiracial movements for change.”[30]

  • Center for Environment and Population:[31] [32] The Center for Environment and Population (CEP) “works to strengthen the scientific basis of policies and public outreach to achieve a long-term sustainable balance between people and the natural environment.”[33] The CEP claims that America, and its large population, are the main causes of climate change.[34] According to CEP, “[w]hile the U.S. ‘population and climate change’ connection is complex, it manifests itself in two primary ways: first, population is related to the causes of climate change, mainly through high per capita energy use and greenhouse gas emissions (the “carbon footprint”) and; second, population factors can exacerbate climate change’s effects by placing more pressures on the natural resource base at specific sites, for example, when there is high population density and continued rapid growth in coastal, urban, suburban, or ecologically vulnerable areas of the U.S.”[35]

  • Center for Genetics and Society:[36] [37] “The Center for Genetics and Society seeks to alert, educate and engage the leadership of key civil society institutions, as well as the general public, about new human genetic technologies, and about the policies needed to address these issues. The Center focuses on a global ban on human cloning.”[38]

  • Color of Democracy Project:[39] The Color of Democracy Project seeks to raise the political contribution of colored communities through increased voter turnout and community involvement.[40] According to the group’s profile, “[i]mproving voter participation rates among these groups depends on year-round, nonpartisan strategic initiatives that will connect to citizens’ everyday life, create pipelines and new issue environments for progressive candidates, generate concrete policy changes, and, ultimately, create a large and active progressive base.”[41]

  • DiversityRx:[42] [43] DiversityRx’s mission “is to inform, educate and support a growing field of health care providers, policymakers, researchers and advocates working to design and implement health services that are responsive to the cultural and linguistic differences presented by minority, immigrant, and indigenous communities.”[44]

  • Gates Foundation:[45] [46] The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated over $25 billion, mostly to worldwide health programs, since 1994.[47] The Gates Foundation has also donated to some progressive groups including the National Council of La Raza, Planned Parenthood and the Progressive Policy Institute.[48] Additionally, the Gates Foundation funds a college scholarship program, the Gates Millennium Scholar Program, which excludes white students.[49]

  • Groundswell Fund:[50] [51] The Groundswell Fund’s mission is to “build a stronger, more effective U.S. movement for reproductive justice by mobilizing new funding and capacity building resources to low-income and women of color-led constituency building and policy advocacy efforts in this arena.”[52]

  • Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity:[53] [54] According to its description, the “Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity PRE is a multiyear project intended to build the amount and effectiveness of resources aimed at combating institutional and structural racism in communities through capacity-building, education, and convening.”[55]

  • StopGlobalWarming.org:[56] [57] Stopglobalwarming.org claims that “[g]lobal warming is the most urgent issue of our time, and while the problem is of worldwide significance, we recognize that the United States is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, responsible for 40% of the industrialized world's emissions, and doing the least about it. The necessary first step must be to encourage Americans to take action.”[58]

  • Vote Solar:[59] [60] Vote Solar advocates government support for solar panels and solar energy. According to Vote Solar, “America’s energy problems — from economic crisis to global climate change — will only be solved by a national transition to renewables. Clean, homegrown, reliable solar energy is ready to play a large part of the solution.”[61]

Ties with Liberal Leaders


Drummond Pike, Tides’ founder, has strong ties to some of America’s most liberal politicians. According to author Ron Arnold, “Pike has made a number of campaign contributions over the years, mostly to Democratic candidates such as Sherrod Brown, John Edwards, and Barack Obama. He also has given money to Moveon.org Political Action and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.”[62]

ACORN Connection


Tides had close connections with the now defunct group ACORN (Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now). Over the years, Tides made 11 grants to ACORN totaling $845,000.[63] In 2010, the federal government shut down ACORN’s funding after a series of scandals.[64] It was discovered in “2008 that ACORN chief organizer Wade Rathke covered up a nearly $1 million embezzlement by his brother Dale, the group’s chief financial officer.”[65] At the time, Wade Rathke was serving on the Tides board of directors.[66] Tides founder and CEO Drummond Pike reportedly donated his own money and efforts to keep the matter quiet.[67]

Leadership (as of September 2011)


Drummond Pike, former President (2010 Compensation: $268,636)
Gary Schwartz, Vice President (2010 Compensation: $194,594)
Juane Evans, Associate Director (2010 Compensation: $135,591)
Noa Emmett Aluli, Board Member
Melissa L. Bradley, Chief Executive Office
Joanie Bronfman, Board Member
Stephanie J. Clohesy, Vice Chairman of the Board
Lawrence Litvak, Board Member
Anne Mosle, Board Member
Iara D. Peng, Board Member
John A. Powell, Board Member
Chuck C. Savitt, Board Member
Tuti B. Scott, Board Member
Joel Solomon, Board Member
Veronique Spruill, Board Member
Maya Wiley, Chairman of the Board

Contact Information


San Francisco Office
Tides
P.O. Box 29198
San Francisco, CA 94129-0198
Telephone: 415.561.6400
Fax: 415.561.6401

New York Office
Tides
55 Exchange Place, Suite 402
New York, NY 10005-3304
Telephone: 212.509.1049
Fax: 212.509.1059

Website: http://www.tides.org/


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  1. ^ See infra, “Work”
  2. ^ “Tides Foundation & Tides Center,” Activist Cash, available at http://activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/o/225-tides-foundation--tides-centeras of September 16, 2011.
  3. ^ “Tides Foundation & Tides Center,” Activist Cash, available at http://activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/o/225-tides-foundation--tides-center as of September 16, 2011.
  4. ^ “About – How We Work – Array of Services,” Tides Foundation, available at http://www.tides.org/about/how-we-work/array-of-services/ as of September 16, 2011.
  5. ^ “About – History,” The Tides Foundation, available at http://www.tides.org/about/history/as of September 16, 2011.
  6. ^ “About – History,” The Tides Foundation, available at http://www.tides.org/about/history/ as of September 16, 2011.
  7. ^ “About – History,” The Tides Foundation, available at http://www.tides.org/about/history/as of September 16, 2011.
  8. ^ “About – History,” The Tides Foundation, available at http://www.tides.org/about/history/as of September 16, 2011.
  9. ^ “Drummond Pike,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1738as of September 16, 2011.
  10. ^ “Drummond Pike,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1738as of September 16, 2011.
  11. ^ “Drummond Pike,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1738 as of September 16, 2011.
  12. ^ “Drummond Pike,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1738 as of September 16, 2011.
  13. ^ Retrieved from guidestar.org on September 16, 2011.
  14. ^ Trevor Loudon, “The Tides Foundation and Center: Brokers of the Revolution,” Capital Research Center, October 2010, available at http://www.wnd.com/files/tides.pdf as of September 16, 2011.
  15. ^ “About – History,” The Tides Foundation, available at http://www.tides.org/about/history/ as of September 16, 2011.
  16. ^ “Tides Foundation & Tides Center,” Activist Cash, available at http://activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/o/225-tides-foundation--tides-center as of September 16, 2011.
  17. ^ “Tides Foundation & Tides Center,” Activist Cash, available at http://activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/o/225-tides-foundation--tides-center as of September 16, 2011.
  18. ^ Trevor Loudon, “The Tides Foundation and Center: Brokers of the Revolution,” Capital Research Center, October 2010, available at http://www.wnd.com/files/tides.pdfas of September 16, 2011.
  19. ^ Trevor Loudon, “The Tides Foundation and Center: Brokers of the Revolution,” Capital Research Center, October 2010, available at http://www.wnd.com/files/tides.pdf as of September 16, 2011.
  20. ^ Gretchen Randall and Tom Randall, “The Tides Foundation: Liberal Crossroads of Money and Ideas,” Capital Research Center, December 2003, available at http://www.capitalresearch.org/pubs/pdf/x3797262231.pdf (pdf) as of September 16, 2011.
  21. ^ “Project Directory – A Call To Men: The National Association of Men and Women Committed to Ending Violence Against Women,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/a-call-to-men-the-national-association-of-men-and-women-committed-to-ending-violence-against-women/ as of September 16, 2011.
  22. ^ The 'A Call to Men' website is available at http://www.acalltomen.com/ as of September 16, 2011.
  23. ^ “Project Directory – A Call To Men: The National Association of Men and Women Committed to Ending Violence Against Women,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/a-call-to-men-the-national-association-of-men-and-women-committed-to-ending-violence-against-women/ as of September 16, 2011.
  24. ^ “Project Directory – Campaign to Defend the Constitution,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/campaign-to-defend-the-constitution/ as of September 16, 2011.
  25. ^ “Project Directory – Campaign to Defend the Constitution,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/campaign-to-defend-the-constitution/ as of September 16, 2011.
  26. ^ The phrase “separation of church and state” is derived from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. See, “Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists,” Library of Congress – Information Bulletin, January 1, 1802, available at http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html as of February 16, 2011. (“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”)
  27. ^ The group’s website, DefConAmerica.org, was no longer functioning as of September 16, 2011.
  28. ^ “Project Directory – Catalyst Project,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/catalyst-project/ as of September 16, 2011.
  29. ^ The Catalyst Project website is available at http://www.collectiveliberation.org/ as of September 16, 2011.
  30. ^ “Project Directory – Catalyst Project,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/catalyst-project/ as of September 16, 2011.
  31. ^ “Project Directory – Center for Environment and Population,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/center-for-environment-population/ as of September 16, 2011.
  32. ^ The Center for Environment and Population’s website is available at http://www.cepnet.org/ as of September 16, 2011.
  33. ^ “Project Directory – Center for Environment and Population,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/center-for-environment-population/ as of September 16, 2011.
  34. ^ Victoria C. Markham, “U.S. Population, Energy & Climate Change,” Center for Environment and Population, 2008, available at http://www.moyak.com/papers/population-energy-climate-change.pdf (pdf) as of October 1, 2011.
  35. ^ Victoria C. Markham, “U.S. Population, Energy & Climate Change,” Center for Environment and Population, 2008, available at http://www.moyak.com/papers/population-energy-climate-change.pdf (pdf) as of October 1, 2011.
  36. ^ “Project Directory – Center for Genetics and Society,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/center-for-genetics-and-society/ as of September 16, 2011.
  37. ^ The Center for Genetics and Society’s website is available at http://www.geneticsandsociety.org/ as of September 16, 2011.
  38. ^ “Project Directory – Center for Genetics and Society,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/center-for-genetics-and-society/ as of September 16, 2011.
  39. ^ “Project Directory – Color of Democracy Project,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/color-of-democracy-project/ as of September 16, 2011.
  40. ^ “Project Directory – Color of Democracy Project,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/color-of-democracy-project/ as of September 16, 2011.
  41. ^ “Project Directory – Color of Democracy Project,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/color-of-democracy-project/ as of September 16, 2011.
  42. ^ “Project Center – DiversityRx,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/diversityrx/ as of September 16, 2011.
  43. ^ DiversityRx’s website is available at http://www.diversityRx.org/ as of September 16, 2011.
  44. ^ “Project Center – DiversityRx,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/diversityrx/ as of September 16, 2011.
  45. ^ “About – How We Work,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/about/how-we-work/ as of September 16, 2011.
  46. ^ The Gates Foundation website is available at http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Pages/home.aspx as of September 16, 2011.
  47. ^ “Foundation Fact Sheet,” The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, available at http://www.gatesfoundation.org/about/Pages/foundation-fact-sheet.aspx as of September 16, 2011.
  48. ^ Ron Arnold, “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/funderProfile.asp?fndid=5299 as of September 16, 2011.
  49. ^ “The Gates Millennium Scholars – GMS Online Nominations,” The Gates Millennium Scholars, available at https://nominations.gmsp.org/GMSP%5FApp/ as of September 16, 2011. (from the application “Students are eligible to be considered for a GMS scholarship if they meet all of the following criteria: Are African American, American Indian/Alaska Native*, Asian Pacific Islander American** or Hispanic American.”) Note that the Gates Millennium Scholars program is funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  50. ^ “Project Center – Groundswell Fund,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/groundswell-fund/ as of September 16, 2011.
  51. ^ The Groundswell Fund’s website is available at http://groundswellfund.org/ as of September 16, 2011.
  52. ^ “Project Center – Groundswell Fund,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/groundswell-fund/ as of September 16, 2011.
  53. ^ “Project Center – Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/philanthropic-initiative-for-racial-equity/ as of September 16, 2011.
  54. ^ The Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equality’s website is available at http://www.racialequity.org/ as of September 16, 2011.
  55. ^ “Project Center – Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/philanthropic-initiative-for-racial-equity/ as of September 16, 2011.
  56. ^ “Project Directory – stopglobalwarming.org,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/stopglobalwarmingorg/ as of September 16, 2011.
  57. ^ Stopglobalwarming.org’s website is available at http://www.stopglobalwarming.org/ as of September 16, 2011.
  58. ^ “Project Directory – stopglobalwarming.org,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/stopglobalwarmingorg/ as of September 16, 2011.
  59. ^ “Project Directory – Vote Solar,” Tides Center, available at http://www.tides.org/nc/community/project-directory/show/project/single/title/vote-solar/ as of September 16, 2011.
  60. ^ Vote Solar’s website is available at http://www.votesolar.org/ as of September 16, 2011.
  61. ^ “Who We Are – Gameplan,” Vote Solar, available at http://votesolar.org/who-we-are/ as of September 16, 2011.
  62. ^ “Drummond Pike,” Discover the Networks, available at http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1738 as of September 16, 2011.
  63. ^ Trevor Loudon, “The Tides Foundation and Center: Brokers of the Revolution,” Capital Research Center, October 2010, available at http://www.wnd.com/files/tides.pdfas of September 16, 2011.
  64. ^ “ACORN Loses its Funding, Allies in the House,” The Washington Times, September 18, 2009, available at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/18/acorn-loses-funding-allies-in-house/ as of September 16, 2011.
  65. ^ Trevor Loudon, “The Tides Foundation and Center: Brokers of the Revolution,” Capital Research Center, October 2010, available at http://www.wnd.com/files/tides.pdfas of September 16, 2011.
  66. ^ Trevor Loudon, “The Tides Foundation and Center: Brokers of the Revolution,” Capital Research Center, October 2010, available at http://www.wnd.com/files/tides.pdfas of September 16, 2011.
  67. ^ Trevor Loudon, “The Tides Foundation and Center: Brokers of the Revolution,” Capital Research Center, October 2010, available at http://www.wnd.com/files/tides.pdf as of September 16, 2011.