Progressive Non-Profits Exploit the CARES Act

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) established by the Federal government's Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides forgivable SBA loans, in substance grants.  The goal is to help small businesses weather the economic adversity caused by the Covid-19 crisis. Through June 30th, the program funded $521.5 billion in loans. The program has $131.9 billion left, and the application deadline has been extended to August 8th.

Congress in its haste (what's new?) placed few restrictions on eligibility for the loan program. There has been ample news coverage shaming investment banks and publicly traded companies for receiving PPP loans designed for small businesses.  Still, not surprisingly, the news media overlooked the PPP loans made to non-profits.  This fact-based article identifies high-profile progressive non-profits, recipients of PPP loans, who influence public policy in very detrimental ways.

Linked for downloading is an Excel spreadsheet that itemizes PPP loans made through June 30th for 41,820 non-profits greater than $150,000.  The spreadsheet has filters allowing users to parse the data according to their preferences. Noteworthy progressive non-profits have hyperlinks on the spreadsheet to Influence Watch profiles that provide background information into 318 organizations.


The following examples provide controversial details of high-profile progressive organizations that received PPP loans.

Anti-Defamation League

The Anti-Defamation League's original mission was limited to fighting anti-Semitism. The revised mission is to push far left-leaning positions like abortion, open borders, and Black Lives Matter. The agenda is pushed further by discrediting mainstream conservatives by labeling conservative dialogue as hate speech (aka, thought crimes). 

In 2017, ADL formed the Cyberhate Problem-Solving Lab, in conjunction with Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, to identify and censor conservative speech.  The program has been wildly successful in suspensions of social media accounts, shadow banning comments, and de-platforming channels.  

The ADL received a PPP jumbo loan for $5 million to $10 million.  The proceeds help to continue the outright assault on the First Amendment courtesy of taxpayer funding.

Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a donor-advisory non-profit serving the San Francisco Bay Area, with reported of $8.9 billion in assets.  Donor-advisory funds allow mega-rich individuals to stockpile billions, thus receiving immediate tax breaks without real charitable activities. The donor retains control over how funds are invested and distributed to charitable interests.  Using a donor-advisory fund has significant benefits over an alternative private foundation where there are no 5% annual payout requirements and required grant disclosures.  

SVCF caters to the Silicon Valley elite. Tech's Who's Who of charity includes Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter's Jack Dorsey, and Netflix's Reed Hastings.

SVCF receives the bulk of revenue from fees for asset management services.  SVCF is not justified in obtaining a PPP jumbo loan for $5 million to $10 million since the Covid-19 lock-down doesn't impact the advisory fund.  Trickle-up economics at the expense of taxpayers.

Media Matters for America

David Brock founded Media Matters of America as a 501(3)(c) public charity with its mission stated as "dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing and correcting conservative misinformation in the USA media."  In Progressive code, the task is to demonize conservatives, and badger advertisers into withholding advertising from various conservative cable news shows. Media Matters’ charity registration has lapsed in most states requiring registration, i.e., New York.  In form, a charitable organization, but in substance is an unregistered Democratic Public Action Committee.

Media Matters shares the same Washington D.C. office as the Bonner Group, Inc. The Bonner Group founder is Mary Patricia Bonner, a highly successful Democrat professional solicitor. Uncharacteristically, the Bonner Group doesn't have a website listing its services. The Bonner Group charges a flat 12.5% fundraising commission.  Candidates use the Bonner Group to court the ultrarich donors to finance super PACs.

Media Matters' 2018 990 tax return reports $14.9 million in contributions.  The tax return discloses Media Matters paid Bonner Group a 12.5% fee totaling $1.9 million for fundraising services.  Media Matters subleases to Bonner Group, but the tax return fails to report any rental revenue. The phrase "one hand washes the other" seems to apply to their relationship.

Media Matters received a PPP loan for over $1 million.  Who needs a fundraiser when you have taxpayer funding.

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood branches collectively received $80 million.  Congress should have wholly expected the rush by Planned Parenthood for PPP loans. The Small Business Association (SBA) claims the offices are not independent and part of a large corporate governance structure, thus making Planned Parenthood ineligible and requiring the return of funds.  The larger state branches listed in the spreadsheet are hyperlinked to Influence Watch profiles.  Despite the public scrutiny and possible congressional oversight, Planned Parenthood is reluctant to give back the funds.

CSIS Think Tank

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a hawkish globalist think tank.  CSIS's mission as a policy research organization is dedicated to providing strategic insights and policy solutions to help decision-makers. CSIS hosts frequent Washington program events with discussion panels that include deep state actors like John Brennen, Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. 

Thomas J. Pritzker of the Pritzker empire is the chairman.  Other notable trustees past and present include Henry A. Kissinger, the late Zbigniew Brzezinski, Leon Panetta, CBS's Bob Schieffer, and Obama's former Chief of Staff Bill Daily.

CSIS funding relies on Federal grants and contracts, private foundations grants, and corporate donations.  High profile contributors are the Ford Foundation, the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, George Soros's Open Society Foundation, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The think tank has substantial net assets ($135 million) and is collecting on a PPP loan between $2 million and $5 million.

Thousand Currents

Last but not least is the PPP loan to Thousand Currents between $150,000 and $350,000. Thousand Currents has recently received national coverage due to its fundraising relationship with Black Lives Matter Global Network. Since BLMGN is not a non-profit, its donations are processed by ActBlue Charities and forwarded to fiscal sponsor Thousand Currents. Thousand Currents does not disclose the beneficiary payouts raising an issue of possible fraud and abuse. Further complicating matters is Vice-Chair Susan Rosenberg, a convicted domestic terrorist leading the charity. 

Robert A. Bishop is a retired CPA.

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