Donors Trust And Donors Capital Fund

DonorsTrust and its sister organization Donors Capital Fund have been dubbed the "dark-money ATM of The Right" and have acted as middlemen between anonymous wealthy donors and right-wing causes since the late 1990s.

About Donors Trust And Donors Capital Fund

Over the years, DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund have financed numerous organizations advancing a number of conservative and far-right causes.

DonorsTrust and its affiliate organization, Donors Capital Fund, are two of the most influential conservative donor-advised funds in contemporary American politics. In 2013, Mother Jones dubbed DonorsTrust the “dark-money ATM of the right.” Donors Capital Fund functions like DonorsTrust but is intended for individuals who plan to contribute large sums of money to right-wing causes. An initial gift of at least $1 million is required in order to open a donor-advised fund with Donors Capital Fund, whereas DonorsTrust accepts first-time contributions of $10,000 or more.

In 2002, just three years after its founding, DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund reported disbursing $1.4 million in grants. By 2010, the two groups had distributed more than $63 million. As of 2021, the most recent year reported, the combined disbursement from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund topped $188.1 million.

Contributions to Donors Trust in 2021 amounted to nearly $1.1 billion, the group’s largest annual intake of donations on record. The income included closely held common stock in a C-corporation with an end-of-year market value of more than $431 million. 

Federal law protects most contributors to DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund from disclosing their identities. However, conservative foundations have disclosed accounts with DonorsTrust in their tax filings. These include the Searle Freedom Trust, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, and the Castle Rock Foundation (the Coors family foundation). Tax filings have also tied the Koch family to DonorsTrust – for example, the Knowledge and Progress Fund, whose board included Charles Koch, reported giving $4.85 million to DonorsTrust in 2013.

Over the years, DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund have financed numerous organizations advancing a number of conservative and far-right causes. They include:

  • Groups associated with the conservative activist Leonard Leo, like the 85 Fund and the Federalist Society
  • Groups advancing white nationalism and anti-immigration policies, such as VDARE and Young Americans For Liberty
  • Groups like True The Vote and the Claremont Institute which have promoted falsehoods and conspiracy theories surrounding voting and, in particular, the 2020 election
  • Groups casting doubt on the climate crisis, like the Heartland Institute and the State Policy Network
  • Groups stoking anti-LGBTQ sentiment, like the Becket Fund and the Heritage Foundation
  • Groups that have championed the anti-choice movement, including Students For Life

DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund were founded in 1999 by libertarian activists Whitney Ball and Kimberly Dennis, who both previously worked for Philanthropy Roundtable. A predecessor of DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund, Philanthropy Roundtable continues to act as a middleman between wealthy conservatives donors and organizations by advising donors on how best to distribute their money. Unlike Philanthropy Roundtable, DonorsTrust has sought more direct control over donations, taking contributions directly from donors and distributing them anonymously to organizations that share the group’s conservative worldview.

Lawson Bader, President & CEO, DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund

Lawson Bader has served as president and CEO of DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund since 2015. Prior to joining the funds, Bader was president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, vice president of the Mercatus Center, and on the board of State Policy Network. All three nonprofits are linked to the Koch family and have received multiple donations from DonorsTrust.

Outside of his work at Koch-backed organizations, Bader has worked as the manager of government relations at SRI International; a legislative analyst with the D.C. law firm Pierson, Semmes and Finley; and as a special assistant to the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Kimberly O. Dennis, Co-Founder & Vice Chair, DonorsTrust; Co-Founder & Vice Chair/Secretary, Donors Capital Fund

Kimberly O. Dennis is a right-wing operative involved in conservative philanthropy since the 1980s and the co-founder of DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund

Dennis started her professional career in 1980 as a staffer at the John Olin Foundation, one of the first nonprofits to engage in mass giving to conservative organizations – including the influential Federalist Society. Since the late nineties, Dennis has worked for Searle Freedom Trust – a multi-million dollar private foundation founded by the pharmaceutical executive Daniel C. Searle in 1998 to promote “individual freedom and economic liberty” – where she currently serves as the trust’s president. Although Searle Freedom Trust has supported a number of conservative causes since its formation, it is perhaps most known for funding Students for Fair Admissions, a right-wing organization that has sought to end affirmative action in higher education. Financial support from the Searle Freedom Trust has gone to support SFFA lawsuits, including a 2016 Supreme Court case challenging the University of Texas at Austin’s undergraduate admissions policy.

In addition to her work at the Searle Freedom Trust, Dennis has directed the National Research Initiative, a Searle-financed program at the American Enterprise Institute, a right-of-center think tank. Dennis has also served on the boards of Koch-backed Property and Environment Research Center and George Mason University, which is well known for its Koch ties.

Whitney Ball, Co-Founder and Former President & CEO, DonorsTrust; Co-Founder and Former President, Donors Capital Fund

Whitney Ball co-founded DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund with Kimberly O. Dennis in 1999. She served as the president and CEO of DonorsTrust, as well as the president of Donors Capital Fund, until her death in 2015. 

Prior to founding DonorsTrust, Ball was a long time conservative operative. Ball worked at the Cato Institute and served on the board of the State Policy Network. Both groups have connections to the Koch family. 

When recruiting wealthy individuals to donate to DonorsTrust, Ball emphasized that their contributions could influence American politics long after their death and without the possibility that their heirs or trustees would use their inheritance to support liberal causes.

Ball died from breast cancer in August 2015. After Ball’s death, an ally wrote in The National Review that “no one knew the landscape of the conservative movement better than Whitney Ball.

DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund have significant connections to the Koch political donor network. The current president of both groups, Lawson Bader, was previously the president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and vice president of the Mercatus Center, two Koch-backed entities.  

The Bradley Foundation as well as the DeVos, Searle, and Mercer families have all been identified as donors to DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund.

Anti-Affirmative Action Movement

Groups that have led the fight to end affirmative action in public education have received funding from DonorsTrust – including a longstanding relationship with the Project on Fair Representation, a 501(c)(3) organization “designed to support litigation that challenges racial and ethnic classifications and preferences in state and federal courts.” Founded in 2005, the group has been involved in multiple Supreme Court cases challenging affirmative action, including Fisher v. University of Texas and Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard University. DonorsTrust fully financed the Project on Fair Representation in the first few years of its existence, according to Reuters. The organization’s 2019 tax filings showed that it gave $100,000 to the Project on Fair Representation, representing roughly a third of the group’s total revenue that year.

Funding from DonorsTrust has also gone to Students for Fair Admissions, the plaintiffs in a potentially consequential Supreme Court case which could end affirmative action in college admissions. The group received $1.5 million in 2018. The following year, Students for Fair Admissions took in $250,000 from DonorsTrust. 

Climate Change Denialism

DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund have played a significant role in the climate denial movement. The American sociologist Robert Brulle found that in 2010, DonorsTrust provided 24% of the total funding of over 100 conservative groups that promoted climate science denialism. In Brulle’s updated 2021 analysis covering the period between 2003 to 2018, DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund still ranked among the most significant funders of the movement disrupting action on climate change. Other funders included the Scaife Family Foundations, the Searle Freedom Trust, the Devos Family Foundations, the John Templeton Foundation, and the Charles Koch Institute and Foundation.


DonorsTrust’s Growth and Resilience Project promoted libertarian economics in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project sought to ensure “the American citizen sees government intrusion into our lives and livelihoods as counterproductive and harmful.” They accomplished this by funding organizations and networks like the Franklin News Foundation, Free the People, and the State Policy Network.

Partisan Misinformation

DonorsTrust has funded Project Veritas, the right-wing organization which mounts espionage-style video stings and spreads misinformation. In 2020, DonorsTrust facilitated a donation of more than $1 million to Project Veritas. 

Anti-Labor Groups

DonorsTrust and Capital Fund have financed anti-labor organizations, like the Employment Policies Institute, which ran a national fight against raising the minimum wage and enacting paid sick leave. In 2020, DonorsTrust gave $25,500 to the Employment Policies Institute.

White Supremacist, Hate, And Anti-Muslim Groups

In 2021, The Daily Beast reported that DonorsTrust gave more than $2 million to white supremacist groups the previous year. One of these organizations, the VDARE Foundation, received $70,000 in 2020 and $1.3 million in 2019 from DonorsTrust. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, VDARE “has long served as a bridge between more mainstream anti-immigrant groups and the white nationalist fringe.”

DonorsTrust gave an additional $1.3 million to Young Americans for Liberty and another $600,000 to the New Century Foundation, both groups with connections to white supremacists and white nationalist organizations.

From 2014 to 2018, DonorsTrust and Capital Fund gave more than $2.7 million to Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate groups, including anti-LGBTQ groups Alliance Defending Freedom and the Pacific Justice Initiative.

Anti-Muslim groups such as the Center for Security Policy and the David Horowitz Freedom Center have received millions from the Donors Family since 2014.

Groups associated with the conservative activist Leonard Leo have been major beneficiaries of DonorsTrust and Capital Fund. Leo is widely known for being a confidant to former President Trump and served as Trump’s Supreme Court Advisor during the nominations of Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Through his efforts as vice president of the Federalist Society, Leo aided the conservative movement in securing an ideological majority on the Supreme Court, leading to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the expansion of gun rights, and the restriction of environmental protections.

Since 2005, Leo has operated a growing “network of interlocking nonprofits” that aggressively support conservative judges and champion right-wing causes through “dark money” media campaigns. Several have received financing from DonorsTrust.

The 85 Fund

The 85 Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization that is closely connected to Leonard Leo. In 2020, Leo announced his plans to rebrand the Judicial Education Fund as the 85 Fund, with the goal of funneling large sums of money into conservative causes. After legally changing its name from the Judicial Education Project, the 85 Fund’s fundraising skyrocketed to over $50 million, up from an average of $5-15 million in years prior. More than $20 million of the group’s 2020 revenue came from DonorsTrust.

The 85 Fund is the parent organization of several “fictitious” entities that operate under the 85 Fund banner, including the Honest Elections Project. Prior to the 2020 election, HEP spread disinformation and made unfounded allegations the Democrats were “cheating” and pushed for voter roll purges. HEP spent $250,000 on ads against mail-in voting, calling the practice a “brazen attempt to manipulate the election system for partisan advantage.”

HEP also sent letters and threatened to sue Colorado, Florida, and Michigan over what they called “suspiciously high” voter rolls.

HEP Executive Director Jason Snead hosted a webinar for the State Policy Network ahead of the 2020 election on “voter fraud messaging.” As the group’s spokesperson, Snead has penned op-eds and spoken on behalf of the organization.

Since the 2020 election, the organization has advocated for laws to roll back policies designed to expand voting access.

The group also filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in Moore v. Harper (2022), a controversial and potentially consequential case which could result in pervasive partisan gerrymandering.

Marble Freedom Trust

A 2020 tax filing for Leonard Leo’s 501(c)(4) organization Marble Freedom Trust showed that the organization contributed $41.1 million to DonorsTrust that year. 

Leo is the chairman of Marble Freedom Trust, a nonprofit formed in 2020 that received a $1.6 billion contribution in 2021 from electronics manufacturing mogul and conservative mega donor Barre Seid. The unprecedented single-gift contribution was likely the largest donation of its kind to a politically oriented nonprofit in American history. According to an analysis by The New York Times, it is “more than the total of $1.5 billion spent in 2020 by 15 of the most politically active non-profit organizations that generally align with Democrats.” 

The $41.4 million contribution to DonorsTrust was part of over $200 million that Marble Freedom Trust donated to other Leo-linked organizations and a separate charitable fund in 2020.

Federalist Society

DonorsTrust has facilitated donations to the Federalist Society, the United States’ most prominent law association for conservatives. Leo has been involved in the society since the early nineties and currently serves as its co-chairman.

In 2019, the year before Leo assumed the co-chair position, the Federalist Society received $7 million from DonorsTrust, up from $5.9 million the year prior.

DonorsTrust’s grantmaking in 2021 totaled $187,697,675 according to its annual information return for that year. Of this total, more than $128 million went to right-wing think tanks, libertarian organizations, Leonard Leo-connected groups, conservative religious groups, and other right-of-center organizations.

Recipient Sum of amount of cash grant
The 85 Fund $17,100,000.00
State Policy Network $9,034,775.00
Consumers’ Research, Inc. $5,984,000.00
Constitutional Defense Fund $3,770,000.00
Americans for Public Trust $3,765,500.00
Federalist Society $3,688,800.00
Teneo Network Inc. $3,048,580.00
Lucy Burns Institute $3,048,100.00
Mackinac Center for Public Policy $2,843,750.00
Human Rights Foundation $2,799,000.00
Certell, Inc. $2,710,000.00
Foundation for Government Accountability $2,681,100.00
Middle East Forum $2,495,500.00
CERGE-EI Foundation $2,250,000.00
Real Clear Foundation $2,230,000.00
Discovery Institute $1,503,000.00
Fair Lines America Foundation $1,400,000.00
Center for Common Sense in Science $1,400,000.00
Emergent Order Foundation $1,385,000.00
Institute for Justice $1,338,450.00
Conservative Partnership Institute $1,312,250.00
Economic Fundamentals Initiative $1,250,000.00
Philanthropy Roundtable $1,223,000.00
Franklin News Foundation $1,220,000.00
People United for Privacy Foundation $1,200,000.00
Project Veritas $1,186,872.00
Wyoming Liberty Group $1,160,000.00
FreedomWorks Foundation $1,147,600.00
FDRLST Media Foundation $1,125,500.00
New Civil Liberties Alliance $1,005,500.00
Government Accountability Institute $1,000,000.00
America’s Future Inc. $1,000,000.00
Independent Institute $952,600.00
Heartland Institute $934,500.00
Institute for Free Speech $898,000.00
Job Creators Network Foundation $826,000.00
Competitive Enterprise Institute $815,550.00
American Private Radio $804,986.00
Center for Organizational Research and Education $800,000.00
Center for American Greatness $751,000.00
Inference: The International Review of Science $750,000.00
Committee to Unleash Prosperity $745,000.00
Turning Point USA $708,950.00
Ethics & Public Policy Center $700,637.00
PSSI Washington $700,000.00
Free To Choose Network $680,000.00
Young Americans for Liberty Foundation $662,475.00
Atlas Economic Research Foundation $572,200.00
Fund for American Studies $564,500.00
Project on Fair Representation $557,000.00
Stand Together $556,500.00
Hoover Institution at Stanford University $537,000.00
National Review Institute $535,700.00
Institute on Religion & Democracy $525,000.00
Texas Public Policy Foundation $493,153.00
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education $486,250.00
Freedom Foundation of America $477,500.00
Energy & Environment Legal Institute $470,000.00
America’s Future Foundation $469,350.00
Capital Research Center $455,750.00
Prager University Foundation $454,250.00
Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust $450,000.00
Center for Independent Thought $411,500.00
Cato Institute $411,300.00
Daily Caller News Foundation $400,000.00
Institute of World Politics $400,000.00
Club for Growth Foundation  $400,000.00
Tea Party Patriots Foundation $387,500.00
Heritage Foundation $360,778.00
Center for Race and Opportunity $351,100.00
Conservative Agenda Project $339,000.00
Yankee Institute $336,500.00
Legacy Foundation $330,000.00
Market Research Foundation $325,000.00
Center for the New American Frontier $320,000.00
American Spectator Foundation $305,100.00
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii $295,805.00
Foundation for Economic Education $295,323.00
Students for Liberty $292,100.00
Goldwater Institute $290,120.00
Center for Urban Renewal and Education $281,000.00
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research $270,500.00
Leadership Institute $258,660.00
Think Freely Media, Inc. $254,000.00
Children’s Scholarship Fund $252,500.00
Thomas More Society $250,500.00
True the Vote $250,200.00
Judicial Education Institute $250,000.00
The American Cause $250,000.00
Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine $250,000.00
Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute $250,000.00
Edmund Burke Foundation $250,000.00
Center for Law and Policy $250,000.00
Public Interest Legal Foundation $250,000.00
Empire Center for Public Policy, Inc. $231,500.00
Beacon Center of Tennessee $230,450.00
Security Research Associates, Inc. $225,000.00
CO2 Coalition $200,000.00
Fund for Constitutional Government $200,000.00
Foundation for Cultural Review $200,000.00
Reclaim New York $200,000.00
Leverage Research Inc. $200,000.00
James Madison Institute for Public Policy $195,200.00
American Legislative Exchange Council $191,600.00
Institute for Reforming Government $187,750.00
Institute for Humane Studies $183,450.00
Americans for Fair Treatment $180,000.00
Middle East Media Research Institute, Inc. $180,000.00
Garden State Initiative $171,500.00
Mercatus Center at GMU $169,750.00
Forge Leadership Network $158,550.00
Mountain States Legal Foundation $158,350.00
Pacific Legal Foundation $152,000.00
Woodson Center $150,000.00
First Freedoms Foundation, Inc. $150,000.00
American Moment $150,000.00
Foresight Institute $150,000.00
Independent Women’s Forum $146,250.00
Freedom Foundation of MN $142,000.00
Unconstrained Analytics $140,000.00
Center for Freedom and Safety $140,000.00
The Frontier Institute $139,000.00
Media Research Center $137,825.00
Reason Foundation $134,650.00
Becket Fund for Religious Liberty $132,200.00
The Policy Circle $125,000.00
Classroom, Inc. $125,000.00
Claremont Institute $120,500.00
Battlefront (American Studio) $120,000.00
Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty $115,300.00
National Center for Public Policy Research, Inc. $112,250.00
David Horowitz Freedom Center $110,400.00
The American Friends of the GWPF, Inc. $106,000.00
Student Free Press Association $105,150.00
NumbersUSA Education & Research Foundation $104,600.00
Georgia Center for Opportunity $100,924.00
Second Amendment Foundation $100,120.00
American Public Servants Charitable Foundation $100,000.00
Immigration Reform Law Institute $100,000.00
Keepers of Liberty $100,000.00
Gatestone Institute $100,000.00
Citizens for Self-Governance $100,000.00
Rule of Law Endowment $100,000.00
Doe Fund $100,000.00
Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation $98,131.00
Young America’s Foundation $90,550.00
HERO, Inc. $90,000.00
Lexington Institute $86,000.00
Foundation for the American Republic $85,000.00
Crime Prevention Research Center $85,000.00
Americans for Prosperity Foundation $76,100.00
Leadership Program of the Rockies $76,000.00
Cherish Freedom Foundation $75,000.00
South Carolina Policy Council $75,000.00
Libertas Institute $74,000.00
Pelican Institute for Public Policy $72,500.00
Bill of Rights Institute $67,100.00
Judicial Watch $65,600.00
Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives $63,500.00
Lincoln Club Institute $62,500.00
Pacific Research Institute $61,000.00
Archbridge Institute $56,007.00
Students for Life of America $55,000.00
Georgia Public Policy Foundation $52,000.00
Louisiana Swamp Watch $51,000.00
Employment Policies Institute Foundation $50,500.00
Network of Enlightened Women $50,250.00
California Policy Center $47,500.00
National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc. $45,600.00
Kansas Policy Institute $45,000.00
E Pluribus Unum Films  $45,000.00
Intercollegiate Studies Institute $44,053.00
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs $42,500.00
John Locke Foundation $42,250.00
Independence Institute $41,000.00
No Left Turn In Education $40,000.00
Washington Policy Center $39,000.00
Taxpayer Foundation of Oregon $38,500.00
Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research $36,000.00
Western Liberty Network $36,000.00
Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research $35,000.00
National Legal & Policy Center $33,500.00
VDARE Foundation $33,000.00
Platte Institute for Economic Research $31,500.00
Center for American Liberty $31,100.00
The Epoch Times Association $31,000.00
Hillsdale College $30,060.00
International Policy Network US, Inc. $30,000.00
Foundation for Self Government $30,000.00
Free Speech Foundation $30,000.00
Center for Individual Rights $29,200.00
Free the People Fight the Power Foundation $29,100.00
EdChoice, Inc. $28,350.00
First Liberty Institute $25,500.00
Legal Insurrection Foundation $25,000.00
60 Plus Foundation $25,000.00
American Principles Project Foundation $25,000.00
Santa Fe Institute $25,000.00
Young Voices $23,650.00
Illinois Policy Institute $23,600.00
Center of the American Experiment $23,500.00
Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) $22,500.00
Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy $22,500.00
Maine Heritage Policy Center $22,500.00
Gary Sinise Foundation $21,100.00
Americans for Tax Reform Foundation (Now: Tholos Foundation) $21,100.00
Accuracy in Media $21,000.00
Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Inc. $20,500.00
Commentary, Inc. $20,300.00
Liberty Justice Center $20,250.00
Parents Defending Education $20,250.00
Center for Immigration Studies $20,000.00
Students for Concealed Carry Foundation $20,000.00
Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research $20,000.00
Lindell Recovery Network $20,000.00
Rights Watch International $20,000.00
Nevada Policy Research Institute $20,000.00
Palmetto Promise Institute $20,000.00
Heterodox Academy $17,100.00
National Taxpayers Union Foundation $16,250.00
Council for National Policy $15,000.00
Informed Consent Action Network $15,000.00
Virginia Institute for Public Policy $15,000.00
One Montana $15,000.00
National Association of Scholars $12,360.00
Copenhagen Consensus Center $10,000.00
Center for Christian Virtue $10,000.00
Thomas More Law Center $10,000.00
Center for Innovative Governance Research $7,000.00
William F. Buckley, Jr. Program $7,000.00
The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity $6,750.00
Charlemagne Institute $6,750.00
Tax Foundation $6,650.00
Instituto de Libertad Econmica para Puerto Rico $6,550.00
Mississippi Center for Public Policy $6,500.00
Citizens Against Government Waste $6,100.00
Show-Me Institute $6,000.00
Sutherland Institute $5,500.00
Rio Grande Foundation $5,100.00
Options 360 Women’s Clinic $5,036.00
Grand Total 128,151,730.00

In 2020, DonorsTrust reported that it distributed $182,504,130 in donor-advised grants to domestic organizations. Of these, roughly $130.6 million went to conservative nonprofits, right-of-center educational institutions, second amendment groups, anti-choice organizations, media outlets, think tanks, and other right-wing activist networks.

Recipient Sum of amount of cash grant
The 85 Fund 48,712,856.00
State Policy Network 8,304,550.00
Propter Strategies 5,000,000.00
Constitutional Defense Fund 4,355,000.00
Lucy Burns Institute 2,820,050.00
Hillsdale College 2,510,280.00
Institute for Justice 2,228,900.00
Thomas More Society 2,010,000.00
Middle East Forum 1,817,000.00
Discovery Institute 1,750,000.00
Government Accountability Institute 1,575,000.00
Wyoming Liberty Group 1,455,000.00
Fair Lines America Foundation 1,425,000.00
Young Americans for Liberty Foundation 1,421,500.00
Metric Media Foundation 1,270,000.00
American Council of Trustees and Alumni 1,264,650.00
America’s Future Foundation 1,252,950.00
Franklin News Foundation 1,116,000.00
Center for Security Policy 1,102,519.00
FreedomWorks Foundation 1,100,700.00
Acton Institute 1,071,500.00
Project Veritas 1,003,050.00
Reclaim New York 1,000,000.00
Americans for Public Trust 900,000.00
Independent Women’s Forum 862,500.00
Center for American Greatness 860,000.00
American Enterprise Institute 843,100.00
Club for Growth Foundation 839,000.00
Consumers’ Research, Inc. 775,000.00
Federalist Society 752,700.00
Real Clear Foundation 750,000.00
Philanthropy Roundtable 699,900.00
Goldwater Institute 690,750.00
Americans for Prosperity Foundation 661,300.00
Atlas Economic Research Foundation 656,700.00
Fund for American Studies 639,200.00
Media Research Center 617,900.00
Foundation for Government Accountability 600,500.00
New Century Foundation 600,000.00
American Transparency 586,500.00
The Patriots Foundation 584,000.00
Turning Point USA 580,300.00
Freedom Foundation of America 575,000.00
Heartland Institute 564,000.00
Center for Independent Thought 560,000.00
Center for the New American Frontier 544,500.00
Conservative Partnership Institute 542,500.00
Hoover Institution-Stanford University 540,800.00
American Private Radio 530,000.00
Inference: The International Review of Science 525,000.00
National Review Institute 497,700.00
Mackinac Center for Public Policy 453,250.00
Job Creators Network Foundation 450,000.00
Becket Fund for Religious Liberty 448,500.00
Cato Institute 424,900.00
Independent Institute 409,500.00
Institute for Free Speech 408,650.00
Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide & Global Change 400,000.00
National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc. 383,100.00
Institute for Humane Studies 381,700.00
American Spectator Foundation 375,000.00
Competitive Enterprise Institute 369,750.00
Capital Research Center 363,450.00
American Legislative Exchange Council 362,100.00
American Juris Link 361,000.00
Lincoln Network, Inc. 360,100.00
Judicial Watch 350,300.00
Institute on Religion & Democracy 350,000.00
Heritage Foundation 333,020.00
Yankee Institute 330,700.00
Prager University Foundation 313,000.00
Conservative Agenda Project 297,000.00
Foundation for Economic Education 287,200.00
Beacon Center of Tennessee 278,050.00
Students for Liberty 276,500.00
Council for National Policy 265,000.00
Tea Party Patriots Foundation 250,000.00
Witherspoon Institute 250,000.00
FDRLST Media Foundation 250,000.00
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research 238,500.00
Hudson Institute 225,000.00
Mercatus Center, GMU 219,400.00
Foundation for Cultural Review 210,000.00
American Principles Project Foundation 200,000.00
David Horowitz Freedom Center 196,200.00
Pelican Institute for Public Policy 191,000.00
Rights Watch International 170,000.00
Middle East Media Research Institute, Inc. 170,000.00
Claremont Institute 156,500.00
Mountain States Legal Foundation 151,850.00
Advocates for Self-Government 150,000.00
The Fairness Center 150,000.00
International Policy Network US, Inc. 148,000.00
National Legal & Policy Center 130,300.00
California Policy Center 130,000.00
Energy & Environment Legal Institute 125,000.00
The Policy Circle 125,000.00
John Locke Foundation 120,350.00
Student Free Press Association 120,150.00
Americans for Fair Treatment 120,000.00
Empower Mississippi Foundation 119,500.00
Texas Public Policy Foundation 101,500.00
Second Amendment Foundation 100,500.00
Ladies of Liberty Alliance 100,000.00
Gatestone Institute 100,000.00
Washington Policy Center 100,000.00
Alaska Policy Forum 92,750.00
Georgia Center for Opportunity 92,500.00
People United for Privacy Foundation 90,000.00
Pacific Legal Foundation 88,750.00
Institute for Reforming Government 80,000.00
VDARE Foundation 75,000.00
Pacific Justice Institute 74,396.00
Kansas Policy Institute 73,557.00
Georgia Public Policy Foundation 72,500.00
Accuracy in Media 67,600.00
Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research 66,000.00
Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives 65,000.00
American Conservative Union Foundation 64,000.00
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) 61,650.00
Tax Foundation 57,450.00
Students for Life of America 55,000.00
Libertas Institute 55,000.00
American Constitutional Rights Union 50,300.00
Institute for Energy Research 50,200.00
Shriners Hospitals for Children 50,100.00
Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation 50,000.00
Archbridge Institute 50,000.00
Center for Union Facts 50,000.00
American Commitment Foundation 50,000.00
New Civil Liberties Alliance 50,000.00
Association of American Educators Foundation 49,500.00
Project on Fair Representation 49,000.00
Illinois Policy Institute 48,200.00
Empire Center for Public Policy, Inc. 47,000.00
Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy 46,500.00
Bill of Rights Institute 46,400.00
National Taxpayers Union Foundation 43,450.00
Platte Institute for Economic Research 41,500.00
Pacific Research Institute 40,000.00
Freedom Foundation 38,500.00
Idaho Freedom Foundation 38,000.00
Maine Heritage Policy Center 37,000.00
Leadership Institute 34,680.00
Citizens for Self-Governance 33,000.00
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii 31,857.00
American Institute for Economic Research 30,100.00
Employment Policies Institute Foundation 25,500.00
Garden State Initiative 25,200.00
Stand Together 25,000.00
Independence Institute 24,500.00
Nevada Policy Research Institute 22,500.00
Students for Concealed Carry Foundation 20,000.00
Berkshire School 20,000.00
Sutherland Institute 19,000.00
Center of the American Experiment 18,000.00
Liberty Justice Center 18,000.00
Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty 17,000.00
John W. Pope Civitas Institute 17,000.00
Intercollegiate Studies Institute 15,900.00
Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Inc. 15,500.00
Freedom Alliance 15,500.00
National Association of Scholars 15,360.00
Western Liberty Network 15,000.00
Maryland Public Policy Institute 15,000.00
Alliance for Decision Education 15,000.00
Lexington Institute 13,000.00
Buckeye Institute 11,700.00
Show-Me Institute 11,500.00
Family Research Council 11,100.00
Objectivist Center (Atlas Society) 11,100.00
Young America’s Foundation 10,900.00
National Center for Public Policy Research, Inc. 10,250.00
Heterodox Academy 10,100.00
Zionist Organization of America 10,100.00
Copenhagen Consensus Center 10,000.00
Metanexus Institute 10,000.00
For Kids and Country 10,000.00
Sex Workers Outreach Project 10,000.00
Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research 10,000.00
Lincoln Club Institute 10,000.00
Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity 8,500.00
Young Voices 8,450.00
NRA Foundation, Inc. 7,000.00
Citizens Against Government Waste 6,600.00
Thomas Jefferson Institute 6,600.00
Competitive Enterprise Institute 3,000.00
Grand Total 130,641,175.00

Donors Capital Fund distributed $927,625 in grants during 2021. Of that total, more than $454,000 went to right-wing think tanks, conservative organizations, and right-of-center educational institutions.

Recipient Sum of amount of cash grant
Cato Institute $205,000.00
California Policy Center $100,000.00
MikeroweWORKS Foundation $100,000.00
Freedom Foundation $28,000.00
Hillsdale College $17,100.00
Educational Research Analysts $4,275.00
Grand Total $454,375.00

Donors Capital Fund reported distributing $5,719,625 in donors-advised grants in 2020. More than $5.5 million went to DonorsTrust, far-right organizations, conservative think tanks, and other right-wing groups.

Recipient Sum of amount of cash grant
DonorsTrust 4,000,000.00
Cato Institute 315,000.00
Mercatus Center, GMU 250,000.00
Capital Research Center 100,000.00
Leadership Institute 100,000.00
Pacific Legal Foundation 100,000.00
Young America’s Foundation 90,000.00
Institute for Justice 60,000.00
Atlas Economic Research Foundation 50,000.00
National Center for Public Policy Research, Inc. 50,000.00
State Policy Network 50,000.00
Institute for Humane Studies 50,000.00
Heritage Foundation 50,000.00
Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute 40,000.00
National Legal & Policy Center 40,000.00
Claremont Institute 40,000.00
Washington Legal Foundation 40,000.00
Bill of Rights Institute 30,000.00
American Enterprise Institute 30,000.00
Center for Individual Rights 20,000.00
Freedom Foundation 20,000.00
American Stewards of Liberty 10,000.00
Grand Total 5,535,000.00

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