An influential “anti-capitalist” charity in Arizona is facing an unclear path forward after a Washington Examiner investigation into its Palestinian terror ties prompted left-wing donors and payment processors to cut ties with the nonprofit group.
The organization, Alliance for Global Justice, has lost the critical ability to accept credit card donations online due to four companies — PayPal, Stripe, Deluxe, and Salsa Labs — all deciding between February and October to kick the organization off their fundraising platforms. Top Democratic-allied grantmakers are vowing to no longer transfer cash into AFGJ’s coffers. Those include New Venture Fund and Windward Fund, two entities managed by Arabella Advisors, the largest liberal dark money network in the United States, and the Ford Foundation.
A source close to the Schmidt Family Foundation, a group steering the wealth of ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife Wendy Schmidt, said the foundation has no plans to keep supporting the Arizona group. Arnold Ventures, a limited liability corporation bankrolled by ex-Enron executive and retired hedge fund manager John Arnold and his wife, former Cobalt International Energy lawyer Laura Arnold, pledged in late October that it won’t steer any more grants to AFGJ.
The developments underscore how the Israel-Gaza conflict is placing heightened pressure on U.S. groups to shake loose affiliations with activist hubs expressing sympathy for Hamas, whose terror attacks on Oct. 7 have since killed over 1,400 people in the Jewish state.
Zachor Legal Institute and the National Legal and Policy Center, two separate watchdog groups, have expressed concerns in the past that AFGJ could be providing material support to terrorism in violation of federal law. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and other members of Congress have also investigated AFGJ’s ties while warning payment processors they may be boosting terror.
Through a process called fiscal sponsorship, Alliance for Global Justice provides services such as donation processing, payroll, human resources, and health insurance for anti-Israel projects, including the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, an Israeli-designated terrorist coalition that has shared staffers with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In recent weeks, Samidoun’s chapters have been organizing Hamas-allied protests. Germany slapped Samidoun recently after its activists were found to be handing out candy to Berlin protesters to celebrate terrorism.
“Accusations of foreign or domestic terrorism are very serious and very difficult for an organization to shake,” Laurie Styron, executive director for the nonpartisan Charity Watch, which rates tax-exempt groups based on their level of public disclosure, told the Washington Examiner.
Styron added that donors “don’t want to be seen as directly or indirectly supporting terrorism if it is later confirmed that a charity they have been funding is engaging in questionable activities.” She did, however, say public scrutiny, like that which AFGJ has received, may result in contributors aligned with the groups being more “energized.”
“Getting the payment processors on board to restrict a charity’s use of their platforms for donation processing is key in situations like this for this reason,” Styron said.
AFGJ says its mission is “to achieve social change and economic justice by helping to build a stronger more unified grassroots movement.” But it increasingly looks like AFGJ could have a particularly difficult time ahead trying to remain financially stable, as the charity resorts to urging the public to mail “tax-deductible paper checks” to an address in Tucson, Arizona, due to AFGJ’s digital fundraising operation being carved out.
“AfGJ cannot currently accept credit donations — and neither can the 140 organizations that rely on us to provide them with fiscal sponsorship, which includes handling their accounting and providing them with nonprofit status,” the charity said earlier this year, slamming the Washington Examiner as a “far-right rag” that is “desperately trying to intimidate and silence us.”
And in late September, AFGJ hosted a press conference with top staffers, noting it is “calling for help with a dangerous attack against the right to organize for justice and address grievances against governments.” The nonprofit group said “accusations” from “right-wing media” led “financial institutions to cancel AFGJ’s contracts for accepting credit card donations for itself and its projects, distributing funds to projects, and carrying on other vital forms of business, without any investigation or due process by the banks.”
“AfGJ and its 140 fiscally-sponsored projects were suddenly de-platformed — blocked – from using these services,” the group said. “Projects that depend upon these tools have seen their payrolls, rent payments, and other critical financial transactions blocked.”
The financial blows come after AFGJ pulled in a staggering $56 million in its fiscal year ending in March 2021 as left-wing donors flocked to support purported “social justice” groups following the death of George Floyd in 2020 and subsequent Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
On its latest tax forms filed in February, AFGJ disclosed pulling in $10.6 million.
Still, it’s not just the Samidoun connection that has alarmed federal lawmakers and watchdog groups. AFGJ has solicited cash for the France-based Collectif Palestine Vaincra, a group that says on its website it is partnered with the PFLP, the Washington Examiner reported. The U.S. government designated the PFLP as a terrorist group in 1997. Collectif Palestine Vaincra is also a member of Samidoun’s coalition, records show.
Because of this fundraising activity, Zachor Legal Institute filed an IRS complaint against AFGJ. “It is clear that Samidoun and CPV are each an alter ego of the designated terror organization PFLP and AFGJ’s activities in support of PFLP violate 501(c)(3) rules on unlawful activity, including violations of 18 USC 2339B, for providing material support to a U.S. designated foreign terror organization,” Zachor said at the time.
While the terror ties have prompted a group of powerful donors to jump ship, many liberal organizations that have in the past given to AFGJ have been silent.
Those include the Tides Foundation and its sister group, the Tides Center, which have handed millions of dollars combined to AFGJ, Raikes Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Borealis Philanthropy, Abigail Disney, and even Vijaya Gadde, an ex-Twitter executive who has come under fire for playing a role in suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story.
The Pittsburgh Foundation, a massive grantmaker formed in 1945, has given more than $100,000 to Alliance for Global Justice, tax forms show.
Doug Root, a spokesman for the Pittsburgh Foundation, told the Washington Examiner it “relies on a range of methods and assessments to determine whether an organization qualifies to receive a grant,” including by referencing charitable monitoring organizations, such as Candid, and the IRS.
“Currently, there is no assessment from any of the sources on which we generally rely that Alliance for Global Justice is operating outside the law or violating the criteria we apply for determining grant worthiness,” Root said. “We will continue to monitor Alliance for Global Justice and all other grant recipients to ensure alignment.”
Major corporations also granted more than $100,000 combined to AFGJ in 2020. This includes CBS Interactive U.S., which is dissolved and now under Paramount Streaming, Pepsi, IAC Holdings, parent company for the Daily Beast and People magazine, Salesforce, and Lyft, tax forms show. Still, none of these groups have said whether they plan to donate to AFGJ again.
“Lyft donated $5k to the Trans Black Travel Fund via the Alliance for Global Justice in 2022,” Eric Smith, a spokesman for Lyft, told the Washington Examiner over email. “More info here on Lyft’s Racial Justice Alliance. These grants are intended for orgs to use around programming that assists their work in the racial justice space.”
But speaking to the Washington Examiner, President Scott Walter of the conservative investigative think tank Capital Research Center said those who have been affiliated with AFGJ should clearly renounce the terror-tied charity.
“The extremists at Alliance for Global Justice have long deserved to be ostracized from civilized society,” Walter, ex-special domestic policy assistant in the George W. Bush White House, said.
Alliance for Global Justice did not reply to requests for comment.