Tax Forms Show Invisible Children Funded by Antigay, Creationist Christian Right
More to come, but IC might not be who you think they are. We’ve seen this before - a noble cause subverted and rebranded to raise funds for groups that people would normally shun.
Since it came into existence in 1982, cooked up by canny tax lawyers, the National Christian Foundation—covered in a story by journalist Michael Reynolds published in the December 2005 issue of Mother Jones (extended version of story available here)— has swollen into a financial behemoth that disperses over 1/2 a billion dollars a year to Christian charities. But not just any Christian charities.
The NCF, which counts billionaire, controversial Rick Santorum-backer Foster Friess among its donors, funds nonprofits that advance its agenda which, as stated on the NCF website, is to “enable followers of Christ to give wisely to advance His Kingdom”.
(Joining with Foster Friess, as one of the top 2 donors to Rick Santorum’s Red, White, and Blue Fund Super-PAC, was Templeton Foundation head Dr. John Templeton, Jr. - who donated $35,000 to Invisible Children in 2007 according to the group’s 2007 990.)
The National Christian Foundation’s statement of belief is solidly fundamentalist: “We believe that the entire Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God; the only infallible rule of faith and practice.” Also stated on NCF’s website:
“Our board members know they are charged with a great responsibility. Their goal is to make certain every dollar that comes to us is ultimately distributed according to our Christian mission”
2008 wasn’t the first year Invisible Children benefited from National Christian Foundation largesse - IC’s 2007 990 tax form lists three grants, totaling $350,000, from NCF subsidiary the ProVision Foundation (which is also specifically thanked in IC’s 2007 and 2008 annual reports).
Invisible Children’s first filed 990 tax form, for the calender year running from mid 2005 to mid 2006, listed a $30,000 cash donation, IC’s biggest cash gift that year, from another fundamentalist granting organization, based in Colorado Springs, called the Christian Community Foundation, Inc. (also known as “Waterstone”)
In 2009, CCF assets surpassed $138,000,000 and the foundation made over $20,000,000 in grants, including $365,000 to the Family Research Council and $297,000 to Focus on The Family, as well as small grants to Answers in Genesis and the Fellowship Foundation.