August 14, 2022

Members of the National Guard walk at the Capitol in Washington, USA on January 15, 2021.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

A nonprofit affiliated with Amalgamated Bank is launching a new fund to raise funds from companies that stop contributing to the campaign after the Capitol Hill uprising.

The Amalgamated Charitable Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) that describes itself as impartial, is driving a new fund called the Democracy Reinvestment Fund. The details of the new effort were first shared with CNBC. The fund is focused on recruiting companies that have begun reevaluating their future campaign donations after the January uprising on Capitol Hill that killed five people, including a police officer.

The new fund will seek to raise corporate donations and use that money to fund other nonprofits, Anna Fink, executive director of the foundation, told CNBC. She found that in 2020 more than $ 360 million in direct corporate contributions were made to House candidates.

“If we can do even a fraction of it [more than $360 million] To strengthen our democracy, the effects would be enormous, “said Fink in an interview on Monday. The president of the foundation is Keith Mestrich, who recently left the bank as chief executive officer.

“”The fund will serve as a collective platform for companies willing to take a bold position at this crucial moment in our nation’s history and invest directly in strengthening reflective democracy, “the group’s proposal reads.

The foundation’s website promotes various links with the bank. “In coordination with Amalgamated Bank, we are developing a robust and diverse approach to impact investing, including donor-initiated opportunities and unique programs that are tied to the bank’s investment portfolio,” the website states.

Although Fink didn’t say which companies the fund should target, a group of companies decided to stop contributing to House and Senate lawmakers who, even after the deadly uprising, questioned the election results and confirmed Joe Biden as president. Companies that are pausing contributions to these Republican lawmakers include AT&T, Amazon, Best Buy, Verizon, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Nasdaq.

There are other companies that have said they are reassessing their overall post-insurrection contributions to Democrats and Republicans.

Some of the Amalgamated Foundation’s allies hailed the development of the new Democracy Reinvestment Fund.

“The Democracy Reinvestment Fund provides an important tool for companies to invest directly in improving the conditions that are best for both companies and our various communities,” said Sanjiv Rao, director of civic engagement and government at the Ford Foundation , in a statement to CNBC.

“Corporations must be held accountable for their actions, including funding extremist politicians,” said Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change. “The Democracy Reinvestment Fund offers companies a way to protect and preserve democracy without undermining it. The Amalgamated Foundation is the ideal partner to build this bridge between companies and the movement for democracy.”

Although the fund and bank describe themselves as impartial, the Amalgamated Bank has been widely used by democratic campaigns as a seller for their banking needs.

Data from the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics shows that Amalgamated Bank received more than $ 3 million in the 2020 election cycle through predominantly democratic campaigns, including just under $ 100,000 from Biden’s campaign committee.

Unlike other nonprofits, whose similar funds are used to fund external organizations, the Amalgamated Charitable Foundation discloses its donors.

The most recent disclosure report from 990 to CNBC shows that the foundation raised more than $ 22 million in 2019, more than four times the amount it raised the previous year. Donors in 2019 include $ 700,000 from a foundation founded by billionaire George Soros and $ 500,000 from the son of billionaire Gregory Soros. The Amalgamated Bank itself gave more than $ 1 million.

The disclosure report shows that in 2019 the foundation granted grants of more than $ 9 million to dozens of groups such as the Alliance for Global Justice and the GroundTruth project.