Activist Coalition Goes After Charitable Fund Organization

A new group is going after a charitable fund organization, or at the very least, trying to potentially expose certain donors, complicating the privacy issues concerning charitable giving. 

“Unmasking Fidelity” is a coalition of activists that have joined together to apply pressure to another organization called “Fidelity Charitable” (FC). Fidelity Charitable is a 501(c)(3) organization associated with Fidelity the investment firm, and it streamlines charitable giving, primarily for investors who use the Fidelity Investments platform.

Investors are able to set up a charitable giving account and manage it in conjunction with their other investments. Fidelity Charitable is the top grant maker in the country and gave out $9.1 billion to charities in 2020.

Activist coalition “Unmasking Fidelity” has issued a list of demands. Among other items, they’ve asked FC to publicly disclose all contributions, and fees related to those contributions, over the last five years, relating to ten specific organizations. Exposing those contributions would potentially expose the donation activity of private individuals.

Unmasking Fidelity is mostly going after conservative organizations. The activists claim certain groups promote “rhetoric and policies that enable white supremacist and fascist violence.”

One organization on the list is Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal fund that focuses on religious liberty, and partnered with The Daily Wire in its lawsuit against the Biden administration over the employer vaccine mandate. Another is Turning Point USA, which is a campus organization for conservative students. The Family Research Council is also on the list.

The group specifically acknowledges that FC is “cause-neutral” regarding which charities they donate to. They’re calling on FC to change that stance and become more discriminatory, in the name of social responsibility. As of now, FC primarily relies on the IRS to regulate which charitable organizations can receive funds, and they don’t apply any ideological litmus tests. Individuals who use the program freely choose which charities to donate to, as long as they are IRS-approved.

A group of over 1,800 professionals who are connected with Fidelity sent a letter to Fidelity Investments and Fidelity Charitable Leadership, demanding they refuse to give in to the activist pressure. The authors of the letter say it would potentially put individuals in a position to be threatened or doxxed if they are caught donating to a charity that the activists don’t approve of.

Dr. Kevin Roberts is the president of Heritage Foundation, and he signed the letter. Dr. Roberts told The Daily Wire, “What they’re doing is trying to make … transparent … the list of donors that are giving to 10 organizations; and the key thing is if you look at that list of 10 organizations, they’re all organizations who work on issues like the pro-life issue, like the marriage issue.”

The professionals in the letter argue that FC has an opportunity — and responsibility — to stand their ground against these activist demands.

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