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Funding Hate: A Philanthropist’s Guide to Prevention

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 -
10:00am to 11:30am PST
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Philanthropy supports community and policy partners to change hearts and minds and improve quality of life. The solutions funded can be as diverse as the people innovating them, so a critical step in grantmaking is gaining an understanding of the values and belief systems driving an organization’s work.
In a world where a nonprofit “elevator pitch” has become as honed as a startup, due diligence must go beyond verifying tax status to include scrutiny, policies and procedures that screen out hate groups. In particular, we must understand how white nationalist ideology paints itself in terms of freedom and prosperity while, in fact, undermining democratic institutions. This was made clear in a major new report highlighting over a billion dollars in philanthropic funding fueling a bigoted, hate-driven agenda.

In most instances, the mission of foundations and donors expressly commits them to advance public good and funding to hate-based organizations contradicts their purpose. So, what happened and how can we prevent it in the future?

With such diverse structures as private foundations, donor-advised funds, and family foundations, whose responsibility is it to look into these questions and how do we make it practical through guidance, policies, and procedures?

In this program, we will hear from key players across a variety of philanthropic and community perspectives who have contributed to the thinking about what philanthropy is called upon to do – and how to do it.


Eric Ward, Executive Director, Western States Center

Eric Ward was appointed the executive director of Western States Center in October 2017.  The Western States Center is a research, organizing, training, and civic engagement hub for grassroots leaders from diverse communities in the United States’ Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West regions. Before joining the center, Ward served as a program officer at the Ford Foundation and as a program executive at the Atlantic Philanthropies. A published author and oft-cited public speaker, Ward is a Southern Poverty Law Center Fellow and the recipient of the Peabody-Facebook Futures Media Award, Arab American Association of New York Community Impact Award, and Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award. Eric is an awardee of the 2018 Soros New Executive Fund.

James Head, President and Chief Executive Officer, East Bay Community Foundation, incoming chair League of California Community Foundations

James W. Head is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the East Bay Community Foundation. Before coming to the Foundation in 2014, he served for 10 years as Vice President for Programs at The San Francisco Foundation, where he spearheaded initiatives on race, equity, poverty, housing, economic development, and youth development.

James has more than 30 years of experience in philanthropy, nonprofit management and technical assistance; community and economic development; and public interest and civil rights law. Prior to joining The San Francisco Foundation, he was president of the National Economic Development and Law Center for 18 years.

Additionally, he served as legal counsel of the California Community Economic Development Association and has been a member of numerous foundation advisory boards, including the Open Society Foundation of New York and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation of Michigan. James served as a Commissioner on the Port Authority of Oakland from 2008 through 2015; leading the Commission as President from 2010 – 2011.

James holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia School of Law. He has been an adjunct professor at University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law, University of California at San Francisco’s Hastings School of Law, and University of Santa Clara’s School of Law.

Anna Fink, Executive Director, Amalgamated Bank, lead of Hate is Not Charitable campaign

Anna Fink is Executive Director of the Amalgamated Foundation, where she leads the foundation’s grant-making and donor-advised fund services. Anna began her career as an organizer and has 20 years of experience in public policy advocacy and philanthropy. She has developed and led major philanthropic efforts focused on women, immigrants’ rights and democracy and justice. She served as a senior advisor on innovation and philanthropy to the president of the AFL-CIO, and has built collaborative funding efforts supporting social justice and workers rights. Anna was a trustee of the Berger-Marks Foundation and currently serves on the boards of the National Employment Law Project, The Workers Lab and New Media Ventures.  She was named a 2019 Philanthropy Forward fellow by the Aspen Institute and Neighborhood Funders Group.

Zainab Arain, Research and Advocacy Manager, Council on American Islamic Relations

Zainab Arain is the Research and Advocacy Manager at CAIR. She has more than half a decade of research and communications experience. Zainab has appeared in ProPublica, HuffPost, The Congressional Quarterly, BBC Urdu, the New York Times, CNN, Voice of America, and Buzzfeed News, among others. Her expertise lies in qualitative and quantitative research on American Muslims and Islamophobia in the U.S. and she has published four research and data-driven reports on American Muslims. Her most recent work, "Hijacked by Hate" maps the flow of funding from charitable organizations to anti-Muslim special interest groups and their negative impact on public life. Zainab received her master's from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in Islamic Studies. Prior to this, she received her BA in Communication Studies from UCLA and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Abbas Barzegar, National Director of Research and Advocacy, Council on American Islamic Relations

Abbas Barzegar, Ph.D. is a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University’s Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, a non-resident fellow at George Mason's Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, and a term-member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves full time as the National Director of Research and Advocacy at the Council on American Relations (CAIR). He has years of applied research experience covering the cultural history, social innovation, and conflict transformation strategies of transnational Muslim civil society actors in North America, Europe, and the MENA region. Recent projects he has led include the European Union funded "Bridging Transatlantic Voices" initiative at the British Council USA, the digital archive, "After Malcolm" at George Mason, and the Hijacked by Hate study on US philanthropy and anti-Muslim special interest groups. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, he is the co-author of Islamism: Contested Perspectives on Political Islam (Stanford, 2009). His work has been supported by The European Union, The British Council, The US Institute of Peace (USIP), the Mellon Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). His commentary and analysis can be found in a variety of print and broadcast media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, The Guardian, The Hill, The Huffington Post, and Aljazeera. Email:

Target Audience 

This event is open to member and nonmember funders.