Tagged ‘Non-profit Industrial Complex‘

WATCH: White Saviors and Latin America: Profiting from Humanitarianism


August 22, 2021


“ANTICONQUISTA will discuss the recent news coming out of Latin America. There are few if any media sites that provide an overview of what’s happening in Latin America especially for those of us in the diaspora. The omission and separation of our people from what is happening in the homelands is intentional. It alienates us from our people and from knowing the abuses and exploitation going on day to day. Our new program seeks to provide a roundup of news in Latin America to make those connections between our people. Continue to support ANTICONQUISTA and the work we do on Patreon and our website where we post articles. All of our money raised goes to funding anti-imperialist movements in or allied with Latin America.“.



Raising the Alarm – On the Capitalists Seeking to Profit from the Climate Crisis

Statement from the Wrong Kind of Green Collective


May 10, 2019


Over the past few weeks there has been much discussion among the online community concerning our six-act investigative series “The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg”. Some have continued to question the veracity of the information compiled by Wrong Kind of Green (WKOG).

Our series sought to illustrate how Thunberg’s image is being both propelled and exploited by various entities interested in promoting certain projects and ideas that will benefit their stock portfolios and bank accounts under the guise of “saving the planet”. In this regard, WKOG felt compelled to respond to some of the allegations made about our work, specifically those in a recent article by Media Lens in which our work was presented as playing a prominent part in influencing public opinion alongside those who are trying to disparage Thunberg and her symbolic role at the heart of the youth climate movement.

The fact is that WKOG has never made any claims that Thunberg was knowingly or willingly complicit in the machinations of those who are utilizing her presence as the head of the youth climate movement for their own nefarious ends. As we have no information on which to make such a claim, it would be against journalistic principles for us to express such thoughts. Doing so would simply trivialize our work with baseless claims and false allegations.

Instead, WKOG merely presented the facts regarding Thunberg’s associations. Thunberg could be a mere dupe in these relationships, but there is no refuting the key points which reveal that these relationships do actually exist and are not figments of the imagination, or conspiracy theories. Ultimately, Thunberg has entered into an alliance with people and organisations who have ulterior motives.

The current mass mobilization of the youth and the “green movement” is being sensationalized and exploited. This has been described by members of the elite and organizers as the “herding of cats”. Their objective – the furthering of the goals and dominance of the ruling class. By any unbiased analysis of the information provided in the series, the primary concern is in securing the economy and financial system, with saving the planet via a benign capitalism, a mere afterthought. This can best be described as the equivalent of the old idiom in trying to “have your cake and eat it too”.

On a deeper note, as much of the online conversation resides around a critique of our motivation for publishing the series, WKOG must ask what is the motivation of those promoting the Green New Deal. Is the Green New Deal inclusive to peoples in the Global South who bear the brunt of Western carbon emissions? Are they to have the middle class lifestyles we hold as sacrosanct and proof of our social and cultural superiority? Will this Green New Deal bring modernization to the rest of the world when said modernization is still dependent on infrastructure built by fossil fuels, such as roads, houses, cars and manufactured goods. How is this going to benefit the victims?

As no one in the mainstream is asking pointed questions such as these, evidenced by the lack of any mention as to how this will serve the interests of the non-Western world, the Green New Deal is simply a means of maintaining the status quo from a material aspect between those in the Global North and its marginalized counterparts in the Global South.

This all being portrayed as some sort of altruistic answer which allows us to continue our resource-intensive lifestyles under the pretense that we can solve the carbon emissions issue at the root of this problem. This bears no semblance whatsoever to our biophysical realities, nor our planetary boundaries.

In merely attempting to address these broad questions by placing microscopic focus on the connections between Thunberg and the major players behind the Green New Deal, the financialization of nature, and other supposed benign technocratic instruments, WKOG takes umbrage at the casting of aspersions against our character and integrity, in particular when it comes to our group being a part of the climate denial trope that is a major part of the mainstream Western world. As WKOG outlined in the series, the panacea of green technology is a ruse to enrich a new section of oligarchs trying to join the other robber barons who have comprised the upper class of the capitalist system since its inception. WKOG has laid out in painstaking detail the stakeholders behind the financial instruments who are investing in ‘clean’ renewable energy which is supposedly going to address the global environmental problem worsening with each passing day.

In shining a light on all this, we are in no way doing the work of those who are climate deniers. As we have no control over what entities use our resources, WKOG is powerless in dictating who shares our exhaustive research. It is a sad state of affairs when such critically important work is embraced by those on the right and shunned by those on the “left”. If we had legitimate grassroots environmental and social justice groups leading a united movement, this would not be the case.

What the series represents more than anything else is that WKOG merely elicits the reader to ask questions, such as: Is it acceptable to do “something” even if you know that something isn’t good enough? Is it acceptable to encourage an alcoholic to lightly curtail his or her drinking when the condition is so far advanced that cirrhosis of the liver is still a certainty by drinking at all? Does it make sense to enable a grossly overweight person in making a facile attempt to eat better when the diet still consists of the unhealthiest items imaginable, such as a diet Coke with an extra large pizza? Hence, if we know the “solutions” will fail to solve the problem, then what good are we honestly doing in pretending that they will?

In that vein, WKOG is not here to force change on anyone. Our only goal is to enlighten the public and present the truth as to what is happening with as much evidence as we can find. This is not the truth as we see it; these are the facts and we simply share them for people to make of them what they will.

We were asked to respond to a statement made by Greta Thunberg regarding one of the relationships we highlighted in our series. [1] We wish to make clear that it is not our place to make an addendum to our article as though we had spread a falsehood. In essence, the author of this Media Lens piece is asking WKOG to print a quasi-retraction as if we had actually written something untrue about the relationship. If anything, the response by Thunberg constitutes proof that what WKOG published was based in fact. As journalists, it is not our place to defend or eviscerate Thunberg. The statement published on Thunberg’s Facebook page in response to the information that we provided, in fact, validated our work as far as its veracity. If “We Don’t Have Time” did something untoward to Thunberg, then it is their responsibility to apologize for their misstep, not WKOG. Hence, an addendum in an apologetic tone from WKOG would be an explicit admission that we did something wrong when that is far from the case.

WKOG stands by our reporting on this matter and we will continue to defend our work since we are in full agreement that there is no more pressing issue than the protection of Mother Earth, for the survival of life as we know it. If anything, our critique of all these various characters is proof of how seriously we take this matter. As we are now so far down the rabbit hole, the last thing we need is half measures and lip service from the people in power. We must also highlight how the public is being misled by those in power – even if the message falls on deaf ears, causes rancor among the masses and ultimately makes them disparage us instead of the ones who are leading them astray.

Finally, WKOG would like to thank everyone who supports the investigative series. We are always willing to engage in civil conversation about the content of our work and defend it vociferously. WKOG only requests that any allegations have merit and do not venture into baseless accusations. There has unfortunately been too much of the latter, based on emotion rather than legitimate criticism.



The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: The Political Economy of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex [ACT I]




Non-Profit Organizations as Buffers Against Systemic Change

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy (GRIID)

July 9, 2018

By Jeff Smith

[Grand Rapids Power Structure: Part IX – Non-Profit Organizations as Buffers Against Systemic Change]

Over the past few months we have been investigating the Grand Rapids Power Structure, beginning with a discussion about its framework in Part I; the most powerful family in Grand Rapids, the DeVos Family, in Part II and in Part III we looked at other members of the most powerful members of the private sector. In Part IV, we looked at the private sector organizations that have power and which individuals sit on the boards of those organizations. 

Four weeks ago, we looked at the next level of the Grand Rapids Power Structure, the local government, in Part V, and three weeks ago we investigated the role and function of the media, within Grand Rapids and how it serves power in Part VI

Two weeks we began to look at how various institutions act as a buffer for systems of power against systemic change, first looking at institutions of higher learning in Part VII and in Part VIII we looked at how Religious Institutions act as a buffer against systemic change in Grand Rapids.

Today, we will look at how Non-Profits play a role in acting as a buffer for systems of power and against systemic change.

First, it is useful to state upfront that when critiquing non-profits, we are not saying that they do no good. There is no simple good/bad binaries when looking at non-profits. Instead, we need to think about how they function within a system, since non-profits rely heavily on outside funding sources, primarily from private foundations, which are essentially tax-havens for rich people who want to influence public policy. Therefore, it is more useful to think of non-profit organizations as being part of a system, which many have identified as the Non-Profit Industrial Complex.

The Non-Profit Industrial Complex is a relationship between the Private Power, the State, foundations, the non-profit/NGO, social service agencies and sometimes social justice organizations. These relationships often result in the surveillance, control, derailment, and everyday management of political movements. The feminist group INCITE!, has identified the following ways in which non-profits function as it relates to private and state power.

  • Monitor and control social justice movements;
  • Divert public monies into private hands through foundations;
  • Manage and control dissent in order to make the world safe for capitalism;
  • Redirect activist energies into career-based modes of organizing instead of mass-based organizing capable of actually transforming society;
  • Allow corporations to mask their exploitative and colonial work practices through “philanthropic” work;
  • Encourage social movements to model themselves after capitalist structures rather than to challenge them.


In looking at non-profits in Grand Rapids and their relationship to private power, it is easy to see that these organizations rely heavily on the very foundations run by the wealthiest families who make up the Grand Rapids Power Structure. The DeVos Family foundations, the Van Andel Foundation, the Secchia Foundation, the Cook Foundation, the Frey Foundation and the John & Nancy Kennedy Foundation. These foundations channel millions of dollars to local non-profits, which results in; 1) the non-profits will not speak out about the power these families have in influencing public policy, and 2) the non-profits will not look at the root causes of the issues they are organized to respond to. In fact, the members of the Grand Rapids Power Structure, through their efforts to influence public policy, are part of the root cause of the issues that non-profits are responding to.

For instance, look at the issue of poverty and economic inequality. Those in the sector of private power, spend a great deal of money to influence public policy to dismantle unions, end pensions & benefits, reduce public spending for social services and reap the benefits of taxpayer subsidies when they “develop” a new project. These dynamics are major contributors to lower wages, less of a safety net for people who are struggling economically, reducing or eliminating health benefits, plus an increase in housing costs that thousands in Grand Rapids can no longer afford. These same private sector individuals and families, then turn around and contribute funds to local non-profits to provide some services to the very people they have been undermining, except with non-profits they are encouraged to only look at the individual behavior of those experiencing poverty – managing their money better, getting more job training, starting their own business, etc., instead of developing a critique of how these systems function to oppress and exploit them in the first place.

This is fundamentally the difference between non-profit organizations and social movements. Non-profits put bandaids on social problems and never really challenge the systems of power and oppression that cause the problems in the first place. Social Movements, on the other hand, seek to build the capacity of people to take power back into their own hands, to dismantle the systems of power and oppression that caused the injustices and to engage in collective, radical imagination to create a better world.

People can go to to look up the 990s that foundations must submit to find out which non-profits are recipients of their funding. Below is a sampling from a 2016 990 of the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation. This sampling demonstrates that foundations from wealthy people are both designed to fund directly projects that these members of the power structure have helped to create (Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders) and those which they know will not challenge their power (Grand Rapids Urban League or Hispanic Center of Western Michigan).

Other ways to secure the buffer role of non-profits is to have representatives of the Grand Rapids Power Structure sit on the board of directors of these organizations. For instance, the board of directors for the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan or Kids Food Basket, both have representatives of the local power structure. These relationships will guarantee that those non-profits will not do anything to threaten the system of power that exists. Again, they can provide some important relief to people who are suffering, but they offer no long-term solutions that ultimately challenges the systems and structures which caused the harm in the first place.

Take, for example, the difference in how a non-profit like the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan engages the Latino/Latinx community compared to Movimiento Cosecha.

The Hispanic Center offers programs and services that will benefit individuals or families. These services and programs do provide relief to people who are struggling financially, who need translation services or who are working to gain certain legal status. The Hispanic Center has professional staff to assist these individuals and families to achieve certain goals and they rely heavily on grant money, which is provided by foundations. The Hispanic Center does not address the root causes of the problems that people who utilize their services are dealing with.

In contrast, Movimiento Cosecha GR is a social movement that has a much broader goal of winning dignity, respect and permanent protection for all immigrants. This movement utilizes trained organizers who will then train other people in the same skills. Those involved with Movimiento Cosecha GR are not paid and the fundraising they do is grassroots that relies on general community members to contribute. Cosecha GR has a power analysis and a theory of change to help them achieve their goals, along with the use of tactics and strategies that not only challenges the systems of power and oppression, they provide people with an opportunity to engage in collective liberation. Movimiento Cosecha GR is a horizontal organizations, where no one person is in charge and they do not have a board of directors to answer to. Cosecha GR is committed to addressing the root causes of the current immigration crisis in order to achieve immigrant justice.

In Part X of this series we will look at some of the organizations and movements in Grand Rapids that have the potential to achieve transformative justice, along with some ideas of how we dismantle the Grand Rapids Power Structure and create grassroots, autonomous movements for radical change.


[The Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy (GRIID) was formed in 1998 in response the growing influence of the corporate media. GRIID teaches media literacy, critical thinking skills about how media functions and how it can misinform the public on critical issues like war, race, gender, health, the environment, consumerism and elections.]

The Humanitarian Industrial Complex School of Thought | A Fish Analogy

Wrong Kind of Green

June 29, 2017

By Cory Morningstar with Forrest Palmer


The humanitarian industrial complex (HIC) is separate and distinct from the charity/aid industry. The oligarchs, institutions and NGOs that comprise the HIC are not interested in the feeding frenzy they create that takes place below them. They want the whole pie. The want the prize they came for. They want the country they have targeted – in its entirety and nothing less than that.

This creates a pathological system. And like the capitalist economic system – dependent on infinite growth – at the expense of ecology and all life, which places the planet itself at the bottom of the food chain – the continuity of perpetual war must also grow infinitely for the entities constructed within this system to thrive (or even survive). This system, like a cancer, must multiply or die.

Let’s think of it in terms of hungry fish. We have three groups of fish:

  1. “biggest most powerful fish”
  2. “big fish”
  3. “small fish”

Groups 1 and 2 represent the HIC. Group 3 represents the charity/aid industry. Some NGOs belong to more than one group. An example would be Avaaz & it’s counterpart Purpose, which belong to both the HIC  and the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC) because  of its diverse alliances and activities. These groups of fish are pink in colour to denote the physical and visual aspects of domination that are a prerequisite for power. Many non-pink fish are sadly fixated on striving to assimilate into the pink fish, something they can never attain since the privileges of pinkness itself is becoming more difficult to sustain. Fish that reside in the non-imperial parts of the ocean are brown. They are considered adversaries by the pink fish.

These groups (“big fish”) are NGOs like International Crisis Group, They seek access, recognition and approval from the groups that represent empire (“the biggest, most powerful fish”): World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Council on Foreign Relations, the Rockefeller dynasty, monarchies, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Goldman Sachs, etc. etc. Some of the International NGOs in the “big fish” group are Avaaz, Purpose, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Brookings Institution, Center for American Progress, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Refugees International, etc. These NGOS are all financed by “the biggest, most powerful fish”, and in most all cases (unbeknownst to the public at large) they have also been created by “the biggest, most powerful fish” themselves.

The “big fish” are positioned right below the top tier of the HIC hierarchy. They swim in the same circles as “the biggest, most powerful fish” who are positioned at the very top of the hierarchy. All the fish below dream of finding a position within this group.

The fish positioned at the top of the hierarchy constitute the hegemonic power. The fish on the bottom comprise the bottom feeders. The middle class is a false construct.

The White Helmets are a 21st century NGO hybrid. A combination of soft power (the perception of altruism) and hard power (actual actions outside of the mainstream narrative), terrorism, identity theft, manufactured heroism, violence and celebrity. For a moment, consider the timing of the new superhero movies now flooding the cinemas. For Americans with a pathological fetish for violence and celebrity, these key attributes are a potent cocktail. The White Helmets were constructed exclusively to destabilize the Syrian government, thus it belongs to the HIC. It is a “big fish” and a real-life yet falsely stylized hero organization that whets the appetite of the masses that lust for such a story, be it fictionalized or a reality of our own making. Behavioural changes public relations firms such as Purpose identify this longing and exploit it via a powerful and manipulative 21st century marketing strategy referred to as “storytelling”.

Now think about what happens when “the biggest, most powerful fish” attacks a brown fish in a leadership position, that is minding its own business. The brown fish adversary lives in a specific area in the ocean where nature has provided rich resources with lots of other fish  – and as necessitated under the current global system, the “the biggest, most powerful fish” want it and must acquire it. They don’t respect sovereignty. And being so greedy and wasteful, “the biggest, most powerful fish” never have enough. So they call on the “big fish” underneath them to help launch the attack. This is akin to a psychological pre-strike.

Far in advance to the a psychological pre-strike, the “biggest most powerful fish” instruct the “big fish” to infiltrate and disperse within the targeted area. The big fish are financed to bait and hook naïve brown fish living within the targeted areas utilizing soft power methods (providing laptops, monies, etc.). They target brown fish who have become enamoured with the spectacle and pinkness. They form fish schools financed by the “biggest most powerful fish”. Where there are no existing divisions to exploit, the big fish create them. This creates the pathways necessary to destroy whole cultures from within.

The “big fish”  are tasked with framing  public perception and building/creating mainstream acquiescence. The “big fish”, created and financed by the “the biggest, most powerful fish”, start the mechanisms of war through propaganda. To do this, they also seek assistance from their alliances in both the mass media and the NPIC. They all swim in the same circles. They too are all financed by, owned by, or created by, or have become dependent on “the biggest, most powerful fish”. This symbiotic relationship sets the stage. This is not an attack to destroy the big, powerful fish (now hated and demonized by those that reside in the imperial parts of the ocean) in order to steal the abundance of rich resources, this is a “fishtarian” intervention by the pink fish to save the poor brown fish that live the with the brown fish adversary leader under its “regime”.

Upon the first attack ordered by “the biggest, most powerful fish”, the blood and flesh of the brown fish disperse in the waters. This is where the “smaller but hungry fish” appear. They live in the imperial parts of the ocean and are happy with their subservient relationship to power in that realm since they benefit from it. They are smaller, but hungry – and they have been waiting. If there is no kill from the  “the biggest, most powerful fish” – there is no feast for “the smaller but hungry fish.” These  fish include groups like Oxfam, Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. These NGOs represent a trillion dollar industry. They are massive corporations with million dollar budgets, huge rents and huger salaries.  And if “the biggest, most powerful fish” are not killing – the “smaller but hungry fish” are not going to be eating.  The pink “small fish” understand full well that the sovereign “poor brown” fish will not be saved, that they will die, that indeed these “interventions” are nothing but a ruse. But, they need the millions of dollars in aid money. In addition, many of these pink fish are Machiavellian in ideology, with any traces of empathy altogether eradicated by their belief that by colour alone, they are superior.

“The biggest, most powerful fish” are the literal lifeline of those constructed below them. And this is why, no matter how grotesque or vapid the killings, the “smaller but hungry fish”, dependent on “the biggest, most powerful fish” – will ALWAYS go along with anything “the biggest, most powerful fish” does. The “smaller but hungry fish” will always look away because their very existence depends on the “the biggest, most powerful fish” killing – infinitely.

If this cycle should ever end – “the biggest, most powerful fish” attacking brown fish adversary – the house of cards will collapse.

But imagine ….

The house of cards as still intact.

What happens to the “biggest most powerful fish” and the “big fish” if the “small fish” were no longer existent?

The “biggest most powerful fish” and the “big fish” would no longer be able to dominate.

And this is why, the “small fish” – that of the aid/charity industry in fin with the mass-media and the NGOs that comprise the non-profit industrial complex must be annihilated. Because these groups are the very foundation that empire cannot exist without. They cannot be reformed.



[Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation and Counterpunch. Her writing has also been published by Bolivia Rising and Cambio, the official newspaper of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. You can support her independent journalism via Patreon.]

[Forrest Palmer is an electrical engineer residing in Texas.  He is a part-time blogger and writer and can be found on Facebook. You may reach him at]

PODCAST: Deconstructing the Non-profit Industrial Complex [Episode 2]

NGOs as a Force for Good? Get the Fuck Outta Here [Episode 2]



PODCAST: Deconstructing the Non-profit Industrial Complex [Introduction Episode]


Wrong Kind of Green

category: News & Politics

NGOs as a Force for Good? Get the Fuck Outta Here [Introduction Episode]


This introductory podcast introduces listeners to NGOs that comprise the non-profit industrial complex. Hand in hand with the Rockefellers, George Soros, Bill Gates and other powerful elites, NGOs are meticulously shaping global society by utilizing and building upon strategic psychological marketing, soft power, technology and social media – shaping public consensus, thus acceptance, for the illusory “green economy”, “humanitarian” wars, and a novel sonata of 21st century colonialism. As we are now living in a world that is beyond dangerous, society must be aware of, be able to critically analyze, and ultimately reject the new onslaught of carefully orchestrated depoliticization, domestication of populace, propaganda and misinformation that is being perpetrated and perpetuated by the corporate elite and the current power structures that support their agenda. The non-profit industrial complex must be understood as a mainspring and the instrument of power, the very support and foundation of imperial domination.

Guests: Vanessa Beeley, independent researcher/ journalist and anti-war activist residing in France, Cory Morningstar independent researcher/ journalist focusing on ecology and the NPIC, residing in Canada and Forrest Palmer, electrical engineer, writer/editor for Wrong Kind of Green, residing in Texas, USA.

This is the first episode in a new weekly podcast that focuses exclusively on the non-profit industrial complex as a key instrument of empire in the 21st century.


Nonprofits: Beware the Hand That Feeds


January 16, 2016

By Auset Marian Lewis
 TeleSUR article image NPIC
Money comes with strings that can undermine a revolutionary’s mission. | Photo: Reuters


Corporations that offer handouts can compromise social change in numerous ways, including using funding to mask corporate malfeasance, controlling activism, diverting public money into their own coffers and leading social movements to aspire to a capitalistic model that benefits their own agenda. 

Injustice is not happenstance. It’s systemic. Police shoot more unarmed black men than white because the slave system put a target on their backs centuries ago that has never been erased. Racism is in America’s DNA. It is a systemic problem built into the American culture ever since black people were counted as chattel and fed from a pig’s trough. Every American institution from prisons to politics, from Yale to Mizzou is laced with the inextricable venom of the slave system. The American system is so infected with racial injustice that even programs funded to mitigate systemic social and economic problems become fruit of the poisonous tree. The Nonprofit Quarterly said it best: The Nonprofit Industry has a Ferguson problem.

People are familiar with the Military Industrial Complex, war for profit, a term coined by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Michelle Alexander in her groundbreaking book, The New Jim Crow, gave voice to the Prison Industrial Complex: prison for profit and the incarceration of more black people than were enslaved. Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle CEO Adam Jackson in a recent interview had this to say about the Nonprofit Industrial Complex as outlined in the book, “The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex.” It is a compilation of essays from activists around the world:

“In the United States there is a structured system set up for white people to profiteer off of the oppression of black folks,” he said. “We call it the Nonprofit Industrial Complex. White corporations make sure that their profits are not taxed because they put profits into nonprofits and foundations and typically they are just extensions of that corporation’s social and political agenda… it’s about systemic inequality and oppression because it insures that you can’t institution build.”

Adam Jackson is native to West Baltimore and leads an independent, community-based organization that accepts no funding from political entities, nonprofits or foundation. They target legislative policy to bring about change. According to Jackson, black people have to build their own institutions so that they can map an agenda accountable to the community they serve. Although the racism in the Prison Industrial Complex is a familiar target for change, the NPIC gets little attention.

The U.S. nonprofit sector of 501c(3) tax-exempt organizations is a 1.3 trillion dollar industry. It is the world’s seventh largest economy funding 1.5 million organizations that range from art museums to think tanks and social justice groups on the right and the left side of the fence.

At least 60 percent of non-profits serve people of color, however 30% of board members are without a single minority representative although minorities are 36 percent of the US population. Eight percent of boards have minority representatives. Chief executives are only seven percent minority and 9.5 of 10 philanthropic agencies are dominated by whites.

According to a Boardsource survey, “63 percent of organizations say that diversity is a core value … the percentage of people of color on nonprofit boards has not changed in 18 years.”

While students from 51 colleges across America protest racist, sexist and homophobic practices, demanding that presidents and professors stand down and dictating courses of action to make schools more representative of minority students, racism in the nonprofit industry flies under the radar. As movements grow and seek funding, they often look to elite foundations to pay their way.

Andrea Smith of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, cautions against building movements on the corporate dole. In “The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex,” she writes that a Ford Foundation grant of US$100,000 was pulled from their organization when a board member discovered that they supported the Palestinian liberation struggle.

Smith warns that corporations that offer handouts can compromise social change. They can use funding to mask corporate malfeasance and colonial practices; monitor and control activism; divert public money into their own coffers; manage activist goals to attack symptoms rather than systemic problems; lead social movements to aspire to a capitalistic model that benefits their own agenda.

With dissent bent and compromised to fit a corporate 501c(3) model, the cry for change can be muted and misdirected. To that extent nonprofit models can coopt social justice movements who depend on them for support.

Can we ever depend on big money to fund change?

Increasingly young people are finding money from other sources. In 2014 a group of social activists, We Charge Genocide (WCG), modeled off an earlier group of the same name, brought racial injustice to the United Nations and made a formal charge of genocide against the United States on the world stage. In the ’50s the charges included lynching, police brutality and social and economic inequities. The 21st century WCG activists were out of Chicago responding to the fact that in 2014 23 of 27 police shooting victims were African American. The case of Dominique “Damo” Franklin ignited the organization to action when he was Tasered to death after an alleged petty theft. In Chicago 92% of Taser victims are black or Latino. They took the police brutality crimes of the United States to the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva, Switzerland.

WCG did not petition deep pockets to fund their trip. They raised over $21,000 from online donations of ordinary people to fund their UN youth representatives.

This is a difficult time for nonprofits and people taking social action. The industry is still reeling from recession, with increased needs for shrinking funds. In the book, “The Revolution Will Not Be Funded,” they make the point that right wing organizations spend top dollars on funding think tanks. Those think tanks shape the social and political conversations that mold public opinion. Progressive organizations tend to be more issue oriented.

Heritage Foundation president Edwin Feulner applauded American Billionaire Richarad Mellon Scaife saying, “Right -wing victories started more than twenty years ago when Dick Scaife had the vision to see the need for a conservative intellectual movement in America…. These organizations built the intellectual case that was necessary before political leaders like Newt Gingrich could translate their ideas into practical political alternatives.”

Adam Jackson of LBS has the right idea, creating a think tank to map a course while living in the community that he serves. In order to change racist institutions, people of vision need to build systems that can serve real needs for on the ground problems. When funding sources come from elite billionaires operating in rarefied air out of their own capitalistic and political agendas, they will always protect the systems that they created. We should expect nothing less.


[Auset Marian Lewis’ commentary and analysis have been published in over 50 media outlets from coast to coast and abroad. She was the first African American female columnist for a Gannett newspaper in Wilmington, Delaware. Her creative writing has won awards and she has been invited to speak in venues on radio and TV from Yale University to homeless shelters in Baltimore, Maryland. She has written two books: A Settling of Crows and From My Lips to God’s Ear: The Joanne Collins Story. She was the editor of Inspiration in Small Doses by Rev. Michelle Synegal. Currently she is writing political commentary for TeleSUR English and Z Communications. Follow her on Twitter.]



Photo: May, 2013: “CalSTRS CEO Jack Ehnes, Generation Investment Management Co-Founder David Blood and’s Bill McKibben have a lively conversation about how investors can influence the transition to a low-carbon economy.” Ehnes also serves on the Ceres board of directors. McKibben opens his Ceres presentation with some welcome honesty, speaking of his long-standing friendships/relationships with many Wall Street darlings. Prior to co-founding Generation Investment Management, David Blood, speaking with McKibben, served as the co-CEO and CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Prior to this position Blood served in various positions at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., including “Head of European Asset Management, Head of International Operations, Technology and Finance, Treasurer of the Goldman Sachs Group, L.P. and Head of Global Private Capital Markets. Mr. Blood was the first recipient of the John L. Weinberg Award in 1990, an award given to a professional in the investment banking division who best typifies Goldman Sachs’ core values.” [Source]

Center for Syncretic Studies

March 19, 2013

by Elliot Gabriel

(This is an excellent outline to understand a phenomenon within the US which is the internal component of the Gene Sharp/NGO model of ‘Human Rights’ Imperialism abroad, as discussed in our article Gene Sharp: From Berlin Wall to Arab Spring or The Politics of Counter-Revolution – JV Capone)


The non-profit industrial complex (or the NPIC) is a system of relationships between:

• the State (or local and federal governments)

• the owning classes

• foundations

• and non-profit/NGO social service & social justice organizations

This results in the surveillance, control, derailment, and everyday management of political movements.

The state uses non-profits to:

• Monitor and control social justice movements;
• Divert public monies into private hands through foundations;
• Manage and control dissent in order to make the world safe for capitalism;
• Redirect activist energies into career-based modes of organizing instead of mass-based organizing capable of actually transforming society;
• Allow corporations to mask their exploitative and colonial work practices through “philanthropic” work;
• Encourage social movements to model themselves after capitalist structures rather than to challenge them

Essential Summer Reading | Underminers: A Practical Guide for Radical Change


Industrial Civilization is likely to be the last great empire humanity will ever see. If it is allowed to continue in its ravenous way then there is no future for humanity, for the natural systems and processes that allow humans to exist on Earth are the very things that Industrial Civilization is destroying. In fact, no form of civilization has ever been sustainable nor ever will be. In order for humanity to continue on Earth then civilization has to stop, and people allowed to return to a way of living that is connected to the real world.

Working for Warren: Corporate Greens



Intercontinental Cry

June 4, 2013

By Jay Taber


In Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse–Part II, Cory Morningstar examines the political theatre of the non-profit industrial complex around the transport of oil, and how corporate greens — financed by oligarchs like Rockefeller, Gates and Buffett — are effectively destroying any meaningful activism in the US. At a time when half the total energy produced in the US is wasted due to inefficiencies, protesting pipelines only to have oil shipped by rail is arguably a meaningless activity. But as Morningstar explains, it is funded.


[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, an author, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]