Be a Hero Fund



Washington, DC

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:



Jonathan Zucker


Ady Barkan

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Be a Hero Fund is an organization that advances left-of-center health care and fiscal policy and opposes right-leaning Supreme Court nominations through media campaigns. The organization also fundraises for ActBlue, a Democratic Party-aligned political action committee (PAC). 1


Be a Hero Fund is funded by the Be a Hero PAC. 2 Between 2019 and 2020, the Be a Hero PAC received $11,075,269 in contributions and made $10,386,342 in expenditures. 3 The organization’ reported $888,032 in assets as of December 31, 2020. 4

Be a Hero PAC’s largest donors between 2019 and 2020 were the Vote Nurses PAC ($2,200,000), the National Nurses Organizing Committee PAC ($1,750,000), left-of-center philanthropist Megan Hull ($1,347,000), the California Nurses Association ($250,000), and two committees associated with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): her leadership PAC PAC to the Future ($100,000) and Nancy Pelosi for Congress ($100,000). 5


Be a Hero Fund was created in 2018 after a video of left-of-center health care activist Ady Barkan accosting former Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on a plane and demanding that he vote against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, circulated widely online. 6


Be a Hero actively fundraises against Republican Party candidates and encourages its viewers to donate to ActBlue. Fundraising videos created by Be a Hero are generally negative political advertisements designed to motivate donations to Democratic Party-aligned PACs in order to oppose Republican candidates. Be a Hero has created political advertisements attacking the healthcare policies of former President Donald Trump, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), and former U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ). 7

Of the twenty political advertisements Be a Hero created in 2020, all were created in collaboration with National Nurses United, the main union and professional association of United States nurses. 8

The organization’s latest fundraising drive is designed to oppose the re-election of U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) should they seek re-election. 9

Health Care Series

In a collaboration with the left-of-center, social media-focused news outlet NowThis News, Be a Hero Fund created a series of videos in which Ady Barkan advocates for increased government control over healthcare and the implementation of a universal Medicare program. Barkan’s videos include discussions with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris during the 2020 presidential election, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Obama administration Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro. 10

Kavanaugh Nomination

Be a Hero contributed to a broad left-of-center effort to prevent the nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to assume Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court. 11 Be a Hero joined Maine People’s Alliance and Mainers for Accountable Leadership in a collective effort to intimidate U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) into voting against Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination, leveraging their alleged ability to fundraise for her opponent in the 2020 race to represent Maine in the United States Senate. 12


Ady Barkan, a Democratic Party-aligned political activist, is president of Be a Hero. 13 Prior to founding Be a Hero, Barkan worked for Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), a left-of-center election law organization. Before joining CPD, Barkan was a law clerk to Judge Shira Scheindlin of the District Court for the Southern District of New York. 14


  1. “2020 Ads” Be a Hero.
  2. “Footer statement” Be a Hero Fund.
  3. “Be a Hero PAC” Federal Elections Commission.
  4. “Be a Hero PAC” Federal Elections Commission.
  5. “Be A Hero PAC PAC -Donors” OpenSecrets.
  6. “Our Story” Be a Hero Fund.
  7. “2020 Ads” Be a Hero.
  8. “2020 Ads” Be a Hero.
  9. “Elect New Senate Heroes” Be a Hero Fund. 
  11. “Kavanaugh-fueled bounty awaits challenger to Sen. Susan Collins” Roll Call. July 2, 2020. Accessed July 5, 2021.
  12. “Kavanaugh-fueled bounty awaits challenger to Sen. Susan Collins” Roll Call. July 2, 2020. Accessed July 5, 2021.
  13. “Medicare for All activist with ALS Ady Barkan on why he advocates: ‘It gives me a reason to get up every day’” ABC News.
  14. “About”
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Be a Hero Fund

Washington, DC