Non-profit

Claws Foundation

Location:

RESTON, VA

Tax ID:

20-1658710

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $24,390,121
Expenses: $17,272,796
Assets: $19,986,452

Type:

Private foundation

Formation:

2004

Directors:

Arthur Dantchik, Alan P. Dye, and Jeffrey Yass

The Claws Foundation is the primary philanthropic vehicle of Arthur Dantchik and Jeffrey Yass, two of the managing directors of Susquehanna International Group, an options-trading company headquartered in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. The foundation primarily supports Jewish charities and libertarian causes, most notably the Institute for Justice, a public-interest law firm focused on property rights.

Arthur Dantchik and Jeffrey Yass

Susquehanna International Group

Arthur Dantchik and Jeffrey Yass met at as students at the State University of New York (Binghamton) in the late 1970s, where they bonded over a love of poker. Along with four other poker-playing colleagues, they founded Susquehanna International Group, the first company to use mathematical formulas to repeatedly and rapidly trade stocks. They first gained national attention in 1987, when “sources close to the firm” told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the company made $10 million by successfully predicting the “Black Friday” stock market crash. [1]

Political Donations

In 2010, Dantchik and Yass supported the Democratic gubernatorial primary campaign of Anthony H. Williams, a state senator representing south Philadelphia and nearby Delaware County. They said they backed Williams for his efforts to implement a statewide program of school vouchers in Pennsylvania. Dantchik donated $1.5 million to Williams’s campaign, Yass donated $1.9 million, and their Susquehanna International partner Joel Greenberg donated $2.1 million. Williams finished third in the Democratic primary, losing to Allegheny County executive Dan Onorato (D), who later lost the general election to then-Attorney General Tom Corbett (R). [2]  Joe Watkins, who worked with Greenberg, Dantchik, and Yass on education reform, said school choice was “the civil-rights issue they talk about.  This is all they talk about.” [3]

Greenberg, Dantchik, and Yass then contributed $6.6 million to a super PAC independently supporting Sen. Williams’s 2015 campaign for mayor of Philadelphia. Williams finished second in the Democratic primary with 26 percent of the vote. [4]

In 2016, Yass donated $2.2 million to three political action committees supporting the presidential campaign of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).  After Sen. Paul withdrew from the race, Yass told Politico he could not support another Republican candidate, because “all hawks left now, except [U.S. Sen.] Bernie [Sanders (I-VT)].” Yass added that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders “is our best hope to stay out of war.  On the other hand, he would shut my business down.” [5] Yass subsequently gave $1 million to political action committees supporting Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, telling Reason that even though Johnson lost, “no matter how small the chance (to) live in a libertarian world…The payoff is so high it’s worth it” to support the Libertarian Party. [6]

Personal Donations by Yass

In 2019 Yass, along with the Foundation for Individual Liberty, the Baron Capital Foundation, and the Washington Examiner, supported the production of “In Money We Trust?,” a Maryland Public Television documentary adapting a book by Steve Forbes and Elizabeth Ames. [7]

In April 2020 Jeffrey Yass and his wife, Janine Yass, donated $2.8 million to the Jump-Start Philly Schools Fund, which was organized to donate Chromebooks to charter and parochial students in Philadelphia forced to take classes at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other donors to this fund included the Lenfest and McCausland Foundations. [8]

Foundation Grantmaking

Claws Foundation grants in 2018 included $350,000 for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, and $1 million for the Institute for Justice public-interest law firm. Jeffrey Yass is a member of the Cato Institute board and Arthur Dantchik is a member of the Institute for Justice board. [9][10]

The largest Claws Foundation grant in 2018 was $8.25 million to the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, a provider of donor-advised funds. The foundation made one other seven-figure gift in 2018, donating $1 million to Jerusalem Online University. [11]

References

  1. Richard Burke and Jennifer Lin, “A Hot-Shot Phila. Options Trader With A Bettor Idea,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 22, 1989. ^
  2. Tom Infield, “$5.83M A Pennsylvania Record,” Philadelphia Inquirer, June 23, 2010. ^
  3. John P. Martin, “Why Three Big Donors Got Behind Williams,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 11, 2010. ^
  4. Chris Hepp, “Filings Indicate Reforms Working,” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 10, 2015.  Chris Hepp, “”Kenney Romps In Phila. Mayor’s Race, “ Philadelphia Inquirer, May 20, 2015. ^
  5. Kenneth P. Vogel and Isaac Armsdorf, “The Politico 100:  Billionaires Dominate 2016,” Politico, February 8, 2016. ^
  6. Brian Doherty and Matt Welch, “Did The Libertarian Party Blow It in 2016?”, Reason, February 2017. ^
  7. Steve Forbes, “A Must-See Movie About Money,” Forbes.com, March 12, 2019. ^
  8. Maddie Hanna, “Philly Charter, Parochial Students To Receive Donated Chromebooks To Support Learning During Coronavirus School Closures,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 2, 2020. ^
  9. “Cato Institute Board of Directors,” https://www.cato.org/board-of-directors (accessed December 15, 2020).  “Institute for Justice Board of Directors,” https://www.cato.org/board-of-directors (accessed December 15, 2020) ^
  10. Claws Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2018, Part XV Line 3 https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/201658710/06_2019_prefixes_16-22%2F201658710_201812_990PF_2019060316372810 ^
  11. Claws Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2018, Part XV Line 3 https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/201658710/06_2019_prefixes_16-22%2F201658710_201812_990PF_2019060316372810 ^

Associated Organizations

  1. Susquehanna Foundation (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 2004

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form PF $24,390,121 $17,272,796 $19,986,452 $1 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $21,883,426 $15,278,552 $12,869,127 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $17,503,197 $15,275,136 $6,264,253 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $11,224,110 $11,075,410 $4,036,192 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $10,815,842 $11,919,849 $3,887,492 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Claws Foundation

    12030 SUNRISE VALLEY DR STE 450
    RESTON, VA 20191-3400