Non-profit

Craig Newmark Foundation

Website:

craignewmarkphilanthropies.org/

Location:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Tax ID:

47-5338517

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $10,000,000
Expenses: $8,078
Assets: $10,000,000

The Craig Newmark Foundation, also known as Craig Newmark Philanthropies, is a grantmaking organization launched by Craig Newmark, a billionaire businessman and the founder of the online marketplace Craigslist. [1][2] The organization funds initiatives that support left-of-center journalism, oppose election integrity legislation, and suppress right-of-center narratives in the news. The organization also supports media that cater to ethnic minorities, efforts to increase the number of women in the tech industry, and veterans groups. [3]

Background

Craig Newmark launched the online marketplace Craigslist in 1995 but stepped away from active involvement in the site’s operations and appointed computer programmer Jim Buckmaster as chief executive officer. According to Newmark, he lacked the management skills to run the company effectively. Craigslist has never disclosed its revenues, but in 2018, the consulting firm AIM Group estimated that the company generated just under $1 billion in revenue, and Forbes estimated that the company was worth almost $4 billion. Craigslist generates revenue by charging sellers for posting advertisements. Most types of advertising are free, but listings for jobs, some types of sales, and other services require a fee. [4] According to Forbes, a large portion of the site’s revenue comes from adult services listings. [5]

Newmark sits on the boards of several left-of-center groups, including journalistic organizations such as the Center for Public Integrity, the Columbia Journalism Review, and the Sunlight Foundation. He also sits on the advisory boards of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an internet privacy advocacy group; the New America Foundation, a left-of-center think tank; the Sierra Club, a leading environmentalist group; and numerous other organizations. Newmark’s philanthropic work focuses on four issue areas: advancing left-of-center narratives in journalism, opposing election integrity measures, promoting women in the tech industry, and supporting veterans and military families. [6] Newmark launched his foundation in 2015 to fund a range of left-of-center causes. [7]

Initiatives

In 2016, the Craig Newmark Foundation awarded a $1 million grant to the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, the nonprofit journalism institution which operates the controversial fact-checking website PolitiFact. The Foundation also awarded a $1.5 million grant to Wikipedia. [8] In March 2017, the Foundation gave $100,000 to the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group which also operates as a far-left pressure group. [9] It also gave a $1 million unrestricted grant to ProPublica, an investigative journalism organization which also posts and tracks the financial disclosures of nonprofit groups. Newmark announced that he would give a total of $3.5 million to support left-of-center journalism in 2017. [10]

In August 2018, the Foundation awarded $1 million to the magazine Mother Jones. Monika Bauerlein, the magazine’s chief executive officer, praised Newmark for his support for left-of-center journalism, which she claimed was “under attack from all sides.” [11] In September 2018, the Foundation gave $20 million to support the launch of The Markup, a watchdog publication reporting on alleged wrongdoing by major tech companies from a left-of-center perspective. [12]

In 2019, the Foundation awarded a total of $15 million to the Poynter Institute and the Columbia University journalism school. Newmark cited the proliferation of alleged “disinformation … flowing through social platforms and the news” as his reason for funding left-of-center journalism. [13]

In 2020, Newmark pledged to spend nearly $200 million on media campaigns opposing President Donald Trump. In an interview with Forbes, Newmark claimed that “The people who are in control of this country” would “continue to dismantle our democracy” while under the control of “our foreign adversaries” if his initiatives failed. He also compared the Trump administration’s efforts to combat organized violence by far-left extremists during the summer of 2020 to what he called “really bad episodes in world history,” such as Nazi repressions that “happened in 1930s Germany.” [14]

Financials

As of 2018, the Craig Newmark Foundation held assets totaling nearly $138 million. That year, the Foundation distributed more than $86 million in grants. [15] Newmark’s has been estimated at approximately $1.3 billion. [16]

References

  1.             Craig Newmark. Forbes. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/profile/craig-newmark/?sh=2ce97e9b7a4c ^
  2.        Craig Newmark Foundation IRS Form 990-PF. 2018. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/475338517/02_2020_prefixes_47-52%2F475338517_201812_990PF_2020021417148537 ^
  3.              Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://craignewmarkphilanthropies.org/ ^
  4.          Angel Au-Yeung. “Why Billionaire Craig Of Craigslist Is Giving Millions To Journalism And Education.” Forbes. August 13, 2018. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/angelauyeung/2018/08/13/why-billionaire-craig-of-craigslist-is-giving-millions-to-journalism-and-education/?sh=1ea9c0db7942 ^
  5.        Craig Newmark. Forbes. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/profile/craig-newmark/?sh=2ce97e9b7a4c ^
  6.       Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://craignewmarkphilanthropies.org/ ^
  7.       Craig Newmark. Forbes. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/profile/craig-newmark/?sh=2ce97e9b7a4c ^
  8.         “Craig Newmark Foundation Awards $1 Million to ProPublica.” Philanthropy News Digest. March 4, 2017. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/craig-newmark-foundation-awards-1-million-to-propublica ^
  9.        “ADL Receives $100,000 Grant From Craig Newmark Foundation For Incident Response Center.” Anti-Defamation League. March 15, 2017. Accessed May 12, 2021.https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/adl-receives-100000-grant-from-craig-newmark-foundation-for-incident-response ^
  10.         “Craig Newmark Foundation Awards $1 Million to ProPublica.” Philanthropy News Digest. March 4, 2017. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/craig-newmark-foundation-awards-1-million-to-propublica ^
  11.        “Mother Jones Receives $1 Million From Craigslist Founder.” Philanthropy News Digest. August 30, 2018. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/mother-jones-receives-1-million-from-craigslist-founder ^
  12.       “Craig Newmark Gives $20 Million for ‘Big Tech’ Watchdog Site.” Philanthropy News Digest. September 26, 2018. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/craig-newmark-gives-20-million-for-big-tech-watchdog-site ^
  13.       “Newmark Philanthropies Awards $15 Million to Bolster Journalism Ethics.” Philanthropy News Digest. February 11, 2019. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/newmark-philanthropies-awards-15-million-to-bolster-journalism-ethics ^
  14.             Angel Au-Yeung. “Craig, The Billionaire Behind Craigslist, Is Spending Nearly $200 Million To Save Journalism, Beat President Trump, And End Information Warfare.” Forbes. August 4, 2020. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://www.forbes.com/sites/angelauyeung/2020/08/04/craig-the-billionaire-behind-craigslist-is-spending-nearly-200-million-to-save-journalism-beat-president-trump-and-end-information-warfare/amp/ ^
  15.        Craig Newmark Foundation IRS Form 990-PF. 2018. Accessed May 12, 2021.https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/475338517/02_2020_prefixes_47-52%2F475338517_201812_990PF_2020021417148537 ^
  16.       Craig Newmark. Forbes. Accessed May 12, 2021.https://www.forbes.com/profile/craig-newmark/?sh=2ce97e9b7a4c ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Craig Newmark
    Officer/Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 2016

  • 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 $10,000,000 $8,078 $10,000,000 $8,078 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Craig Newmark Foundation

    222 SUTTER ST FL 9
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94108-4460