The Hull Family Foundation is a left-of-center private foundation founded by millionaire investor Blair Hull and run by him and his children. The foundation donates to many left wing groups, including NARAL, the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
History and Funding
The Hull Family Foundation was formed in 1999 by millionaire investor and former Democratic political candidate Blair Hull. 1 The Foundation was originally funded by Hull and relies on income from its invested assets. As of 2017 it has $18,147,224 in net assets and received $288,842 in interest and capital gains from these assets. 2
The Hull Family Foundation has supported a variety of different causes and institutions, including several left-of-center organizations. In 2017 the foundation supported the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Naral Pro-Choice America Foundation, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The foundation also supported the controversial Council on American Islamic Relations. Grants were also made to the left-of-center Tides Foundation, the Proteus Fund, the Wellstone Action Fund, and the New Venture Fund. The Foundation also supports the Hull Chair in Women’s Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 3
As of August, 2010 the foundation stopped accepting any outside grant applications. 4
Blaire Hull is the director and founder of the foundation. He was educated in mathematics and computer science and was a member of a “card-counting” group of blackjack players in the 1970s. With his winning from gambling Hull launched the Hull Trading Company, which he would later sell for $340 million to Goldman Sachs. He later used this money to found the Hull Family Foundation and run in the 2004 election for U.S. Senate from Illinois. 5 Despite his significant spending, Hull lost that primary to then-State Senator Barack Obama after it was revealed “that Hull had once been accused of domestic violence by an ex-wife.” 6
Megan Hull is the daughter of Blaire Hull and a board member of the foundation. She currently works as a consultant in Washington, D.C. She is a major funder of left-of-center causes and has supported numerous Democratic campaigns. She is a large supporter of Be a Hero PAC, a left-of-center PAC that campaigns to defeat U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the 2020 elections. 7 In 2019 she donated $200,000, and in 2018, she contributed over $1 million to the group. 8
- “About the Hull Family Foundation.” HullFamilyFoundation.org. Accessed December 30, 2019. http://www.hullfamilyfoundation.org/about.asp.
- Hull family Foundation, IRS (Form 990 PF), 2017, Part I and II
- Hull family Foundation, IRS (Form 990 PF), 2017, Attachment 10
- “Grant Programs.” HullFamilyFoundation.org. Accessed January 7, 2020. http://www.hullfamilyfoundation.org/grants.asp.
- Green, Joshua. “A Gambling Man.” The Atlantic, Janurary/February 2004 edition. Accessed January 6, 2020. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/01/a-gambling-man/302864/.
- Chase, John, and David Mendell. “Obama Sails to Senate Win.” Chicago Tribune, November 4, 2004. Accessed January 6, 2020. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2004-11-03-0411030317-story.html.
- “Be A Hero.” BeAHeroFund.com. Accessed January 7, 2020. https://beaherofund.com/.
- “Megan Hull Individual Contributions.” FEC.gov. Accessed January 7, 2020. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Megan+Hull. ^
- Center for Responsive Politics. “Mainers for Accountable Leadership Donors” Opensecrets.org. June 10, 2019. Accessed October 28, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgave2.php?cycle=2018&cmte=C00631481 ^