Non-profit

Omidyar Nexus

Not to be confused with Omidyar Network (Nonprofit)

The Omidyar Nexus describes a collection of nonprofit and for-profit organizations associated with and funded by Pierre Omidyar, a billionaire donor to center-left political causes and founder of eBay. Information about each member of the nexus is compiled below; for more detailed information, see their respective profiles.

Omidyar is a major donor to groups advocating for election “reforms” critics say will boost Democratic turnout in elections, such as mail-in ballot expansion and using federal agencies to register new voters. His nonprofits have also contributed substantially to left-wing “dark money” organizations such as the pass-through group Sixteen Thirty Fund, part of a billion-dollar nonprofit network run by the consulting firm Arabella Advisors in Washington, D.C. [1] Omidyar’s Democracy Fund Voice is a donor to organizations that claim to be conservative but are critical of the Republican Party, such as the group Defending Democracy Together, founded by commentator Bill Kristol. [2]

Founder

Also see Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar (b. 1967) is a philanthropist, donor to left-of-center political causes and Democratic Party PACs, and founder of the multinational e-commerce company eBay. Omidyar was born in Paris, France, to Iranian parents, who later immigrated to the United States. After graduating from Tufts University in 1988, he worked for Apple before founding eBay in 1995. [3]

Omidyar has donated to various Democratic campaigns, including those of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008. In 2016, it was reported that he and his wife had donated $200,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. [4]

The bulk of Omidyar’s advocacy giving is conducted through the foundations and other nonprofits he funds, which have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to both philanthropic causes and left-of-center advocacy groups.

Omidyar Nexus Organizations

Omidyar Group & Other Holding Companies

The Omidyar Group is the umbrella LLC for all of the members of the Omidyar Nexus, based in Los Gatos, California. [5] As a for-profit entity, little is known about the company’s finances. However, filings with the California Secretary of State’s office describe it as an “investment holding company.”[6] Other state filings reveal similar for-profit holding companies whose structure is unknown: Omidyar Group Commons LLC (formed 2004), Omidyar Technology Ventures (f. 2015), Omidyar Technology Ventures Employee Holding (f. 2017), Omidyar Network Fund LLC (distinct from the nonprofit Omidyar Network Fund; f. 2004), Omidyar Network Brazil Fund LLC (f. 2015), Omidyar Group Commons LLC (f. 2004), and Omidyar Group Holdings LLC (f. 2019). [7]

Omidyar Network

Also see Omidyar Network (For-Profit)

The Omidyar Network is a for-profit LLC operating alongside a nonprofit sibling, Omidyar Network Fund. Both were formed in 2004 and are based in Redwood City, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area.[8] The Omidyar Network is a self-styled “philanthropic investment firm” established with seed capital from the initial public offering (IPO) of eBay in 2004. The LLC arm invests in four main areas: “Reimagining Capitalism, Beneficial Technology, Discovering Emergent Issues, and Expanding Human Capability.” [9]

Unlike a traditional investment firm, however, Omidyar Network’s leadership aims to transform the U.S. economy along left-of-center ideological lines. The group’s Reimagining Capitalism venture is “about rebalancing structural power” between workers and the owners of capital, according to CEO Mike Kubzansky, who argues: [10]

. . . that neoliberalism is a version of capitalism, not capitalism itself [and] we can get to a better version of capitalism if we change some of these underlying beliefs and mindsets about the economy.

Omidyar Network Fund

Also see Omidyar Network Fund (Nonprofit)

The Omidyar Network Fund is the nonprofit arm of Omidyar Network, established as a 501(c)(3) private foundation in 2004 and exclusively funded by Pierre and Pam Omidyar. Between 2004 and 2020, the group paid out over $824 million in grants, much of it to non-ideological causes, such as Khan Academy and Johns Hopkins University.

The foundation heavily funds left-of-center advocacy groups. In 2020 alone, the fund contributed $6.1 million to New Venture Fund, the largest nonprofit in a billion-dollar “dark money” network run by Arabella Advisors, to support the group’s policy campaigns. It also funneled $500,000 through the Tides Foundation in 2020, a notable pass-through for left-wing donors to political causes. [11]

Omidyar Network Fund Financial Overview
YearTotal RevenuesTotal ExpendituresGrants PaidNet Assets
2020 $21,031,743 $74,652,984 $73,460,207 $475,015,909
2019 $63,634,282 $107,667,084 $106,451,114 $481,330,468
2018 $90,746,508 $93,019,265 $92,584,195 $528,113,476
2017 $146,432,365 $86,073,973 $83,922,279 $444,457,316
2016 $60,134,433 $71,493,610 $69,596,460 $437,062,543
2015 $193,202,032 $57,796,178 $55,531,941 $314,432,297
2014 $63,219,899 $45,316,923 $45,733,246 $310,740,469
2013 $85,433,257 $47,484,427 $45,110,872 $248,901,473
2012 $13,364,726 $45,385,462 $44,900,160 $267,243,612
2011 $44,805,363 $35,656,037 $34,794,368 $264,568,141
2010 $25,546,196 $24,376,339 $23,416,480 $243,366,308
2009 $4,268,119 $20,912,211 $20,567,735 $239,087,922
2008 $(11,093,206) $49,407,844 $50,756,149 $337,845,808
2007 $84,887,970 $36,545,863 $34,545,905 $282,341,783
2006 $71,250,410 $20,247,412 $18,497,338 $222,701,704
2005 $29,495,464 $17,114,710 $16,265,278 $48,341,269
2004 $57,883,545 $9,542,276 $8,382,276 $-
$1,044,243,106 $842,692,598 $824,516,003

Omidyar Network India

Omidyar Network India is the Mumbai, India, affiliate of the Omidyar Network and Omidyar Network Fund.

Democracy Fund

Also see Democracy Fund (Nonprofit)

The Democracy Fund is a private foundation founded in 2014 and exclusively funded by Pierre and Pam Omidyar. While foundation claims to be “independent and nonpartisan,” it has deep connections to left-wing activism and the Democratic Party. Joe Goldman, the foundation’s president, is a former aide to District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams (D), a current board member for the U.S. Climate Action Network, and a former director for left-wing lobbying group Campaign for Stronger Democracy. [12] In June 2020, Goldman announced that the foundation would no longer bill itself as “bipartisan” but as “an independent, nonpartisan foundation that advocates for an open and just democracy,” because the former meant “compromising on who we are and what we believe.” [13]

The Democracy Fund is also a member of the Funders Committee for Civic Participation, a project of the liberal pass-through NEO Philanthropy whose uniformly center-left members fund activist groups that tilt censuses and redistricting to favor Democrats. [14]

Democracy Fund has made contributions to groups trying to transform the U.S. election system, such as FairVote, which advocates for ranked-choice voting; Rock the Vote, a voter registration group targeting likely Democratic voters; the Center for Civic Design, which advocates changes to ballots intended to increase voting by mail; Demos, which supports federal voter registration efforts and all-mail elections; and Democracy Works, an online voter registration group. [15] In 2020, the foundation funded two nonprofits responsible for privately funding government elections offices across the country: the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) and Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL). [16]

Democracy Fund Financial Overview
YearTotal RevenuesTotal ExpendituresGrants PaidNet Assets
2020 $65,793,183 $72,150,532 $51,779,106 $78,891,991
2019 $63,141,642 $56,331,961 $37,636,989 $71,833,424
2018 $73,959,277 $55,621,199 $37,498,303 $53,495,346
2017 $53,135,469 $47,424,736 $33,944,350 $47,784,613
2016 $38,655,163 $20,383,089 $13,244,125 $29,512,539
2015 $22,308,429 $15,818,008 $11,568,791 $22,842,268
2014 $30,472,552 $7,630,284 $5,956,175 $22,842,268
$347,465,715 $275,359,809 $191,627,839

Democracy Fund Voice

Also see Democracy Fund Voice (Nonprofit)

Operating alongside the Democracy Fund is Democracy Fund Voice, a 501(c)(4) advocacy group. It is also led by Joe Goldman. [17]

Democracy Fund Voice funds similar causes as its foundation sibling, but makes grants to groups that are even more politically active. In 2020, it funneled $9.4 million to organizations engaged in “voter participation” such as Common Cause, the Tides Foundation, Sixteen Thirty Fund, American Oversight, Color of Change, and New Florida Majority. It also gave $500,000 to Bill Kristol’s Defending Democracy Together (DDT) in 2020.[18]

As a 501(c)(4), Democracy Fund Voice isn’t required to report its donors. In 2020 it received $14 million in the form of securities from a single donor, presumably Pierre Omidyar. [19]

Democracy Fund Voice Financial Overview
YearTotal RevenuesTotal ExpendituresGrants PaidNet Assets
2020 $14,743,220 $15,352,680 $13,242,000 $(759,649)
2019 $9,349,217 $8,931,813 $7,370,000 $(150,188)
2018 $5,650,017 $6,259,897 $4,825,000 $(567,592)
2017 $2,500,021 $3,321,856 $2,175,000 $42,288
2016 $5,510,012 $4,741,429 $3,719,788 $864,123
2015 $500,001 $772,979 $488,523 $95,540
2014 $500,000 $131,482 $- $368,518
$38,752,488 $39,512,136 $31,820,311

First Look Media

Also see First Look Media (Nonprofit)

First Look Media is a nonprofit news publisher that runs multiple left-of-center media publications. In October 2013, Omidyar pledged $250 million to found First Look Media, which launched in 2014, in partnership with controversial liberal activist-journalist Glenn Greenwald, who is best known for aiding the mass disclosure of classified national security documents by Edward Snowden. [20] [21] In 2020, Greenwald resigned from First Look citing the organization’s refusal to run an article critical of Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden. [22]

First Look Media publishes The Intercept, a digital magazine launched in early 2014 notable for aggressively publishing leaked classified information, beginning with the material provided by Snowden. [23]

First Look Media also publishes Topic Studios, an entertainment studio that creates podcast and digital video productions and funds feature films. [24]

References

  1. Hayden Ludwig. “How Much Did Arabella’s Center for Secure and Modern Elections Undermine the 2020 Election?” Capital Research Center. Dec. 1, 2021. Accessed May 18, 2022. https://capitalresearch.org/article/how-much-did-arabellas-center-for-secure-and-modern-elections-undermine-the-2020-election/ ^
  2. Julie Kelly. “NeverTrump’s Billionaire Leftist Benefactors.” American Greatness. Nov. 14, 2018. Accessed May 18, 2022. https://amgreatness.com/2018/11/14/nevertrumps-billionaire-leftist-benefactors/ ^
  3. Pierre Omidyar. Biography.com. April 2014. Accessed May 23, 2022. https://www.biography.com/business-figure/pierre-omidyar ^
  4. Dunbar, John, Michael Beckel, and Carrie Levine. 2016. “Pierre Omidyar Gives $100,000 To New Anti-Trump Super PAC”. Center For Public Integrity. Accessed May 23, 2022. https://www.publicintegrity.org/2016/04/15/19564/pierre-omidyar-gives-100000-new-anti-trump-super-pac. ^
  5. Search: California Secretary of State. Omidyar Group LLC. Search conducted May 20, 2022. https://bizfileonline.sos.ca.gov/search/business ^
  6. Secretary of State: Statement of Information. Omidyar Group LLC. Filed 04/21/22. Accessed May 20, 2022. file:///E:/E%20Drive%20Downloads/39963058-1.pdf ^
  7. Search: California Secretary of State. “Omidyar.” Search conducted May 20, 2022. https://bizfileonline.sos.ca.gov/search/business ^
  8. Search: California Secretary of State. Omidyar Network & Omidyar Network Fund. Search conducted May 20, 2022. https://bizfileonline.sos.ca.gov/search/business ^
  9. “About Us.” Omidyar Network. Accessed May 20, 2022. https://www.omidyargroup.com/about/ ^
  10. Scott Bade. “Reimagining Capitalism, Beneficial Technology, Discovering Emergent Issues, and Expanding Human Capability.” Tech Crunch. Oct. 28, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2022. https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/28/omidyar-network-ceo-opens-up-about-vc-influenced-philanthropy/ ^
  11. Return of Foundation Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF). Omidyar Network Fund. 2004-2020. Part I & Schedule I (2020). Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2022/05/omidyar-network-fund-2020-form-990.pdf ^
  12. “Joe Goldman.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 18, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/joepgoldman/details/experience/. ^
  13. Goldman, Joe. “Why Democracy Fund is Declaring Independence From Bipartisanship.” Democracy Fund. June 16, 2020. https://democracyfund.org/idea/why-democracy-fund-is-declaring-independence-from-bipartisanship/ ^
  14. Hayden Ludwig. “The Funders Committee for Civic Participation.” Capital Research Center. Oct. 1, 2020. Accessed May 18, 2022. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-funders-committee-for-civic-participation/ ^
  15. Return of Foundation Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF). Democracy Fund. 2015-2016, 2020. Schedule I. ^
  16. Return of Foundation Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990-PF). Democracy Fund. 2020. Schedule I. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2022/05/democracy-fund-2020-form-990.pdf ^
  17. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Democracy Fund Voice. 2020. Part I. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/democracy-fund-voice/ ^
  18. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Democracy Fund Voice. 2020. Part III: Statement of Program Service Accomplishments.” Schedule I. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/democracy-fund-voice/ ^
  19. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Democracy Fund Voice. 2020. Schedule B. Archived: https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/democracy-fund-voice/ ^
  20. “The Extraordinary Promise of the New Greenwald-Omidyar Venture (UPDATED).” Columbia Journalism Review. Accessed May 23, 2022. https://archives.cjr.org/the_audit/the_extraordinary_promise_of_t.php. ^
  21. Reitman, Janet. “Snowden and Greenwald: The Men Who Leaked the Secrets.” Rolling Stone. December 4, 2013. Accessed May 23, 2022. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/snowden-and-greenwald-the-men-who-leaked-the-secrets-104970/. ^
  22. Greenwald, Glenn. “My Resignation From The Intercept.” Greenwald. Greenwald, October 29, 2020. https://greenwald.substack.com/p/my-resignation-from-the-intercept. ^
  23. Rosen, Jay. “Why Pierre Omidyar decided to join forces with Glenn Greenwald for a new venture in news.” PressThink.org. October 16, 2013. Accessed May 23, 2022. http://pressthink.org/2013/10/why-pierre-omidyar-decided-to-join-forces-with-glenn-greenwald-for-a-new-venture-in-news/ ^
  24. First Look Media. “About.” Accessed May 23, 2022. https://firstlook.media/about/ ^ ^
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