Non-profit

Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation

Website:

susietompkinsbuell.org/

Location:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Tax ID:

77-0266801

DUNS Number:

01-513-0084

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)-PF

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $1,409,961
Expenses: $617,524
Assets: $6,870,709

Type:

Non-Profit Family Foundation

President:

Susie Tompkins Buell

The Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation is a left-leaning grantmaking foundation founded by Susie Tompkins Buell (nee Russell), a left-of-center mega-donor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist from San Francisco who is a close confidant of and major donor to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Susie Tompkins Buell and her husband Mark Buell are also founding members of the powerful liberal donor collective the Democracy Alliance (DA), which was founded in 2004 as an exclusive collective of major institutional and individual left-of-center donors that acts as a funding umbrella for the progressive movement. [1]

The foundation has over $7 million in assets and funds a variety of left-leaning organizations including the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Representation Project, and Vote.Org. [2]

Background

The Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation was founded by Susie Tompkins Buell, the cofounder of sportwear brands Espirit and The North Face. The Foundation’s board consists of Susie Tompkins Buell and her husband Mark Buell, a longtime Democratic Party activist in San Francisco. [3]

The foundation primarily funds left-leaning organizations that focus on activist training programs for women and girls as well as environmentalist issues and programs. The foundation only funds 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and states that it does not typically fund capital campaigns, international programs, health services, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and film or video projects. [4]

The foundation also publishes multiple newsletters and writes articles for publication in center-left news and lifestyle websites and is a part of the Buell Office, the family office of Mark and Susie Tompkins Buell that coordinates their various nonprofit and political giving and activism. [5]

People

Susie Tompkins Buell, the president and founder of the Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation, is a native of San Francisco and attended Lowell High School. Tompkins Buell divorced her first husband Douglas Tompkins in 1989. The two had co-founded sportswear brands Espirit and The North Face together and had two daughters. Tompkins remarried and died in a kayaking accident in Chile in 2005, leaving none of his fortune to his two daughters or grandchildren. [6] Her current husband, Mark Buell, was a high school classmate, and the two reconnected when Tompkins contributed to Mark’s campaign for San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1988. [7] The Buells are well known in social and political circles in the San Francisco Bay Area and are founding members of the powerful Democracy Alliance (DA) left-leaning funders’ collaborative. [8] [9]

Susie Tompkins Buell is often profiled and recognized as a liberal donor and close friend of the Clinton political family, and is often mentioned as a close confidant of former secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Her husband Mark, who is the vice president of the foundation, is also a well-known Democratic donor and left-leaning activist in San Francisco. [10]

The staff of the Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation also includes two women who are involved with coordinating the Buells’ political and nonprofit funding activities through the Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation, the Buell Office, and Buell Private Political Management. The staffers include Belinda Munoz, the foundation’s executive director who also oversees the Buell Office’s political funding and engagement operations. Another employee of the foundation is Ella Arnold, who previously worked for Buell Private Political Management and is a volunteer committee member for Planned Parenthood Northern California. [11]

Organizations Funded

Organizations funded by the Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation include the Arizona Center for Empowerment, Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute, Blueprint NC, Climate Emergency Fund, Colorado People’s Alliance, Mothering Justice, New Georgia Project, One Arizona, and the Public Rights Project. [12]

References

  1. Vadum, Matthew and James Dellinger. “The Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters” Foundation Watch. Accessed September 16, 2021.  https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/2013/07/FW1208.pdf ^
  2. “IRS Form 990.” Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation. 2018. Accessed September 18, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/770266801/201932839349100018/full ^
  3. “IRS Form 990.” Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation. 2018. Accessed September 18, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/770266801/201932839349100018/full ^
  4. “Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation.” Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation. Accessed September 18, 2021. https://www.susietompkinsbuell.org/ ^
  5. “Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation.” Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation. Accessed September 18, 2021. https://www.susietompkinsbuell.org/ ^
  6. Matier & Ross. “Daughter seeks millions from Esprit co-founder Douglas Tompkins’ will.” San Francisco Chronicle. October 29, 2017. Accessed September 18, 2021.  https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Daughter-seeks-millions-from-Esprit-co-founder-12314126.php ^
  7. Nevius, C.W. “Susie Buell, Hillary Clinton: Politics makes great fellowship” San Franciso Chronicle. June 24, 2016. Accessed September 16, 2021. https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Susie-Buell-Hillary-Clinton-Politics-makes-8324068.php ^
  8. Matier & Ross. “Daughter seeks millions from Esprit co-founder Douglas Tompkins’ will”. San Francisco Chronicle. October 29, 2017. Accessed September 16, 2021. https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Daughter-seeks-millions-from-Esprit-co-founder-12314126.php ^
  9. Vadum, Matthew and James Dellinger. “The Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters” Foundation Watch. Accessed September 16, 2021. https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/2013/07/FW1208.pdf ^
  10. [1]Nevius, C.W. “Susie Buell, Hillary Clinton: Politics makes great fellowship” San Franciso Chronicle. June 24, 2016. Accessed September 16, 2021. https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Susie-Buell-Hillary-Clinton-Politics-makes-8324068.php ^
  11. “Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation.” Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation. Accessed September 18, 2021. https://www.susietompkinsbuell.org/ ^
  12. “IRS Form 990.” Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation. 2018. Accessed September 18, 2021. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/770266801/201932839349100018/full ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Mark Buell
    Vice President
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: November - October
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 1991

  • 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
    2019 Nov Form PF $1,409,961 $617,524 $6,870,709 $-10,701 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2015 Nov Form PF $683,020 $436,477 $6,230,667 $-10,701 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Nov Form PF $439,861 $373,309 $5,992,274 $-2,551 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Nov Form PF $662,499 $384,370 $5,927,427 $-845 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Nov Form PF $273,593 $373,977 $5,651,851 $1,707 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Nov Form PF $339,066 $437,742 $5,749,054 $-1,475 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation

    PO BOX 29921
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94129-0921