The Tides Center is a subsidiary entity of the Tides Foundation, a donor-advised fund for left-of-center causes that allows donor organizations which might otherwise have to disclose contributions to liberal organizations to obscure their contributions. Founded as a “projects program” in 1979 by Drummond Pike, the Tides Center was formally incorporated as a legally separate entity in 1996. It retains the same CEO as the Tides Foundation, Kriss Deiglmeier.
The Tides Center serves as a “legal firewall insulating the Tides Foundation from potential lawsuits” filed by those potentially harmed by Tides Foundation-funded projects and assists in the organization and creation of new left-of-center political advocacy organizations. The Tides Center offers an array of services to help organizations from their inception onward, including helping organizations to find office space, run a new office, apply for grants, conduct public relations, handle personnel, complete payroll, budget, manage contracts, face legal challenges, and comply with government regulations.
Perhaps most importantly, Tides Center operates as an umbrella group providing 501(c)(3) status to groups who cannot or prefer not to apply for charitable status themselves. Groups under the Tides Center umbrella inherit the tax-exempt charitable status from Tides, allowing them to accept tax-deductible contributions without an IRS.
Tides Center Spinoffs
The Tides Center has incubated numerous left-wing organizations since its inception. Some remain fiscal projects of the Tides Center (unincorporated organizations maintained by Tides); others have since become independent nonprofits. Spinoff organizations from the Tides Center include:
Trade Research Consortium
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Tides Center Projects
The Tides Center maintains a number of groups as fiscal projects.
The Alliance for Safety and Justice and Californians for Safety and Justice are projects of the Tides Center focused on criminal justice reform in the U.S. and California, respectively.  A close affiliate, the Alliance for Safety and Justice Action Fund, is a 501(c)(4) project of the Advocacy Fund (a Tides Foundation affiliate).
According to Discover the Networks, between 1996 and 2010, “the Tides Center served as a fiscal sponsor to some 677 separate projects with combined revenues of $522.4 million; in 2010 alone, the Center was actively managing nearly 200 projects.” From 2005 to 2007 alone the Tides Center made 345 grants worth $25.3 million.
The Tides Center has $80,310,037 in assets as of 2015 and liabilities of $9,133,792. Grants and gifts make up a significant amount of the Tides Center’s revenue, at $90,918,201 of the $104,232,380 received in 2015.
According to recent tax filings, the Tides Center received nearly $15 million in government grants in 2015. The Tides Center also counts major left-of-center foundations as donors, including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and George Soros’s Open Society Foundations.