For more information, see Tides Nexus
The Tides Center is a left-of-center nonprofit created to manage the fiscal sponsorship services of its “sister” organization, the Tides Foundation. Both groups are part of the Tides Nexus of pass-through and fiscal sponsorship nonprofits based in San Francisco, California. Tuti Scott is the CEO of Tides, a position she has held since approximately September 2019. 
The Tides Nexus (a blanket term covering all associated groups) has since grown to incorporate eight nonprofits, including various supporting entities, investment management nonprofits, a 501(c)(4) advocacy group, and a single controlling organization (the Tides Network).
The Tides Foundation pioneered “fiscal sponsorship” (or “incubation”), a process in which a sponsor organization is paid to act as an umbrella under which new center-left political groups may fundraise and operate prior to achieving recognition of tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), at which point they’re often spun off into standalone nonprofits. In 1996, Tides passed its fiscal sponsorship services to a separate nonprofit, the Tides Center.
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. 
Fiscal Sponsorship (Incubation)
The 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, often while they await recognition of tax exemption from the IRS (a process called “fiscal sponsorship” or “incubation”). 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 Projects
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. According to the right-of-center website 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.”
The Alliance for Safety and Justice and Californians for Safety and Justice are current projects (as of July 2020) 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 Tides Advocacy (a Tides Foundation affiliate; formerly The Advocacy Fund). 
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, one of the lead organizations in the left-of-center Black Lives Matter and led by self-described “trained Marxists,” is one of the better known groups that operates under the Tides Center’s umbrella.  The Global Network Foundation began in 2016 as a project for the center-left fiscal sponsor Thousand Currents and was officially transferred to the Tides Center in July 2020.  Thousand Currents’ board included Susan Rosenberg, a convicted member of the May 19th Communist Organization responsible for multiple bombings in the 1980s. 
Past organizations incubated by the Tides Center include:
Trade Research Consortium 
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations 
Drummond Pike is the co-founder of the Tides Nexus of groups, although he has since retired from the organizations. A veteran political activist, Pike began his career in 1970 as associate director for the now-defunct Youth Project in Washington, D.C., a group formed to give young people with inherited wealth a way to channel donations. 
While Pike did not develop donor-advised funds himself (DAFs have been used by community foundations since the early 20th century), the Youth Project’s model of guiding funding from individual donors to nonprofit political causes reportedly inspired the creation of the Tides Foundation in 1976, which utilized DAFs to encourage individuals to donate to Tides since they would hold an advisory role in its grantmaking.  Funding for the project came from Jane Lehman, heiress to the fortune generated by the Reynolds tobacco conglomerate and an ex-president of the center-left Arca Foundation. In 1979, Pike extended Tides’ services to incubating new liberal nonprofits (or “projects”), a system known as fiscal sponsorship. 
Pike resigned his leadership of the Tides organizations in 2010. He has been a board member for numerous left-progressive organizations outside of the Tides Nexus, including the Democracy Alliance, Enlyst Fund, JK Irwin Foundation, Underdog Foundation, Island Press, Institute for New Economic Thinking, Environmental Working Group, Endswell Foundation, Working Assets, Network for Good, Sage Centre, Threshold Foundation, and Charity Projects Entertainment Fund, Groundspring, Social Venture Network, Sierra Fund, and America’s Charities. 
In 2018, the Tides Center reported total revenues of $150 million ($137 million of which came from grants to the group), $137 million in total expenses (including $28 million in grants paid to other groups), and net assets of $102 million. 
From 2005 to 2007 alone the Tides Center made 345 grants worth $25.3 million. 
Donors to Tides Center
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.