Audrey Cappell is the founder of Foundation for a Just Society (FJS), a left-of-center organization which makes grants to smaller LGBT advocacy organizations across the globe. Cappell is the daughter of hedge fund manager and left-of-center mega-donor James Simmons. Much of the funding for FJS comes from the Audrey Simons Delaware Trust, a trust set up by Simons in Cappell’s name.
Cappell also sits on the board of the Nick Simons Foundation, a charitable organization founded by her brother that focuses on environmental activism, global health, and other issues. Cappell is married to Jacob Cappell, a web designer working for her family’s Simons Foundation.
Foundation for a Just Society
Audrey Cappell formed Foundation for a Just Society (FJS) in 2011 and has remained control of the foundation since. Cappell is the president of the board of directors for the organization and funds the foundation with millions of dollars per year in contributions. In 2017, Cappell contributed $53,470,070 from her trust. 1
FJS makes grants to global initiatives which focus on LGBT and feminist issues, but they have also made donations to organizations which advocate for greater left-of-center and liberal issues. FJS has made numerous donations amounting to $1,793,462 to the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a labor-union aligned left-of-center advocacy organization. FJS also donated $200,000 to the National Immigration Law Center, a liberal expansionist immigration advocacy organization. The organization has also made donations to large liberal organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, and the Northstar Fund. 2
Cappell was born on the autism spectrum, leading her parents James and Marilyn Simons to donate millions of dollars to autism research and autism advocacy organizations. Cappell has also donated a large amount of money to autism related issues and founded Felicity House, an organization which serves as a social area for autistic women living in New York City.
Cappell has made thousands of dollars in donations to Democratic candidates for public office and Democratic political action committees. Prior to the 2018 midterm elections, Cappell made numerous large donations to multiple Democratic organizations and PACs. Cappell donated $33,900 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC,) a party committee that exists to elect Democrats to the House of Representatives. Cappell also made two $125,000 donations to the House Majority PAC and Priorities USA Action, both Democratic-aligned Super PACs. 3
Under her maiden name, Audrey Simons made numerous large donations to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC.) She also made donations amounting to $666,000 to the House Majority and Senate Majority PACs. Cappell made numerous large donations in 2012 to the the Obama Victory Fund and Obama for America committees in support of President Barack Obama’s re-election. 4
Cappell is the president of Felicity House, an organization which serves as a social gathering site for women with autism. The board of directors for Felicity house is comprised of high-ranking officials from a number of left-of-center organizations such as the Heising-Simons Foundations, the Simons Foundation, Foundation for a Just Society, and the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. 5
- IRS Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax: Foundation for a Just Society, Schedule B, Part I: Contributors.
- “Grants Directory.” Foundation for a Just Society. Accessed October 20, 2019. https://www.fjs.org/grants-directory.
- FEC Campaign Finance Data: Individual Contributions: Audrey Simons. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=audrey%20cappell.
- FEC Campaign Finance Data: Individual Contributions: Audrey Simons. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=audrey%20simons.
- “Our Organization.” Felicity House. Accessed October 20, 2019. https://felicity-house.org/our-organization/.