Tides (organization)

  (Redirected from Tides Center)

Tides is an American public charity and fiscal sponsor working to advance progressive policy in areas such as the environment, health care, labor issues, immigrant rights, gay rights, women's rights and human rights. It was founded in San Francisco in 1976. Through donor advised funds, Tides distributes money from anonymous donors to other organizations, which are often politically liberal. It manages two centers in San Francisco and New York that offer collaborative spaces for social ventures and other nonprofits.

Tides (organization) logo.png
MottoDaring Change
FounderDrummond Pike
TypePublic charity
Area served
  • Cheryl D. Alston
  • Kafi D. Blumenfield
  • Kriss Deiglmeier
  • Brickson Diamond
  • Suzanne DiBianca
  • Sid Espinosa (Vice-Chair)
  • Michael Fernandez
  • Edward G. Lloyd
  • Peter Mellen(Co-Chair)
  • Suzanne Nossel(Secretary)
  • Tuti B. Scott(Interim CEO)
  • Roslyn Dawson Thompson
  • Jacob Weldon
  • Jason Wingard (Co-Chair)
  • Steve Zuckerman
Key people
Kriss Deiglmeier (CEO)[2]
$548 million (2018)[5]
Expenses$441 million (2018)[5]

Since 1996, Tides has overseen the Tides Center, which is an incubator for smaller progressive organizations.[6] In 2004, Tides formed the Tides Shared Spaces offshoot which specializes in renting office space to nonprofit tenants.[7] In 2008, Stephanie Strom referred to Tides Network as the umbrella organization for these entities.[8]


Tides was founded in 1976 by Drummond Pike, who worked with Jane Bagley Lehman, heir to the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company fortune.[9] Lehman served as the chair of the organization from its founding to her death in 1988.[10] Tides was conceived as a nationally oriented community foundation, and founded out of Pike's frustration with established philanthropy's perceived neglect of progressive issues.[11] He envisioned using fiscal sponsorship for progressive political activism.[12] Fiscal sponsorship uses a tax-exempt charity to provide financial support to a non-exempt project or organization, therefore lending it tax exemption as long as the charity retains control of the way its funds are spent.[13] He served as its CEO until he was replaced by Melissa L. Bradley in 2010.[14]

Pike founded a Canadian version of the organization, Tides Canada, in 2000.[15] Tides Canada, which is based in Vancouver, makes grants through its foundation and has a charity that supports environmental and social justice projects.[16] It consists of the Tides Canada Foundation and the Tides Canada Initiatives Society.[17][18]

By 2009, Tides allocated $75 million per year in donor money, most of which went to fund progressive political causes.[9] In 2011, Tides received about $90 million in funding, and awarded about $96 million to various individuals and organizations.[19]


Tides makes charitable contributions through donor-advised and collective action funds and provides consulting, investment, fiscal management services, and a collaborative space for their partners in their New York City and San Francisco offices.[4]


Organizations that began as projects of Tides include Campaign to Defend the Constitution, Higher Education Recruitment Consortium, People for the American Way, Pew Internet and American Life Project, Rockridge Institute, Social Venture Network, Urgent Action Fund, and V-Day.[20] The Tides website lists 130 current grantees.[21] As Tides is a public charity, it allows sponsors to donate money to different organizations—including for-profit as well as nonprofit entities—through donor-advised funds.[22] Donor-advised funds are funds held in accounts by nonprofit organizations, like Tides, that then make grants to third-party entities on the donor's behalf.[23] Organizations that have partnered with Tides to setup these funds include Girl Rising and the Humble Bundle.[24][25]

In 2000, Tides launched a program called "Bridging the Economic Divide." It focused on funding living wage campaigns and economic justice coalitions. Tides also launched the Tides Death Penalty Mobilization Fund, which supports the anti-death penalty movement. The Michigan Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence was founded with support from Tides.[26]

Tides has received at least $3.5 million from financier and political activist George Soros.[27]

From 2003 to 2012, Tides gave around $4.4 million to media advocacy organization Media Matters for America.[citation needed] It has stated that it supports the Occupy Wall Street movement. The CEO of Tides, Melissa L. Bradley, stated in a blog post on October 2011 that the movement "represents the best of American ideals and ingenuity."[28]

The Advocacy FundEdit

Tides is affiliated with the Advocacy Fund, a liberal lobbying group.[29] In the 2012 election cycle, the Advocacy Fund gave $11.5 million to 501(c)(4) organizations, including $2 million to the League of Conservation Voters, $1.8 million to America Votes and $1.3 million to the Center for Community Change.[30] The Advocacy Fund has also supported the environmentally-focused groups Bold Nebraska, National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, NRDC Action Fund, and the Sierra Club.[31]

In 2008, the Advocacy Fund contributed to campaigns opposing Colorado Amendment 46, Colorado Amendment 47, Colorado Amendment 49 and Colorado Amendment 54.[32] The Advocacy Fund distributed $11.8 million in grants in 2013 to groups promoting immigration reform, increased worker protections, chemical safety legal reform, and increased investment in the solar energy industry.[33]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Contact Us". Tides. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  2. ^ Ip, Melissa (2014-01-17). "Tides taps Stanford's social innovation pioneer as new CEO". Retrieved 2017-07-06.
  3. ^ "Board". Tides. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "2015 Annual Report" (PDF). Tides. 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Tides Organizations Consolidated 2018 Audited Financial Statement" (PDF). Tides. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Social Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award Ceremony". UC Santa Cruz. 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-24.
  7. ^ Duxbury, Sarah (2005-11-06). "Tides to lift other boats". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 2017-06-24.
  8. ^ Strom, Stephanie (2008-08-16). "Head of foundation bailed out nonprofit group after its funds were embezzled". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-06-24.
  9. ^ a b Callahan 2010, p. 265.
  10. ^ "Jane Lehman, 55; Active in Philanthropy". The New York Times. April 21, 1988. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  11. ^ McCarthy & Faber 2005, p. 133.
  12. ^ Manheim 2004, p. 69.
  13. ^ Manheim 2004, p. 67.
  14. ^ "Tides Taps Social Entrepreneur and Progressive Thought Leader as New CEO". Tides. September 15, 2010. Archived from the original on September 25, 2010.
  15. ^ "Canada Revenue Agency website, Tides Canada Foundation". Canada Revenue Agency.
  16. ^ Carlson, Kathryn Blaze (June 27, 2012). "Tides, critics clash over charity's claims of transparency". National Post. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  17. ^ Klassen, Mike (September 25, 2010). "Vision donor Drummond Pike steps down as Tides boss". CityCaucus.com. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  18. ^ "Charitable Registrations - Tides Canada". Tides Canada. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  19. ^ "Tides > Grantees". Tides.
  20. ^ "History". Tides. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  21. ^ "Project Directory". Tides. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  22. ^ Kellow 2007, p. 144.
  23. ^ "A philanthropic boom: "donor-advised funds"". The Economist. March 23, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  24. ^ "What is the Girl Rising Fund?". Girl Rising. 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-24.
  25. ^ "Humble Bundle Giving Fund at Tides Foundation". Humble Support. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
  26. ^ Anheier & Leat 2006, p. 57.
  27. ^ Egan, Mark; Nichols, Michelle (October 14, 2011). "Soros: not a funder of Wall Street protests". Reuters. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  28. ^ Bradley, Melissa L. (October 12, 2011). "Why We Support the #OccupyWallStreet Movement". Tides.
  29. ^ Choma, Russ; Vendituoli, Monica (July 22, 2013). "Advocacy Fund Spends Millions to Lobby on Immigration". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  30. ^ Blumenthal, Paul (April 9, 2014). "Nothing Really Compares To The Koch Brothers' Political Empire". Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  31. ^ Yachnin, Jennifer (December 11, 2013). "Still 'electing the best, defeating the worst' -- but with far greater resources than before". E&E Publishing. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  32. ^ "Tides Advocacy Fund". Follow The Money. National Institute on Money in State Politics. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  33. ^ Blumenthal, Paul (January 29, 2015). "Groups With Liberal Ties Tapped To Re-Elect The GOP Establishment". Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 February 2015.


Anheier, Helmut K.; Leat, Diana (2006). Creative Philanthropy: Toward a New Philanthropy for the Twenty-First Century. Routledge. ISBN 9781134197651.
Callahan, David (2010). Fortunes of Change: The Rise of the Liberal Rich and the Remaking of America. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780470606544.
Kellow, Aynsley J. (2007). Science and Public Policy: The Virtuous Corruption of Virtual Environmental Science. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 9781847208767.
Manheim, Jarol B. (2004). Biz-War and the Out-of-Power Elite: The Progressive-Left Attack on the Corporation. Psychology Press. ISBN 9780805850680.
McCarthy, Deborah; Faber, Daniel (2005). Foundations for Social Change: Critical Perspectives on Philanthropy and Popular Movements. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780742549883.

External linksEdit