Southern ‘Poverty’ Law Center is Anything But: $320 Million in Assets, 20% Invested Overseas

Only 1% of the SPLC's fund is restricted; use of the remaining $300 million is up to the discretion of the board of directors.

The leftist civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center should think about removing “poverty” from its name. The Weekly Standard details exactly why the SPLC is far beyond anything remotely poor:

The Southern Poverty Law Center invests almost 20 percent of its nearly $320 million endowment fund in offshore equities and other investments. The 2016 annual report of the Alabama-based civil rights organization reports $69,093,576 of "non-U.S. equity funds" among the assets comprising the total endowment fund of $319,283,961, a fund the SPLC describes as a "plan for the day when nonprofits like the SPLC can no longer afford to solicit support through the mail because of rising postage and printing costs." (Given that 2016 contributions topped $45 million, that day has not yet arrived.)

Part of all that cash is used to create what the SPLC likes to call “hate maps.” It’s the United States map covered with dots indicating places of hate, according to its own definition, of course. Upon further inspection of these menacing red dots, one can find religious organizations which uphold traditional marriage, conservative organizations, and even elementary schools named after Robert E. Lee. Hardly the kinds of places that are going to unleash, you know, violent mobs dressed in black seeking to destroy Republicans.

But that’s the thing; SPLC maps have been used to pinpoint targets by angry leftists. Most infamously in 2012, when a gunman entered the headquarters of Family Research Council, a conservative Christian organization which appeared as one of those dots on an SPLC map, and opened fire. His plan was to kill as many as possible and rub Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their faces to make a statement against the group's opposition to same-sex marriage. The shooter told police he picked his target using SPLC’s map.

So, why is the SPLC investing in overseas accounts? The details are unknown, but as The Weekly Standard noted, Joe Schoffstall of The Washington Free Beacon learned that two financial industry executives “expressed surprise and incredulity about the SPLC’s offshore investing.” That includes millions of dollars in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda. However, SPLC president Richard Cohen defended, saying:

“It is common for universities, foundations and other nonprofit organizations to have a portion of their endowments invested in off-shore funds. Each such fund in which the SPLC is invested is a highly reputable one that was recommended by Cambridge Associates, one of the country's leading investment advisory firms for nonprofit institutions.” 

The Weekly Standard questioned the commonality of nonprofit overseas investments, pointing to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Human Rights Campaign, which both steers clear of foreign investing.

The Standard concludes:

Besides the $69 million in offshore investments, the SPLC's endowment includes $60 million in U.S. public equities, $36 million in private equities (buyouts, venture capital, distressed companies,) $18 million in real assets (real estate, gas/oil reserves, etc.), and $57 million in "marketable alternative funds" (various hedge funds made up of derivatives, hedge funds and risk arbitrage, etc.,) besides bonds and cash.

Only about 1 percent of the SPLC's endowment fund is restricted; use of the remaining $300 million plus is up to the discretion of the organization's board of directors.

So, what is the SPLC up to? One thing is for sure, the organization refuses to classify Antifa as a hate group, instead focusing its sights on public schools with names like "Lee" and "Jackson." They're also going after the funding sources of conservative outlets, such as the David Horowitz Freedom Center, in its efforts to take down those of us on the Right. (Click here to help stop this witch-hunt.)

For more about the SPLC, read the entry at Discover the Networks.

Issues

Organizations