Major U.S. companies are distancing themselves from like-named charities that were just revealed to have donated millions to a liberal, anti-Trump group.
The 2015 tax documents of the Center for Community Change, which does not disclose donors, were obtained and published this week by The Washington Free Beacon. Those documents reveal past contributions from charitable organizations like the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
In response to the reported donations, representatives of companies with historical ties to them, like the Kellogg Company and Ford Motor Company, are emphasizing that they have nothing to do with the contributions and are separate entities.
The Ford Foundation, started by the founders of the motor company in 1936, donated $2.35 million to the Center for Community Change, according to the Free Beacon report. But a spokesman for the automaker noted to Fox News that the Ford Motor Company has had no affiliation with the Ford Foundation for nearly four decades. Among those on the Board of Trustees for the Ford Foundation is Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
The largest contribution came from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which donated $3 million to the liberal group, according to the Free Beacon.
The Kellogg Company acknowledged to Fox News that the foundation and the company were both established by W.K. Kellogg but said they are “two legally separate entities.”
“As a result, we do not have information or influence on the foundation's activities, programs or initiatives,” the food manufacturing company said in a statement.
In a post on its website, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation stated that the company and foundation “operate independently of one another and each is governed by its own board of directors.”
“As a philanthropic organization, we do not engage in political activities nor do we provide grants to support such activities,” the foundation said.
The Center for Community Change, meanwhile, does not shy from being political – it often tweets its opposition to President Trump and encourages its supporters to protest his policies.
“Trump's proposed budget will hurt millions of low-income people and people of color,” the organization tweeted in May. “Stand with us in resistance.”
Other recent tweets from the organization: “Only we can draw the line to tell Trump and his white supremacist buddies enough is enough,” “Trump’s sabotage of the healthcare system could backfire,” “American workers will catch on to Trump’s con” and “As far as we can tell, Trump's travel ban is racist and won't make anyone safer.”
Another company distancing itself from the donations is investment firm Fidelity, after the tax forms listed more than $500,000 donated to the Center for Community Change Action from a fund called Fidelity Charitable.
But the company says those contributions are not from Fidelity – but rather, individual donors who set up charity accounts through them.
“The grants referenced in the Free Beacon story are recommended by individual donors who have donor-advised fund accounts at Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity with a donor-advised fund program,” said Adam Banker, a spokesman for Fidelity Charitable. “These are not grants from Fidelity Investments.”
He added that the donations do “not, in any way, reflect the views of or represent an endorsement by Fidelity Charitable or Fidelity Investments.”