Augusta nonprofit says it didn’t know donations went to white nationalist

AUGUSTA (WJBF) — A local nonprofit is responding to reports that it donated thousands of dollars to a group associated with white supremacy.

The LA Times reported this week that the Community Foundation for the CSRA donated $25,000 to the National Policy Institute, which is a white supremacist organization led by Richard Spencer.

Tax records provided by the Times show the Augusta nonprofit gave the NPI $15,000 in 2013 and $10,000 in 2014.

The Community Foundation for the CSRA donates millions of dollars every year in an effort to “enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Richmond, Columbia, McDuffie, Burke, Aiken and Edgefield Counties.”

According to the NPI’s website, its slogan is: “For our people, our culture, our future.” The NPI says it is an independent organization dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States and around the world.

The Institute is led by Spencer, a person that the Southern Poverty Law Center considers to be a white nationalist.

In response to the discovery that the Community Foundation donated a major amount of money to the NPI, president and CEO Shell K. Berry said, “in 2015, management of the Foundation became aware that one of its funds was recommending grants in support of the NPI. Upon discovery of the mission and purpose of the NPI, Foundation management took immediate action to disassociate with the NPI and, as of July of 2015, this donor advised fund no longer exists at the Community Foundation for the CSRA. The Foundation, its staff, and its Board of Directors has no association whatsoever with the National Policy Institute.”

A donor-advised fund allows a person to donate to a foundation with the intention of the money being forwarded to another organization.

In this case, the anonymous donor chose the NPI.

“The policies of the Foundation were modified in 2015 with the intention of preventing any grant-making that is inconsistent with our values as an organization. The NPI donations were directed by a single individual. Independent of that one donor, any individual, organization, or corporation that contributed to the Foundation can be assured that no monies given to the Foundation were granted to the NPI,” Berry told NewsChannel 6.

The IRS recently revoked the National Policy Institute’s tax-exempt status for failing to file tax returns.

Spencer has said his organization is going to appeal the federal government’s decision.

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