Mystery donor funneled $25,000 to Richard Spencer through group unaware of white nationalist ties
The largest donor to Richard Spencer’s nonprofit National Policy Institute had no idea the funds were going to a white nationalist.
A Georgia community group, the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area, gave $25,000 to Spencer’s group in 2013 and 2014, according to three years of tax returns Spencer provided to the Los Angeles Times.
The community foundation, which receives much of its funding from the Masters golf tournament and promotes a wide range of philanthropy, gives away between $5 million to $9 million a year, according to the newspaper.
Neither Berry nor Spencer would reveal the original donor’s identity, the newspaper reported, and those funds were then funneled through the community foundation in a common arrangement in the charity world.
The foundation’s chief executive, Shell K. Berry, told the Times that money was given to Spencer’s group as part of a “donor-advised fund,” a common arrangement for charitable groups where donors give money to one organization with the intention of those funds being passed on to others.
Spencer, who says the nonprofit organization is his full-time job, collected salaries of $3,156 in 2013, $7,984 in 2014 and $13,275 in 2015, according to the tax returns.
The records also show the National Policy Institute used donor money to pay off more than $26,000 in credit card debt since 2011.
Spencer refused to tell the Times how that debt was accumulated, saying those details weren’t important.
The white nationalist also declined to tell the newspaper how he supports himself financially, but a recent report by the Center for Investigative Reporting showed his parents received at least $2 million in federal farming subsidies over the last decade.
The Times reported last week that Spencer’s group lost its tax-exempt status after failing to file required forms with the IRS.
Spencer blames the issue on an IRS error and plans to appeal, but he said the incident was “embarrassing” and has fired the organization’s bookkeeper.
The National Policy Institute’s website says it is “dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States, and around the world.”