The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says $125 million was funneled to anti-Muslim hate groups from 2014-2016 under the pretense of donating to philanthropic organizations.
The report released Monday finds the dollars are being funneled through the charitbale foundations of large national wealth management groups such as Fidelity or Schwab to 39 hate groups like ACT for America, making the donors anonymous.
This is often done through a donor-advised fund, which operates like a charitable investment fund, allowing a person to make monetary gifts to charity and benefit from tax deductions. The wealth management groups function as pass-throughs between the donor and the recipient organizations.
CAIR-Cincinnati Executive Director Karen Dabdoub wants these large companies to "do their homework and ensure that they are not passing through funds - that they're not being used to pass through funds - to organizations that their primary purpose is to produce hate."
These foundations have donated across a wide range, from the minuscule amount of $20 to the staggering sum of $32 million. They are divided into three categories: 1) Donor Advised Funds, 2) Faith-Based Donor Advised Funds, and 3) Private Family Foundations.
CAIR says the money is being used to support anti-Muslim lobbying, legislation and policies, and to distribute false information to the media and on social media.
CAIR-Cincinnati Staff Attorney Sana Hassan says there's a connection between those dollars and hate crimes nationally and locally.
"The fact that these groups have increased at the same time that these hate crimes have increased is no coincidence," she says. "There is a causation correlation aspect here. We've seen that same affect going on with hate speech."
The problem isn't restricted to big-name companies. The report finds dollars are also being sent through community-centered and faith-based charities as well, including organizations such as the Jewish Communal Fund and the National Christian Charitable Foundation.
In fact, according to the report, the largest amount - $32.4 million - was funneled through Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, Inc. That group does business as the American Center for Law & Justice, advocating, CAIR says, for anti-Muslim policies like the "Muslim Ban" and publishes "anti-Muslim propaganda."