A data breach from a Christian crowdfunding site has revealed that millions of dollars have been raised for far-right causes and groups, many of whom are banned from raising funds on other platforms. It also identifies previously anonymous high-dollar donors to far-right actors, some of whom enjoy positions of wealth, power, or public responsibility.
The breach of GiveSendGo also shows the site was used for a wide range of legitimate charitable purposes, such as crowdfunding medical bills, aid projects, and religious missions. But some of the biggest beneficiaries have been members of groups such as the Proud Boys, designated as a terrorist group in Canada, many of whose fundraising efforts were directly related to the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol.
Across at least 11 crowdfunding campaigns associated with the Proud Boys, members of the group, including some now facing conspiracy charges related to the Capitol attack, raised over $375,000. Some of these fundraisers netted large amounts of money in a short period.
After the Proud Boys chairman, Enrique Tarrio, was arrested on 4 January on charges related to firearms and the vandalism of a black church at a previous rally, a fundraiser billed as a “defense fund” made $113,000 in just four days.
For @thenation, I wrote about GiveSendGo, the "#1 Christian Crowdfunding Site" that is a willing haven for hate group members. The founders had some interesting things to say about welcoming the KKK: https://t.co/U8kfqACaxH
— Talia Bracha Lavin (@chick_in_kiev) April 5, 2021
A large proportion of that money came from a number of high-dollar donors who elected to be anonymous on the website, but whose identifying details were nevertheless preserved by GiveSendGo. Under their FAQ is a paragraph where they claim they believe that “The most valuable currency is God’s love. Only God can meet the deepest needs of each heart. That’s why we’re grateful to have individuals and organizations dedicated to praying over our campaigns. We pray for eternal results because those are ultimately the only outcomes that matter. The God we serve will ALWAYS be bigger than money.”
The Proud Boys would beg to differ, though.
— T👻r👻 D🐈⬛bl💀n 🎃🧙🏻♀️ (@taradublinrocks) April 10, 2021
Following the Capitol riots, a fundraiser in the name of “Medical Assistance to DC Proud Boy victims” made $106,107 just on January 6th and 7th. And after charges were laid on the Proud Boys organizer Joe Biggs for his alleged role in the Capitol attack, an anonymous donation for $1,000 came from an email address belonging to a New York woman whose social media accounts list her as a state-employed special education teacher. Overall, Biggs raised over $6,000 on the site.
Enrico Tarrio is the National Chairman of the #ProudBoys He's also the State Director for Latinos for Trump, FL. He's pictured w Rick Scott, Trump Jr at a Trump rally and the Latinos for Trump website. #ProudBoyTrump #VoteHimOut #VoteEarly #VoteBlueToEndThisNightmare pic.twitter.com/z1OPj7j1ViSee Also
— JimWyler (@JimWyler) October 1, 2020
Other Proud Boy-related fundraisers included one for North Carolina Proud Boy Jeremy Bertino, also known as Noble Beard, who was stabbed at a rally in Washington DC in December. That effort raised $61,355 in three days.
Far right / Proud Boys and other groups raise millions via Christian funding site
Revealed: groups banned from other sites fundraising on GiveSendGo as data breach identifies high-dollar donors to far-right actors pic.twitter.com/XTZ3vZ0hGO
— Threepenny Writer (@sanmonbunshi1) April 10, 2021