American Civil Liberties Union donations received

This is an online portal with information on donations that were announced publicly (or have been shared with permission) that were of interest to Vipul Naik. The git repository with the code for this portal, as well as all the underlying data, is available on GitHub. All payment amounts are in current United States dollars (USD). The repository of donations is being seeded with an initial collation by Issa Rice as well as continued contributions from him (see his commits and the contract work page listing all financially compensated contributions to the site) but all responsibility for errors and inaccuracies belongs to Vipul Naik. Current data is preliminary and has not been completely vetted and normalized; if sharing a link to this site or any page on this site, please include the caveat that the data is preliminary (if you want to share without including caveats, please check with Vipul Naik). We expect to have completed the first round of development by the end of March 2022. See the about page for more details. Also of interest: pageview data on, tutorial in README, request for feedback to EA Forum.

Table of contents

Basic donee information

Facebook page
Twitter usernameaclu
Wikipedia page

Donee donation statistics

Cause areaCountMedianMeanMinimum10th percentile 20th percentile 30th percentile 40th percentile 50th percentile 60th percentile 70th percentile 80th percentile 90th percentile Maximum
Overall 6 10 333,760 0 0 0 0 10 10 50 2,500 2,500 2,000,000 2,000,000
2 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 10 10 10 10
Arts 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Civil liberties 1 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
FIXME 2 2,500 1,001,250 2,500 2,500 2,500 2,500 2,500 2,500 2,000,000 2,000,000 2,000,000 2,000,000 2,000,000

Donation amounts by donor and year for donee American Civil Liberties Union

Donor Total 2018 2017 2014 2011
Pineapple Fund (filter this donee) 2,000,000.00 2,000,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Barbara McDowell and Gerald S. Hartman Foundation (filter this donee) 2,500.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2,500.00
Peter Hurford (filter this donee) 50.00 0.00 50.00 0.00 0.00
Elizabeth Van Nostrand (filter this donee) 10.00 0.00 0.00 10.00 0.00
Nathan Cummings Foundation (filter this donee) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Sandler Foundation (filter this donee) 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Total 2,002,560.00 2,000,000.00 50.00 10.00 2,500.00

Full list of documents in reverse chronological order (2 documents)

Title (URL linked)Publication dateAuthorPublisherAffected donorsAffected doneesDocument scopeCause areaNotes
The Sandler Way: Where Big Philanthropy Meets the Art of Common Sense2015-01-27David Callahan Inside PhilanthropySandler Foundation American Civil Liberties Union ProPublica Center for Responsible Lending American Asthma Foundation University of California, San Francisco Center for American Progress Human Rights Watch Stanford University Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Third-party coverage of donor strategyThe Inside Philanthropy article discusses the giving strategy of the Sandler Foundation, backed by the wealth of Herb and Marion Sandler that they made by growing and then selling the Golden West Financial Corporation. The article identifies a few key principles of the foundation's giving: (1) focus money where it can make a big difference (in many cases, this leads to the creation of new nonprofits), (2) look for leverage points (i.e., look for cases where spending some money can lead to more resoures from others being allocated and greater long-term results), (3) obsess over due diligence, (4) back great leaders, (5) provide long term general support (in contrast to support tied to a specific program area)
Self-Made Philanthropists2008-03-09Joe Nocera New York TimesSandler Foundation Human Rights Watch American Civil Liberties Union Acorn Center for Responsible Lending Center for American Progress ProPublica University of California, San Francisco Third-party coverage of donor strategyThe New York Times Magazine article discusses the giving of couple Herb and Marion Sandler, who made a fortune off of Golden West Financial Corporation, a savings and loan operation in California. The couple began their giving in the 1980s, first as individual donors and then through the Sandler Foundation which they created. Key distinguishing features of the foundation, as highlighted in the article include: a "philanthrocapitalist" approach that relies on extensive vetting of nonprofits before making long, multi-year commitments to them, financing the creation of new nonprofits if necessary, and close engagement with grantees

Full list of donations in reverse chronological order (6 donations)

Graph of top 10 donors by amount, showing the timeframe of donations

Graph of donations and their timeframes
DonorAmount (current USD)Amount rank (out of 6)Donation dateCause areaURLInfluencerNotes
Sandler Foundation----2019--
Pineapple Fund2,000,000.0012018-01-30FIXME
Peter Hurford50.0032017-01-29Civil liberties
Elizabeth Van Nostrand10.0042014-12-29-- See for more.
Barbara McDowell and Gerald S. Hartman Foundation2,500.0022011FIXME Six month report: Year end report: Affected regions: FIXME; affected countries: FIXME.
Nathan Cummings Foundation----1993Arts/Creative Autonomy / Arts Advocacy To provide legal assistance to creative artists and arts organizations whose First Amendment rights are jeopardized by threats of censorship, through the Arts Censorship Project, a program of litigation, public education, and media advocacy. (1992 award, $250,000/3 years).