A Public Resource Compiled by the

Firedoll Foundation

1460 Maria Lane, Suite 400 Walnut Creek CA 94596
501c3 nonprofit

Donor to anti-GMO organizations as part of a broader philanthropic strategy

Key People

  • Sandor Straus, Co-Founder
  • Faye Strous, Co-Founder
  • Melissa Boilon, Program Officer
  • Stephen Hoeft, Program Officer

Founded by “two unrepentant liberals,” Firedoll Foundation is a politically progressive family foundation that finances nonprofits that work on a variety of issues, including environmental conservation. The foundation says it has “a sense of urgency about the state of the planet,” and supports “a variety of approaches to preserving the environment, including legal action, scientific inquiry, legislative advocacy and direct action.”

The Center for Food Safety (CFS), one of Firedoll’s biggest environmental grant recipients, is actively involved in the GMO debate. For example, CFS filed suit against the Trump Administration in August 2018, alleging that the USDA attempted to stall federal GMO food labeling regulations. “Trump, [USDA Secretary Sonny] Perdue, and their corporate lobbyists” want to keep “Americans in the dark” about genetically engineered ingredients in their food,” CFS claimed in a press release for the lawsuit, “but the law doesn’t permit it.”

Firedoll grant recipient Beyond Pesticides takes a similarly hardline stance against GMO crops. The organization argues on its website that engineering insect-resistant crops “is short-sighted and dangerous,” and the “overuse of herbicide-resistant crops has also led to ‘super weeds,’ and the destruction of pollinator habitat.” Experts do not share these concerns about GMO crops, however.

The Firedoll Foundation is also a member of Californians for GE-Free Agriculture, a statewide coalition to protect farmers from the “human health and economic risks of genetic engineering in agriculture.” Firedoll grant recipient Center for Environmental Health and Justice is also a part of the coalition. Center for Food Safety operates the California-based coalition.

Financial Data


Annual Revenue: $2,660,332 (2016)

Total Assets $12,124,093 (2016)

Major Recipients (total contributions 2012-present)

Center for Food Safety $80,000

Center for Biological Diversity $85,000

Center for Environmental Health $60,000

Natural Resources Defense Council $75,000

Beyond Pesticides $45,000

EarthJustice $50,000

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility $50,000

As You Sow $40,000

Food and Water Watch $35,000

Tides Center $15,000

Share via

Note that there are three “levels” of both donors and recipients.

Donations to advocacy groups are sometimes designated to support a specific cause, such as organic agriculture or mitigating climate change. There is no way for us to know from publicly-available documents on what the money will be spent, as we can only see the total amount donated. When we assign the levels below to donors and recipients, we assume that all donations are available to the recipient for all advocacy, including anti-GMO advocacy.

  • Level 1: Donates primarily to dedicated anti-GMO organizations
  • Level 2: A large portion of donations go to anti-GMO organizations; some donations go to organizations without a position on GMOs
  • Level 3: A small portion of donations go to anti-GMO organizations
    * Most donations go to organizations without a formal position on GMOs but which have aligned themselves with anti-GMO activists

For Level 1 recipients, all donations are used for anti-GMO advocacy. For Level 2 and 3 recipients, we don’t know how much of each donation is used for anti-GMO advocacy.

  • Level 1: Dedicated to anti-GMO advocacy
  • Level 2: Involved in anti-GMO advocacy along with other causes
  • Level 3: No specific anti-GMO advocacy, but general support
    * Organizations without a formal position on GMOs but which have aligned themselves with anti-GMO activists
Send this to a friend