A Public Resource Compiled by the

Tides Foundation

PO Box 29198, San Francisco, CA 94129
Donor to anti-GMO activism as part of broader philanthropic strategy
Tides is both a recipient and a donor and operates under multiple names, including Tides Foundation and Tides Center
Key People
  • Drummond Pike, Founder
  • Kriss Deiglmeier, Tides CEO
  • Wade Rathke, Chairman
  • Peter Mellen, Treasurer
  • Amanda Keton, General Counsel

The Tides Foundation is a politically progressive donor-directed philanthropy, established in 1976 by Drummond Pike with Jane Bagley Lehman, heir to the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company fortune. In 1996, Pike established the Tides Center, an offshoot of the Tides Foundation. The Tides Center provides grants management, administrative, financial and human resources services to charitable initiatives not yet incorporated as 501(c)(3)s.

With an annual budget near $300 million, the foundation is one of the largest political donors in the United States, and funds a variety of environmentalist causes, including anti-GMO and anti-pesticide advocacy. The Tides foundation has given at least $100,000 each to several prominent anti-crop biotechnology NGOs, including the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and Natural Resources Defense Council. This money finances efforts to destroy field trials of genetically modified crops, lobby governments for GMO labeling legislation and spread misinformation about agriculture.

Financial Data

  • Annual Revenue: $285,614,910 (2016)
  • Total Assets: $190, 603, 953 (2016)

Major Donors (total contributions 2012-present)

  • NoVo Foundation $54,418,085
  • New Field Foundation: $8,227,958
  • David and Lucile Packard Foundation: $4,089,000
  • Foundation For A Just Society $600,000

Major Grant Recipients (total contributions 2012-present)

  • Natural Resources Defense Council: $178,417
  • Greenpeace Canada: $137,013
  • Sierra Club Foundation: $100,000
  • Friends of the Earth Australia $100,000

Contribution totals only reflect publicly reported donors and may not include significant contributions from corporations, litigators and governments, domestic and foreign, through percent of sales agreements and allocations through various arrangements such as state lotteries and aid programs. Many claims by nonprofit organizations that they receive no contributions from governments or corporations are misleading or false.

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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
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