Tides Center

Tides Center is a non-profit organization in the United States which provides fiscal sponsorship for progressive groups. Tides Center is classified a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization by the IRS. The organization is based in San Francisco with offices in the Presidio.

It is administratively linked to but separate from the Tides Foundation. Tides Center and Tides Foundation are part of a family of organizations linked by a commitment to social change, innovation, and responsible stewardship of resources.

The foundation is unusual in that much of the money it distributes is channeled through the organization from other foundations. Among hundreds of charitable foundations, the Heinz Endowments, of which Teresa Heinz Kerry is Chair, contributed $8 million to Tides Center, mainly for community projects in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The Heinz Endowments also gave a total $230,000 to Tides Foundation from 1994 to 1998, but has not given grants to Tides Foundation since. Others associated with Tides, or who have given important donations, include George Soros, David Fenton, Wade Rathke, the New World Foundation, the Charles H. Revson Foundation, ProPublica and the Pew Charitable Trusts. [Center for Consumer Freedom, [http://www.activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/oid/225 Profile of Tides Foundation & Tides Center] .]

Tides Center handles administrative functions such as payroll, benefits, insurance, and tax form 990 in exchange for a fee, which varies, and which is taken out of grant monies.

People for the American Way is among the organizations that began as projects of Tides Center. [cite web
title = Tides Center: Projects & Impact
publisher = Tides Center
url = http://www.tidescenter.org/projects-impact/index.html
accessdate = 2007-06-28

The Americans For Gun Safety Foundation, the Campaign to Defend the Constitution, the Rockridge Institute [cite web
title = Rockridge Institute Home Page
publisher = Rockridge Institute
url = http://www.rockridgeinstitute.org/
accessdate = 2007-06-28
] , and the Citizendium Foundation are current projects of Tides Center.


Tides Center’s roots lie in the Tides Foundation, founded by Drummond Pike in 1976. In 1977, the Tides Foundation began working with initiative campaigns, an arrangement that was formalized into the Projects Program in 1979. In 1996, this program became Tides Center, an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since 1996, Tides Center has been fiscal sponsorship to 677 projects with combined revenues of $522.4 million, and has worked with well over 800 projects since the first days as the Projects Program. Tides Center currently manages over [http://www2.tidescenter.org/directory/projectdirectory.cfm 200 projects] .

One of its best known recent contibutions was to the American scholar on international trade and sustainability, Annie Leonard, to produce her popular Internet-based documentary "The Story of Stuff" about the life-cycle of goods and services. (The Foundation was the major sponsor; there were also several others). ["The Story of Stuff" [http://www.storyofstuff.com/credits.html Credits] ] The Canadian branch is called Tides Canada. [ [http://tidescanada.org/ Tides Canada] ]


There has been criticism of the foundation based on the premise that it is not transparent enough, and that donor organizations not wishing to be associated with a particular cause can hide behind Tides' reputation. The Center for Consumer Freedom has been especially critical. [Center for Consumer Freedom, [http://www.activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/oid/225 Profile of Tides Foundation & Tides Center] .]

External links

* [http://www.tidescenter.org/ Tides Center] Official site
* [http://www.snopes.com/politics/kerry/tides.asp Urban Legends Reference Pages: John Kerry and Tides Foundation]
* [http://www.tides.org/resources-news/news-room/single-news-item/index.html?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=93&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=312&cHash=789a8ea0ef The Truth About Tides Foundation, Tides Center, and the Heinz Endowments] from the Tides website
* [http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx@docID=224.html Internet "Whispering Campaigns" Falsely Accuse Teresa Heinz Kerry]


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