While the donor-funded new organization ProPublica may bill itself as an “independent” investigative journalism site, the New York Post reported this week that the outlet relies heavily on anonymous donors.
In 2022, nearly 25 percent of ProPublica’s funding came from two donors which the outlet refuses to name.
According to the New York Post, some of ProPublica’s donors filter their donations through Donor Advised Funds, which allows them to remain anonymous.
Founded in 2007 by former Wall Street Journal editor Paul Steiger, ProPublica has drawn the ire of conservative activists who argue that the site’s reporting is tinged with left-wing bias and funded primarily by wealthy left-wing donors like George Soros.
And while some donors, like George Soros, are known, most of ProPublica’s donors are anonymous. The outlet took in more than $6 million in 2020 and 2021 from donors that remain unknown.
According to the Post, ProPublica recently held a fundraiser at the luxurious Manhattan home of financier Mark Colodny, a board member for the outlet. Attendees included Charles Rockefeller and his wife Emily Shippee, Spotify’s Shiela Spence, and chairman emeritus Lawrence Rand from the PR firm Kekst & Co.
An unnamed conservative activist described the outlet as sanctimonious and hypocritical, telling the New York Post that ProPublica portrays itself as transparent and pure while being “backrolled by left-wing donors” whose names are kept hidden.
Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, a frequent target of ProPublica’s hit pieces on the conservatives justices on the Supreme Court, told the New York Post that ProPublica holding private fundraisers with “billionaire donors” while branding itself as “seeking transparency and accountability,” makes him wonder just who is influencing the outlet and “what are the special interests” these wealthy donors represent.
The largest single donor to ProPublica in 2021 was the San Francisco-based Crankstart, a foundation set up by Sequoia Capital’s Michael Moritz, a prominent Obama supporter. Crankstart donated $3 million to ProPublica.
Far-left billionaire George Soros’ Open Society gave ProPublica $175,903 in 2021 and $353,000 in 2019, according to tax filings.