Liberal advocacy nonprofits outraise conservative ones 3-to-1, according to research conducted by Richard Viguerie, chairman of American Target Advertising. Overall, ATA says the 50 best-funded conservative organizations reported revenues of $7.765 billion, while the 50 best-funded liberal organizations reported $19.598 billion. 

“It’s a fact. The Left raises far more money than the conservatives do,” Viguerie said.

The Sentinel spot-checked Viguerie’s findings and didn’t find any discrepancies. 

Viguerie, 87, pioneered direct mail fundraising after helping Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign in 1964. He continues to study marketing to this day.

He compiled a list of the 50 largest conservative and liberal organizations by funding, utilizing their 2018 annual reports. National Christian Charitable Foundation, WinRed, Senate Leadership Fund, National Rifle Association, and the Charles Koch Foundation organizations rounded out the top 5 best-funded conservative organizations with revenues as high as $2.6 billion for the National Christian Charitable Foundation. WinRed garnered $1.9 billion in revenue. SLC reported revenues of $475.3 million, and the NRA reported $367.7 million. The Koch-funded organizations, which include American for Prosperity PACs and nonprofits as well as the Charles Koch Institute, and Stand Together, netted $227.1 million in revenue.

The five best-funded progressive organizations include ActBlue, George Soros-funded organizations, the American Association of Retired People, the National Association of Letter Carriers, and Planned Parenthood. ActBlue’s revenues exceeded $4 billion in 2018. George Soros organizations, which include Open Society, Soros Foundation, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking, generated $1.9 billion. The AARP raised $1.8 billion, and the letter carriers reported revenues of $1.8 billion. Planned Parenthood and its affiliates reported revenues of $1.7 billion.

With the list of right and left combined, the top 50 revenue-producing ideological and political nonprofits include 36 liberal groups and 14 conservative ones.

Viguerie used recent tax returns to track revenue

Viguerie didn’t say how he determined which organizations to list as conservative and which to list as liberal, though Never Trump organizations are included as left-leaning organizations on his list. However, he said it’s a myth that conservative organizations spend more than others. His top 50 list is just the tip of the iceberg.

“It reflects just a small smattering of how much money there is on the left,” he said. “There are literally tens of thousands of liberal, single-issue organizations. They have their own source of money, their own membership. Their own funding.”

Of the ideological organizations with budgets of $100 million or more, the left boasts 35. There are 11 conservative ones. There are eight liberal organizations with annual budgets of $1 billion or more. On the conservative side, there are 2.

His list stops at the top 50. However, he said, a full list of right-leaning groups with more than $500,000 in funding includes about 400 organizations. The left has thousands and thousands of groups with $500,000 in revenues.

Viguerie also compiled data about the top private family foundations. These foundations, like the Lilly Endowment and the Ford Foundation, generate income primarily through investments — not fundraising. According to his data, the top 10 private conservative family foundations earned $27.98 billion in 2018. Meanwhile, the top 10 private liberal family foundations earned $76.657 billion. The George Soros private stock portfolio isn’t on the list. However, Viguerie said the portfolio is valued at $27 billion. The earnings often are used to contribute to liberal advocacy organizations like the Open Society Foundation. Only two conservative family foundations report assets of more than $3 billion, while 10 of the top liberal family foundations boast assets totaling more than $3 billion.

To compile the lists, Viguerie used data from opensecrets.org and guidestar.org.

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