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NOM’s donor base revealed to be small and shrinking

NOM Exposed Right-wing

By Jacob Combs

As you may recall, NOM’s been facing an uphill legal battle in Washington to keep the identities of individuals who signed its anti-gay petitions secret.  In an article published today, The Washington Independent brings us the not surprising but still telling revelation that the overwhelming majority of NOM’s financial contributions come, in fact, from just two individuals.

2010 was a good year from NOM in terms of dollar signs–the organization reported its greatest individual donations since its creation in 2007.  But NOM’s donor pool, while deep-pocketed, is extremely small.  According to NOM’s own IRS filings, which were obtained by the Independent, just two donors gave over $6 million to NOM’s political operations, accounting for almost two-thirds of the organization’s operating costs.  Single donations of less than $5,000 made up just 8 percent of reported revenue.

Even more revealing is the fact that NOM’s donor base seems to be shrinking.  In 2009, contributions over $5,000 made up around 78 percent of contributions; last year, they made up 92 percent.  This is the kind of duplicity we’ve come to expect from NOM, and it just goes to show how laughable their attempts to portray themselves as a ‘grassroots’ organization really are.  Don’t forget, this is the group that used an Obama rally photo as part of its press releases to pretend its events could actually draw crowds.  NOM may rich and powerful, but representative of a broad community of like-minded individuals it is not.


  • 1. menergy  |  December 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Explains a lot why their bus tour turnouts are in the 5'ves of people…..

  • 2. Sagesse  |  December 12, 2011 at 5:50 pm


  • 3. Joe  |  December 12, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    No wonder they want to keep their donors secret… scare away the biggest ones and that's almost all of their organization!

  • 4. Nyx  |  December 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    OK.. I'm in a Machiavellian mood tonight.. where is the seed money coming from? Is it from actual anti-gay individuals/groups (in the traditional sense). Or, is it from other amoral individuals/groups who are using us in a "Karl Rove'n way" who really don't care one way or another about the 'gay" and are using us (and those that truly dislike us) as pawns in another game?

  • 5. june  |  December 12, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Good question Nyx. I too would like to know this.

  • 6. whabbear  |  December 13, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Why weren't the donors revealed? Why the continuing secrecy?

  • 7. PhillyKarl  |  December 13, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Those two anonymous donors are forming a new group: "Cowards for Christ". Sniveling in the darkness, they seek to destroy the lives of impartial judges and same-sex couples alike, without the fear that others will find out their secret identities and then say mean things that might hurt their feelings. Their mantra? "Jesus told us to hide!"

  • 8. AnonyGrl  |  December 13, 2011 at 6:53 am


  • 9. MJFargo  |  December 13, 2011 at 8:24 am

    My guess would be two individuals funnelling money from two large (unnamed) religious demoninations, but that's just me being cynical.

  • 10. Jamie W.  |  December 13, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I don't think it has to be two individuals funneling money. The article say "two donors" made up $6 million. Those donors could be individuals, churches, private organizations, or corporations. It seems like there must be a way to find this out.

  • 11. be4marriage  |  December 13, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I'd be very interested to know how much money NOM donated to "Catholic Vote Action" in 2010 as that is the anti-gay/anti-choice propaganda site called "Catholic Vote." Their Director, Thomas Peters, took a job with NOM at the end of last year following this donation. It would also seem to put that entire organization at risk of being merely an arm of NOM if the donation was sizeable.

  • 12. Dave D  |  December 13, 2011 at 10:11 am

    According to the filed report it was $10,000.

  • 13. Robert McCann  |  December 13, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Names! I want names!

  • 14. MJFargo  |  December 13, 2011 at 11:51 am

    This "news" certainly vindicates why people are asking for transparency: Not for the purpose of harassment but to expose the tactics being used against LGB&T people in their fight for equality.

  • 15. Bill  |  December 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Maybe THIS is why Anita Bryant has been bankrupt for so long!

  • 16. MarcosLB  |  December 13, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    This is from Wikipedia:

    "In 2010, Jesse Zwick, then a reporter for the Washington Independent, said he uncovered a 2009 donation to NOM—$1.43 million from the Knights of Columbus[18]—that reporter Luke Johnson later said was apparently not reported to the IRS by NOM.[17] In 2010, two donors provided $6 million, two-thirds of the total donations for the year.[19]

    Gay rights activist Fred Karger gave his opinion that NOM is connected to the Latter Day Saint movement, with large private donations coming from Mormon sources.[2] Gallagher responded by denying any connection to the LDS movement "except that a Mormon serves on NOM's board."[14] Former board member Matthew S. Holland is a Mormon as is his replacement Orson Scott Card, and Catholic board member Robert P. George has served since August 2010 as an editorial advisor to the Deseret News, a Mormon newspaper.[20] Reporter Zwick demonstrated that at least one major donation in 2009 came from a Catholic group, the Knights of Columbus."

  • 17. Bob  |  December 13, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    exactly Nyx, we're caught in the cross fire,, and I agree with most that the only obstacle to gay rights is the religious right,,,, that is the only organized anti-gay group that exists,,, I challenge anyone to come up with a reason anyone would find fo oppose us other than religion,,,,,

    however,, religion is embedded in the wealth, powerstructure, politics in an obscure but dangerous way,,, I'd say funding for NOM comes from Church, Wall Street, and Foreiegn countries,, one of those being the Vatican,, and you can figure out the others by seeing who reacted negatively to Hillary's speech,,, those powers can all funnel money without trace through chruches etc,, and feed this machine,,,, they buy politicians to fight their battles…

    so we become a very minor part of the 99% the funding for NOM comes from the 1% putting it bluntly we no longer are a small minority if we align with the 99% and the present occupy movement…

  • 18. Bob  |  December 13, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Republicans are paid by this machine to keep things the way they are,,, what is happening right now globally,, and locally in the U.S. is historical in porprtion,, if you consider what's at stake in the next election…..

    Part of the value of Hillary's speech was to indicate this division globally,,, very briliant, because LGBT's are the weakest link,,,, Obama stating where he stands (on the right side of history),,

    However we presently are the largest threat, the enemy is religion (fanatical),, which has been pulling the strings (c street),, and operating globally,,, religion is an institution that thrives on blind followers,,,

  • 19. Bob  |  December 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    universes are colliding,,,, NOM's illusion of the world they want, which coincides well with the wealthy simply because it separates all the rest of us,,, that's why big money uses the churches…
    Nom's illsusion of a world of one man one woman, has collided with the world as it is evofving,,
    NOM's illusion will be toppled when the defrinition of marriage is between equals,,,,, and that word equal that Walker used is really significant,,,,

    I say take advantage of Hillary's speech and call in the U.N. to oversee this here court case,, and how LGBT"s are being discriminated against through this process, including the disclosure for funding….

    Bottom line is we must take our place with the 99% and Obama has got to win the next election,,,, we have to make that happen…..

  • 20. Josh  |  December 13, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I'm not surprised that nom gets most of their money from a few sources, however, I'd be interested to see what percent of money for other groups that claim to be "grass-roots" comes from $5k and above donors. For example, what are the numbers for this site and Courage Campaign? Don't get me wrong, I really like this site, but I'm curious how it compares. We love to point and laugh at nom, but maybe their trend is common considering the depressed economy.

    I do hope the theme of this article is true and nom's base is shrinking. Some are dying, but hopefully, more people are moving toward the side of equality or at least recognizing nom's lies, rejecting them and not wasting their money on their pure discrimination.

  • 21. bob m  |  December 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I guess they missed the part about not hiding your light under a basket…

  • 22. Josh  |  December 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Can anyone say what the donor base for P8TT and CC is like in regard to % of $5k and greater?

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