A Public Resource Compiled by the

Trust for Conservation Innovation (Multiplier)

405 14th Street, Suite 164
Oakland, CA 94612
501c3 nonprofit
Multiplier.org

Recipient: Focus on climate change, pollution and biotech-related topics

Key People

  • Laura Deaton, Executive Director
  • Carolyn Schour, Finance Director
  • Shannon Cherry, Communications and Outreach Director
  • Alice Ng, Senior Advisor, Fundraising

Multiplier

Multiplier, formerly the Trust for Conservation Innovation, was founded in 2002 to provide low-cost, high-value fiscal sponsorship and administrative services to environmental groups “that share our vision of a healthy and sustainable global environment.” Multiplier opposes crop biotechnology and supports campaigns designed to warn consumers about the alleged dangers of genetic engineering.

Multiplier’s biggest contribution to anti-GMO advocacy is the GMO Science initiative, an online campaign with close ties to prominent environmental groups and the organic food industry. Activist and lawyer Debbie Friedman is the initiative’s strategic advisor and has worked with the Environmental Working Group and Center for Biological Diversity on anti-pesticide campaigns. The GMO Science expert board includes Michael Hansen, Jonathan Latham and Michael Antoniou, who are in the minority of credentialed scholars that oppose crop biotechnology. The GMO Science website was originally registered to Mark Squire in August 2014. Squire is a co-founder and major funder of the Non-GMO Project and owner of Good Earth Natural Foods.

GMO Science highlights “the impacts of genetically engineered crops …. to human and ecological health.” The site claims, for instance, that herbicide-tolerant GMO crops have caused “a hidden epidemic” of cancer and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which was covered up by a “senior employee at the US Environmental Protection Agency…” GMO Science also maintains that “GM foods should be avoided by women who want to conceive,” because “pesticides in foods can harm human fertility.” Citing the rise of chronic diseases in children, GMO science also promotes “a diet based on organically grown foods that are as little processed as possible and cooked fresh at home.”

Multiplier is funded by the same private foundations that finance some of the biggest anti-GMO groups in the world. The Packard Foundation, for instance, has given over $4 million to Multiplier and also donates to groups like Greenpeace, which views GMOs as a corporate takeover of our food system. Similarly, the Marisla Foundation, which “supports the search for solutions to …. threats caused by toxic chemicals,” has donated nearly $600,000 to Multiplier since 2012. Marisla also sponsors advocacy groups including the Pesticide Action Network and Organic Consumers Association, organizations that view GMO crops as “the growth engines of the pesticide industry’s sales and marketing strategy,” and “poison-drenched” plants that are “killing the bees, butterflies [and] birds.”

Financial Data

 

Annual Revenue: $17,294,100 (2016)

Total Assets $8,435,170 (2016)

Major Donors (total contributions 2012-present)

Walton Family Foundation $6,576,527

David and Lucile Packard Foundation $4,882,075

Silicon Valley Community Foundation $1,482,000

Schmidt Family Foundation $1,050,000

Gordon E. & Betty Moore Foundation $760,500

Marisla Foundation $580,000

Rockefeller Foundation $400,000

Lucretia Philanthropic Foundation Inc $240,000

John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation $170,000

Clarence E Heller Charitable Foundation $150,000

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.

Donors
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

Recipients
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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