Called the “Koch brothers’ secret bank” by Politico, Freedom Partners is a mysterious 501(c)(6) “trade association” that donated more than $235 million to conservative groups in 2012, making it the “largest sugar daddy for conservative groups in the last election.” Originally formed in 2011 as the Association for American Innovation, Freedom Partners was almost completely unknown until September 2013, when it posted its first IRS Form 990 on a new website and voluntarily disclosed some vague information to reporters.

complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington noted that Freedom Partner’s 501(c)(6) status was likely a way to avoid disclosing contributions to the government. While 501(c) organizations have to disclose the grants, gifts, and contributions they receive to the government, 501(c)(6) groups do not have to disclose “membership dues” they receive from “members” of their “trade association.” Thus, Freedom Partners is able to collect and spend hundreds of millions of dollars while reporting very little information to the government on where it came from.

In November 2015, The Hill noted that depite the Koch brothers’ insistence that the majority of their spending was not political in nature, Freedom Partners followed a clear election-year/off-year cycle. In 2012, a presidential election year, the group spent nearly $250 million. In 2013, an off year, the group spent $22 million. In 2014, a midterm election year, the group’s spending ticked back up to $129 million.

Between 2012 and 2014, Freedom Partners funneled nearly $350 million dollars to various organizations whose overwhelming priority was to elect Republicans. Its main function was the financial hub of the core Koch front-groups: Americans for Prosperity received more than $55 million over those three years, the LIBRE Initiative received more than $12 million, Concerned Veterans for America received more than $20 million, and Generation Opportunity received more than $25 million.

As the Kochs insisted that they were “socially liberal” and focused only on economic issues, Freedom Partners contributed more than $1 million to CitizenLink, the electoral politics-focused arm of Focus on the Family; more than $11 million to a mysterious dark-money group, Evangchr4 Trust, which then funneled most of that money into CitizenLink; and another $375,000 to the radically anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List. FP also contributed around $9.5 million to the National Rifle Association.

Freedom Partners is helmed by Marc Short, a Koch operative who was previously the House Republican Conference’s chief of staff, and three Koch Companies veterans serve on its board of directors. Politico’s Ken Vogel noted that “Koch World pays well” – given Short received $794,000 in compensation from Freedom Partners in 2014.

View Financial Record
Grants In
Grants Out
Total Expenses
12014$17,779,395$126,378,889$1,310,321$87,631,900$129,393,468View 990
22013$25,862,102$57,496,468$390,770$41,750,000$50,315,876View 990
32013$45,180,158$35,852,043$50,000$18,850,000$22,309,767View 990
42012$18,256,338$255,674,218$936,673$235,715,250$237,708,837View 990

94 transactions on record as a donor.

Ordered By: Year (Newer to Older)

1Freedom PartnersMain Street Growth Project$100,0002014+
2Freedom PartnersVeterans for Economic Freedom Trust$3,000,0002014+
3Freedom PartnersAmerican Commitment$400,0002014+
4Freedom PartnersAmerican Energy Alliance$2,367,5002014+
5Freedom PartnersAmericans for Prosperity$16,000,0002014+
6Freedom PartnersAmericans for Tax Reform$100,0002014+
7Freedom PartnersCenter For Shared Services Trust$9,750,0002014+
8Freedom PartnersColorado Women's Alliance$50,0002014+
9Freedom PartnersDr. Joseph Warren Institute$309,4002014+
10Freedom PartnersEvangchr4 Trust$5,745,0002014+
11Freedom PartnersGeneration Opportunity$14,225,0002014+
12Freedom PartnersIACE Action$95,0002014+
13Freedom PartnersIllinois Chamber of Commerce$100,0002014+
14Freedom PartnersNational Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action$4,895,0002014+
15Freedom PartnersOhio Freedom Project$50,0002014+
16Freedom PartnersAmericans for Prosperity$6,000,0002014+
17Freedom PartnersRule of Law Defense Fund$175,0002014+
18Freedom Partners60 Plus Association$250,0002014+
19Freedom PartnersThe LIBRE Initiative$6,500,0002014+
20Freedom PartnersVeterans for Economic Freedom Trust$3,000,0002014+
21Freedom PartnersTrees of Liberty$400,0002014+
22Freedom PartnersUS Chamber of Commerce$2,000,0002014+
23Freedom PartnersVeterans for Economic Freedom Trust$12,735,0002014+
24Freedom PartnersClub for Growth$1,000,0002014+
25Freedom PartnersHeritage Action for America$150,0002014+
26Freedom PartnersCitizenLink$885,0002014+
27Freedom PartnersSusan B. Anthony List$225,0002014+
28Freedom PartnersCitizenLink$125,0002014+
29Freedom PartnersGeneration Opportunity$50,0002013+
30Freedom PartnersAmerican Commitment$140,0002013+
31Freedom PartnersAmerican Energy Alliance$40,0002013+
32Freedom PartnersAmericans for Prosperity$1,000,0002013+
33Freedom PartnersAmericans for Prosperity$465,0002013+
34Freedom PartnersCenter For Shared Services Trust$3,405,0002013+
35Freedom PartnersCenter For Shared Services Trust$4,000,0002013+
36Freedom PartnersCenter to Protect Patient Rights$150,0002013+
37Freedom PartnersCoalition to Reduce Spending$100,0002013+
38Freedom PartnersConcerned Veterans for America$5,245,0002013+
39Freedom PartnersConcerned Women for America$260,0002013+
40Freedom PartnersEvangchr4 Trust$325,0002013+
41Freedom PartnersEvangchr4 Trust$30,0002013+
42Freedom PartnersGeneration Opportunity$3,500,0002013+
43Freedom PartnersGeneration Opportunity$2,450,0002013+
44Freedom PartnersHeritage Action for America$500,0002013+
45Freedom PartnersLet Freedom Ring$25,0002013+
46Freedom PartnersThe LIBRE Initiative$3,300,0002013+
47Freedom PartnersNational Taxpayers Union$105,0002013+
48Freedom PartnersPublic Notice$4,110,0002013+
49Freedom PartnersPublic Notice$3,000,0002013+
50Freedom PartnersSusan B. Anthony List$150,0002013+
Contributions from private foundations and other nonprofit entities are based on a review of publicly available Forms 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service. For more information about our methodology, visit our about page.