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Monday, June 1, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Innovia Foundation approves anti-hate charitable giving policy

The nonprofit Innovia Foundation on Thursday adopted a new anti-hate policy after concerns were raised by a previous executive about charitable funds going to a white nationalist group.

Innovia announced the approval of the policy in a news release. The new policy expressly gives the organization authority to accept or reject payments from what are known as “a donor-advised fund” if that donation is given to a group that advocates for violence, harassment or intimidation based on a number of factors.

Innovia has facilitated gifts of millions of dollars to local charities. Innovia also has funded local journalism and community forum projects in partnership with The Spokesman-Review.

Last month, the Southern Poverty Law Center highlighted the foundation’s gift to a group called VDARE, which advocates for white nationalist and anti-immigrant policies, as evidence of a larger pattern of charitable giving susceptible to manipulation by hate groups. Innovia’s tax-exempt status allowed for the donor to the group to remain anonymous. After initially deferring to the donor’s wishes, the nonprofit said a week later it would be changing its giving policies to prohibit charity to hate groups.

Shelly O’Quinn, the organization’s chief executive, said in a statement that the policy was developed in coordination with other community foundations that prohibit charitable giving to hate groups.

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