Anti-gay groups receive high rankings from Reddit’s charity partner

Charities like Focus on the Family are up for Reddit's donation prize.


Myles Tanzer


Published Feb 19, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 12:16 pm CDT

Reddit’s big charity drive could send tens of thousands of dollars to anti-gay hate groups.

Reddit has promised to split 10 percent of its 2014 ad revenue—that’s $827,659.49—between 10 charities selected by redditors. In the name of fairness and troll prevention, any person with a Reddit account that was made before yesterday gets unlimited votes but can only vote for a charity one time.

The site has partnered with Charity Navigator, a nonprofit organization that evaluates the legitimacy of charities, to organize suggestions and attempt to counteract any trolling. But because Charity Navigator does not take any intent of the organization into account, there are lots of charities up for the cash that forward-thinking redditors would likely not approve of—for instance, four of the U.S.’s charities with very public anti-gay views are up for the cash prize.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was started by preacher Billy Graham in 1950 with the aim of “spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Franklin Graham, its president and CEO, proclaimed in 2014 that “none other than Satan himself” is behind LGBT advocacy. Charity Navigator gave the organization four stars.

Another organization that was awarded four stars for its accountability and transparency was the American Family Association. The Southern Poverty Law Center listed the AFA as an anti-gay hate group in 2010. They recently fired Brian Fischer, their “Director of Issue Analysis,” for repeatedly claiming that Hitler was gay, so World War II should be blamed on “homosexuals.”

The Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, two other infamous charities who have also been named as anti-gay hate groups, were given three stars by Charity Navigator and are available to be chosen at will.

In a blog post announcing last year’s donation spree, the company’s first, CEO Yishan Wong (who has since resigned from the company) said that Reddit “reserve[s] the right to control the entire process” and will intervene if there are any “shenanigans.” It is unclear whether Reddit will pick out charities it deems unacceptable this time around.

Reddit did not respond to our request for comment in time for publication.

Photo via infomatique/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Feb 19, 2015, 2:04 pm CST