Records Indicate Two Individual Donors Contribute Bulk of NOM’s Cash

In 2010, The National Organization for Marriage had its highest individual donations since it began in 2007, according to records obtained by the Washington Independent, and 92% of its funds came from 22 donations of more than $5,000 it was required, with two individual donations making up the bulk of NOM's cash.

NOM-logoPer NOM’s numbers, just two individuals contributed more than $6 million to the organization’s political arm – accounting for about two-thirds of NOM’s 2010 revenue, while single donations below $5,000 covered only 8 percent of reported revenue.

This revelation is not extraordinary for NOM, whose existence from the very beginning has been dependent upon large contributions from a small pool of big-money, mostly anonymous donors. But what’s different about this past funding cycle is how much narrower the margin is between $100 contributions and $1 million contributions.

They add:

Of the 22 contributions NOM’s (c)4 was obligated to list, all but five were greater than $5,000.

The top five contributions to the National Organization for Marriage, Inc.:


Of course NOM wants folks to believe they have crowds of supporters the size of Obama's.


  1. peterparkerp says

    Can someone clean up that first sentence? I’ve read it about 10 times, and it makes no sense.

    And yeah…we need to know the names of the assholes who contributed this cash to NOM!

  2. BABH says

    Yes, almost certainly religious institutional donors, Mormon and Catholic.

    Compare to Freedom to Marry, who list 60 donors of over $1000 each (and are proud to publish their names in gratitude), and who have hundreds (thousands?) of small donors. (Annual report available here:

    On the other hand, notice that FtM gets 85% of its funding from large foundation grants, and most of the rest from large individual donors. Small donors to any political movement will almost always account for a very small percentage of the operating budget.

  3. Christopher says

    “But what’s different about this past funding cycle is how much narrower the margin is between $100 contributions and $1 million contributions.

    Don’t they mean to say how much WIDER the margin is between these two groups–if the million dollar donors account for two-thirds of the revenue? Otherwise, I can’t make sense of this sentence.

  4. Caliban says

    And so far NOM has *refused* to release its list of donors despite being ordered to do so by courts in several states. Forcing them to identify their donors, especially the top 5, should be a priority for the marriage equality movement. While Mormon or Catholic donors are a good guess, it could easily be the Koch brothers or someone like them.

    You’d think that if someone were willing to donate millions of dollars to the cause of preventing marriage equality they’d be PROUD to stand up and admit it.

  5. Patrick Wellington III says

    I don’t think it’s the Mormons anymore. Most likely the Catholics now, but the two huge donations pique my interest. If these don’t represent religious organizations, then what two zillionaires in the US would be willing and able to part with that much money – and yet want it to remain secret?

  6. Curtis says

    Come on, NOM is a front for the Mormon Church’s continued involvement in this issue. NOM formed in the wake of the Prop 8 fiasco which was a huge PR disaster and miscalculation on the part of he Mormon Church. Taking a page out of their own playbook that they used in Hawaii they found non-Mormons (plausible deniability) to front NOM and took up the existing anti-Gay campaign. This coincided exactly with the Mormon Church’s very public turn around where they said they supported LGBT civil rights (while technically never backing down or changing their position on marriage). It was always phony.

  7. Mary says

    I’m not really sure it matters where NOM gets its money from. What matters more is how many people support its main message. If lower middle income people are more culturally conservative (and likely more homophobic) than upper middle income people then it would make sense that most of them couldn’t afford to contribute to a group like NOM. Many such people already struggle to support their families – many also tithe at church (or try to.)

    But trying to force NOM or any political group to release the names of people who contributed is not a good idea. Some people’s political views are in the minority where they work and live and they could be subjected to harassment – -this is as true of those with liberal views as those of conservative views. Now we know that Towleroad readers are kind souls who would never hassle anyone (just accuse them of being asswipes and neo-nazis!) but such harassers DO exist. As with sexual orientation, people should be able to keep their political views “closeted” if they want to. I can’t imagine anything more likely to cause gay rights a serious political setback then its supporters getting a list of people who contributed to an anti-gay group and trying to contact those people individually – as has been suggested on other gay websites.

  8. Nonsense says

    “people should be able to keep their political views “closeted” if they want to”

    They can keep their views closeted. Once they decide to make sizable donations to political causes, they’ve decided to come out of the closet in a blaze of glory.

    If I’m required to disclose my name, profession and place of residency for a $50 donation to a political candidate, then I sure as hell want to know the shadowy and unethical individuals who are donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to destroy the 14th amendment of the US constitution through NOM. There’s no right to anonymous donations to political candidates or causes, period.

  9. EdA says

    Sorry, Mary. I’m with the others who point out that if someone is prepared to turn over hundreds of thousands, or millions, of dollars to a cause — ANY cause (or at least any legal cause), s/he/it presumably has the resources and standing to be relatively immune to harassment.

    Although the pro-bigotry groups keep complaining that release of the names of their supporters would open them to harassment, to the best of my knowledge none have suffered anything other than mild non-physical nuisances.

  10. Rob roberts says

    I do NOT understand how tax exempt religious organizations can keep pumping money into political hate groups. Isn’t this illegal? Shouldn’t such religious organizations lose theirntax-exempt status? As far as I am concerned, this is the only tactic that will effectively shut these religious bigots up — because ifntherenis one thing they like more than molesting young boys, it is money.

  11. DeeperStill says

    So Mary is concerned some lowlife bigots will be “subjected to harassment”, for donating to a hategroup that subject LGBT people to harassment…

    Just priceless.

  12. Mary says

    When I talk about peope possibly being harassed I’m not referring to the wealthy people, who are often the target of protests for other reasons and can better protect themselves. I’m referring to the more or less ordinary people who may get phone calls or letters and feel intimidated by this. They don’t necessarily have to be threatened physically to feel intimidated.

    You may not like these donators to NOM or other groups but you want to try to win them over, not scare them into silence. The latter tactic only has the effect of creating more sympathy for them among those who are still on the fence regarding gay issues.. Silencing people is not the same thing as winning them over. Gay marriage has yet to win many state-wide legislative victories and it is not likely to win them if its supporters are seen as intimidators.
    Angry people can always get their revenge in the voting booth.

    “Deeperstill” I have never advocated harassing anyone, gay or straight, for any reason. I believe that cultural conflicts need to be won on the basis of ideas.

  13. Mary says

    Let’s look at it this way: some teenager in Nebraska wants to donate some of his money to a gay rights group. Should his parents, his church, and his neighbors be able to know about his political views? What if he would like to live elsewhere but can’t afford to yet? He is stuck there and has to make the best of it. He now has to choose between helping his political causes and having a peaceful daily life.

    See what I mean?

  14. George M says

    Mary I understand your point I just disagree. I think part of being involved is running the risk of being known. You have everyright and i would encourage you to work on changing the law to ban it.
    You mentioned closeted before, what’s your take on closeted law makers who make life harder for us, assuming you are part of the community (my take is you are not) to live free and equal?
    Again I have no idea if you are part of the lgbt community, I just think it easier for those who are not in the community to tell us how to act and feel at the same time clamming to stand shoulder to shoulder.

  15. evolutionisfact says

    What little Mary, Mary quite contrary is trying to make you all believe is that multimillionaire/billionaire bigots should be able to legally and anonymously sh*t all over us and have NO accountability for it WHATSOEVER!! I’m also not buying her “gay teenager in Nebraska” argument either! If the gay Nebraska teen can contribute over two and a half MILLION dollars to a political group, ANY political group, then he doesn’t need to worry much about being lynched in the marketplace. Unlike signing a public petition sheet, those who contribute BELOW a certain economic limit are NOT required to disclose their name or address. Nice try Little “Mary” whoever you are. better luck next time. LMFAO!!

  16. Mary says

    I’m not against wealthy donors having to disclose their donations. What I’m against is ordinary people being hassled by political activists. I also don’t believe that people who sign public petitions should have their names revealed to the general public. I can see why the government has to be able to verify that signees are all real people. But why should a political group be able to see who signs a petition? Why is it their business? I think this should be as private as voting. People on the cultural Right tend to be more concerned about getting harassed because they get far less media sympathy than people on the Left when they are hassled.

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