Stand Together

Stand Together

Background

Stand Together, describing itself as a “philanthropic community,” is the new face of The Seminar Network/Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce. The Seminar Network previously encompassed a group of entities funded by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers that was formed roughly three years prior. The Washington Post reported on the Koch network’s reorganizing in May 2019. [1], [2]

The Washington Post noted Stand Together is also the name of a nonprofit arm of the Kochs formed in 2016 that describes itself as supporting “community groups addressing maladies like poverty, addiction, recidivism, gang violence and homelessness.” That group will continue to operate as the Stand Together Foundation. [2], [3]

“We live in a period of unprecedented progress — economic, social, technological — but not everyone has shared in that progress. While many people have gotten ahead, too many people are falling behind. Our charge is clear: we must stand together to help every person rise,” Koch wrote in a letter to supporters, shared first with The Washington Post. “In many ways, this new name already expresses who we are. … But this new name also marks a new chapter — and a new call to action.”

Other reported changes to the Koch network included shifting some of Freedom Partners’ activities to Americans for Prosperity (AFP) to oversee political and policy activities, stating that “Groups that cater to specific constituencies, like Libre for Latinos or Concerned Veterans for America, have moved under the AFP umbrella:” [2]

The website footer for Stand Together notes that the official title of the overarching group is entitled the Stand Together Chamber of Commerce: [1]

“Stand Together and the Stand Together logo are trademarks and service marks of Stand Together Chamber of Commerce. Terms like ‘we,’ ‘our,’ and ‘us,’ as well as ‘Stand Together,’ and ‘the Stand Together community,’ are used here for the sake of convenience. While the individuals and organizations to which those terms may refer share and work toward a common vision—including, but not limited to, Stand Together Foundation, Stand Together Chamber of Commerce, Charles Koch Foundation, Charles Koch Institute, and Americans for Prosperity—each engages only in those activities that are consistent with its nonprofit status.”

Stance on Climate Change

Stand Together does not appear to have released any official statements on climate change, although Charles and David Koch have made statements about climate change and have funded groups to obstruct efforts to try to mitigate the climate changes that are underway.

Funding

The following values are collected from publicly available 990 forms.  These include prior iterations of Stand Together functioning as different entities within the Koch Network:

Recipient & Donors20112012201320162017Grand Total
Stand Together   $225,000$100,000$325,000
DonorsTrust   $200,000$100,000$300,000
Einhorn Family Foundation   $25,000 $25,000
SG C4 TR (Public Notice)  $1,700,000  $1,700,000
Freedom Partners  $1,700,000  $1,700,000
Public Notice Research and Education Fund$1,494,000$2,475,000   $3,969,000
Chase Foundation of Virginia$50,000$100,000   $150,000
DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative $500,000   $500,000
DonorsTrust$1,244,000$1,875,000   $3,119,000
National Christian Charitable Foundation$200,000    $200,000
POFN LLC (Public Notice)$5,466,250 $4,110,000  $9,576,250
Freedom Partners$5,466,250 $4,110,000  $9,576,250
Grand Total$6,960,250$2,475,000$5,810,000$225,000$100,000$15,570,250

Public Notice

According to publicly available tax filings, Stand Together, Inc., (EIN 27-3197768) began doing business in 2016. Those filings also show that this EIN was originally attributed to Public Notice Research and Education Fund, another Koch group, which had an initial ruling of November 2010. [4]

Stand Together’s 2016 tax form notes that “the corporation changed its name from ‘Public Notice Research and Education Fund, Inc.’ to ‘Stand Together, Inc.’” in that year.

Public Notice Via ‘POFN LLC

Public Notice also appears to have received $4,466,250 through an obscure group named “POFN LLC” via Freedom Partners in 2011/2012 plus another grant of $4,110,000 via the same LLC in the next year.

Public Notice Via ‘SG C4 Trust’

Freedom Partners funneled an additional $1,700,000 to Public Notice via SG C4 Trust in 2013, according to 990 forms.

Seminar Network Funding

According to an archive of its website, the Seminar Network received the support of the powerful, privately held conglomerate Koch Industries: [5]

Koch Industries is committed to the long-term success of this Network. The board of Koch Industries continues to vote to provide substantial financial support to the Seminar Network. Koch Industries also has a number of officers, executives, and employees who spend significant amounts of their time working with the various Network organizations to help them be more effective.”

Donations or other funding provided by the for-profit Koch Industries to support the projects of Charles Koch and his family are not publicly disclosed, however.

Review of public 990 forms also reveals two non-profit donors for the Seminar Network in 2017.

DonorTotal (2017) 
Charles G Koch Charitable Foundation$250,000
DonorsTrust$100,000
Grand Total$350,000

990 Forms

Key People

Only two people were listed on the Stand Together website as of May 20, 2019: [6]

Seminar Network/Stand Together

The following people were listed on Stand Together's LinkedIn page. Many previously held roles at The Seminar Network: [7]

Stand Together, Inc.

The following names were present on public 990 forms for Stand Together, Inc. which was in operation prior to the 2019 rebranding of The Seminar Network:

Name201120122013201420152016

2017

Description
Marc Short   YYY Executive Director
Brian Hooks     YYBoard Member
Brian Menkes     YYSecretary
Declan Lynch     YYVice President
Evan Feinberg     YYExecutive Director
Kristy Kendall     YYBoard Member
Lauren McCann     YYVice President
Richard Fink     YYBoard Member
Robert Heaton     YYTreasurer
Romanus Berg     YYVice President
Gretchen HamelYYY    President/Director
Chris Perrin Y     Chief Operating Officer
Dale Gibbens      YBoard Member
Erin Keating      YVice President
Nicholas D'Antonio      YDirector of Strategic Partners

Stand Together Foundation

The Stand Together Foundation appears to be a separate entity from Stand Together and will continue to operate independently. The below people have been listed on the Stand Together Foundation's website:

Stand Together Foundation Leadership

Name2016201720182019Description
Declan Lynch Y  Vice President, Organization Development
Erin Keating YY Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Evan FeinbergYYYYExecutive Director
Lauren McCannYYYYExecutive Vice President
Romanus Berg Y  Vice President, Strategy
Sam Leyvas  Y Vice President, Strategic Partnerships

Stand Together Foundation Staff

Name201720182019Description
Abby Helms YYCoordinator, Stakeholder Relations
Alexa Satterlee YYProgram Assistant, Catalyst Program
Alexandra Graham  YManager, Stakeholder Relations
Alexandra StevensYY Manager, Stakeholder Relations
Andrew Kristofik YYProject Manager
Anna RiversYYYDirector, Strategic Partnerships
Arif Nassery YYOffice Assistant
Cassandra BurckhalterYY Executive Assistant
Dana SanfordY  Engagement Manager, Organization Development
Elizabeth MoyerYY Content Manager, Marketing and Communications
Erica Haines YYProgram Manager, Catalyst Program
Erika Loomer YYEvents Manager
Esther JentzenY  Program Assistant, Stakeholder Relations
Irene SmithYYYProgram Manager, Catalyst Program Content Development & Evaluations
Jamie D. ElderY  Director, Strategic Partnerships
Jocelyn Lybrand YYProgram Assistant, Stakeholder Relations
Kelly McDonough YYEngagement Specialist, Organization Development
Korey MauerYY Engagement Associate, Organization Development
Kyle SmithYYYSenior Project Manager, Organization Development
Laura Defrancesco RossYYYManaging Director, Programs
Laura WhitefieldYY Project Manager, Organization Development
Lisa VogtYYYExecutive Assistant
Mollie Dougherty YYEngagement Manager, Organization Development
Nick D'AntonioY  Director, Strategic Partnerships
Noel Augustine YYCatalyst Marketing Manager, Marketing and Communications
Noel RizzutiY  Project Manager, Marketing and Communications
Parita PatelYYYSocial Investment Officer
Rachel ReeseYYYResearch Analyst
Rebecca Stewart YYProgram Assistant, Marketing & Communications
Stacey Jones YYEngagement Manager, Organization Development
Tommy FijackoYYYEngagement Manager, Organization Development
Wilson Paine YYDirector, Strategic Partnerships

Actions

January 8, 2020

According to The New Yorker, Stand Together research director Kyle McKenzie participated in a conference call with billionaire political donor Charles Koch and Steve Donaldson, policy advisor to Senator Mitch McConnell. The call discussed strategies for blocking the ratification of the For the People Act, an electoral reform bill intended to expand voting rights and limit the influence of money in politics, and included Heather Lauer, executive director of People United for Privacy (a project of the State Policy Network) and Grover Norquist, the founder and President of Americans for Tax Reform, in addition to representatives from the State Policy Network. [10]

McKenzie reportedly acknowledged that when presented with a neutral version of the bill, “people were generally supportive,” of efforts intended to minimize the influence of money in politics. [10]

"The most worrisome part ... is that conservatives were actually as supportive as the general public was when they read the neutral description,” he added. [10]

The New Yorker noted: “In private, they [Republicans] concede their own polling shows that no message they can devise effectively counters the argument that billionaires should be prevented from buying elections.” [10]

May 20, 2019

The Washington Post reported the Koch network was undergoing a major reorganization, including a rebranding of The Seminar Network as Stand Together. [2]

Brian Hooks, who would chair the network and run the new Stand Together organization said in an interview that it a was “not a branding exercise” but rather a “natural evolution.” [2]

The group would describe itself as a “philanthropic community” rather than a “network” while investors would now be called “partners.” [2]

Hooks said the group would still be involved in politics: “We’re not going to continue to do the same thing that we’ve done, and we’re not going to walk away. What we’re committed to doing is offering people a different way to stay engaged in policy and in politics but to do it in a way that unites people to actually get things done.” [2]

One of the group's key focuses would be criminal justice reform. [2]

January 29, 2016

USA Today reported on the launch of an earlier iteration of Stand Together, originally working as a “venture philanthropy” organization aimed at “strengthening the fabric of American society.” [8]

The sole purpose of Stand Together is to make a real difference in real people’s lives by actually solving the problems they have,” then-executive director Evan Feinberg, said.  [8]

The Kochs had reportedly worked internally on the Stand Together group for about a year prior.  [8]

Related Organizations

Public Notice

As noted above, according to publicly available tax filings, Stand Together, Inc., (EIN 27-3197768) began doing business in 2016. Those filings also show that that EIN was originally attributed to Public Notice Research and Education Fund, another Koch group, which had an initial ruling of November 2010. [4]

Stand Together's 2016 tax form notes that “the corporation changed its name from 'Public Notice Research and Education Fund, Inc.' to 'Stand Together, Inc.'” in that year.

Network Organizations

The following were listed as “Network Organizations” to The Seminar Network: [9]

Contact & Address

Stand Together, Inc.

According to their 2016 990 form (EIN 27-3197768):

1320 N Courthouse Rd, Ste 220
Arlington, VA 22201

As of 2017, The Seminar Network had a listed address of 1320 N. Courthouse Road, Suite 500, Arlington, VA 22201. That address appears to be shared with several other affiliated groups including Concerned Veterans for AmericaAmericans for Prosperity, and The Libre Initiative.

Stand Together Foundation, Inc.

According to nonprofit records at ProPublica and GuideStar, Stand Together Foundation, Inc. gained tax-exempt status in April 2019, and had the following address:

320 N Broadway Ste 260
Green Bay, WI
54303-2705

Public Notice Research and Education Fund, Inc.

According to 990 forms prior to 2016, Public Notice operated out of this address:

1220 North Fillmore Street, Suite 300
Arlington, VA
22201-6501

Social Media

Resources

  1. Greater your good.Stand Together. Archived June 12, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/Zb3Vm
  2. James Hohmann. “The Daily 202: The Koch network is reorganizing under a new name and with new priorities,The Washington Post, May 20, 2019. Archived June 12, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/3a2Ma
  3. About Stand Together Foundation,” Stand Together Foundation. Archived June 12, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/qrJ01
  4. Stand Together Inc,” Economic Research Institute. Accessed June 12, 2019.
  5. SUPPORT OUR MISSION,” The Seminar Network. Archived May 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/uIBtn
  6. A letter from our founder Charles Koch and CEO Brian Hooks,” Stand Together, May 20, 2019. Archived June 12, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/NXDn2
  7. Stand Together,” LinkedIn. Accessed June 12, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  8. Fredreka Schouten. “Koch brothers' new group will take on poverty, educational quality,” USA Today, January 29, 2016. Archived June 12, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/0bUPo
  9. SAMPLING OF THE NETWORK ORGANIZATIONS WE SERVE,” The Seminar Network. Archived May 16, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/955xv
  10. Jane Mayer. “Inside the Koch-Backed Effort to Block the Largest Election-Reform Bill in Half a Century,” The New Yorker, March 29, 2021. Archived April 27, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/XINLq

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