Arabella Advisors is a consulting firm that oversees a major leftwing “dark money” network. Arabella manages the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that has been widely dubbed as a “dark money” political fund, and its sister project, the New Venture Fund. Other Arabella-managed entities include the Windward Fund and the Hopewell Fund.
Arabella, founded in 2005 by Eric Kessler, an alum of Bill Clinton’s White House, is known for using its four main funds to prop up paper-thin nonprofit groups that promote left-wing policies. These nonprofits have been dubbed “pop-ups” because most of them appear to be grassroots organizations but, in effect, are barely more than websites. The “pop-ups” drive millions in donations to promote liberal policy issues all while providing cover for whoever is making the donations.
This layer of anonymity has helped Arabella rake in billions into the projects it manages. Between 2013 and 2018, four nonprofits under Arabella’s umbrella reported a combined revenue of roughly $2.3 billion. Those four funds financed hundreds of leftwing “pop-up” campaigns.
While Arabella’s projects are often cloaked in secrecy, the organization is facing more scrutiny from corporate media. The Daily Beast reported Arabella got caught scrubbing its Wikipedia pages of mentions of “dark money.”
Some in the media, meanwhile, have condemned Arabella for its “dark money” operations that have pushed policy changes on everything from the supporting mail-in voting to opposing Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. In a 2018 report, Politico found that Arabella’s Sixteen Thirty Fund had spent $140 million on more than 100 left-wing causes during the midterm election season. More than one-third of that money came from one anonymous donor.
The New York Times published a similar report after tracing several mundane-sounding nonprofits back to Arabella, including Keep Iowa Healthy, New Jersey for a Better Future, and North Carolinians for a Fair Economy — all of which were advocating for policies in areas with vulnerable Republican House members.
Its main funds cover the habit of the leftwing ideology. The Hopewell Fund promotes access to abortion and social justice, the Windward Fund promotes environmental issues, and the New Venture Fund acts as an incubator for scores of smaller left-wing campaigns through “fiscal sponsorship” programs.
Many of Arabella’s board members sit on boards for the various funds. Kessler, for example, was president of the New Venture Fund.