Tech and Hollywood Stars Spur ACLU Efforts With Matching Funds

January 30, 2017, 5:18 PM UTC
Trump Travel Ban Impact
Immigrant rights' advocates and others join others protesting President Donald Trump's immigration order as it sowed more chaos and outrage across the country Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, at Castle Clinton National Monument in New York's Battery Park. Some travelers were detained at airports, as panicked families searched for relatives, while protesters such as these registered opposition to the president's sweeping measure that was blocked by several federal courts. AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens — AP

The firestorm sparked by President Donald Trump’s executive order on Friday to ban immigration and travel to the U.S. by people from seven predominantly Muslim countries proved a boon to the American Civil Liberties Union, which reportedly collected more than $24 million in contributions over the weekend.

Not bad for an organization that typically raises about $4 million annually.

Many of those donations likely came from first-time donors, some of which responded to matching fund offers from tech stars like venture capitalist Chris Sacca. On Saturday, Sacca promised to match up to the first $25,000 of donations resulting from his offer but he later raised the limit to $150,000. Sacca is known for his early investments in Twitter (TWTR) and Uber as well as appearances ABC’s startup competition show Shark Tank.

[fortune-gallery id=”1916242″]

Fred Wilson and Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures joined the fund-raising race on Sunday, offering matches for up to $20,000. as did Foundry Group’s Brad Feld. There’s also a handy list of matching funders.

The ACLU, which provides legal services to underserved people, went to court to fight the executive orders this weekend. Four federal judges subsequently issued a stay on the ban.

Other matching fund offers flooded in from techies, including Patrick Collison, chief executive of online payment company Stripe, and Nat Friedman, co-founder and chief executive of Xamarin, the software development company acquired last year by Microsoft (MSFT). Logan Green and John Zimmer, co-founders of the Lyft ride-sharing service pledged to donate $1 million to the ACLU over the next four years.

But it wasn’t just tech luminaries. On Saturday, pop star Sia promised to match the first $100,000 flowing in. Hollywood hyphenate (writer-producer-director-actor) Judd Apatow followed her lead.

So did actress/comedian (and frequent Trump foil) Rosie O’Donnell. Singer/songwriter Jack Antonoff of the Bleachers offered to match up to $10,000 as did Jessie Tyler Ferguson, co-star of ABC (DIS) comedy Modern Family.

The ACLU also got shout-outs during Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards broadcast. Most notably, Sarah Paulson, who won an award for her role in the miniseries The People vs. O.J. Simpson, used her acceptance speech to drum up more support, asking everyone who is able to donate to the ACLU “to protect the rights and liberties of people across this country.”

Read More

Artificial IntelligenceCryptocurrencyMetaverseCybersecurityTech Forward