Tech CEOs, Celebrities Offer Matching ACLU Donations

Tech investor Chris Sacca is credited with kicking off the matching donation drive.

A Muslim women wrapped in an American flag joins in the protest at SFO over the weekend. (Nuala Sawyer/S.F. Weekly)

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) received an unprecedented number of donations over the weekend, in the wake of their well-publicized legal work to challenge Trump’s recent immigration ban. $24 million was given to the organization by more than 350,000 individuals in the past three days, which is more than six times its yearly average.

To show their support for the ACLU’s work, a number of businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and celebrities have hopped on the bandwagon, offering to match donations made by the general public. 

Chris Sacca, a tech investor, pledged to match up to $25,000 in donations to the ACLU if people sent him photos of their receipts, later raising that amount to $150,000. Andrew “Boz” Bosworth of Facebook offered $25,000. David Risher, co-founder of Worldreader, offered $50,000, as did Stripe CEO Patrick Collision and Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman, who teamed up on Twitter.

Musician Sia offered to match up to $100,000 but ended up spurring $300,000 in donations, according to a tweet she sent out Monday morning. Jack Antonoff pledged $20,000, Rosie O’Donnell offered $100,000 in matching donations, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson stated he’d donate $10,000.

Many of the donations are accompanied by statements of support for protesters and dismay at Trump’s ruling to ban immigration from seven nations with largely Muslim populations.

Some of these public messages are also having a striking effect on the types of businesses people choose to support. Uber was attacked over the weekend for its indelicate response to a New York City taxi ban, spurring a #DeleteUber campaign that went viral. 

Perhaps capitalizing on the situation, Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green announced their decision to donate $1 million to ACLU to “defend our constitution.”

After Lyft received acclaim for its decision, Kalanick stated that he would set up a $3 million legal defense fund for drivers affected by the new immigration laws.

Donations to the ACLU can be made online here.

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