According to their website, the More Good Foundation provides “ . . . tools, training, and support for Latter-day Saints to share their beliefs online.” They own 400 pro-LDS websites and an estimated 1360 domains*. In a single year they spent over $140,000 purchasing domains and websites that painted Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in a negative light. LDS volunteers can adopt domains, populating them with uplifting and positive pro-LDS content. Volunteers are also encouraged to translate pro-LDS websites, spread the word with their facebook app, and even edit Mormon-related Wikipedia articles.
On their about page, they state that “While the Foundation is fully supportive of the Church and its mission, it is not directed by or funded through the Church; no Church funds are used for the Foundation.” This is reiterated on their FAQ page. Though this may be crystal clear on their website, their tax returns tell a different story.
From their inception in 2005 to their latest public tax return for 2011, More Good has received $3,850,986 in charitable donations, with a $150,000 salary going to their president, Jonathan Johnson. The vast majority of the money comes from generous donations from corporations and individuals, including K-Tec (Blendtec), David Neeleman (JetBlue founder), and Bill Child (RC Willey owner).
Starting in 2009, there were also yearly donations of between $100,000 and $200,000 from “LDS Foundation of the LDS Church.” Over 3 years, donations from this foundation totaled $450,000.
Though you won’t find a single result in Google for the awkward-sounding “LDS Foundation of LDS Church,” you will find an address on More Good’s tax returns – 150 Social Hall Ave, STE 500, Salt Lake City. Not coincidentally, this is the address of Deseret Management Corporations (DMC), the for-profit arm of the LDS Church.
Critics may contest that DMC is a separate company, making More Good’s statement about funding true. This may be a valid argument if DMC were a sister company or simply affiliated with the Church, but this is not the case. Not only is the DMC 100% owned by the Church, it was founded by the then Prophet to hold already existing assets of the Church (tithing). Any claim that “no Church funds are used for the Foundation” is a blatant misrepresentation.
If you believe that the More Good Foundation should be honest about the sources of their funding, let your voice be heard. Contact them via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), facebook, or by phone (1-801-705-5115).
* They spent $12,248 in 2011 on domain registration, typically using eNom, which charges $9/yr.
Update – October 20th, 2014
Great news! After much poking and prodding, the More Good Foundation has FINALLY updated their site to admit that they actually receive money from the Church.