Fact Check

Chick-Fil-A Donated Nearly $2 Million To Anti-Gay Groups In 2010

July 02, 2012 9:26 am ET

In early 2011, Chick-fil-A came under fire for its donations and political ties to a number of anti-gay groups. Though Chick-fil-A continues to deny supporting an anti-gay agenda, the company has donated over $3 million to organizations like the Family Research Council and Exodus International between 2003 and 2009. And in 2010 alone, Chick-fil-A donated over $1.9 million to anti-gay causes, more than any other year for which public records are available.

Chick-Fil-A's Charitable Arm Gave Nearly $2 Million To Anti-Gay Groups In 2010

WinShape Is Chick-Fil-A's Charitable Arm. The WinShape Foundation is Chick-fil-A's charitable arm, created by Chick-fil-A founder and chairman S. Truett Cathy in 1984. WinShape has received a substantial amount of funding from Chick-fil-A: in 2010 alone, WinShape received $8,067,161 from Chick-fil-A Inc. [WinShape 2010, Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 6/27/12

WinShape Gave Over $1.9 Million To Anti-Gay Groups. In 2010, WinShape donated $1,974,380 to a number of anti-gay groups:

  • Marriage & Family Foundation: $1,188,380
  • Fellowship Of Christian Athletes: $480,000
  • National Christian Foundation: $247,500
  • New Mexico Christian Foundation: $54,000 
  • Exodus International: $1,000
  • Family Research Council: $1,000
  • Georgia Family Council: $2,500

[Winshape 2010 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 6/27/12]

Click here to learn more about WinShape’s history of anti-gay donations


Chick-Fil-A Vice President Launched Marriage And Family Legacy Fund. Donald "Bubba" Cathy, Chick-fil-A’s senior vice president, helped launched the Marriage and Family Legacy Fund (MFLF), which “pool[s] funds for a national marriage media campaign and provide start-up grants for local initiatives to promote stable, lasting marriages.” [Philanthropy Roundtable, October 2007]

MFLF Is A Project Of The Anti-Gay Marriage CoMission. The MFLF was created to be the “implementation and funding arm” for the Marriage CoMission, a coalition of groups formed in response to the “downward spiral of marriage and the traditional family in America.” [MFLF Executive Summary, accessed 6/27/12, Marriage CoMission, accessed 6/27/12]

  • Marriage CoMission Is Supported By Prominent Anti-Gay Activists. Since its inception, the CoMission has been supported by anti-gay activists such as Exodus International's Alan Chambers and Citizens for Community Values' Barry Sheets. [Marriage CoMission, accessed 10/28/11]

Click here to learn more about the Marriage CoMission and its ties to anti-gay groups

MFLF Officially Changed Its Name To The Marriage & Family Foundation. [Office of the Secretary of State of West Virginia, 6/17/08]

WinShape Donated $1,188,380 To Marriage & Family Foundation. WinShape donated $1,188,380 to the Marriage & Family Foundation (MFF) in 2010. [Winshape 2010 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 6/27/12]


Fellowship Of Christian Athletes Conference Has "Freed" People From Homosexuality. Every year, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) holds a National College Conference that Danny Burns, the conference Program Director, described as one in which "God freed some people from homosexuality, sexual sins, addictions and even ushered newcomers into His Kingdom." Burns’ comment has since been removed from FCA’s website. [Equality Matters, 3/22/11, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, accessed 10/28/11]

FCA Website Highlights Coach Who Was “Delivered From Homosexuality. [Fellowship of Christian Athletes, accessed 10/28/11]

FCA Ministry Leader Application Condemns "Impure Lifestyle" of Gays. The application to become an FCA Ministry Leader requires applicants to agree with the FCA's Sexual Purity Statement, which condemns gays for engaging in an "impure lifestyle":

God desires His children to lead pure lives of holiness. The Bible is clear in teaching on sexual sin including sex outside of marriage and homosexual acts. Neither heterosexual sex outside of marriage nor any homosexual act constitute an alternate lifestyle acceptable to God.

While upholding God’s standard of holiness, FCA strongly affirms God’s love and redemptive power in the individual who chooses to follow Him. FCA’s desire is to encourage individuals to trust in Jesus and turn away from any impure lifestyle. [FCA Application, accessed 10/28/11]

WinShape Donated $480,000 To FCAWinShape donated $480,000 to FCA in 2010. [Winshape 2010 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 6/27/12]


National Christian Foundation Donates To Anti-Gay Groups. The National Christian Foundation (NCF) is a grant-making foundation that has made "hundreds of grants" to anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family, Family Life, and the Family Research Council, according to the Philanthropy Roundtable's publication "Reviving Marriage In America: Strategies for Donors." NCF allows donors to direct their donations and has experienced a surge in interest among donors in funding marriage-related giving. [Philanthropy Roundtable, accessed 2/8/11]

WinShape Donated $247,500 To NCF.  WinShape donated $247,500 to the National Christian Foundation in 2010. [Winshape 2010 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 6/27/12]

Winshape Donated $54,000 To New Mexico Christian Foundation. WinShape also donated $54,000 to the New Mexico branch of the NCF in 2010. [Winshape 2010 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 6/27/12


Exodus International Promotes “Ex-Gay” Therapy. Exodus International is a major promoter of “ex-gay” therapy, the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation from gay to straight. The organization refers to being LGBT as “perverse” and a form of “sexual brokenness.” [Truth Wins Out, accessed 6/27/12]

WinShape Donated $1,000 To Exodus International. WinShape donated $1,000 to Exodus International in 2010. [Winshape 2010 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 6/27/12]


Family Research Council Is Designated As An Anti-Gay Hate Group By the SPLC. The Family Research Council has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for its propagation of known falsehoods about the LGBT community. For example, president Tony Perkins has a long history of false and inflammatory attacks, such as claiming that pedophilia is a "homosexual problem." [Washington Times11/24/10; SPLC, accessed 6/27/12]

WinShape Donated $1,000 To Family Research Council. WinShape donated $1,000 to the Family Research Council in 2010. [Winshape 2010 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 6/27/12]


Georgia Family Council Argued For Prop 8. The Georgia Family Council’s website contains posts arguing in favor of California's Proposition 8 and criticizing Apple for removing from its "App Store" an application that promotes the argument that marriage equality is a threat to children and traditional marriage. [Georgia Family Council, 1/21/11; Georgia Family Council, accessed 6/27/12]

President Is Vocal Critic Of Marriage Equality. Randy Hicks, president of the Georgia Family Council (GFC), is a vocal critic of marriage equality; he has argued gay marriage would harm children and undermine traditional marriages. [By Faith, October 2006]

WinShape Donated $2,500 To Georgia Family Council. WinShape donated $2,500 to the Georgia Family Policy Council in 2010. [Winshape 2010 Publicly Available IRS 990 Form via Foundation Center, accessed 6/27/12]

Click here for more on Chick-fil-A's ties to anti-gay causes and organizations

Chick-Fil-A President Has Denied Company Has An Anti-Gay Agenda

Chick-Fil-A's President Released A Statement Denying The Company Is "Anti-Gay." In response to the controversy, Chick-fil-A president and COO Dan Cathy released a statement denying that Chick-fil-A's history of donations to anti-gay groups proved the company was "anti-gay." Cathy argued that Chick-fil-A has "no agenda against anyone," and that the company would not "champion any political agendas" relating to marriages or families but would nonetheless "continue to offer resources to strengthen marriages and families." [PR Newswire, 1/29/11]

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