Nonprofit Newsroom ProPublica to Return Grant From Bankman-Fried Foundation 

Independent, nonprofit newsroom ProPublica will return a grant funded by a Bankman-Fried family foundation. 

The organization will return the initial $1.6 million it received in what was to have been a three-year, $5 million grant from Building a Stronger Future, a foundation run by FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and his brother, Gabe Bankman-Fried, ProPublica said in a Tuesday (Dec. 20) update to a Feb. 28 press release that announced the donation. 

ProPublica has also terminated its relationship with the foundation “following allegations of fraudulent activities against Sam Bankman-Fried,” it said in the update. 

The grant from the foundation was to have supported investigations into the COVID-19 pandemic, biosecurity and public health preparedness, according to the original version of the Feb. 28 press release. 

“ProPublica remains deeply committed to ongoing investigative work on pandemic preparedness and biothreats and plans to use other resources to make sure the work continues,” the organization said in the update. 

This announcement comes on the same day that it was reported that FTX hopes to recover millions in political contributions made by Sam Bankman-Fried. 

The donations, allegedly made using funds from the crypto exchange’s customers, will help FTX repay its creditors, the Financial Times reported Tuesday. 

FTX’s new management said it was “approached by a number of recipients of contributions or other payments” wishing to give back the money they received from Bankman-Fried, his companies or senior executives, according to the report. 

As PYMNTS reported Nov. 14, the spectacular flameout of FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried has ripple effects that extend well beyond the confines of crypto trading and will likely impact philanthropy. 

Among the casualties of the implosion of FTX has been the “altruism fund” that had been created by the company. For example, the FTX Foundation, a philanthropic collective that had been set up to bestow grants to various efforts, has effectively shuttered, and so has its Future Fund. 

The fund’s team resigned en masse and wrote in an open letter that “we are now unable to perform our work or process grants, and we have fundamental questions about the legitimacy and integrity of the business operations that were funding the FTX Foundation and the Future Fund.”