When I learned that the Tides Foundation used a Donor Advised Fund to transfer $2 million from Google to the Wikimedia Foundation, I was dismayed. The Wikimedia Foundation just pulled in 5 times what they need to safely operate and fulfill their mission, and now Google is going to heap another $2 million on the organization that lies about who its founder is and deflects and covers up criticism about how money was being handled when it came to $1300 steak dinners, $200 bottles of wine, and even Moscow massage parlor tabs. So now the Tides Foundation is aligned with Google (the National Security Agency's tech partner) and with the Wikimedia Foundation (the home of child pornography advocates). What impression can I possibly take away, other than a bad one? This was a BAD DECISION, Tides Foundation.
From the beginning, Tides Foundation staff has been flaky and unprofessional. I just spoke with someone who sounded completely bored and inexperienced over the phone. I have been waiting for a response to my question for over a week. Any time I have needed assistance from someone at Tides Foundation over the past year, I have had to call or email multiple times to get any response. The services they provide are helpful, but their customer service is horrible. They need to do some serious customer service training.
Tides was a great help as I started GMT. The organization provided us with HR, accounting and legal help. Our major donors knew that the operations end of our project was going to meet their expectations for fiscal management and legal compliance. By outsourcing the work to Tides, I was able to focus more on the project and creating social impact. As we got bigger, some of the accounting and other bumps and DC office management complicated the relationship but overall Tides provides an invaluable service.