Democracy Alliance was founded by former Clinton Treasury official Rob Stein, Erica Payne and various donors in 2005. The Muckety website maintains a relationship map on some of the major financial donors to the Democracy Alliance.
"At least 80 wealthy liberals have pledged to contribute $1 million or more apiece to fund a network of think tanks and advocacy groups to compete with the potent conservative infrastructure built up over the past three decades," The Washington Post reported in August, 2005. 
Rob Stein's PowerPoint presentation on how the Right built a strong infrastructure of think tanks, non-profits, non-profit groups, scholarship recipients, academics, lobbyists, right wing activists and the media led to the founding of the Democracy Alliance, and also a separate organization, the New Progressive Coalition founded by entrepreneurs Andy and Deborah Rappaport.
The Democracy Alliance tries to keep a low profile and its wealthy donors prefer anonymity. According to published reports, organizations funded by Democracy Alliance are asked not to reveal the funding.
"Members of the Democracy Alliance include billionaires like George Soros and his son Jonathan Soros, former Rockefeller Family Fund president Anne Bartley, San Francisco Bay Area donors Susie Tompkins Buell and Mark Buell, Hollywood director Rob Reiner, Taco Bell heir Rob McKay ... as well as New York financiers like Steven Gluckstern." 
In October 2006, an article in The Nation magazine reported "the Alliance's 100 donors have distributed more than $50 million to center-left organizations and activists--a lot of money, yet still largely symbolic given the deep pockets of its members. Even as the donors pour millions into a new political infrastructure, however, problems have emerged that mirror many of the problems of the Democratic Party today and the progressive movement in general. The first is determining what, exactly, the group stands for and wants to accomplish. ... Rob Johnson, an early board member, says the tension in the Alliance is between 'party subsidizers' and 'climate changers'--those who want to fund organizations that work toward more effectively electing candidates versus those who aspire to change the fundamental nature of political debate with a stronger set of governing principles. ... Since its inception, the Alliance has been unabashedly elitist, while also poorly run. ... To stabilize the organization internally after almost a year of early stumbles, the partners chose as its managing director Judy Wade, a member of the elite firm McKinsey & Company, consultants to multinational corporations." 
Board of Directors and Members
The Board of Directors identified on the Democracy Alliance website (September, 2007) are:
- Rob McKay, Chair
- Anna Burger, Vice Chair, SEIU
- Drummond Pike, Treasurer
- William Budinger
- Robert H. Dugger
- Al Dwoskin
- Dr. Gail Furman, ACSW, PhD
- Robert A. Johnson
- Steven Phillips
- Charles Rodgers
- Deborah Sagner
- Michael Vachon
- Rob Stein, Founder
Members of the Democracy Alliance self-identified or identified in published articles include:
- Anne Bartley
- Fred Baron
- Ann Bowers
- Mark Buell
- Susie Tompkins Buell
- Lewis B. Cullman
- David Friedman
- Chris Gabrieli
- Tim Gill
- Davidi Gilo
- Robert Glaser
- Steven Gluckstern
- Michael Kieschnick
- Gara LaMarche
- Norman Lear
- Peter B. Lewis
- John Luongo
- Alan Patricof
- Rob Reiner
- Guy Saperstein
- Bernard Schwartz
- Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
- William Soskin
- George Soros
- Jonathan Soros
- Albert Yates
Staff of Democracy Alliance
The following staff are listed on the Democracy Alliance website (September, 2007):
- Jonathan Adler
- Chris Bolyai
- Kelly Craighead
- Kathryn Greenberg
- Josh Leffler
- Ingrid Renaud
- Shannon Roche
- Ryan Rodriguez
- Frank Smith
- Alexandra Visher
- Eddie Wong
- Felicia Wong
Organizations self-identified or identified in published reports as receiving financial support from the Democracy Alliance include the following:
- Air America Radio network
- America Votes
- AmericanForeignPolicy, 
- Catalist, 
- Center for American Progress
- Center for Community Change
- Center for Progressive Leadership
- Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, CREW
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 
- Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, 
- EMILY's List
- Kirwan Institute
- Media Matters for America
- New Democratic Network, 
- People for the American Way, 
- Progress Now
- Progressive Majority, 
- Secretary of State Project
- Sierra Club
- VoteVets, 
- Young People For, 
- Women's Voices. Women Vote., 
Related SourceWatch Resources
- 99% Spring
- Campaign to Defend America
- Colorado Democracy Alliance
- John Podesta
- Progressive Media
- Anna Lefer Kuhn
- Don Hazen, The Right-Wing Express, AlterNet, February 7, 2005.
- Chris Suellentrop, "Follow the Money," Boston.com, (Boston Globe on line), June 26, 2005.
- Thomas B. Edsall, "Rich Liberals Vow to Fund Think Tanks: Aim Is to Compete With Conservatives", Washington Post, 7 August 2005.
- David Teather, "Liberals Pledge Millions to Revive US Left," Guardian (UK), August 8, 2005.
- Michael Scherer, "Can Democrats get smart?", Salon, 22 August 2005.
- Amanda B. Carpenter, New Liberal Alliance Hopes to Replicate Conservatives' Success, Human Events Online, August 26, 2005
- Marc AmbiWhither The Democracy Alliance?, National Journal Online, December 7, 2005.
- Christopher Hayes, "The New Funding Heresies", In These Times, June 26, 2006.
- Jim VandeHei and Chris Cillizza, A New Alliance of Democrats Spreads Funding, Washington Post, July 17, 2006.
- O'Reilly smeared Media Matters, Democracy Alliance, Media Matters for America, July 19, 2006.
- Judith Siers-Poisson, Funding The Left, PRWatch.org, July 27, 2006.
- Ari Berman, Big $$ for Progressive Politics, The Nation, October 16, 2006.
- Matthew Vadum and James Dellinger, Leftists in Search of Permanent Democrat Majority, Human Events, December, 2006.
- Jason Horowitz, Obama Nabs New York Bundler, New York Observer, February 15, 2007.
- Mike Lux, Money, Money, Money (part 3), Huffington Post, March 26, 2007.
- Silla Brush, In the Tanks for the Democrats, US News & World Report, April 1, 2007.
- Jon Wiener, The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics, a review of the book by Matt Bai, August 12, 2007, Los Angeles Times.
- John Stauber, Iraq: The "Gift" That Keeps on Bleeding, PRWatch.org, August 20, 2007.
- Matt Bai, Democrats, Look West, Los Angeles Times, September 23, 2007.
- Dan Morain, "Campaigns raise stakes on nonprofits: Untraditional donation channels are expected to gain ground in 2008. They assure anonymity and do not impose caps," Los Angeles Times, November 13, 2007.
- Nicholas Tatsis, Going Nowhere Fast: The Democrats struggle to leave the doldrums, Harvard Political Review, November 16, 2007.
- Matthew Vadum and James Dellinger, Capital Research Center, Democracy Alliance: Billionaires for Big Government What’s Next for George Soros’s Democracy Alliance? A January, 2008 Update of a 2006 issue of Foundation Watch.
- As Clinton and Obama struggle, so do the unions behind each, LA Times Blogs, March 6, 2008.
- Sean Collins, The hole at the heart of the Democratic Party, Spiked On-Line.com, March 11, 2008.
- Michael Abramowitz, Jewish Liberals to Launch A Counterpoint to AIPAC Political Funds, Lobbying to Promote Arab-Israeli Peace Deal, Washington Post, April 15, 2008.
- Drummond Pike, Live, from the DA…., Drummond Pike's Blog, May 1, 2008.
- Daisy Maxey, Democratic Booster Blue Fund Group Has Been Singing the Blues Lately, Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2008.
- John Fund, Obama's Liberal Shock Troops, Wall Street Journal opinion page, July 12, 2008.
- Michael Barker, The Soros Media "Empire" The Power of Philanthropy to Engineer Consent, Swans.com, July 14, 2008.
- Peter Overby Union Operative Advocates And Gains Power, National Public Radio, August 6, 2008.
- Julian Brookes, An Interview with Erica Payne, Author of The Practical Progressive, Huffington Post, October 23, 2008
- John Stauber, The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats, March 15, 2013, CounterPunch.
- Kenneth Vogel, The Left's Secret Club , April 24, 2014. Politico.
- Kenneth Vogel, Insider The Vast Liberal Conspiracy, June 23, 2014, Politico
- Kenneth Vogel, The Secret Effort to Sell Hillary to Rich Liberals, June 2, 2015, Politico.
- Kenneth Vogel, Donors seek to harness Hollywood to boost liberal causes, April 10, 2016, Politico.