This new piece at The New Yorker may help explain things. Certainly puts the SPLC in a different light.
Neal, March 24, 2019, 03:55:54 pm
I have been worried about the SPLC myself. Looking into it though this sewing of doubt is pretty par for the course. Not to say that the claims against Dees aren't valid or anything like that. There was likely something rotten in the workplace culture and the SPLC is taking steps to correct that. In fact as of time of writing they just elected Karen Baynes-Dunning as their interim President and CEO.
There were a few more issues Bob Moser brought up. One was that he didn't believe that SPLC spent the money it took in on it's stated goal. However according to Charitynavigator.org they rate higher for transparency, and financial responsibility than the ADL and the ACLU.
Another thing that was brought up was that they go for "splashier" cases. This is something the ACLU was criticized for during the Civil Rights movement. It's kind of a weak criticism though. The SPLC and similar organizations have to take on cases that draw attention or are at the crux of a problem in order to establish precedent. They chose to represent people being denied entry into the U.S. immediately after Trump's travel ban, not only because it was all over the news that these folks were stranded at airports, but because it established a precedent that protected these people (until it was overturned by the Supreme Court). For the same reason they took on cases where migrants were arrested by ICE so that they can establish a precedent to keep ICE from continually abusing people's rights in that way.
TLDR: SPLC has its issues, but if there's a better cause to give to in the Trump era I'm not aware of it.