have a good start into the new year everybody! should not, ideally, the legal team of amanda keton be able to tell if fundting something is legal? or is this a liability issue, so tides would be liable for misconduct, and not a person within wikimedia foundation?
Given Tides' core competencies as an organisation, one would expect that the legal folks there have more experience in handling matters relating to things like what activities a 501(c)(3) can fund, more knowledge of the statutes, case law, precedent, etc. I'm sure the Legal team at the WMF could do this too, but they might have less experience with it than in other areas of the law, meaning they'd have to start from scratch with lots of time-consuming research, whereas contracting with an organisation that specialises in exactly this might be better.
So, I don't think it's quite as simple as whether they can do it or not, but more about what would be more efficient and comprehensive.