The group, the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, had suffered an exodus of big-name corporate supporters like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Kraft Foods after recent attacks by liberal organizations.
While the group had already been discussing a narrowing of its work, the controversy generated by the Martin shooting “may have sped up the process,” Chip Rogers, a Georgia state senator who is the group’s treasurer, said in a telephone interview.
The group’s legislative board voted unanimously to disband its committee that developed policies on public safety, elections and other noneconomic issues.
ALEC, which is made up of more than 2,000 state legislators, develops model bills and policy positions on hundreds of issues.
Critics of the group were galvanized by the Feb. 26 shooting of Mr. Martin, a 17-year-old, unarmed student, and the debate over Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, said David Halperin, a senior fellow for United Republic, a liberal nonprofit group.
“The issue of a young man being killed and linked to this organization made it much harder for companies to say, ‘Gee, this is a great organization that we want to support,’ ”Mr. Halperin said.
Since then, corporate supporters and philanthropic organizations, like the Gates Foundation, have withdrawn contributions to the organization that are believed to total hundreds of thousands of dollars. (It does not publicly list the amounts contributed by its members and donors.)
“We hate to see any members leave,” said Kaitlyn Buss, a spokeswoman for the group, “and we hope to work with these companies that have had problems again in the future.”