Non-profit

350.org

Logo for 350.org (link)
Location:

BROOKLYN, NY

Tax ID:

26-1150699

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $11,279,955
Expenses: $8,906,848
Assets: $5,137,543

Executive Director:

G. May Boeve

Principal Officer's Compensation:

$70,956 (2015) [26]

350.org is a large environmentalist activist organization that has a presence in 188 countries. Focused on online campaigning, 350.org opposes new oil, gas, and coal exploration and development and calls for “[revoking] the “social license” of the fossil fuel industry and “[taking] money out of the companies that are heating up the planet.”[1]

350.org takes an uncompromising stand against oil, gas, and coal, the industry, and its leaders. The organization ties traditional progressive refrains about climate change and the need to transition to clean energy to more radical calls for extreme left-wing policy. 350.org frames the fight for renewable energy as one that pits the poor against the rich, the oppressed against the powerful, and the disadvantaged against the privileged.[2] The organization sometimes weighs in on issues that appear unrelated to the environment, such as a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer after a police shooting in Ferguson, to show support for other liberal groups.[3]

Founding and History

350.org was founded in 2008 by Middlebury College professor and journalist Bill McKibben. Its name comes from McKibben’s view that the world will not be safe from global warming unless the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere falls to 350 parts per million or below.[4]

Over its first decade, 350.org has organized protests around the world, many of which have resulted in civil disobedience and arrests; led campaigns to divest from fossil fuels; and pressured governments to adopt progressive policies against the cheapest forms of energy. 350.org claims credit for then-Senator Barack Obama’s global warming platform during his 2007-2008 Presidential campaign.[5]

After his election, determined to pressure Obama and other political leaders to take dramatic action against fossil fuels, the group led the International Day of Climate Action in October 2009, which it called the largest environmental protest ever. These rallies occurred in the lead-up to the December 2009 United Nations Copenhagen climate change conference, the outcome of which—a non-binding agreement—was widely regarded as a failure by environmental activists. McKibben himself later dismissed the United States’ actions in Copenhagen as “a farce.”[6]

A year later, 350.org supported the UK-based 10:10 climate change protests on October 10, 2010, which demanded a 10% reduction in carbon emissions that year.

Angered at the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 2010, 350.org began 2011 with a 10,000-person “climate conference and training” in Washington, DC, called Power Shift 2011, where attendees were joined by controversial former Obama “green jobs czar” Van Jones and AFL-CIO labor union federation president Richard Trumka.[7]

McKibben used his speech to assail libertarian philanthropists Charles and David Koch, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Obama administration Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.[8]

The next year, 350.org organized Climate Impacts Day, which aimed to “connect the dots” between global warming and extreme weather and give “a human face” to those affected by climate change.[9]

And in 2014, as the UN held that year’s climate summit in New York, 350.org responded by holding the first People’s Climate March through the city.[10] The organization was successful in helping to orchestrate a seven-year “review” of the Keystone Pipeline that concluded with its rejection by then-president Barack Obama, an action ultimately reversed by the subsequent Trump Administration.

Supporters of 350.org have been arrested on numerous occasions, including in 2013 at the White House,[11]

McKibben in 2015 for blocking access to a gas pump,[12] and in 2016 at a lake in Upstate New York in opposition to a proposed gas storage location.[13]

The organization has taken a strong stance against the Trump administration and its policies, issuing denunciations of President Donald Trump, his Cabinet, and the administration’s actions. “Trump is trying to hand over senior federal positions directly to fossil fuel industry puppets and climate deniers, and we won’t let him get away with it,” Executive Director May Boeve said in a January 5, 2017 press release.[14] EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt,[15] Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,[16] and Energy Secretary Rick Perry[17] are those most frequently singled out for criticism.

350.org’s website lists its allies, which include Amnesty International; the College Democrats of America; Greenpeace; Oxfam; Sierra Club; the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the Earth; anti-vaccine advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance; and the World Carfree Network, which opposes the use and sale of private motor vehicles.[18]

Some vegan environmental activists who are displeased that Bill McKibben and 350.org do not criticize meat consumption have attacked the organization on that issue.[19] Allies of McKibben have responded by accusing vegan advocates of racism and of being insensitive to the needs of poor people for whom what to eat is not a choice.[20]

People

The organization employs a staff of more than 100 people, who are based in dozens of cities around the world.[21]  Its Board of Directors includes Bill McKibben and eight other longtime progressive activists, one of whom, Naomi Klein, is also well known for her anti-Israel views.[22] 350.org has a 501(c)(4) sister organization, 350.org Action, which engages in political work and evaluates candidates for office.[23] Many staffers work for both organizations.

Funding

350.org does not disclose its donors. However, it has admitted to receiving funding from The Tides Foundation, a San Francisco-based donor-advised fund that has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to liberal groups from donors and foundations wishing to remain anonymous.[24] Groups linked to George Soros and Tom Steyer have also contributed extensively to 350.org.[25]

References

  1. “350 — About.” 350. Accessed May 30, 2017. https://350.org/about/.
  2. “350.org — Climate Change is About Power.” YouTube. December 15, 2015. Accessed June 10, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m95K7LClIC4.
  3. Smith, Deirdre. “350 — Why the Climate Movement Must Stand with Ferguson.” 350. November 25, 2014. Accessed June 17, 2017. https://350.org/how-racial-justice-is-integral-to-confronting-climate-crisis/.
  4. McKibben, Bill. “Remember This: 350 Parts Per Million.” The Washington Post. December 28, 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/27/AR2007122701942.html.
  5. “Our Team’s History.” 350. Accessed June 22, 2017. http://archive.350.org/story.
  6. Twitter. January 29, 2014. Accessed June 19, 2017. https://twitter.com/billmckibben/status/428720779673346048.
  7. Henn, Jamie. “Power Shift 2011: 10,000 take on Big Polluters in DC.” Huffington Post. April 17, 2011. Accessed June 29, 2017. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-henn/power-shift-2011_b_850255.html.
  8. “350 — Bill McKibben’s Speech at Power Shift 2011.” 350. April 18, 2011. Accessed June 29, 2017. https://350.org/bill-mckibbens-speech-power-shift-2011/.
  9. “Connect the Dots.” 350. Accessed June 28, 2017. http://www.climatedots.org/.
  10. Visser, Nick. “Hundreds of Thousands Turn Out For People’s Climate March in New York City.” Huffington Post. September 21, 2014. Accessed June 27, 2017. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/21/peoples-climate-march_n_5857902.html.
  11. Eilperin, Juliet, and Steven Mufson. “Activists arrested at White House protesting Keystone Pipeline.” WashingtonPost.com. February 13, 2013. Accessed June 26, 2017. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/activists-arrested-at-white-house-protesting-keystone-pipeline/2013/02/13/8f0f1066-75fa-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_story.html?utm_term=.9e708873a3c4.
  12. Baird, Joel Banner. “Bill McKibben arrested in Vermont gas-pump protest.” Burlington Free Press. October 15, 2015. Accessed June 23, 2017. http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/2015/10/15/bill-mckibben-arrested-vermont-gas-pump-protest/73999386/.
  13. Steingraber, Sandra. “Bill McKibben Arrested 56 Others in Ongoing Campaign Against Proposed Gas Storage at Seneca Lake.” Ecowatch. March 7, 2016. Accessed July 1, 2017. https://www.ecowatch.com/bill-mckibben-arrested-56-others-in-ongoing-campaign-against-proposed–1882187863.html.
  14. “Climate Groups Organize #DayAgainstDenial to Reject Trump’s Cabinet.” 350.org. January 5, 2017. Accessed July 31, 2017. https://350.org/press-release/climate-groups-organize-dayagainstdenial-to-reject-trumps-cabinet/.
  15. “350.org on Senate confirmation vote for Pruitt.” 350. February 17, 2017. https://350.org/press-release/350-org-on-senate-confirmation-vote-for-pruitt/.
  16. “350.org on Trump meeting with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.” 350. December 6, 2016. https://350.org/press-release/trump-meeting-with-exxon-ceo-tillerson/.
  17. “350.org on Rick Perry’s confirmation for Energy Secretary.” 350. March 2, 2017. https://350.org/press-release/350-org-on-rick-perrys-confirmation-for-energy-secretary/.
  18. “Allies.” 350. Accessed July 1, 2017. https://350.org/allies/.
  19. Goldberg, Leslie. “EAT LIKE A REAL ENVIRONMENTALIST.” Vicious Vegan. November 4, 2014. Accessed June 30, 2017. http://www.viciousvegan.com/eat-like-a-real-environmentalist/.
  20. Fenton, Cam. “#NotAllVegans.” Medium. December 1, 2015. Accessed June 29, 2017. https://medium.com/@CamFenton/notallvegans-af89826d821f
  21. “350 — Team.” 350. Accessed June 25, 2017. https://350.org/team/.
  22. Klein, Naomi. “Enough. It’s time for a boycott.” The Guardian. January 9, 2009. Accessed July 1, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/jan/10/naomi-klein-boycott-israel.
  23. 350action.org
  24. Schoffstall, Joe. “The People and Groups Behind the “Climate Justice” Push.” The Washington Free Beacon. December 8, 2015. Accessed June 26, 2017. http://freebeacon.com/politics/the-people-and-groups-behind-the-climate-justice-push/.
  25. “Grant Visualizer.” The Washington Free Beacon. Accessed June 26, 2017. http://freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/TidesTo350org.png.
  26. “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.” Guidestar.org. Accessed June 29, 2017. http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2015/261/150/2015-261150699-0d334b7e-9.pdf.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Naomi Klein
    Former Board Member
  2. Ben Wessel
    Former Policy Campaigns Manager
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: September - August
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 2008

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Sep Form 990 $11,279,955 $8,906,848 $5,137,543 $973,911 N $11,233,864 $44,803 $435 $102,795 PDF
    2014 Sep Form 990 $5,757,336 $8,318,606 $2,630,467 $839,942 N $5,748,443 $7,225 $403 $62,696 PDF
    2013 Sep Form 990 $6,538,626 $5,196,923 $4,701,498 $349,703 N $6,333,170 $116,423 $467 $53,313 PDF
    2012 Sep Form 990 $3,627,463 $2,867,671 $3,127,221 $117,129 N $3,609,859 $0 $766 $53,094 PDF
    2011 Sep Form 990 $3,013,995 $2,149,251 $2,460,424 $210,124 N $3,008,741 $0 $4,304 $143,837 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    350.org

    20 JAY ST STE 732
    BROOKLYN, NY 11201-8352