Non-profit

AARP Foundation

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

52-0794300

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $273,794,980
Expenses: $177,579,018
Assets: $380,917,771

The AARP Foundation is the charitable, education, and litigation arm the left-leaning special interest and lobbying group AARP. In 2017, the AARP Foundation received more than $90 million in federal grant money. [1]

The Foundation was established by AARP in 1996 after a federal law blocked AARP and other lobbying organizations from receiving federal funds. The foundation served as a new, legally distinct vehicle to receive and administer the millions in federal funds that had previously gone directly to AARP. [2]

AARP and the AARP Foundation are headquartered in the same building in Washington, D.C., and they share the same website. [3][4]  In 2017, AARP contributed $100 million to the foundation. The AARP Foundation also gave a $4.9 million grant to AARP for charitable work conducted on the foundation’s behalf.” [5] The conservative National Legal and Policy Center has asserted that “the foundation works so closely with AARP that the two entities are barely distinguishable.” [6]

The AARP Foundation’s tax returns for 2017 list 9 officers who receive salaries over $230,000 per year, including four with salaries over $300,000. Its president, Lisa Ryerson, received more than $403,000 in compensation in 2017. [7]

Programs and Activities

Foundation programs are funded by grants, tax-deductible contributions, and AARP contributions. Key areas of focus are hunger, income, housing, and social isolation. [8] The AARP Foundation’s longest running program is its Tax-Aide program, which provides free tax preparation assistance for seniors. [9]

In 2018, the AARP Foundation implemented new policies to force taxpayers who participate in the Tax-Aide program to hand over private taxpayer data without protections. Under the new rules, taxpayers will be asked whether they can speak and read English, their race, gender, size of household, income and veteran and disability status. In addition, AARP will have access to full tax returns, which include addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and other personal information. [10]

Some Tax-Aide volunteers resigned in protest over the new data collection rules. The AARP Foundation was forced to shut down five Tax-Aide sites in Arizona after too many volunteers quit in protest over the way seniors’ data was collected and used. [11]

In October of 2019, the foundation launched a MySavingsJar Program to help low-income older adults save for unanticipated expenses. [12]

In addition to its own programs, the Foundation issues grants to organizations that assist seniors, including in areas such as food, housing, and social mobility. [13]

The foundation’s tax returns for 2017 reveal that it paid the Miami Dolphins football team more than $1.4 million for “volunteer engagement.”

The AARP Foundation frequently engages in litigation to advance its aims, including on behalf of entities and individuals who are not members of the AARP.  The AARP Foundation’s senior vice president for legal advocacy is William Rivera, who served as deputy chief counsel in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration. [14]

The AARP Foundation filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court to support litigation claiming that federal law forbidding discrimination based on gender also applies to sexual orientation. [15]

In October 2019, the AARP Foundation filed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany after its pension fund collapsed, claiming that it owed money to workers. [16]

The AARP Foundation has filed a class action on behalf of Yale University employees over requirements around the school’s Health Expectation wellness program. [17] The AARP Foundation previously sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016 in a case similar to the Yale lawsuit over rules allowing for the implementation of financial rewards in exchange for the sharing of personal health information in “voluntary” wellness programs. [18]

The AARP Foundation also filed an amicus brief arguing the government can compel drug makers to disclose pharmaceutical prices. [19]

References

  1. “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.” AARP Foundation form 990. 2017. https://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/520/520794300/520794300_201712_990.pdf ^
  2. Carlisle, John. “Special Report: How the Federal Government Subsidizes AARP.” Published May 2009. Accessed October 27, 2019. https://nlpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/AARP-Special-Report.pdf ^
  3. Carlisle, John. “Special Report: How the Federal Government Subsidizes AARP.” Published May 2009. Accessed October 27, 2019. https://nlpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/AARP-Special-Report.pdf ^
  4. See the “Contact us” pages for both the AARP Foundation https://giftplanning.aarp.org/contact-us and the AARP https://www.aarp.org/about-aarp/contact-us/?intcmp=AE-HP-FTR-CONTACT. ^
  5. “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.” AARP Foundation form 990. 2017. https://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/520/520794300/520794300_201712_990.pdf ^
  6. Carlisle, John. “Special Report: How the Federal Government Subsidizes AARP.” Published May 2009. Accessed October 27, 2019. https://nlpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/AARP-Special-Report.pdf ^
  7. “Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax.” AARP Foundation form 990. 2017. https://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/520/520794300/520794300_201712_990.pdf ^
  8. AARP Foundation Homepage. AARP.org. Accessed October 28, 2019. https://www.aarp.org/aarp-foundation/ ^
  9. Adler, Sarah Elizabeth. “Find Free Tax Prep Help Near You.” AARP.org. February 12, 2019. Accessed October 28, 2019. https://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/info-2018/aarp-tax-help-fd.html ^
  10. Sanders, Rebekah. “Tax advisers flee AARP program over data use, privacy concerns.” AZ Central. Nov. 18, 2018. Accessed October 28, 2019. https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/consumers/2018/11/18/aarp-close-tax-aide-prep-scottsdale-seniors-privacy/1893909002/ ^
  11. Sanders, Rebekah. “Tax advisers flee AARP program over data use, privacy concerns.” AZ Central. Nov. 18, 2018. Accessed October 28, 2019. https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/consumers/2018/11/18/aarp-close-tax-aide-prep-scottsdale-seniors-privacy/1893909002/ ^
  12. Press release. “AARP Foundation Launches MySavingsJar Program Aimed At Helping Older Adults Do More With Their Money.” Oct 07, 2019. Accessed October 27, 2019. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aarp-foundation-launches-mysavingsjar-program-aimed-at-helping-older-adults-do-more-with-their-money-300933055.html ^
  13. “Grants.” AARP.org. October 27, 2019. https://www.aarp.org/aarp-foundation/grants/ ^
  14. Linked In Profile of William Rivera. LinkedIn.com. Accessed October 27, 2019. https://www.linkedin.com/in/billyriv/ ^
  15. Press Release. “AARP Backs Federal Efforts to Better Lives of LGBT Older Americans.” Accessed October 27, 2019. https://www.goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/local-news/19281-aarp-backs-federal-efforts-to-better-lives-of-lgbt-older-americans ^
  16. Satter, Marlene. “AARP Foundation takes on hospital, church over worker pensions.” October 16, 2019. Accessed October 27, 2019. https://www.benefitspro.com/2019/10/16/aarp-foundation-takes-on-hospital-church-over-worker-pensions/?slreturn=20190927141305 ^
  17. Truong, Kevin. “AARP Foundation files class action suit against Yale University over employee wellness program.” Jul 17, 2019. Accessed October 27, 2019. https://medcitynews.com/2019/07/aarp-foundation-files-class-action-suit-against-yale-university-over-employee-wellness-program/?rf=1 ^
  18. Truong, Kevin. “AARP Foundation files class action suit against Yale University over employee wellness program.” Jul 17, 2019. Accessed October 27, 2019. https://medcitynews.com/2019/07/aarp-foundation-files-class-action-suit-against-yale-university-over-employee-wellness-program/?rf=1 ^
  19. Inserro, Allison. “AARP, HHS File Briefs in DTC Case Over Drug Prices.” The Center for Biosimilars. October 02, 2019. Accessed October 28, 2019. https://www.centerforbiosimilars.com/news/aarp-hhs-file-briefs-in-dtc-case-over-drug-prices ^

Associated Organizations

  1. AARP (Non-profit)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 1963

  • 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
    2017 Dec Form 990 $273,794,980 $177,579,018 $380,917,771 $57,109,293 N $249,808,214 $786,189 $10,040,083 $2,025,418 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $297,220,619 $163,130,106 $266,584,963 $51,858,274 N $281,047,140 $1,558,064 $6,172,014 $1,899,504 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $155,682,431 $151,499,707 $129,157,960 $48,471,186 N $152,271,399 $212,938 $1,679,250 $2,574,124 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $146,610,280 $144,543,038 $136,012,640 $55,433,947 N $142,542,859 $0 $1,668,796 $2,039,467 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $144,653,292 $142,744,954 $132,599,058 $54,221,480 N $141,215,603 $0 $1,579,895 $2,110,530 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $142,261,658 $140,320,617 $120,780,906 $49,735,932 N $140,838,496 $0 $1,284,299 $1,878,507 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $140,499,201 $138,801,516 $108,083,041 $45,602,825 N $138,735,319 $0 $1,809,273 $1,726,624 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    AARP Foundation

    601 E ST NW RM A8230
    WASHINGTON, DC 20049-0001