Americans United for Change (AUFC)



Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2016):

Revenue: $3,037,496
Expenses: $2,800,705
Assets: $953,359


Progressive Advocacy Group



Principal Officer:

Brad Woodhouse

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Americans United for Change is a left-of-center 501(c)(4) group characterized as a “dark money group” by the left-leaning Sunlight Foundation for its support of center-left causes and Democratic candidates. 1 The organization was headed by controversial Democratic operative Brad Woodhouse from 2016 to 2017.2 3


Americans United for Change was founded in 2005 as part of the liberal effort to counter then-President George W. Bush’s efforts to reform Social Security.4 Over the succeeding years, the organization expanded its efforts to support the full-scale left-wing agenda including supporting President Barack Obama’s immigration executive orders, attacking opponents of biofuel production, pushing increases in the minimum wage, and attacking Republican congressmen for aligning with the Tea Party movement.5


Americans United for Change receives funding from labor unions and progressive foundations. Donors have included the AFL-CIO; the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); the Partnership Project Action Fund; the Unity Fund; the Ploughshares Fund; and the Atlantic Philanthropies, among others.6

The organization has been paid also by Democratic political action committees and campaigns. Both House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s campaign committee and leadership PAC as well as the NextGen Climate Action Committee associated with Democracy Alliance donor Tom Steyer have given donations exceeding $100,000 to Americans United for Change.7

Americans United for Change collected upwards of $830,000 in union dues in 2016, according to the union-skeptical Center for Union Facts.8


Trump Campaign Rally Violence

For more information, see Robert Creamer | 2016 Presidential Campaign Controversy

In October 2016, Americans United for Change fired National Field Director Scott Foval after he was caught on camera by the conservative investigative journalist group Project Veritas stating that AUFC had paid mentally ill and homeless people to instigate violence at Trump campaign events in 2016. In the released videos, Foval brags about the tactics used by AUFC and its role in painting President Trump as well as his supporters as “anarchic” and dangerous.9 Speaking to an undercover Project Veritas staffer, Foval bragged about AUFC’s role in using agitators to create “conflict engagement in the lines at Trump rallies” with the goal of “starting anarchy” at the events and obtaining negative media coverage for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. “We know that Trump’s people will [tend to] freak the f*** out…,” Foval said in a video. “It is not hard to get some of these assholes to ‘pop off.'” 10

Closely connected to the scandal was Robert Creamer, a co-founder of the major Democratic consulting firm Democracy Partners and a former general consultant to AUFC. 11 In 2016, Creamer directed parts of a vast network of advocacy groups in support of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign until the release of the Project Veritas video. Within days of the story, Creamer announced he was removing himself from the Clinton campaign. 12 Foval described Creamer’s role in the scandal as the “kingpin” who is “diabolical, and I love him for it.” 13 Creamer also unwittingly appears in the hidden camera videos, making statements which—along with other revelations from Foval—have led to speculation regarding whether the duo participated in schemes to help non-citizens vote and commit other election law violations. 14

Democracy Partners issued a response after the video’s release alleging it had been the “victim of a well-funded, systematic spy operation that is the modern day equivalent of the Watergate burglars,” and the intent had been to “goad unsuspecting individuals into making careless statements on hidden cameras” that “do not reflect our values.” 15

As general consultant to AUFC, Creamer credits himself with “coordinati[ing] the the campaign to pass” President Barack Obama’s 2009 Recession stimulus package as well as the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement. 16

Creamer is married to Rep. Jan Schakowsy (D-IL), a far-left member of Congress associated with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA); both Creamer and Schakowsky have affiliations with socialist groups dating back to the 1970s. 17 18 In his official Democracy Partners biography, Creamer notes that he “worked as an organizer with Saul Alinsky’s last major project in Chicago,” referring to the far-left community organizer infamous for devising much of the modern Left’s use of deception, misdirection, and violence as political tactics. 19 He began his career in left-wing political activism in Chicago with the Citizen Action Program (CAP), a creation of Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation. 20


  1. Fenton, Jacob. “Liberal dark money group eyeing Iowa TV ads.” Sunlight Foundation. April 14, 2015. Accessed January 10, 2017.
  2. Glueck, Katie. “DNC spokesman Woodhouse leaving.” POLITICO. June 25, 2013. Accessed January 09, 2017.
  3. LinkedIn: Brad Woodhouse. Accessed December 30, 2019.
  4. “Americans United for Change.” Discover the Networks. Accessed January 09, 2017.
  5. See Olsen-Phillips, Peter. “Outsiders on both sides of immigration mobilizing supporters.” Sunlight Foundation. December 2, 2014. Accessed January 10, 2017. ; “Americans United For Change Criticizes API-Funded Report About Biofuels Emissions.” Biofuels Journal. August 26, 2016. Accessed January 10, 2017. ; Americans United For Change. “Americans United For Change Announces “Give America A Raise” Bus Tour.” March 18, 2014. Accessed January 10, 2017. ; Foster, Brittany. “Americans United For Change Attack PA Congressmen.” PoliticsPA. January 22, 2014. Accessed January 10, 2017.
  6. See the AFL-CIO and AFSCME Department of Labor Annual Reports (Forms LM-2) from FY 2015; the IRS Forms 990 for the Unity Fund in 2012, the Partnership Project Action Fund in 2010, and the Ploughshares Fund for 2014; and Atlantic Philanthropies. “Grantees: Americans United for Change.” 2009. Accessed January 11, 2017.
  7. Center for Responsive Politics. “Vendor/Recipient: Americans United for Change.” Opensecrets. October 28, 2016. Accessed January 11, 2017.
  8. Berman, Richard. “The Two Political Faces of Big Labor.” The Wall Street Journal. August 08, 2017. Accessed October 23, 2017.
  9. Morrongiello, Gabby. “Report: Dem Fired for Bragging about Staging Violence at Trump Rallies.” Washington Examiner. October 18, 2016. Accessed October 23, 2017.
  10. Ludwig, Hayden. “Creamer and Foval: An Ongoing Pony Express.” Capital Research Center. January 10, 2018. Accessed June 14, 2019.
  11. McBride, Jessica. “Robert Creamer “Bob”: 5 Fast Facts You Need To Know.” October 21, 2016. Accessed June 12, 2019.
  12. Weigel, David. “Two local Democratic operatives lose jobs after video sting on voter fraud.” Chicago Tribune. October 19, 2016. Accessed June 14, 2019.
  13. Ludwig, Hayden. “Creamer and Foval: An Ongoing Pony Express.” Capital Research Center. January 10, 2018. Accessed June 14, 2019.
  14. Weigel, David. “Two local Democratic operatives lose jobs after video sting on voter fraud.” Chicago Tribune. October 19, 2016. Accessed June 14, 2019.
  15. Ludwig, Hayden. “Creamer and Foval: An Ongoing Pony Express.” Capital Research Center. January 10, 2018. Accessed June 14, 2019.
  16. “Robert Creamer Profile.” Democracy Partners. Accessed July 21, 2020. Original URL: Archived:
  17. Selby, W. Gardner. “Dewhurst Claim That Wendy Davis Raised Money for Socialists Group Unsupported and Ridiculous.” Politifact. May 9, 2014. Accessed June 25, 2019.
  19. “Robert Creamer Profile.” Democracy Partners. Accessed July 21, 2020. Original URL: Archived:
  20. “Board of Directors.” Midwest Academy. Accessed June 13, 2019.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Paul Tewes
  2. Khalid Pitts
    Board Member
  3. Mike Lux
    Board Member
  4. Adam Hoyer
    Former National Field Director (2016)
  5. Caroline Ciccone
    Former Executive Director
  6. Ezra Reese
  7. Brad Woodhouse
    Former President
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: November 1, 2005

  • 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
    2016 Jun Form 990 $3,037,496 $2,800,705 $953,359 $86,530 N $3,017,496 $20,000 $0 $413,340
    2015 Jun Form 990 $4,249,793 $4,036,733 $685,328 $55,290 N $4,249,793 $0 $0 $251,343 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $3,040,041 $3,260,295 $587,760 $170,782 N $2,989,493 $50,548 $0 $411,126 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $2,061,199 $2,015,590 $704,609 $67,377 N $2,061,199 $0 $0 $126,677 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $1,540,433 $1,308,913 $617,720 $26,097 N $1,540,433 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $1,403,966 $1,588,342 $431,717 $71,614 N $1,403,966 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Americans United for Change (AUFC)

    WASHINGTON, DC 20001-2621