Non-profit

Blueprint NC

Website:

blueprintnc.org/

Location:

RALEIGH, NC

Tax ID:

27-2459538

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2018):

Revenue: $4,869,352
Expenses: $3,880,161
Assets: $1,845,835

Type:

Left-leaning advocacy group

Executive Director:

Erin Byrd

Blueprint North Carolina (Blueprint NC) is a left-leaning coalition of organizations that promotes Democratic candidates and left-of-center policies in North Carolina. Blueprint NC became well known when a local North Carolina media outlet leaked a Blueprint NC memo which called for an intense public pressure campaign against Republican political leaders in North Carolina to “cripple” them. [1][2]

Blueprint NC is the North Carolina branch of State Voices, a nationwide coalition of left-leaning nonprofits that has created a voter mobilization infrastructure for liberal causes in numerous states.[3]

Though the coalition has deleted its list of members from its website, the right-of-center Civitas Institute has reported that the coalition includes nearly 50 left-leaning organizations, including the Sierra Club, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, the ACLU-NC Legal Foundation, and Democracy North Carolina (Democracy NC). [4] The coalition has reportedly received funding from many notable left-leaning grantmaking organizations including the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, the New Venture Fund, the Z Smith Reynolds Foundation, and the Foundation to Promote Open Society. [5]

History

Blueprint NC was founded in 2010 and reported raising just over $1 million in 2011. The coalition was founded with support from the Z Smith Reynolds Foundation, a charitable organization which supports a network of left-leaning think tanks and advocacy groups in North Carolina. [6]

As of 2021, Blueprint NC is a coalition of around 50 left-of-center advocacy organizations that work to influence state policy in North Carolina. The organization claims to be a nonpartisan coalition, though the coalition reportedly has close ties to left-of-center organizations and the Democratic Party itself. [7] The organization works to support left-of-center policy goals on issues including voter mobilization and so-called “structural racism.” [8] [9]

In addition to its policy advocacy, Blueprint NC provides millions of dollars in grant funding to left-leaning organizations annually. Blueprint NC has given over $500,000 to Democracy North Carolina, a controversial organizing group. Blueprint NC has also provided funding to the Carolina Justice Policy Center, the Citizen Education Foundation, the Common Cause Education Fund, Ignite North Carolina, the North Carolina affiliate of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Progress North Carolina (Progress NC), and the North Carolina Public Interest Research Group (NCPIRG) Education Fund. [10]

Members of the coalition include many left-of-center state advocacy groups; grantmaking organizations; and North Carolina affiliates of powerful, left-leaning organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) North Carolina, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, and the North Carolina affiliates of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Planned Parenthood. [11]

Memo Controversy

Blueprint NC was relatively inactive for the first three years of its existence. The organization was mostly known for distributing policy memos and providing talking points for Democrats on pieces of pending legislation. In 2013, the organization received attention when a Blueprint NC strategy memo which detailed plans to “eviscerate” Republican leaders to push a left-progressive agenda leaked to the press. [12]

The strategy memo called for left-leaning groups to employ “crippling” pressure tactics in order to direct bad press towards then-North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) and Republican legislative leaders. [13] The memo provided a detailed blueprint to push a far-left policy agenda in North Carolina during a time at which Republicans controlled both the state legislature and the North Carolina executive branch. [14]

The memo had been originally prepared by Myers Research and Strategic Services for another left-leaning group called Project New America, which then shared it with Progress NC, another left-of-center organization that had been focused on challenging Republican leaders. Progress NC then shared the memo with Blueprint NC, which distributed it to its entire membership of left-leaning advocacy groups. [15]

The leaked memo contained several documents, the first of which was an email from Blueprint NC’s communications director urging recipients of the memo to “be careful” [16] sharing it and asking them not to share the memo “with the whole world.” [17] The memo then called on left-of-center advocacy organizations to mitigate Republican-backed legislation by “crippling their leaders (McCrory, [then-North Carolina House Speaker Thom] Tillis, [State Senate President Pro Tempore Phil] Berger, etc…).” [18] The memo proposes a two-year plan to “eviscerate the leadership and weaken their ability to govern” in order to push a left-of-center agenda in the state. [19]

Blueprint NC responded to criticism of the memo by distancing itself from its most inflammatory aspects, claiming that the organization was simply sharing information from like-minded organizations. The organization nonetheless acknowledged that it distributed the memo at a Blueprint NC meeting. [20]

The blueprint strategy memo also revealed close coordination between Blueprint NC and Democratic politicians in the state. In one instance, a Democratic response to Gov. McCrory’s State of the State address delivered by former North Carolina State Representative Larry Hall (D-Durham) included language taken word for word from the memo. [21]

Following the controversy surrounding the memo, the North Carolina state director for America Votes, Jessica Laurenz, claimed credit for writing the memo, while Blueprint NC continued to try to distance itself from the memo. [22]

Republican political operatives and right-of-center organizations heavily criticized the memo for making it a goal to “eviscerate” Republican leaders, rather than engaging on public policy issues. The right-leaning Civitas Institute, one of several right-of-center organizations in North Carolina with ties to the John William Pope Foundation, criticized the memo for targeting individuals, rather than discussing policy disagreements. [23]

People

Sean Kosofsky was formerly director of Blueprint NC. A longtime left-leaning activist and organizer, Kosofsky was executive director of Blueprint NC from 2009 to 2013. He has previously worked for NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, the Triangle Foundation, and the Center for Progressive Leadership. He is the current executive director of the Climate Advocacy Lab, a left-of-center environmentalist organization. [24]

Erin Dale Byrd is the current executive director of Blueprint NC. Byrd was previously director of civic engagement for the organization and also works as the executive director of the Partnership Funds. [25] Byrd earned $115,000 in compensation from Blueprint NC in 2019, according to Blueprint NC’s most recent public tax filing. [26]

References

  1. Binker, Mark. “Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  2. Binker, Mark. “Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  3. “North Carolina.” State Voices, October 29, 2020. https://www.statevoices.org/state-tables/north-carolina/. ^
  4. “Blueprint NC Members.” Civitas Institute. Accessed May 26, 2021. http://1ttd918ylvt17775r1u6ng1adc-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/bp-members.pdf ^
  5. “Blueprint NC.” Mapping the Left. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.mappingtheleft.com/group/blueprint-nc/ ^
  6. “Blueprint NC.” WRAL. March 8, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021.  https://www.wral.com/blueprint-nc/12199028/ ^
  7. Binker, Mark. “Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  8. “Our Work.” Blueprint NC. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://blueprintnc.org/our-work/ ^
  9. “Our Work.” Blueprint NC. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://blueprintnc.org/our-work/ ^
  10. “IRS Form 990.” Blueprint NC. Accessed May 26, 2021.  https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/272459538/201913189349309611/full ^
  11. “Blueprint NC Members.” Civitas Institute. Accessed May 26, 2021. http://1ttd918ylvt17775r1u6ng1adc-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/bp-members.pdf ^
  12. “Blueprint NC.” WRAL. March 8, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021.  https://www.wral.com/blueprint-nc/12199028/ ^
  13. Binker, Mark. “Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  14. Binker, Mark. “Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  15. Binker, Mark. “Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  16. Binker, Mark. “Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  17. Binker, Mark. “Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  18. Binker, Mark. “Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  19. Binker, Mark. “Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  20. Binker, Mark. “Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  21. Binker, Mark. “Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  22. Binker, Mark. “America Votes takes responsibility for controversial memo.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021.  https://www.wral.com/america-votes-takes-responsibility-for-controversial-memo/12161902/ ^
  23. Binker, Mark. “Liberal groups lay out blueprint for attack on state leaders.” WRAL. February 21, 2013. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  24. “Sean Kosofsky.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed May 26, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kosofsky/ ^
  25. “Erin Dale Byrd.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed May 26, 2021.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/erin-dale-byrd-2b714b4 ^
  26. “IRS Form 990.” Blueprint NC. Accessed May 26, 2021.  https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/272459538/201913189349309611/full ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 2010

  • 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
    2018 Dec Form 990 $4,869,352 $3,880,161 $1,845,835 $59,546 N $4,474,966 $198,515 $5,769 $104,767 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $1,458,386 $1,724,318 $890,029 $70,580 N $1,328,863 $118,889 $3,854 $132,506 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $4,305,614 $4,072,915 $1,158,971 $73,590 N $2,917,159 $1,377,122 $5,208 $98,855
    2014 Dec Form 990 $1,241,194 $1,188,282 $367,583 $2,155 N $1,238,235 $0 $2,959 $83,479 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $923,332 $926,388 $316,486 $3,970 N $920,224 $0 $3,108 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,558,934 $1,669,645 $320,360 $4,788 N $1,552,990 $0 $4,213 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,037,947 $757,488 $372,467 $5,176 N $1,035,215 $0 $2,732 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Blueprint NC

    3739 NATIONAL DRIVE
    RALEIGH, NC 27612-4844