Non-profit

Breakthrough

Website:

letsbreakthrough.org/

Location:

NEW YORK, NY

Tax ID:

31-1793681

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2021):

Revenue: $1,505,156
Expenses: $1,267,881
Assets: $1,378,607

President and CEO:

Nakisha M. Lewis

Founder:

Mallika Dutt

Let’s Breakthrough Inc. (also known simply as Breakthrough) is a left-of-center advocacy and global aid organization based in New York City. It promotes left-of-center political positions on gender and race issues in the United States and also operates several programs in India.

The organization was founded in 1999 by Mallika Dutt, a former program officer for the liberal Ford Foundation who has sat on the boards of many notable left-of-center public policy organizations. Dutt led Breakthrough until 2017.

The organization receives funding from many of the most notable left-of-center grantmaking organizations such as the NoVo Foundation, the Oak Foundation, and billionaire financier George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. [1] [2]

Background and History

Breakthrough was founded in 1999 by Malika Dutt, who immediately prior to founding the organization worked for the left-of-center Ford Foundation as its New Delhi-based program officer. Dutt was focused on human rights-related funding in South Asia. [3] [4]

In 2000, the organization launched with the release of an album and title music video, “Mann Ke Manjeere” (Rhythm of the Mind). The album and accompanying music videos focused on highlighting violence against women, with the title music video following the story of a woman who leaves an abusive relationship to become a truck driver. The music video saw some commercial success in India and reached over 100 million households in the region, according to Breakthrough. [5]

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Breakthrough organized opposition to what it characterized as detention and deportation of Muslim immigrants without due process. The group organized a “Concert for Peace” with popular Pakistani rock band Junoon to promote these efforts, and a recording of the concert was later aired on television channel VH1. [6]

Activities and Campaigns

In 2003 and 2004, the group organized support for various pro-immigration campaigns in the United States including one focused on promoting the interests of immigrant youth in the U.S. ahead of the 2004 presidential election. In 2006, the group hosted an event titled, “Why Can’t America Have Human Rights?” centered around creating a “a much-needed human rights movement in the United States.” [7]

In 2008, the group released a video game titled I.C.E.D. which stood for “I Can End Deportation” to use video game technology to educate and train youth activists on left-of-center immigration issues. In 2008, the group released a similar polemical video game targeting the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. [8]

Breakthrough has continually deployed a variety of media campaigns and engagement tools centered around immigration rights, violence against women, and sexual harassment. The group deployed several campaigns in 2018 and 2019 in conjunction with the #MeToo movement and promotes left-of-center immigration policy and activism. [9]

In 2022, the organization launched a campaign titled “Pop the Culture” centered around “problematic” mainstream pop culture, citing the “the major lack of diversity that erases the stories and imagery of people with various body-types, disabilities, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ folks.” [10]

Funding

Breakthrough receives funding from many of the most notable left-of-center grantmaking organizations such as the NoVo Foundation, the Oak Foundation, George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the Skoll Foundation, the Libra Foundation, the Foundation for a Just Society, and the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation. [11]

Partner Organizations

Partner organization listed in Breakthrough’s 2018-2019 annual report included the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), BELA Academy, Color of Change, Gen Equity, the Muslim Bar Association of New York, ROC United, and the Women of Color Network. [12]

References

  1. “2018-2019 Annual Report.” Breakthrough. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://letsbreakthrough.org/nicp_reports/fy1819report/ ^
  2. “History.” Breakthrough. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://letsbreakthrough.org/history/ ^
  3. “History.” Breakthrough. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://letsbreakthrough.org/history/ ^
  4. “Mallika Dutt.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mallikadutt/ ^
  5. “History.” Breakthrough. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://letsbreakthrough.org/history/ ^
  6. “History.” Breakthrough. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://letsbreakthrough.org/history/ ^
  7.  “History.” Breakthrough. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://letsbreakthrough.org/history/ ^
  8. “History.” Breakthrough. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://letsbreakthrough.org/history/ ^
  9. “History.” Breakthrough. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://letsbreakthrough.org/history/ ^
  10. “Pop the Culture.” Breakthrough. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://letsbreakthrough.org/pop-the-culture/ ^
  11. “2018-2019 Annual Report.” Breakthrough. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://letsbreakthrough.org/nicp_reports/fy1819report/ ^
  12. “2018-2019 Annual Report.” Breakthrough. Accessed December 15, 2022. https://letsbreakthrough.org/nicp_reports/fy1819report/ ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Mallika Dutt
    Founder and Former President/CEO
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: March - February
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 2002

  • 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
    2021 Mar Form 990 $1,505,156 $1,267,881 $1,378,607 $579,145 N $1,489,221 $14,285 $330 $160,619
    2020 Mar Form 990 $1,818,374 $1,334,444 $1,013,001 $102,834 N $1,930,208 $4,969 $5,769 $208,003 PDF
    2019 Mar Form 990 $467,778 $932,228 $776,322 $339,963 Y $459,335 $1,975 $4,800 $202,297 PDF
    2018 Mar Form 990 $748,382 $1,520,077 $975,262 $74,090 N $842,306 $20,950 $505 $129,010 PDF
    2017 Mar Form 990 $2,244,865 $2,586,131 $1,949,525 $299,470 N $2,297,244 $23,520 $426 $460,227 PDF
    2016 Mar Form 990 $3,431,588 $2,727,823 $2,329,518 $323,305 N $3,402,899 $23,068 $560 $314,483 PDF
    2015 Mar Form 990 $2,169,877 $2,515,431 $1,422,128 $176,837 N $2,230,016 $19,845 $782 $285,100 PDF
    2014 Mar Form 990 $3,298,746 $2,796,175 $1,806,864 $292,880 N $3,260,796 $37,110 $797 $266,510 PDF
    2013 Mar Form 990 $1,808,609 $1,603,327 $1,321,583 $298,925 N $1,797,320 $13,868 $696 $258,921 PDF
    2012 Mar Form 990 $10,391 $272,353 $1,013,261 $75,861 N $10,200 $55 $131 $62,412 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $987,794 $1,389,951 $1,232,512 $33,558 N $939,625 $78,949 $1,362 $237,520 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Breakthrough

    4 WEST 43RD ST SUITE 715
    NEW YORK, NY 10036-7408