Non-profit

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Center for Law and Social Policy Logo (link)
Website:

www.clasp.org/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

23-7000150

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $11,001,248
Expenses: $9,739,719
Assets: $11,380,327

Formation:

1986

Type:

Left-of-center Nonprofit

Executive Director:

Olivia Golden

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a left-of-center public policy advocacy organization that focuses primarily on poverty and racial equity. [1] Though self-described as “nonpartisan,” [2] CLASP has staked out left-of-center stances on a number of issues, including race-based reparations, [3] promotion of LGBTQ-themed sex-education for kindergarteners and grade school students, [4] and the belief that white supremacy, racism, and hate are “pervading” the United States. [5]

CLASP was originally founded in 1968 with the support of left-wing activist and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader as a public interest law firm. [6] However, over time the organization has shifted to more explicitly focus on policy advocacy and activism, primarily on the subject of racial equity. [7]

Founding and History

Center for Law and Social Policy was founded in 1968 by four lawyers from the law firm Arnold and Porter as a public interest law firm. [8] Early supporters included left-wing activist and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who not only aided in designing and establishing CLASP, but was also an early client of its services. [9]

An innovator in the field of public interest law, CLASP organized the first law school extern program to give law students credit for doing legal work outside of the classroom, partnering with top law schools like Yale, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania. [10] CLASP also formed entities that became their own independent organizations. For example, its Women’s Rights Project because the National Women’s Law Center in 1981. [11]

Over the years, CLASP has focused less on litigation and shifted its strategy to focus on activism and policy advocacy, [12] with most of its nearly $10 million budget [13] now being spent on salaries ($4,497,001), employee benefits ($851,492), subgrants to other organizations ($1,273,600), occupancy of its downtown Washington, D.C. office ($674,945), and consulting fees ($464,152). [14]

Political Activism

Though presenting itself as a “national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty nonprofit,” Center for Law and Social Policy has staked out left-of-center positions on a variety of social issues. [15]

CLASP labelled attempts to prevent transgender-themed education to kindergarteners as “homophobic” and “transphobic,” adding that legislation or action that counters the radical trans agenda are “tactics to uphold white supremacy.” [16]

CLASP rejects the idea that abortions should be “safe, legal, and rare” and instead labels abortion an “essential health care service” and claims that restrictions on abortion put “women’s lives…at risk.” [17]

CLASP rejects the idea of racial equality, where all are treated equally under the law, and instead embraces the critical race theory-aligned idea of “racial equity,” which posits that inequalities are the direct result of white racism. CLASP has expressed the view that “poverty in America is inextricably tied to systemic racism” [18] and that “from birth, Black children are subjected to the hate, racism, discrimination, and white supremacy pervading this nation.” [19] The organization deems opposition to critical race theory as “the latest version of tactics spanning centuries aimed at upholding white supremacy and racism” [20] and calls for “holistic and ongoing” reparations to African Americans. [21]

CLASP is also in favor of the Affordable Care Act, [22] also known as Obamacare, and is focused on climate change [23] and President Joe Biden’s left-progressive Build Back Better agenda. [24]

Funding

CLASP receives substantial funding through donations from left-of-center individuals and non-profit foundations. In 2022, CLASP was the recipient of a grant form Mackenzie Scott, [25] the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and a major supporter of left-wing organizations and political movements such as Black Lives Matter [26] and Planned Parenthood. [27]

CLASP has also been the recipient of over $2.3 million from the MacArthur Foundation, the twelfth-largest foundation in the United States in 2014 that supports a large number of left-of-center causes. [28]

Other major donors to CLASP include Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, which donated $1.4 million by 2020; Center for American Progress, which donated $816,042 in the same period; The Ford Foundation, which donated $1.1 million; Open Society Foundation, which donated $166,667; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which donated $4,025,707; Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, which donated $1,050,000; and the W.K. Kellog Foundation, which donated $466,667.  [29]

References

  1. “Reducing Poverty, Promoting Economic Security & Advancing Racial Equity.” The Center for Law and Social Policy. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/ ^
  2. Ibid. ^
  3. Sullivan, Jacquelyn. “A Debt to be Paid: Reparation and a New Deal for Youth.” The Center for Law and Social Policy. August 9, 2021. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/blog/debt-be-paid-reparations-and-new-deal-youth ^
  4. Tawa, Kayla and Whitney Bunts. “How Queer Visibility Threatens White Power.” The Center for Law and Social Policy. March 31, 20222. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/blog/how-queer-visibility-threatens-white-power ^
  5. Ferrette, Tiffany and Whitney Bunts. “Mitigating the Criminalization of Black Children through Federal Relief. The Center for Law and Social Policy. February 22, 2022. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/blog/mitigating-criminalization-black-children-through-federal-relief ^
  6. Ferrette, Tiffany and Whitney Bunts. “Mitigating the Criminalization of Black Children through Federal Relief. The Center for Law and Social Policy. February 22, 2022. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/blog/mitigating-criminalization-black-children-through-federal-relief ^
  7. “Reducing Poverty, Promoting Economic Security & Advancing Racial Equity.” The Center for Law and Social Policy. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/ ^
  8. “Center For Law And Social Policy.” Law Crossing. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.lawcrossing.com/article/900045216/Center-for-Law-and-Social-Policy-CLASP/ ^
  9. “Center For Law And Social Policy.” Law Crossing. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.lawcrossing.com/article/900045216/Center-for-Law-and-Social-Policy-CLASP/ ^
  10. “Center For Law And Social Policy.” Law Crossing. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.lawcrossing.com/article/900045216/Center-for-Law-and-Social-Policy-CLASP/ ^
  11. “Marcia D. Greenberg, Co-President. National Women’s Law Center. Archived from July 11, 2015. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://web.archive.org/web/20150711163112/http://www.nwlc.org/profile/marcia-greenberger ^
  12. “Reducing Poverty, Promoting Economic Security & Advancing Racial Equity.” The Center for Law and Social Policy. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/ ^
  13. “Form 990.” Part I, Line 22. Guidestar. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2019/237/000/2019-237000150-17267551-9.pdf ^
  14. “Financial Statements: For the Year Ended December 21, 2020. The Center for Law and Social Policy. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/sites/default/files/CLASP%202020%20FS%20%281%29.pdf ^
  15. “Financial Statements: For the Year Ended December 21, 2020. The Center for Law and Social Policy. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/sites/default/files/CLASP%202020%20FS%20%281%29.pdf ^
  16. Tawa, Kayla and Whitney Bunts. “How Queer Visibility Threatens White Power.” The Center for Law and Social Policy. March 31, 2022.  Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/blog/how-queer-visibility-threatens-white-power ^
  17. Andrews, Emily. “Women’s History in the Making: The Unequal Harm of Rolling Back Roe.” The Center for Law and Social Policy. March 24, 2022. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/blog/women-s-history-making-unequal-harm-rolling-back-roe ^
  18. “Advancing Racial Equity.” The Center for Law and Social Policy.” Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/about/racial-equity ^
  19. Ferrette, Tiffany and Whitney Bunts. “Mitigating the Criminalization of Black Children through Federal Relief. The Center for Law and Social Policy. February 22, 2022. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/blog/mitigating-criminalization-black-children-through-federal-relief ^
  20. Bunts, Whitney and Kayla Tawa. “How Abolishing Critical Race Theory Preserves White Power.” The Center for Law and Social Policy. February 10, 2022. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/blog/how-abolishing-critical-race-theory-preserves-white-power ^
  21. [1] Sullivan, Jacquelyn. “A Debt to be Paid: Reparation and a New Deal for Youth.” Center for Law and Social Policy.  August 9, 2021. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/blog/debt-be-paid-reparations-and-new-deal-youth ^
  22. “Health and Mental Health.” The Center for Law and Social Policy. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/issues/health-and-mental-health ^
  23. Bashay, Molly and Cameron Johnson. “The Green Economy Needs Subsidized Jobs.” November 19, 2021. September 2, 2021. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/blog/green-economy-needs-subsidized-jobs ^
  24. “House Passage of Build Back Better Marks Historic Win.” The Center for Law and Social Policy. Accessed April 11, 2022 https://www.clasp.org/press-room/press-releases/house-passage-build-back-better-marks-historic-win ^
  25.  Scott, Mackenzie. “Helping Any of Us Can Help Us All.” Medium. March 23, 2022. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://mackenzie-scott.medium.com/helping-any-of-us-can-help-us-all-f4c7487818d9 ^
  26. “Mackenzie Bezos.” Influence Watch. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.influencewatch.org/person/mackenzie-bezos/ ^
  27. Scott, Mackenzie. “Helping Any of Us Can Help Us All.” Medium. March 23, 2022. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://mackenzie-scott.medium.com/helping-any-of-us-can-help-us-all-f4c7487818d9 ^
  28. Center for Law and Social Policy.” MacArthur Foundation. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.macfound.org/grantee/center-for-law-and-social-policy-4472/ ^
  29. “Financial Statements: For the Year Ended December 21, 2020. The Center for Law and Social Policy. Accessed April 11, 2022. https://www.clasp.org/sites/default/files/CLASP%202020%20FS%20%281%29.pdf ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 1969

  • 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
    2019 Dec Form 990 $11,001,248 $9,739,719 $11,380,327 $1,521,977 N $11,051,557 $25,714 $19,682 $344,293 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $8,914,466 $8,988,865 $9,675,182 $1,078,331 Y $8,867,178 $13,124 $11,608 $364,229 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $7,409,405 $6,942,104 $9,137,447 $465,864 N $7,390,786 $3,750 $6,493 $371,780 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $9,647,376 $6,704,667 $9,083,301 $677,673 N $9,632,500 $3,150 $5,135 $360,813
    2015 Dec Form 990 $4,355,511 $6,409,654 $6,108,966 $645,977 N $4,252,657 $11,550 $10,090 $356,584 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $9,075,819 $5,930,925 $8,118,086 $599,832 N $8,935,488 $35,745 $10,153 $456,126 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $5,512,872 $6,352,656 $4,860,025 $491,091 N $5,421,009 $9,062 $19,460 $471,015 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $5,680,155 $5,447,466 $5,879,855 $593,224 N $5,567,244 $13,070 $34,175 $416,383 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $5,170,473 $5,456,677 $5,595,195 $500,688 N $5,124,962 $11,329 $29,863 $370,131 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

    1200 18TH ST NW STE 200
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-2529