Non-profit

Civic Nation

Website:

civicnation.org

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

47-3576918

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $2,903,386
Expenses: $2,567,962
Assets: $1,196,939

Type:

Nonprofit

Formation:

2015

President:

Jason Waskey

Executive Director:

Jenn Brown

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $8,326,553

Expenses: $4,764,235

Civic Nationis a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2015, headed by President Jason Waskey (CEO of Blue Crab Strategies LLC) and Executive Director Jenn Brown. Touting itself as an organ of widespread positive social change, Civic Nation funds several large charitable initiatives:  Erase the Hate, College Promise, It’s On Us, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, #VoteTogether, and United State of Women. [1] Civic Nation functions as a sort of organizing hub for its partner, Creative Alliance, a left-leaning marketing group which produces advertisements and online content for its subsidiary and partner organizations. From fiscal year 2016 to 2017 Civic Nation’s funding nearly tripled from 2,945,775 to 8,326,553. IRS Form 990 documents from 2017 show a net revenue of 3,562,318, contrasted with 335,424 the previous year. [2]

Leadership

Jason Waskey  sits on the board as president of Civic Nation. [3] With the exception of its President, the Board of Directors consists entirely of former high-ranking staff of the Obama administration:[4]

  • Valerie Jarrett, Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama 
  • Tina Tchen, Former Chief of Staff to Michele Obama
  • Cecilia Munoz, Former Director of Domestic Policy Council
  • Todd Park, Former U.S. Chief Technology Officer
  • Greg Nelson, Former Special Assistant to President Obama
  • Arne Duncan, Former Secretary of Education

Executive director Jenn Brown has worked for over a decade as a left-of-center political activist and community organizer.  In 2008 she was the Minnesota regional field director for Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. In March of 2012 she began work as executive director of Battleground Texas, a PAC designed to shift Texas from a Red state to a “battleground” state through community organizing and increased registration of voters from Democratic-leaning groups. [5]

Since 2015, Brown has worked as executive director simultaneously of Civic Nation and its partner organization, Creative Alliance. On April 11, 2019, Brown announced on Twitter that she would also work as campaign manager for the 2020 Presidential election bid of U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.). [6]

Affiliated Campaigns

Erase the Hate

Originally founded in 1994 by current NBCUniversal Chairman Bonnie Hammer as a media-driven anti-discrimination campaign, Erase the Hate began as a series of documentaries starring Martha Plimpton. The campaign was relaunched by Hammer in October 2010,[7] as a series of advertisements and short interviews starring Hollywood figures including Omar Epps, Alicia Keys, and Cuba Gooding, Jr. [8]

In addition to its media campaign, Erase the Hate has endeavored to shift cultural perceptions and perspectives through select left-wing social policy organizations in its ‘Change Makers’ initiative.  One example is Athlete Ally, founded by former Columbia University wrestling coach Hudson Taylor to promote LGBT interests in the athletic community. [9]

#VoteTogether/ALL IN: Campus Democracy Challenge

In September 2018 Civic Nation launched its #VoteTogether project, intended to increase voter turnout among university students by associating voting with a fun, celebratory atmosphere. That same year they partnered with MTV to disburse $1,000 grants to event hosts across the country to defray celebration costs. [10]

A related project is “ALL IN: Campus Democracy Challenge” which seeks to increase voter registration among university students. In 2016, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) refused to endorse the project on the grounds that it appeared too partisan. NAICU President David L. Warren explained:  “It was hard to know where one ended and the other began…The issue of the White House and Civic Nation, either separately or together, moving in this direction struck me as an entangling perception at best that I did not want.” [11]

College Promise/Better Make Room

Civic Nation also oversees College Promise, a campaign launched in 2015 designed to implement government-funded community college. [12] A related project, Better Make Room, focuses on preparing low-income high school upperclassmen for secondary education. [13]

It’s On Us

Civic Nation is affiliated with “It’s On Us”, an anti-sexual misconduct campaign begun under the Obama administration, which benefits from widespread support of celebrities and politicians including Barack Obama, Jon Hamm, and Joe Biden. [14]

 The United State of Women

Civic Nation is also affiliated with The United State of Women summits, which took place in June 2016 and May 2018.  In June 2019 United State of Women launched a PSA promoting the renewal and expansion of the Violence Against Women Act. [15]

The Hope Incubator

In September 2018, editor Gautam Raghvan announced a new Civic Nation endeavor, The Hope Incubator, is to be funded by proceeds from a collection of Obama administration staffers’ memoirs: “West Wingers.” [16]

References

  1. Civic Nation. “Initiatives.” Civic Nation Website. Undated. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://civicnation.org/initiatives/ ^
  2.  Propublica. Tax Filings by Year. Form 990. Filed April 3, 2019. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/473576918/201940709349300514/IRS990^
  3. Propublica. Tax Filings by Year. Form 990. Filed April 3, 2019. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/473576918/201940709349300514/IRS990 ^
  4. Civic Nation. Civic Nation Website. Board of Directors. Undated. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://civicnation.org/about/ ^
  5. Dreier, Peter. “Activists to Watch:  Jenn Brown.” October 24, 2013.  Accessed August 28, 2019. https://billmoyers.com/content/jenn-brown  ^
  6. Jenn Brown. Twitter Post. Twitter.com April 11, 2019. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://twitter.com/jennb_jennb/status/1116386877295271937?lang=en  ^
  7. Rose, Lacey. “NBCU Cable Chairman Bonnie Hammer Relaunches ‘Erase the Hate’ Campaign.” The Hollywood Reporter. October 10, 2017. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/nbcu-cable-chairman-bonnie-hammer-relaunches-multi-mollion-dollar-erase-hate-campaign-1047329 ^
  8. Erase the Hate. “Join the Movement.” Youtube.com August 10, 2018. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=20&v=LsTL89DnByA ^
  9. Athlete Ally. “Our Founding Story.” Athlete Ally website.  Undated. Accessed August 29, 2019. https://www.athleteally.org/about ^
  10. Civic Nation. “Civic Nation Launches #VoteTogether With 140 Partners and More Than 500 Celebrations to Change the Culture of Voting.” Cision PR Newswire website. September 5, 2018. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/civic-nation-launches-votetogether-with-140-partners-and-more-than-500-celebrations-to-change-the-culture-of-voting-300707219.html[/note] ^
  11. Lederman, Doug. “Civic Engagement or Get out the Vote?” Inside Higher Ed Website. July 8, 2016. Accessed August 27, 2019. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/07/08/confusion-surrounds-student-voting-effort-linked-white-house ^
  12. Civic Nation. Civic Nation Website. “Initiatives.” Undated. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://civicnation.org/initiative/college-promise/ ^
  13. Civic Nation. Civic Nation Website. “Initiatives.” Undated. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://civicnation.org/initiative/better-make-room/ ^
  14. [note] It’s On Us. “Sexual Assault PSA.” Youtube.com September 14, 2014. Accessed August 28, 2019.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNMZo31LziM  ^
  15. The United State of Women. “Violence Against Women Act PSA.” Youtube.com June 25, 2019. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LArw-lQWcT8  ^
  16. Raghvan, Gautam. “How a Group of Obama White House Staffers are Empowering the Next Generation of Change Makers” Forbes. September 25, 2018 Accessed August 28, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/civicnation/2018/09/25/how-a-group-of-obama-white-house-staffers-are-empowering-the-next-generation-of-change-makers/#952400b1d638  ^

Coalition Memberships

  1. United State of Women
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 2015

  • 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 Dec Form 990 $2,903,386 $2,567,962 $1,196,939 $171,216 N $2,945,775 $0 $0 $0
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,026,017 $335,718 $732,243 $41,944 N $1,026,017 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Civic Nation

    727 15th St. NW
    WASHINGTON, DC 20009-4512