Civic Participation Action Fund (CPAF)



Washington, DC

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:





“Dark Money” Funder


Operations Ceased (2020)

Principal Funder:

Atlantic Philanthropies (Bermuda; defunct since 2020)


Stephen McConnell

Vice President:

Katherine Peck

Latest Tax Filing:

2018 Form 990

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Civic Participation Action Fund (CPAF) was a secretive left-of-center advocacy group created by the Atlantic Advocacy Fund in December 2014 with a multi-million dollar endowment. The Atlantic Advocacy fund is one of several 501(c)(4) nonprofits created by Atlantic Philanthropies, a principally offshore left-of-center grantmaking foundation associated with duty-free shopping billionaire Charles “Chuck” Feeney. 1

CPAF closed in 2020 after spending itself out (as did Atlantic Philanthropies). 2 Since then, its website has redirected to an online archive of its operations hosted by Cornell University, the alma mater of Atlantic Philanthropies founder Chuck Feeney. 3

When it was in operation, CPAF created reports evaluating the efficacy of recruiting ethnic minorities to vote as a means to support progressive and left-of-center campaigns. 4 In an August 2018 report with TOPOS, it stated that, among other ways, Latinos can be recruited to vote by telling them that voting can result in getting rid of “people like [then-President Donald] Trump” and going on to elaborate that he is “unprofessional,” “a bad leader,”  “anti-Mexican/Latino,” and “anti-immigrant.” 5


The Civic Participation Action Fund was designed to be a “limited life initiative” supporting “high-impact civic engagement efforts addressing racial and economic disparity” from its creation in 2014 until its closure in 2020. 6 The Atlantic Advocacy Fund has given CPAF approximately $50,000,000 in grants since its inception, with smaller cash infusions from Sixteen Thirty Fund, the New Venture Fund, and NEO Philanthropy Action Fund helping to execute a “five-year plan” of activism. 7 8 9 10

The organization was originally incorporated in Delaware on December 11th, 2014. 11


CPAF was directed by a board of five voting members led by president Stephen McConnell and vice president Katherine Peck. Both McConnell and Peck were paid roughly $300,000 per year, according to the group’s latest IRS filing from 2017. 12

Stephen McConnell

Prior to 2015, Stephen McConnell worked for several years as the national director of U.S. programs for Atlantic Philanthropies. In a 2015 video announcing the launch of CPAF, McConnell said that “advocacy has always been a key part of the Atlantic Philanthropies strategy,” and that CPAF’s goal was to “engage more people, particularly low-income people of color in the system . . . we want them to get registered, show up at the polls, [and] express their views.” 13

McConnell is also on the board of directors of U.S. Justice Action Network, a center-left criminal justice advocacy group. 14 CPAF has provided $550,000 in grants to U.S. Justice Action Network. 15 16 In 2018, McConnell joined the board of Demos, a left-wing policy advocacy group, and is also on the board of Register America, a 501(c)(4) voter mobilization group with which CPAF is heavily involved. 17 18 19

Katherine Peck

In 2016, Katherine Peck became a board member for the Voter Registration Project, the 501(c)(3) affiliate of Register America. Peck is also the president of State Voices, and serves on the advisory board of the Advancement Project, the Latino Engagement Fund, and the Latino Engagement Action Fund. 20 21 Prior to her work at CPAF, Gill worked as an advisor to the Gill Foundation for nine years. 22

Board of Directors

Board member David Sternlieb is the chief operating officer for Atlantic Philanthropies. 23

Board member Bill Roberts worked as the director of U.S. advocacy for Atlantic Philanthropies from 2008-2011, and currently works at Corridor Partners, a political consultancy group. 24 Roberts has also served as the board chair of the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and worked as executive director of the Beldon Fund. 25

Between 2009 and 2014, board member Phillip Schiliro worked in several positions within the administration of President Barack Obama, such as director of congressional relations, director of legislative affairs, and special advisor to the President. 26

Board member Whitney Tymas is treasurer of the Safety and Justice PAC and the Justice and Public Safety PAC; she previously worked at the Vera Institute for Justice. 27 28 29

Political Activities

The Civic Participation Action Fund works together with State Voices and other members of the Democracy Alliance to fund the 501(c)(4) wings of many voter mobilization, voter registration, and canvassing organizations. 30

In 2016 CPAF spent $2 million to help create Register America,the 501(c)(4) wing of the Voter Registration Project.  Register America’s only activities for the year were granting $1,736,952 to Mi Familia Vota and $676,622 to New Florida Majority; CPAF itself has also made smaller contributions to both of these groups. 31 32 33

Support for Liberal and Democratic PACs

CPAF has made several large contributions to prominent PACs as part of its activism plan. In 2016 CPAF contributed $1,500,000 to the Immigrant Voters Win PAC, also known as Community Change Voters, a PAC created by Center for Community Change Action which also receives substantial funding from George Soros and Priorities USA Action. 34 35 In 2018 CPAF granted $550,000 to the Black PAC, and $250,000 to Forward Majority Action. 36

Between 2016 and 2020, CPAF gave $3.2 million to left-wing and Democratic Party-aligned PACs: 37

In 2020, CPAF gave $800,000 to Virginia Plus PAC and $453,200 to Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA). Additionally, it gave $50,000 to New Florida Majority and $5,750 to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. 38

CPAF RecipientYearAmount
Color of Change PAC2020$20,000
League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund2020$20,000
Virginia Plus PAC2019$300,000
Virginia Plus PAC2019$200,000
Virginia Plus PAC2019$200,000
Virginia Plus PAC2019$100,000
Black PAC2018$300,000
Forward Majority Action2018$250,000
Black PAC2018$250,000
Immigrant Voters Win PAC2016$500,000
Immigrant Voters Win PAC2016$1,000,000
Florida Freedom PAC2016$75,000

Smoote Tewes Group

Also see STG Consulting LLC (For-profit)

On CPAF’s IRS filings, Stephen McConnell’s business address is reported to be the same as that of the Smoote Tewes Group (STG), a highly influential left-leaning political consultancy firm. 39

Voter Engagement Research

During its existence, CPAF funded a number of research reports into voter engagement among traditionally Democratic-leaning constituencies.

As part of its research CPAF defined groups it called “high-capacity 501(c)(4) political organizations” (501(c)(4) nonprofits are allowed to do more lobbying than their 501(c)(3) counterparts, within limits) focused on supporting legislation as well as “ballot initiatives and other electoral campaigns.” Such groups have the following characteristics, according to CPAF:40

  1. Effectiveness at winning campaigns
  2. Ability to build and maintain an engaged constituency
  3. Political credibility and reputation with allies, public officials, and opponents
  4. Ability to influence legislative outcomes by making claims, wielding power, winning policy change, and holding public officials accountable
  5. Organizational designs and infrastructures that can ensure long-term sustainability

Arizona Prop. 206 (2016)

Proposition 206 was a 2016 Arizona state ballot initiative that raised the state minimum wage to $10 per hour (beginning in 2017, then incrementally to $12 by 2020) from $8.05 and required employers with more than 15 employees to provide at least 40 hours per year of paid sick leave (24 hours per year for smaller businesses). The initiative passed 58 to 42 percent; in 2017, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled against a lawsuit arguing that the initiative was unconstitutional. 41

In March 2019, a study of the Prop. 206 campaign funded by CPAF (archived here) evaluated the effectiveness of “high-capacity 501(c)(4) political organizations” in bolstering ballot initiative campaigns. It analyzed the key 501(c)(4) group backing Prop. 206, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), that “led the way in gathering signatures, organizing new constituencies of voters, and mobilizing the vote for a sweeping progressive win in the state, even amid the election of Donald Trump.” 42

According to the CPAF report, Prop. 206 was envisioned in Fall 2015 by “national funders”—CPAF, the Rockefeller Family Fund, the Fairness Project (associated with a branch of the Service Employees International Union), and the Center for Popular Democracy—and “members of Arizona’s 501(c)(4) donor tables, local unions, and other key leaders in Arizona’s progressive community.” Donations also came from the Arizona Education Association and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

The campaign was administered by Bill Scheel, a consultant for the firm Javelina (which caters to Democratic Party clients and left-wing organizations in Arizona), and LUCHA executive director Tomas Robles.

The CPAF report also credits a number of unnamed 501(c)(3) nonprofits in indirectly supporting the campaign:

With time, LUCHA’s ability to establish stronger relationships and a positive reputation with in-state donors grew. That growth was not solely a function of LUCHA’s organizational position but also relied on the strength of relationships among the 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) table partners and between [Bill] Scheel and [Tomas] Robles.

The report emphasizes LUCHA’s role in passing Prop. 206, stressing its future growth in six capacities:

  1. Ability to fund-raise: “Fund-raising for a statewide ballot campaign required new kinds of relationships as well as attention to the politics of local-to-national fund-raising.”
  2. Coalition building: “It is also possible that LUCHA’s alignment with state coalitions facilitated the organization’s growing relationships with public officials.”
  3. Constituency: “Prior to the campaign, LUCHA possessed a high capacity for organizing Latino constituencies and for engaging members in Phoenix. . . . After the campaign—and with funding for organizing staff—LUCHA has been able to deepen its membership-building strategies—especially by following up with interested people beyond initial voter contact and by recruiting members interested in advocacy, not just direct service. With the experience of the ballot campaign, LUCHA also has the ability to expand in new communities, like Tucson and Pinal County.”
  4. Staff management
  5. Communications: “During campaign cycles, 501(c)(4) organizations typically are able to bolster resources for targeted communications—especially with support from paid consultants,
    national funders, and in-state funders that want to help the campaign succeed. . . . LUCHA’s communications capacity is not where it must be. [Respondents] identified core communications tasks like messaging, polling, and forecasting, as well as data management, online list building, and other digital work as areas for continued investment and growth.”
  6. Ability to influence legislation:

Having influence during legislative cycles is a core element of high-capacity 501(c)(4) organizations. Influence indicates an organization’s ability to affect both policy outcomes and the state of governing power. To achieve influence, an organization has to have an explicit legislative strategy and a robust infrastructure with skilled staff for managing and executing policy change tactics.

The extent to which the Proposition 206 campaign helped increase LUCHA’s ability to influence policy making remains to be seen, but the campaign laid the groundwork for LUCHA’s current legislative strategy. That strategy includes defensive policy campaigns such as the organization’s work to prevent caps on the newly passed minimum wage and a repeal of the measure’s paid-sick-time provision, both of which opposition leaders attempted to push through the legislature in 2017 and 2018. The strategy also includes the development of an integrated and proactive strategy focused on economic justice policy change.

Since 2016, LUCHA has implemented more substantial tactics such as (1) sponsoring lobby days that bring members to the capitol to meet with legislators and cultivate new relationships, (2) employing full-time lobbyists, and (3) supporting agenda setting by moving and sponsoring new policies like the AZ Fair Workweek Act (HB 2227). The organization has canvassed in key legislative districts, created digital ads and raised money for them, and mobilized its base for direct actions.

Those tactics combine traditional advocacy strategies with the hallmarks of LUCHA’s grassroots organizing strategies—particularly developing leadership among young people of color in holding public officials accountable. Robles and Gomez report that the time spent on those activities has demonstrated how important it is for community groups to be constantly present at the legislature and to have coherent, unified strategies that engage members in policy-change work. The two leaders see this approach as integral to their theory of change and to LUCHA’s ability to grow into a powerful 501(c)(4) organization. [Emphasis added.]

Illinois, Texas District Attorney Races

Two more CPAF reports focused on campaigns to elect a “progressive prosecutor” as district attorney in Cook County, Illinois (Chicago; archived here), and Harris County, Texas (Houston).

Kim Foxx was elected Cook County district attorney in 2016 and reelected in 2020. Her reelection campaign was supported by at least $2 million from left-wing billionaire George Soros. 43 While many observers attributed her 2016 victory to “a growing tide of public anger and unrest over police killings of black men and boys,” CPAF insists that Foxx won due to widespread support from “grassroots organizations,” which were effective in: 44

  • Channeling community anger toward electoral action
  • Leveraging electoral energy toward ongoing accountability advocacy
  • Building the capacity of communities to engage with the state’s attorney’s office and advocate for criminal justice reforms
  • Helping those most impacted by the criminal justice system to use their experience as a source of influence and power

According to CPAF, People’s Action and other left-wing groups had a “shared goal to replace [then-DA Anita] Alvarez with a more progressive state’s attorney” and “the availability of foundation resources to support the coordinated work.” These groups helped to “elevate Foxx’s profile” to “effectively reach voters” in “an expansive field campaign.” According to one CPAF interview:

“We wouldn’t have won for Kim if (c)(4) organizations had not said, ‘Hey, you’re angry about this, and here’s a way you can punish Anita [Alvarez]. Here’s who you can vote for to champion your issues,’ because what we found on the doors is that candidates did not have name recognition. You can’t have that conversation as a (c)(3) organization, so (c)(4) and political action-committee organizations channeled all the anger and gave folks an outlet.”

Among the “grassroots” groups supporting Foxx were People’s Action, a left-wing 501(c)(4) advocacy group; the BlackRoots Alliance; the Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ); the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); Reclaim Chicago, a PAC reportedly responsible for “50 percent of the campaign’s coordinated get-out-the-vote operation”; Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL); United Working Families (an SEIU creation); the Chicago Teachers Union; Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100); Black Lives Matter Chicago; Fearless Leading by the Youth; Assata’s Daughters, a self-described “radical” organization named for Assata Shakur, an FBI “Most Wanted” terrorist and convicted murderer; and Color of Change. 45 CPAF insists that “there was no coordination between the 501(c)(3) organizations conducting the nonpartisan outreach education and the 501(c)(4) organizations conducting the electoral organizing,” which would potentially constitute a violation of their respective limits on advocacy.

After Foxx’s victory in 2016, many of these groups continued to collaborate with her on particular issues:

  • The People’s Lobby, Reclaim Chicago, National Nurses United, and Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice (Appleseed) engaged multiracial communities across the county in the area of criminal justice reform.
  • Action Now, the BlackRoots Alliance, the Workers Center for Racial Justice, and SOUL worked primarily in black communities in the city and focused on police accountability and wage theft issues.

In 2016, Democrat Kim Ogg was elected district attorney for Harris County, Texas, which covers the city of Houston; she was reelected in 2020. Billionaire George Soros reportedly paid for half-a-million dollars in advertisements to help Ogg’s 2016 campaign. 46 In 2019, CPAF funded a report (archived here) that evaluates the effectiveness of the Texas Organizing Project (TOP) and the TOP PAC in helping to elect Ogg. TOP “used a power-mapping process,” according to the report, “to identify all the players in the criminal justice system who had influence on policy goals.” 47

The mapping helped in understanding whom to target to shift policy. The plan also included an electoral strategy and identified targets for the next campaign. TOP always embedded electoral strategies into its advocacy and accountability strategies [emphasis added].

TOP’s broader strategy included ultimately electing a “progressive trifecta” to “anchor broad, sweeping, progressive change” consisting of a left-wing mayor, district attorney, and sheriff. There were four components to this strategy:

  1. Endorsement: Moving [Kim] Ogg on their progressive agenda
  2. Coalition building: Building partnerships between those interested in criminal justice reform
  3. Organizing: Educating and engaging the base on criminal justice reform and the role of the DA [district attorney]
  4. Getting out the vote: Mobilizing the base for the election

Much of the campaign was reportedly organized through the “Right2Justice” coalition, consisting of left-wing groups such as Color of Change, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas, Black Lives Matter Houston, Mi Familia Vota, No More Blood Shed Movement, Power House Ministries, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) of Texas, Truth to Power, United We Dream, the New Black Panther Party, Think Peace International, and Houston Peace and Justice Center.

TOP’s political action committee, TOP PAC, engaged in three activities during the campaign:

  1. Education on down-ballot voting
  2. Education on the role of the DA and key criminal justice issues for which the DA has oversight
  3. Education about Ogg and her policy agenda, which aligned with the Right2Justice agenda

Strategy for Prosecutorial Campaigns

Following its reports on the Cook County and Harris County district attorney races, CPAF released a report on how future progressive prosecutors could be supported by both 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations by recruiting “communities of color,” namely Black people, to vote for them. The report states 501(c)(3) organizations should “educate the public” about district attorneys and 501(c)(4) organizations should campaign for the “right people,” including the opposition of “tough-on-crime” prosecutors. 48

Amongst its criteria for evaluating campaigns, CPAF advocates for organizations to employ the use of Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education’s (SCOPE) “power-mapping tool.” The tool was created based on the claim that low-income communities exist because they lack so-called power, which it describes as an “organizing plan,” “campaign plan,” and “a means to assess communities’ progress and achievement.” It evaluates groups based on the extent to which the elected officials and policies they advocate for explicitly focus on using public policies to economically empower and politically protect “communities of color” and low-income communities. 49

CPAF’s report on strategies for prosecutorial campaigns also advocates for organizations to actively work with prosecutors following their election to “hold them accountable” for advancing progressive initiatives. 50

“Voters of Color”

A 2020 CPAF-funded report entitled “Activating Voters of Color” (archived here) laid out strategies for left-leaning campaigns to target black and Latino voters. The report advised campaigns that their “canvassers should be similar to the target voter (from the neighborhood, with a similar background, etc.)” and that “culturally competent political (re)education is required” of voters both in and out of election cycles. 51

Also among the report’s findings was that “social pressure and information-rich mail can turn out voters of color, but the magnitude of the effects is often smaller than with white voters”; “social pressure mail has been found to be effective with Latinx voters”; “there is some evidence that radio advertising works for voter turnout, particularly among Latin voters when outreach is in Spanish”; and “there is weak evidence that digital ads effectively mobilize voters of color.” 52

Wyss Foundation Email

In 2020, the Capital Research Center reported that CPAF director Bill Roberts sent a Microsoft Word document in an email to the Wyss Foundation detailing a plan to increase voter participation in the 2020 election. The document included track changes, which showed Roberts had edited the document in order to soften partisan language. The Wyss Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and is therefore barred from participating in explicitly partisan political activity. In 2015, Roberts sent an email to former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta detailing a voter registration plan, while later insisting that his efforts were non-partisan. 53



An overview of CPAF’s finances is available below: 54

Civic Participation Action Fund: Financial Overview
YearTotal Revenues Total ExpendituresGrants PaidNet Assets
Grand Total:$53,355,903$38,655,496$32,561,325

CPAF Grantors

Between 2015 and 2017 (grant data for 2018 is unavailable), CPAF received a majority of its grants from major left-wing foundations. A list of grantors to CPAF is available below: 55

Civic Participation Action Fund: GrantorsYearAmount
The Atlantic Advocacy Fund2015$37,575,346
The Atlantic Advocacy Fund2016$8,959,322
The Atlantic Advocacy Fund2017$2,408,061
Sixteen Thirty Fund 2016$1,100,000
NEO Philanthropy Action Fund2016$1,000,000
Open Society Foundations 2016$367,000
New Venture Fund2016$367,000
Paul Graham TTEE2017$50,000
Conway Family Trust 2017$50,000
Michael Yang2017$10,000
Grand Total:$51,886,729

Grant Recipients

In 2015, CPAF spent $1,386,093 on grants. In 2016, the group made $12,119,593 in grants. In 2017, CPAF reported $7,067,107 in grants. A list of grants made by CPAF is available below: 56

Civic Participation Action Fund: Grant RecipientsYearAmount
Register America2016$2,000,000
Every Citizen Counts2016$1,800,000
New Futures Fund 2017$1,600,000
Immigrant Voters Win PAC2016$1,500,000
Equality Virginia Advocates2017$850,000
State Victory Fund2017$800,000
Colorado Families for a Fair Wage2016$700,000
The Advocacy Fund (Tides)2016$500,000
Retain A Just Nebraska2016$500,000
State Engagement Fund 2016$500,000
Win Florida, Inc. 2016$500,000
Florida For All2017$500,000
Latino Victory Project2017$450,000
Arizona Wins 2017$437,675
Win Florida 2017$400,000
Arizonans for Fair Wages 2016$350,000
Make North Carolina First2016$350,000
Latino Victory Project2015$325,000
America's Voice2015$300,000
U.S. Justice Action Network2016$300,000
Floridians for a Fair Democracy2017$300,000
Social Security Works2017$300,000
Illinois Safety and Justice2016$299,608
Sixteen Thirty Fund2016$280,000
Bus Federation Action Fund2016$261,000
U.S. Justice Action Network2015$250,000
Pacific Market Research 2016$244,000
Make the Road Action2016$228,585
ProgressNow Arizona2017$218,032
California Calls Action Fund2016$200,000
Georgia Engaged2017$200,000
SIX Action2017$191,400
Community Catalyst 2016$175,000
New Futures Fund 2016$175,000
Analyst Institute, LLC2016$153,000
Center for Popular Democracy2015$150,000
Ballot Initiative Strategies2016$150,000
Black Progressive Action Coalition2017$150,000
New Virginia Majority2017$150,000
ParentsTogether Action 2016$118,400
Sixteen Thirty Fund2017$110,000
Mainers for Fair Wages 2016$100,000
Texas Organizing Project2016$100,000
Committee on States2016$100,000
National Immigration Forum2015$85,000
Community Catalyst 2015$75,000
Florida Freedom PAC2016$75,000
Flippable 2017$75,000
ABQ Working Families 2017$75,000
Organize Florida2017$75,000
National Immigration Forum2016$65,000
Mi Familia Vota 2016$60,000
TakeAction Minnesota 2016$60,000
Color of Change PAC2017$50,000
PICO Action Fund2015$45,593
National People's Action2015$40,500
Grassroots Solutions, Inc.2015$40,000
TakeAction Minnesota 2017$40,000
Democracy Alliance2015$30,000
Democracy Alliance2016$30,000
Committee on States2015$25,000
Grassroots Solutions, Inc.2016$25,000
Chicago Votes Action Fund 2016$25,000
Texas Organizing Project2017$25,000
Democracy Alliance2017$25,000
ABQ Forward Together2017$25,000
Mississippi NAACP2015$20,000
New Florida Majority2017$20,000
ProgressNow New Mexico2016$15,000
Grand Total:$20,572,793

Financial Documents

CPAF’s IRS Form filings for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 are available below:


  1. Wooster, Martin Morse. “The Atlantic Philanthropies: Right –and Wrong– Ways to Give Away Money.” Capital Research Center. June 1, 2011. Accessed June 27, 2019.
  2. Tapscott, Mark. “Front for Bermuda-Based Dark Money Group Spent $50 Million on Voter Drives in Heavily Democratic Areas.” The Epoch Times, October 24, 2020.
  3. “Civic Participation Action Fund Archives.” Cornell University. Accessed November 3, 2020.
  4. Barsoum, Gigi. “Prosecutorial Campaigns: A Strategy to Mobilize and Engage Communities.” Atlantic Philanthropies, May 1, 2019.
  5. “Confidence & Community: Tapping into Latino Power.” The Atlantic Philanthropies, August 2018.
  6. “Advancing Democracy Through Civic Engagement Among People of Color.” Civic Participation Action Fund. Accessed June 18, 2019.
  7. Vadum, Matthew. “Dark Money Ascendant: Mission Accomplished.” Capital Research Center. Accessed June 18, 2019.
  8. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. 2016. Additional Data Table.
  9. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). New Venture Fund. 2016. Additional Data Table.
  10. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). NEO Philanthropy Action Fund. 2016. Additional Data Table.
  11. Division of Corporations – Filing. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  12. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). The Civic Participation Action Fund. 2017. Part VII. Section A. Original URL: Archived here:
  13. “Stephen McConnell on the Civic Participation Action Fund | Atlantic Philanthropies.” The Atlantic Philanthropies,
  14. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). US Justice Action Network. 2016. Schedule A. Part VII. Section A.
  15. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). The Civic Participation Action Fund. 2015. Schedule I. Part II. Original URL: Archived here:
  16. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). The Civic Participation Action Fund. 2016. Schedule I. Part II. Original URL: Archived here:
  17. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Demos A Network for Ideas and Action. 2018. Schedule A. Part VII.
  18. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Register America. 2016. Schedule A. Part VII. Section A.
  19. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Register America. 2016. Schedule A. Part VII. Section A.
  20. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). State Voices. 2016. Part VII. Section A.
  21. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). The Advancement Project. 2016. Part VII. Section A.
  22. “Katherine Peck.” Social Transformation Project. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  23. “David Sternlieb | Atlantic Philanthropies.” The Atlantic Philanthropies. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  24. Roberts, William. “William Roberts.” LinkedIn.
  25. Roberts, William. “William Roberts.” LinkedIn.
  26. “Phil Schiliro.” The Washington Post. July 25, 2012. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  27. “Race and Prosecution in Manhattan.” Vera. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  28. “Safety & Justice PAC Summary.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  29. “Justice & Public Safety PAC Summary.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed June 24, 2019.
  30. Thayer, Parker. “A ‘Dark Money’ Assault on U.S. Elections: Meet the Team.” Capital Research Center, October 9, 2020.
  31. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Register America. 2016. Schedule I. Part II.
  32. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). The Civic Participation Action Fund. 2016. Schedule I. Part II. Original URL: Archived here:
  33. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). The Civic Participation Action Fund. 2017. Schedule I. Part II. Original URL: Archived here:
  34. “Browse Individual Contributions.” Accessed June 25, 2019. Participation Action Fund&min_date=01/01/2015&max_date=12/31/2016.
  35. “Browse Receipts.” Accessed June 25, 2019.
  36. “Browse Individual Contributions.” Accessed June 25, 2019. Participation Action Fund&min_date=01/01/2017&max_date=12/31/2018.
  37. Data from Federal Election Commission. Civic Participation Action Fund: Disbursements. 2016-2020. Accessed November 3, 2020.
  38. “Civic Participation Action Fund Profile: Summary.” OpenSecrets. Accessed December 10, 2023.
  39. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). The Civic Participation Action Fund. 2015-2017. Schedule A. Part VI. Section C. Original URL: Archived here:




  40. Margaret A. Post, Marti Frank. “Investing in Effective Approaches to Civic Engagement: An Evaluation Research Project with the Civic Participation Action Fund.” Civic Participation Action Fund. March 2019. Accessed November 3, 2020. Archived URL:
  41. Arizona Prop. 206. Ballotpedia. Accessed November 3, 2020.,_Proposition_206_(2016)
  42. Margaret A. Post, Marti Frank. “Investing in Effective Approaches to Civic Engagement: An Evaluation Research Project with the Civic Participation Action Fund.” Civic Participation Action Fund. March 2019. Accessed November 3, 2020. Archived URL:
  43. Rachel Hinton. “Another billionaire weighs in on state’s attorney’s race: George Soros gives $2M to group backing Foxx.” Chicago Sun-Times. February 20, 2020. Accessed November 4, 2020.
  44. Gigi Barsoum. “Cook County, Illinois, State’s Attorney Election and Accountability: From Protest to Power.” May 1, 2019. Accessed November 4, 2020.
  45. “Home.” Assata’s Daughters. Accessed November 4, 2020.
  46. Blake Patterson. “Soros again pumps money into Harris County district attorney’s race.” Houston Chronicle. October 13, 2016. Accessed November 5, 2020.
  47. Gigi Barsoum. “Harris County, Texas, District Attorney Election and Accountability: Building Electoral Power for Criminal Justice Reform.” Civic Participation Action Fund. May 1, 2019. Accessed November 5, 2020.
  48. Barsoum, Gigi. “Prosecutorial Campaigns: A Strategy to Mobilize and Engage Communities.” Atlantic Philanthropies, May 1, 2019.
  49. Barsoum, Gigi. “Prosecutorial Campaigns: A Strategy to Mobilize and Engage Communities.” Atlantic Philanthropies, May 1, 2019.
  50. Barsoum, Gigi. “Prosecutorial Campaigns: A Strategy to Mobilize and Engage Communities.” Atlantic Philanthropies, May 1, 2019.
  51. Lisa Garcia Bedolla. “Activating Voters of Color: Power, Place, and Participation.” Data for Social Good, funding from Civic Participation Action Fund. 2020. Accessed November 6, 2020.
  52. Lisa Garcia Bedolla. “Activating Voters of Color: Power, Place, and Participation.” Data for Social Good, funding from Civic Participation Action Fund. 2020. Accessed November 6, 2020.
  53. Thayer, Parker. “A ‘Dark Money’ Assault on U.S. Elections: Meet the Team.” Capital Research Center. Capital Research Center, October 9, 2020.
  54. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990) (multiple). Civic Participation Action Fund. 2015-2018. Part I: Lines 12, 18, 22.
  55. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990) (multiple). Civic Participation Action Fund. 2015-2017. Schedule B.

    Note that CPAF spent $12,008,916 in grants in 2018, but its 2018 Form 990 filing does not include a Schedule I list of grant recipients.

  56. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990) (multiple). Civic Participation Action Fund. 2015-2017. Schedule I.

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Civic Participation Action Fund (CPAF)

818 Connecticut Ave
Ste 200
Washington, DC 20006