Non-profit

Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG)

Website:

copirg.org/home

Location:

DENVER, CO

Tax ID:

84-1188748

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $415,428
Expenses: $372,312
Assets: $1,086,818

Formation:

1992

Director:

Danny Katz

The Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG) is the Colorado affiliate of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (US-PIRG), a left-of-center federation of advocacy organizations created by Ralph Nader. As the Colorado branch of this national advocacy federation, the organization pushes for increasing government control of health care, limiting on political speech activity, maintaining government control over broadband, and advocating for strict regulatory approaches from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. [1]

Finances

CoPIRG, like its affiliates, receives its funding through “hidden donations” from college students through a mechanism that rolls the donation into the lump sum amount paid for tuition, room and board, and other educational expenses. The PIRG method of revenue generation has been heavily criticized. [2]

In 2017 CoPIRG received $446,712 in contributions and possessed $706,376 in assets after accounting for all liabilities. [3]

Advocacy

Antibiotics Campaign

CoPIRG opposes what it claims to be an “over-prescription of antibiotics” and has called on restaurant chains like Wendy’s, Subway, KFC, and McDonald’s to halt the practice of feeding antibiotics to livestock within large-scale farming operations. [4]

Government Campaign Funding

CoPIRG advocates for limitations on political speech activity and supports government control of political speech by requiring disclosure requirements for such activities. CoPIRG has successfully pushed for a campaign finance law in Denver, Colorado, that allows the government to match any eligible small contribution of $50 or less with a 9 to 1 government-funded match to prop up candidates who are not successful at obtaining financial support through fundraising. [5]

Voter Registration

CoPIRG claims to support “easy, accurate, and automatic” voter registration. CoPIRG supports Colorado’s automatic DMV registration method which allows individuals to automatically be registered whenever they interact with the DMV. [6]

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

CoPIRG has advocated against attempts to reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The organization, referring to Senate Democrats as “our Senators,” has called upon Senate Democrats to oppose any reform limiting or reforming the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. [7]

CoPIRG has called upon Congress to strengthen and enlarge the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, claiming that this is necessary to defend homes and retirement savings from “constant attacks from Wall Street.” [8]

COVID-19

CoPIRG has criticized Governor Jared Polis (D) for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Colorado. CoPIRG has claimed that “more aggressive action” was required and that by failing to lock down the state more strictly by closing indoor dining and limiting travel, Gov. Polis failed to provide an adequate response to the pandemic. [9]

Leadership

Danny Katz is the state director of CoPIRG. Katz is also a member of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Efficiency and Accountability Committee and Transit and Rail Advisory Committee. He is a founding member of the Financial Equity Coalition, an organization that works to increase public participation in entitlement programs. [10]

References

  1. “Our Work” CoPIRG. https://copirg.org/feature/cop/our-work ^
  2. Seidemann, David. “The PIRG-University Alliance” RealClearPolitics. June 2, 2016. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://www.realclearpolicy.com/2016/06/03/the_pirg-university_alliance_31151.html ^
  3. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax” Guidestar.org. Accessed October 21, 2020. Part I, Lines 8-19. ^
  4. “STOP THE OVERUSE OF ANTIBIOTICS ON FACTORY FARMS” CoPIRG. https://copirg.org/issues/cop/stop-overuse-antibiotics-factory-farms-1 ^
  5. “Big Money Out” CoPIRG. https://copirg.org/feature/cop/big-money-out ^
  6. “Modernize The Vote” CoPIRG. https://copirg.org/feature/cop/modernize-vote ^
  7. “Defend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” CoPIRG. https://copirg.org/feature/cop/defend-consumer-bureau ^
  8. “Defend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” CoPIRG. https://copirg.org/feature/cop/defend-consumer-bureau ^
  9. “TRIPLE TESTING, TEMPORARILY CLOSE BARS AND INDOOR DINING, AND LIMIT TRAVEL TO COMBAT COVID” CoPIRG. https://copirg.org/news/cop/triple-testing-temporarily-close-bars-and-indoor-dining-and-limit-travel-combat-covid ^
  10. “About” Financial Equity Coalition. http://financialequity.org/about/ ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Wendy Wendlandt
    Vice President
  2. Susan Rakov
    Vice President
  3. Doug Phelps
    President and Executive Director

Coalition Memberships

  1. Public Interest Network (PIN)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: August - July
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 1996

  • 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
    2017 Aug Form 990 $415,428 $372,312 $1,086,818 $538,191 N $415,428 $0 $0 $15,563 PDF
    2016 Aug Form 990 $390,915 $363,006 $685,706 $206,045 N $390,648 $0 $267 $16,200
    2015 Aug Form 990 $351,962 $332,547 $584,430 $147,842 N $351,888 $0 $74 $9,195 PDF
    2014 Aug Form 990 $412,659 $381,096 $600,022 $188,584 N $412,571 $0 $88 $9,822 PDF
    2013 Aug Form 990 $368,153 $358,135 $632,167 $242,519 N $358,037 $10,000 $116 $8,950 PDF
    2012 Aug Form 990 $414,731 $390,539 $599,899 $214,146 N $376,179 $38,086 $466 $8,375 PDF
    2011 Aug Form 990 $819,887 $419,910 $610,019 $186,270 N $819,187 $0 $700 $12,149 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG)

    1543 WAZEE ST
    DENVER, CO 80202-1442